Fasted Cardio: What’s All the Hype About?

Let’s learn all there is to know about fasted cardio, the myths surrounding it and how you can get the best of it.

Fasted Cardio

Have you ever gone for a jog first thing in the morning without grabbing a bite? Well, if you have, then you have already performed fasted cardio without even knowing about it. Sometimes, when we wake up early in the morning to exercise, we don’t get enough time to munch on something.

What is Fasted Cardio? How can you do it?

Now to answer the question: what is fasted cardio? You can simply say that it is a type of cardio that you perform without consuming any food. The Primary purpose of it is to burn an immense amount of fat. That too, without involving in any hectic and strenuous activity.

For fasted cardio, one needs to be on an empty stomach for at least 8 to 12 hours. Usually, you can meet this condition after a night’s sleep. Yet, many people do intermittent fasting so they can achieve fasted state later in the day as well. Gym fanatics and bodybuilders have been using fasted workout as a fat loss technique for ages. Thus, regular gym-goers also incorporate it into their everyday workout routine. This is because of fasted cardio study that showed its effectiveness.

Though, most of us have been doing fasted exercises for a long time without even realizing it. Whenever you do morning exercise without having breakfast, you’re doing fasted cardio.

How Does Fasted Cardio Work?

Morning Jog Workout

It works in the same way as any other cardio exercise i.e., by burning fat. However, unlike other cardio forms that you perform in a fed state, fasted cardio can burn up to 20% more body fat. The science behind its effectiveness is simple. Once the body has completed digestion, the insulin and glycogen levels in your blood drop. When you work out in this state, your body uses another source of energy to perform its activities. As a result, it consumes body fats for powering your workout.

It is quite suitable for anyone who just wants to lower their body’s fat percentage. But they usually do low to moderate intensity exercises. Studies show that when you run in a fasted state your body burns 20% more fat.

Cardio Drumming

Another useful type of cardio that is quite popular for burning fat is cardio drumming. During this type of cardio, drumsticks and exercise balls are used to burn fat. During these workout sessions, you make a drumming sound by using an exercise ball and the floor. Participants’ make drumming sound by hitting the exercise ball on the floor. In this process, they get to burn a lot of calories.

Debunking the Most Common Fasted Cardio Myths

Workout on a single leg

With the increase in popularity of fasted exercises, some myths also came into being. So, in this section, we’ll talk about those myths and discuss what science has to say regarding them.

1. It only burns fat but doesn’t help in muscle building

This myth isn’t correct. Just like any other form of cardio, it burns fat and increases your overall lean mass. The result of every cardio workout depends upon your workout routine. So, if you’re doing everything in moderation, you’ll be able to burn fat and increase your muscle mass.

2. Fasted Cardio Causes Catabolism

Catabolism causes you to shed fat as well as muscle from your body which is not healthy. Fasted cardio doesn’t cause catabolism. However, if you don’t do it in the right way it may cause catabolism. The trick to make the most out of your fasted cardio is by doing it in the right way. If you practice crash dieting with it only then it can cause catabolism.

3. You Have to Eat Before All Cardio

Another common myth is that doing cardio without eating isn’t beneficial for your health. However, this myth is absolutely wrong. Since, studies show how working out on an empty stomach burns more fat then doing cardio after eating.

4. Why You Should Drink coffee before fasted cardio?

Experts recommend starting your fasted workout session with coffee. Drinking coffee over cardio is an excellent way of accelerating your fat loss. Additionally, caffeine is a known fat burner. It helps in mobilizing fat from the tissues and increasing the metabolic rate.

5. Is fasted cardio good & Safe to do Regularly?

Fasted cardio is great for burning some extra calories. Moreover, it’s beneficial for maintaining your overall health too. However, if you want to fully reap the benefits of fasted workout, you have to do it in moderation. As an excess of strenuous exercises during fasted state can reduce blood sugar levels drastically. Incorporate sessions of fasted workout in your daily exercise routine. But as said earlier, remember to keep it in moderation. Don’t overexert yourself if you haven’t consumed enough proteins in your last meal.

5. Things that You Can Eat After Fasted Cardio

Fasted cardio usually involves burning huge amounts of fats. Therefore, we do not recommend eating fat-rich diets. The type of food after your fasted exercises session depends on the type of exercises you do. Generally, it is recommended that one should consume a diet rich in protein and carbohydrates. Unless you’re on a keto diet.

The Benefits of Fasted Cardio Exercises

In this section, we will be discussing some of the advantages you get to enjoy once you’re doing fasted cardio. On this note, let’s take a look at some of the fasted cardio benefits.

Quite Effective for Losing Body Fat

If your primary goal of exercising is to lose weight by burning excess body fat. Then, fasted cardio and you are made for each other. Different researches show that working out on an empty stomach is more effective for burning fat. That is compared to doing cardio in a fed state. The main reason behind this is that when you don’t have energy readily available from the food, your body turns to fat as a source of energy.

Increases the process of fat burning

Losing stubborn body fat is the hardest part of achieving your desired fitness goal. However, losing stubborn fat is difficult because of the ratio of alpha-beta receptors that fat-cells have. This, along with the amount of blood it receives. If there are more alpha receptors on a fat cell then it becomes more difficult to lose them. However, fasted exercises have shown to introduce the flow of blood into the fat cells which makes it easy to break them.

Helps in tackling upset stomach after exercising

Some people can’t workout on a full stomach. This kind of issues results in their stomach getting upset after they perform an exercise in the fed state. For such people, fasted exercise is more beneficial as it doesn’t cause them any discomfort, indigestion, or nausea. Likewise, some people don’t tolerate carbohydrates that well and feel lethargic after consuming them. This makes it difficult for them to do a workout after eating. For such individuals, only fasted cardio is suitable. They can also try eating low-carb foods after workout.

How Effective is fasted cardio & does it really burn fat?

Regular Cardio Exercise

If your main goal is to lose weight and burn an excessive amount of body fat. Then no other form of cardio is suitable to fulfil your needs as fasted cardio. As you already know by now, it is really effective in burning fat.

How can Fasted cardio help to lose weight?

Fasted cardio increases the flow of blood in the abdominal region. This is where the most stubborn body fat is present. Because of the increase in blood flow, the beta receptors in the fat cells get activated. You can easily lose lower belly fat if you combine it with healthy fat burning supplements. Fat burning supplements such as yohimbine reacts with the alpha receptors of fat cells and helps in burning stubborn fat. Consequently, the person doing fasted cardio regularly can effectively burn weight and in the long run lose weight.

The Best Fasted Cardio Exercises and Workouts

Lets look at some of the most effective fasted cardio workouts that can be essential and have the capability to make a vital impact in our daily ongoing lives.

Some Common fasted cardio workouts

Any form of low to moderate intensity cardio that you do on empty stomach is included as fasted cardio. The most common types of fasted cardio that people incorporate in their daily workout routines are:

  • Going for a morning run or jog
  • Running on the Treadmill
  • Cycling
  • Jumping ropes, etc

The Best Fasted HIIT cardio workouts

Any high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that you perform on an empty stomach is fasted HIIT cardio workout. People usually combine short periods of high-intensity exercise with longer durations of low-intensity workout. For example, combining 30 seconds of sprinting and 60 seconds of jogging together and doing it alternatively. Research shows that HIIT workout is more effective for burning fat than any form of low intensity fasted workout.

The Immersive and Pure Cardio Insanity

Pure cardio insanity or insanity pure cardio is similar to HIIT cardio but it is a bit more intense because it is maxing interval training. During this cardio, you have to go out for a complete four to five minutes block without any break. The idea of this workout is to exercise at your maximum capacity throughout the whole session.

Although the main workout routine during pure insanity cardio is simply cardio. But, sometimes strength training exercises can also be included. The main reason behind the rising popularity of pure cardio insanity is the results that speak for themselves.

What is Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Plyometric cardio workouts are full-body cardio exercises that make every muscle of your body workout to its full potential. A plyometric cardio circuit workout’s design is to build endurance, strength, and speed. It also helps in improving your agility, balance and coordination as well as help you in achieving cardiovascular fitness.

Fasted Cardio Vs Regular Cardio: Which one is Right for You?

The type of cardio you should do depends largely on your fitness goals, routine and body condition. If your ultimate goal is just burning fat then fasted workout is more suitable for you. Only, if you don’t have any medical conditions that restrict you from doing it.

However, if you just want to build up muscle mass and maintain healthy vitals then regular cardio will be more suitable.

Fasted Cardio vs Fed Cardio

Fasted CardioFed Cardio
Uses fat for fuelLowers down cortisol
Lower total calories burntImproves muscle mass building
Can cause catabolismEnhances energy and intensity
Suitable for people who want to lose fatSuitable for muscle building
You can do it only on empty stomach i.e., first thing in the morningYou can do it anytime throughout the day.

These are some of the major differences between these two popular forms of cardio. However, because of the rapidly increasing popularity of fasted cardio for burning fat even fasted cardio Reddit became trending.

Is Fasted Cardio Better for you?

No form of exercise is better above the other. It only depends on your needs and goals using which you can determine which one is more suitable to cater to your needs. So, if your main goal is to burn excess calories and fats then fasted exercise is more suitable for you. Though, it is best to consult your doctor or physician.

Impact of Fasted Cardio on our Daily Lifestyle

In short, exercising regularly has a very positive impact on our body. It not only helps us to stay fit but it also ensures that we burn every extra fat that we consume. Like every other type of cardio, fasted workout is also great if you’re striving to lose excess body fat. But you’ve to do it in moderation.

In fact, as per trainers, the best fasted cardio routine consists of a low to moderate intensity workout. A routine that you can continue on daily basis. But as everyone’s body is different, try it out first to know that it suits your body. If you feel that fasted cardio is right for you then you can incorporate it into your daily routine and reap its benefits.

“The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow”

Arnold Schwarzenegger
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Talha is a well-versed writer and an automotive aficionado. He has a passion for anthropology and you can find him traveling far and wide observing life as it happens.