Here we reveal what fast cardio is – both fictions and factual contents.
Fasted cardio is a common phrase around the gym on every now and then sessions of training. Does it really burn fats properly? What if you fast-track your goals for a weight loss?
Fasted cardio: Its definition
It was first brought to light in the 1990’s and involved training on an empty belly. Based on advocate’s views, this technique is quite superior if you want to lose fats compared to just working out while feedings. From its discovery, it has become so popular to both bodybuilders and the regular guys. However, nobody has the answer to the legitimacy of fasted cardio.
Effect of rowing or running on an empty stomach in relation to becoming leaner
To grasp the ‘how’ fact, we have to simplify it to the science of ‘why’ it should work. Below is the theory supporting the concept of fasted cardio workouts.
The Theory of Fasted Cardio
The two schools of thought according to fasted cardio are:
- Theory of depleted muscle glycogen
- Theory of lower levels of insulin
To understand why these are a great deal is easy too. But we are going to simplify them through a step by step approach.
- Theory of depleted muscle glycogen
This theory bases its concept on reduced muscle glycogen in the morning after sleep. The idea or fact here is that the energy stored in your muscles is typically lower after a sleep-full night of fasting.
Here’s the scene:
Get your picture heading out early in the morning for your normal run. You have not taken anything for breakfast except that strong black coffee pushing your run. Maybe this is the doubled dosage for your willpower or for the approaching holiday. Now on your empty stomach run, you undoubtedly need energy, isn’t it? Therefore, your body must turn to fat stores to start fat breakdown for energy required during that 6 am jogging. Or, tell me another way you can hit with that 5K mark.
Expectedly, science answers this too for you, to your advantage. Follow the case study below;
Case Study: “Fundamentals of glycogen metabolism for coaches and athletes”
Though this kind of study make sense from a face value, it is unfortunately untrue. Most research done recently have revealed that the glycogen stores hardly alters overnight because one is usually inactive while sleeping. Therefore, muscles holds still on to the energy. A human’s physique isn’t some kind of a leaking tap.
The facts is this; on your wake up and lacing your shoes up, you still have some spare fuel in your legs, and especially if you had eaten adequately in your previous day.
Basing facts here are that muscle stores glucose from carbohydrates as glycogen and therefore levels of glycogen stored does not get altered much at rest.
Conclusion here is that after sleep you may not be having an empty glycogen store as you may think. These makes this theory kind of redundant.
- Theory of lower levels of insulin
Upon eating your morning oats, your body will definitely release insulin. Insulin is a hormone allowing sugars in the body to be converted to energy. It also aids in the storage process of unused glucose for energy in form of glycogen.
However, the fans of fast cardio seems to be expressing concern about insulin produced. Its tendency to inhibit lipolysis is the reason behind their concern even with its efficiency of utilizing sugars. Lipolysis is the process where triglycerides are broken down in metabolic reactions into free fatty acids used for fat oxidation. Because of insulin presence in your blood at higher amounts, it’s necessary to prioritize carbs over fats when choosing a first-hand energy producer.
Theoretically therefore, accelerating fat burning process through fasted cardio is very proper. If you train with a lowest levels of insulin, you will have more fats burnt to produce fuel during that workout session.
A Case Study: “Influence of glucose ingestion on fuel-hormone response during prolonged exercise.”
A study done in 1976 seemed to confirm this theory. In the study, they had 2 groups classification of healthy individuals who performed steadily on a four-hour cardio session. Steady meant approximate intensity percentage of 30 – not session of HIIT.
Testing their theory, researchers provided the first group with 200g of glucose for 90 minutes gym session. They then compared their metabolic findings with the metabolic results obtained from control group (which was their second).
Not long after, they found that the glucose boost had swung up the metabolism of the glucose-provided group. On the other hand, the control group hadn’t experienced that change but showed fat leaning for their fuelling. Does it mean that fasted cardio had worked effectively to lose fats? Well, somehow it did, but for a specific session this group was involved in this test. Why of this is following;
Basing facts are that glucose group had prioritized carbs for fueling while control group turned to fats for fueling. The study therefore concluded that fasted cardio see a low level of insulin which in turn prioritizes the burning of fats for fuel during that session of training.
Does fasted cardio help to lose fats quickly?
Both trainers and scientists and trainers agree that fasted cardio energize the body by prioritizing fats. The evidence of this fact is aligned in the following studies, so nobody can simply repute it. But, does cardio fasting make your fat losing process faster? And this where black blend white to become grey.
Though, some arguments maintain it that fasted cardio is not the best technique for fat loss. But both fed and fasted cardio exhibit their benefits.
A Case Study: “Does Cardio After an Overnight Fast Maximize Fat Loss?”
In this study done in 2017, the researcher by name Brad Schoenfeld found out that fasted cardio is no more effective compared to fed-cardio as far as losing fat is concerned. A very vital aspect he charged through is that we need to work out fat loss as a long time game. So, rather than focusing on a single session, results should be mapped over time. Further, evitable body composition changes will not occur overnight.
In the paper, he noted that ones who exercised in a glucose fed cardio burned even more fats for post-workout energy than the fasted cardio group. It can effectively balance out the heightened oxidation of fats which occurs in times of fasted cardio.
Another basic put forward by Schoenfeld is that food tends to increase the thermic effect of any exercise. He cited from a study that had found out that those who gulped a glucose-milk drink prior to training realized a higher level of EPOC, and especially after their session. In simple terms, they burned more calories after finishing their workout.
The main facts here are that fed cardio group had increased fat burning process and the group had produced a higher EPOC than the fasted cardio. Finally, it should be noted that fat losing is not a single session mission but a long time process.
The study concluded that fasted cardio is not good for losing fats, and it can further off-set the advantages of fed exercise.
Another factor to consider in fasted cardio is the cardio type
Best Cardio Fasting Type: which would you use?
If it is about burning calories and melting down fats, different types of cardio are meant for a different process and method. It might look the same to the untrained eye but intensity matters actually. Researchers have established that HIIT cardio is the best cardio every time – it beats even the newly invented ones. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is both time-efficient and a killer of calorie wiping. HIIT is superior for a long term fat loss. The intensity does revitalize an in-session calorie burning which promotes higher EPOC rates. Additionally, HIIT is usually more efficient with time.
Research indicates HIIT trains your muscles to utilize as less carbs as possible during the exercise. In effect, you will be a fat oxidation pro in the long run.
Can you steady state stuff?
Both fed cardio and fasted one tend to balance out another. However, there are equal advantages and disadvantages even though studies conducted miss much on definition because of their shorter frames or small group tests for which they get tested.
What is next?
Decide from your personal preference what to choose. It’s all about what you feel for cardio fasting. But, fat loss should be screened over a number of days or weeks and not a single day or session thing. Therefore, if you can get yourself a type of cardio efficient for your management, then you better get down with it. A better one is that one which works best for you to make you keep going the fat loss way.