One form of exercise that is a hot topic of discussion is fasted cardio and the benefits it provides. The idea behind fasted cardio is that the first thing you do once you wake up in the morning is head to the gym (or wherever you plan on working out) and getting in a solid 30-60 minute cardio workout. There are constant debates on whether or not fasted cardio is a beneficial form of training to include in your regimen. The thing is, many benefits come from fasted cardio, especially if you are someone either new to working out or getting back into the swing of things. Take a look at some of the benefits you can see from performing a fasted cardio workout in the morning.
Increased Fat Burning
Everyone relishes at the idea of burning some extra fat and fasted cardio provides you just the opportunity to do so. Anytime you fast whether it’s through skipping meals or adding it with exercise, you increase your chances to burn fat. Plus, you have a better chance to burn fat in the morning because your cortisol levels are higher in the morning. For those unaware, cortisol is the hormone that helps metabolize fat into energy. In other words, your body wakes up primed and ready to burn fat. Keep in mind, however, that you are also likely to burn more muscle as well, but, adding appropriate amounts of protein in your nutrition paired with a robust weightlifting program should help.
Better Insulin Health/Glucose Tolerance
There was a recent study performed showing an increase in gene signaling associated with better blood sugar regulation and insulin levels in response to a walking protocol preceded by an overnight fast. The conclusion was that eating before exercise was likely to put a halt on long-term adaptations induced within the fat tissue in response to regular exercise. So in layman’s terms, fasted cardio could be a real game changer by improving metabolic health.
Higher Nutrient Absorption
Keeping that last point in mind, after you exercise your muscles are more “hungry” for glucose and your insulin sensitivity is maximized, so nutrients are better absorbed. So assuming that the quality of your workout will not suffer from your post-workout meal, you might be better suited to choose the option of eating after your workout.
Like any addition to your regimen, it is essential that you incorporate fasted cardio carefully. Fasted cardio is a great way to accelerate fat loss and help burn fat in the stubborn areas. However, it should still be supplemented with a balanced nutrition and a good lifting program as well to ensure you aren’t losing muscle. For those who include it, it can be just the boost you need to see the results you are looking for.