Charita from Baton Rouge, LA asks: I keep seeing people talk about fasted cardio. So im interested to know. Always thought you should eat something for energy before a workout?
That'a a very good question Charita; and you're already on the right track with the answer. The question isn't if you should eat something before a workout, but what? First, let's talk about why so many people are talking about fasted cardio by giving some background and how it evolved into an exercise phenomena.
Fasted cardio is where you do some type of cardiovascular activity first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. The idea is that since your food storage (in the form of glycogen) in the least first thing in the morning, if you perform a cardiovascular exercise during this time, you will burn more fat and overall calories than any part of the day.
This strategy was first popular in hardcore bodybuilding circles, as a method to strip fat when getting ready for a contest. Then, with the popularity of the internet giving people a greater ability to share information, especially in the fitness world, fasted cardio became one of those fat loss laws, that a lot of people gravitated to and adopted into their fat loss arsenal.
Fasted cardio works better for hardcore bodybuilding competitors rather than the average fitness goer, because most bodybuilders are taking performance enhancing drugs, which allows them to preserve muscle more efficiently and keep their body out of a catabolic state.
When you wake up in the morning, your cortisol (stress hormone) levels are high because you haven't eaten all night. Then you couple not haven eaten with performing cardio, another cortisol elevating activity on top of having an empty stomach, and you end up with an even higher output of cortisol. These higher levels of cortisol can burn muscle, and you need to preserve muscle, because muscle is the a metabolic organ than not only burns fat while you are exercising, but muscle burns fat at rest or going through your daily activities.
The best way to maximize fat loss and at the same time preserve muscle is to do what some exercise professionals call Semi-Fasted Cardio in a post absorptive state.
Semi-Fasted Cardio is a Better Way
We've now established why you don't want to do fasted cardio, so you know you need to eat something. The question is what and when should I eat in relation to my morning cardio routine. If you eat food before morning, especially solid food, your body takes too long to digest and there's a potential to metabolism more glucose from the food rather than fat, which is our goal. You want to drink a pre-workout shake approximately an thirty minutes to an hour before your cardio activity with fast acting di and tri peptides and highly-branched cyclodextrins. The peptides help you preserve muscle and the cyclodextrins gives you enough energy to power through your workout and keep you in a fat burning state as well.
I hope this gives you all the information you need to understand why semi-fasted cardio is a better option than fasted cardio.
Until next time - ENVISION, BELIEVE, EXECUTE and SUCCEED
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