Cardiovascular exercise (Cardio) refers to any exercise that raises your heart rate. Cardiovascular training is crucial for all sports and is an extremely valuable tool for those seeking a leaner and more defined body. Additionally, this type of physical activity is essential for overall health and well-being. This article will focus upon cardio in relation to fat loss and explore the logic behind the belief that fasted-state cardio is the gold standard of fat loss training.

What is Fasted State Cardio?

Fasted state cardio essentially means undertaking any form of physical activity that increases your heart rate on an empty stomach. This form of cardio is predominantly completed first thing in the morning after a prolonged abstinence of food because of sleep patterns.

Why do Fasted State Cardio?

Those that advocate Fasted State Cardio suggest that this form of activity is best for optimising fat burning. This is based upon the assumption that once you consume energy (calories) the body will utilise these for fuel before utilising stored body fat. Therefore, this school of thought believes that eating before cardio delays the use of body fat for fuel, which will inhibit fat loss.

Fasted State Cardio: Burns More Fat During Exercise

The body depends primarily upon two sources to generate the energy required for physical activity – fats and carbohydrates. If Fasted State Cardio is conducted when glycogen levels are depleted fatty acid is required to be utilised as an energy source. As workout intensity increases the demand for energy increases accordingly. This is a clear indication that Fasted State Cardio will burn more fat during exercise simply because there is no alternative fuel source – providing that you are able to sustain exercise under fasted conditions. However, this is not to say that Fasted State Cardio is the most effective exercise for burning fat if we consider the overall picure.

Fasted State Cardio: The Bigger Picture

Fasted State Cardio may burn more fat during exercise – dependent upon duration and intensity – when compared to non-fasted Cardio. However, research suggests that those who burn more fat during their workouts burn less fat throughout the rest of the day. Essentially, this research suggests that the more carbohydrates you burn during exercise the more fat you will burn as a result post-exercise. This intensity dependent result is due to an increase in metabolic rate post-exercise. Consequently, if you are able to complete cardiovascular exercise at a higher intensity after eating you may burn more fat than Fasted State Cardio over if you consider the bigger picture. This suggests that there is no real advantage of burning more fat during exercise if you burn more fat overall non-fasted.

Fasted State Cardio: Summary

  • Fasted State Cardio Burns More Fat During Exercise.
  • Fasted State Cardio is Not Necessarily Better at Burning Fat Overall.
  • Exercise Intensity is Key.

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