What is Fasted Cardio: Understanding This Popular Workout

August 25, 2023by The Line Method

To eat or not to eat. That’s a question many people ponder before they exercise. Most trainers are also asked about whether it’s better to exercise on an empty stomach. There have been reports that doing fasted cardio could lead to faster weight loss.

Its rising popularity among celebrities has more people wondering about it. The Witcher’s Henry Cavill swears by it. So does Jennifer Lopez. She learned about it from her personal trainer. But like every workout or diet, it’s best if you have all the information first before diving in. So what is fasted cardio? This post will give you the lowdown.

Working Out on an Empty Stomach

What is fasted cardio? The simplest explanation is it’s a cardio workout on an empty stomach. It’s something that most of us have done one way or another. Have you ever gone jogging before breakfast? That’s a good example of fasted cardio.

Fasted cardio isn’t limited to working out before breakfast though. There are some people who do this later in the day. Especially if they do intermittent fasting.

This type of workout is popular among those who want to drop some pounds. The idea is to tap into the body’s glycogen stores. Glycogen is how our body stores carbohydrates. This is what we use for energy when doing high-intensity exercises. It’s also what fuels our brains.

Our muscle tissues and liver are almost depleted of glycogen when we’re in a fasted state. Working out during this period will reportedly burn the body’s reserved fat.

Fasted cardio is also safe for those who are quite healthy. Of course, those with pre-existing conditions should check with their doctors first. Pregnant women should also refrain from doing this workout.

Possible Advantages of Fasted Cardio

Every workout affects individuals in distinct ways. This is because of various factors, like your body type and age. Your genes and activity level also have an impact. It’s why some people lose weight fast while others have to work harder to see some changes.

It’s the same with fasted cardio. Your body will react to it in different ways. There are advantages to doing this workout though.

  • It Could Burn More Fat

Fasted cardio can be a good option if you want to burn more fat. Many fitness experts have raved about its potential for doing so. One study even showed you can burn as much as 20% more fat when doing fasted cardio.

There’s a caveat though. Fasted cardio might also increase muscle burning. It’s because the body will also use up the protein in our muscles to generate more energy. The trick is to mix up your workout and be mindful of your nutrition. You should also get enough sleep.

  • It Can Enhance Your VO2 Max

A VO2 max refers to your maximal oxygen consumption. It’s how much oxygen your body uses during strenuous exercise. The higher your VO2 max is, the better your physical performance. Fasted cardio can help enhance your VO2 max output.

  • It Complements Intermittent Fasting

Fasted cardio is a logical complement to intermittent fasting. IF is a method of eating within specific time limits. For example, many people do a 16/8 cycle. This means they only eat within an eight-hour period and then fast for 16 hours.

Intermittent fasting can help reduce body fat. And since you’re coming off a fast, it makes sense to integrate your cardio workout within this period.

The Takeaway

Fasted cardio is safe and fits any exercise regimen. You can do it on your own or integrate it with your partner workouts. But you should do it in a sensible manner. This type of workout is ideal for short or moderate-length exercise sessions. It should become integrated with other workouts, good nutrition, and enough rest.

Fitness Plans Designed for You

Everyone has their own fitness goals and The Line Method can help you achieve them. Our goal is to help you improve your well-being. We do this through education and creating the ideal workout for you. A personal trainer will work with you every step of the way. They’ll design a personalized plan that fits your goal and lifestyle. They’ll guide you during in-studio private lessons. Don’t like working out alone? Our studio also offers partner workouts. We also have corporate wellness programs to motivate employees. Schedule a complimentary consultation here or email us at info@thelinemethod.com.