In this article we will determine whether or not fasted cardio is the fastest way to lose weight.
For years bodybuilders and fitness competitors have performed ‘fasted cardio’ (cardio before breakfast) in order to get ripped fast. However, many fitness experts have disputed this approach, saying it has no greater fat-burning effect compared to exercising after breakfast.
A well-known author and fitness experts, Will Brink, from BrinkZone.com provides a fairly detailed analysis of why fasted cardio does NOT work.
Therefore, if you want to get ripped fast, get ready for summer, or prepare for a bodybuilding competition, then you may want to consider fasted cardio as an effective way to strip off body fat.
How does ‘fasted cardio’ work?
Fasted cardio is theorised to work by having your body mobilise more fat from your fat stores since your blood glucose level is low in a fasted state.
Since your body will want to preserve the remaining blood glucose to be used by your brain (because it is the brain’s primary source of fuel under normal circumstances), your body will stimulate to production of the catecholamines (adrenalin and noradrenalin) to help mobilise more fat from your fat stores.
This then increases your blood level of free fatty acids, which may then be used as a fuel source by your working muscles.
After a meal your blood glucose is likely to be elevated. Therefore, when you start exercising your body will need to burn off the glucose first before it will mobilise the fat from the fat stores.
Of course this is a very simplified explanation but you get the idea.
How to make fasted cardio even more effective
The fat-mobilising effects of fasted cardio can be magnified even more simply by using a thermogenic/ fat-burning supplement.
Thermogenics contains certain ingredients, like synephrine, green tea, and caffeine, that have powerful fat-mobilising and metabolism-boosting effects.
Another way to maximise the fat-burning effects of the exercise session is to simply wait 20-30 minutes after the completion of the session before having breakfast. By doing so, your metabolism will remain elevated (from the thermogenic and exercise session) and your blood level of free fatty acids will still be high. Therefore, during the 20-30 minute window post-exercise you will still be burning fat. Use that time to have a shower and get ready for work before having your breakfast.
It is best to not wait longer than 30 minutes though simply because cortisol levels in your body will start to rise quite rapidly, effecting muscle growth.
Possible drawback of fasted cardio
A possible drawback of fasted cardio is the fact that it may result in a greater catabolic state in the body. Since the blood glucose is low first thing in the morning before breakfast, cortisol is likely to be elevated.
Furthermore, commencing exercise may result in even greater cortisol release from the adrenal cortex. Since cortisol is a powerful catabolic hormone, meaning it promotes the breakdown of muscle tissue, elevated cortisol during fasted cardio may result in significant muscle loss.
One simple way to avoid a loss of muscle from fasted cardio is to consume amino acids or a rapidly absorbed protein powder prior to the exercise session.
Overall, if you’re interested in getting ripped fast, performing 20-40 minutes of fasted cardio in the morning in conjunction with a thermogenic will help you get there fast!
Try it every day for 3-4 weeks in combination with your regular weight-training program and a healthy nutritional plan and prepare to be amazed at the results you achieve!