Fasted Cardio Benefits For Bodybuilding

Fasted Cardio


Bodybuilders undergo various workout programs to achieve their target. However, not all are effective and safe. Some are so useless that no matter how long you do them, you won’t notice positive results.

But some programs can give you the results which you want. If you strictly follow the steps daily, your hard work will pay off nicely. Fasted cardio is one of the routines that many bodybuilders follow to achieve their target.

If you’re here to learn more about fasted cardio, it’s the right place to be. Continue reading as we try to find out more about the exercise and whether it’s effective or not, and whether it’s suitable for you.

What is Fasted Cardio?

In very simple terms, Fasted Cardio is a workout program that involves accelerating your heart rate in a fasted state. Basically, you exercise on an empty stomach before consuming any food.

It’s a theory that suggests that working out after a period of fasting can burn fat faster than when you exercise after a pre-workout meal.

Why Do Bodybuilders Do Cardio In The Morning?

The theory is that when you fast overnight, your insulin levels, blood sugar, and glycogen stores decrease. Usually, your body depends on these for energy. But with these reducing after overnight fasting, your body starts relying on the stored body fat for energy.

So, when you perform cardiovascular exercises in a fasted state, your body fat burns very quickly. Following the routine can lead to the disappearance of fat and the increase of lean muscle and bulk.

Bodybuilders aim to gain lean muscle and bulk as fast as possible. Hence, many of them perform cardio in the morning to obtain maximum positive results at the earliest.

Fasted Cardio

Fasted Cardio Benefits

The following are some health benefits associated with fasted cardio:

It May Reduce Fat Fast

As explained earlier, the primary purpose of fasted cardio is to reduce fat at an accelerated pace. Some studies have shown that exercising in a fasted state can burn your body fast as it is a fuel for energy when you work out on an empty stomach.

It Can Make You More Efficient

Following a fasted cardio means you have to get up and perform your workout routines no matter what. So you can complete your exercises and chores on time and never have to deal with being late. It may seem like an effort at first, but once it becomes a habit, it won’t become much of a problem.

It Can Make You More Active and Fresher

Doing fasted cardio means getting up early in the morning and beginning your routine. The habit can become exciting for some people, and you may feel livelier and fresher every day.

When you feel invigorated, you can do your exercises better and finish all your other chores quickly. Hence, even if you feel famished physically, your mental and emotional state will be happy and excited.

It May Help Improve Physical Performance

It’s true to a certain extent, and you may notice an improvement in your performance. However, according to experts and bodybuilding enthusiasts, the benefit applies only to those athletes who are into intensive workout sessions that last long hours.

Hence, if you only work out lightly, you may not notice the positive results of those who follow vigorous training programs.

Fasted Cardio Benefits


What Should I Eat After Fasted Cardio?

If you plan to gain as much as possible from this cardio workout routine, you must also give importance to your diet. Experts at the International Society of Sports Nutrition suggest eating a protein and carbs combo meal if you haven’t eaten for at least four hours before exercise.

There are several meal combos that you can have after an intense session. They include:

  • Rice and chicken
  • Sweet potato and salmon
  • Fruit and yogurt
  • Milk and oatmeal
  • Eggs and toast

How Do Bodybuilders Cut Fat So Fast?

It isn’t by sheer luck that bodybuilders reduce fat faster than ordinary people. It’s due to several reasons.

  • Bodybuilders choose the right training program to achieve their target. Fasted cardio routine can be one of them.
  • They are consistent with their training and don’t skip sessions.
  • Diet also plays a vital role in cutting down fat fast. Bodybuilders reduce the carbohydrates in their food and consume more protein.
  • They may also take effective and safe supplements called cutting stacks.

Risks of Fasted Cardio

While this type of cardio seems like an exciting way to lose fat, it isn’t without its fair share of risks. You may encounter the following risks when performing fasted cardio sessions.

  • You may experience dehydration following a fasted cardio program if you abstain from not only solid food but also from fluids.(1)
  • Not taking even water can also lead to reduced renal function.
  • You might also lose protein, which can affect muscle building.
  • It may affect your overall performance.

Side Effects of Fasted Cardio

Fasted cardio is safe for healthy people. However, you may also suffer from some side effects like:

  • Dizziness
  • Shivering
  • Light-headedness
  • Fainting

Who Shouldn’t Do Fasted Cardio?

As stated above, it’s entirely safe for healthy individuals to pursue fasted cardio. But you mustn’t do it if:

  • You are pregnant.
  • You have low blood pressure.
  • You have low blood sugar.
  • Complete beginners should also avoid the exercise for now. You can follow it once you get accustomed to exercising routines.

How Long Should You Do Fasted Cardio Per Session?

Since you’re doing the exercise on an empty stomach, you can do a session for half an hour to forty minutes. It’s best not to go beyond this limit because you could faint and injure yourself.

Bottom line

Though there aren’t many studies on fasted cardio, it’s one of the most popular forms of exercise. However, you should remember the tips and details before starting a course.

One thing is sure, though; whether cardio is fasted or not, it’s an effective workout form that you can incorporate into your daily routine.

With the right exercises, diet and supplements, you can achieve your goals sooner than you think.

Jason Shaw is an experienced bodybuilder, gym owner, nutritionist and content creator for many websites. He has competed at a high level and wants to bring that experience in muscle building, fitness and nutrition including supplements to our many readers, whether you're a skinny guy want to build muscle or a seasoned bodybuilder.

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