The benefits of exercise for burning fat have been known for a long time. But when is the best time to train? Find out if fasting cardio improves performance. Many are familiar with the claim that there are great benefits to cardio before breakfast. This should significantly speed up the processes of fat burning in the body. Before using this method of losing weight, you should find out if the above is true.
It all began in the late 90s, when Bill Philips's book "Body for Life" was published. The author promised all readers a figure change in 12 weeks. For us, the chapter on cardio training is of particular interest, in which Philips assured that when using aerobic exercise on an empty stomach, fat burning processes will significantly increase. This statement was taken on faith by a large number of people, who went to the halls in the morning.
The rationale for this hypothesis was as follows: with prolonged absence of food, the circulation of glucose slows down and, consequently, the reserves of glycogen, which is the main reserve carbohydrate for the body, decrease. To obtain the required amount of energy, the body has to expend fat reserves.
Also, insulin levels decrease with prolonged fasting, which helps to accelerate fat burning. The fatty acids formed during this process are also used as a source of energy during exercise.
This technique was also used by athletes who need to "dry up". Unfortunately, the technique did not justify itself. There are several explanations for the lack of benefits of cardio before breakfast.
Fasting Metabolism and Cardio
It should be said right away that the breakdown of fat cells under the influence of physical activity simply cannot be viewed through the prism of numbers. Metabolic processes do not take place in a vacuum, but in the body, which is a very complex biochemical mechanism. The process of fat burning and the use of its products as a source of energy is ongoing and influenced by numerous factors. There is a rule that says the following: the more carbohydrates were consumed during training, the more fat is broken down after training and vice versa. To determine the effect on metabolic processes of an aerobic load, it is necessary to look not from the point of view of an hour or two, but on a daily basis. It is worth recognizing the fact that there is scientific confirmation of the fact that the acceleration of fat burning processes under the influence of cardio training. But at the same time, it should be remembered that in this case we are talking only about low-intensity exercise.
With an increase in the intensity of training, the situation changes to the opposite, and more fat cells are broken down with a full stomach. Perhaps someone will think that the secret of fast weight loss has been found, but not everything is so simple here. The fact is that the rate of fat burning significantly exceeds the body's ability to utilize the products of this process. Simply put, the level of fatty acids in the blood rises, which are not used by the muscles during work. Thus, after training, all these substances will be converted into triglycides, after which they will again become the fats we wanted to get rid of. It turns out that where they started, besides, they came back again.
Fast results from fasting cardio in question
Again, many may wonder why not do a low-intensity workout before breakfast? Again, nothing will work. It turns out that there is a direct relationship between the aerobic type of load on an empty stomach and the degree of fitness of the body. For those who train constantly, cardio before breakfast will not bring almost any benefit, since the benefits of this method are very small even with low-intensity training.
It has been scientifically proven that when the intensity of the training session is half of the maximum heart rate (this is equivalent to a slow walk), there is no difference in the rate of breakdown of fat cells on an empty stomach and a full stomach.
This statement applies to the first 90 minutes of training, after which the benefit of training before breakfast appears. Of course, you can get on the treadmill in the morning and use it for several hours. But you must admit that this is a very dubious pleasure. Otherwise, there will be no result from using this method.
You should also consider such an indicator as post-workout oxygen consumption (POTK), which is the number of calories burned after a workout session. And it is the consumption of food before the start of the lesson in the gym that significantly increases this indicator. It's easy to guess that in the post-workout time, calories are taken from fat reserves.
And, of course, the intensity of the training. It has been scientifically proven that when using high-intensity interval training, fat burning processes are accelerated significantly more than with aerobic exercise. In this regard, it should be noted that Philips in his work agreed with this statement. Surely none of the athletes have tried high-intensity interval training on an empty stomach before. Of course, this should not be done.
Conclusion on cardio
It's time to take stock and determine what the benefits of cardio before breakfast can be. It should be said that this method of losing weight is definitely not suitable for security officials. With a good set of circumstances, the difference will simply not be noticeable, and otherwise, you can lose not only muscle mass, but also slow down the process of splitting fat cells.
But if you need to eat before cardio, what foods are most suitable for this? It is impossible to answer unequivocally here, since various factors affect metabolism. Based on practical experience, it is advisable to take 0.6 grams of carbohydrates and 0.3 grams of protein compounds for each kilogram of your body weight.
More details on the effectiveness of fasting cardio in this video: