You’ve probably heard about doing fasted cardio to burn more fat, but is it effective? This is what science studies have concluded.
Losing weight is many people’s goal throughout the year. The only way to lose weight is by spending more calories than what you are consuming (be in a caloric deficit). Although that might sound easy on paper, everyone would like to know a hack to make fat loss faster.
And this is where the fasted cardio option comes in. At least this is what many believe. To increase the calories you burn you should add some form of cardio training, but doing cardio on an empty stomach is effective? Jeff Nippard explains it further with solid science-backed studies.
Jeff Nippard is a natural professional bodybuilder who shares tips and training programs on his YouTube channel. In the following video, Nippard explains how to keep making gains in the gym, regardless of your fitness level.
In a video, he put together what science says about fasted cardio – take a look.
Does Fasted Cardio Burn More Fat?
Truth is fasted cardio is good for burning fat. But it is not better when compared to doing cardio after eating a meal. In the end, cardio is just good for burning fat, period.
According to Nippard, there are two arguments for why fasted cardio is better:
- Doing cardio when insulin is low (when fasting) should allow more fat to be burned
- Glycogen levels are low in the morning and the body is more likely to turn to stored fat to supply energy needed to fuel the cardio session
Although the science is solid for that, Nippard explains that even if you burn more fat during the cardio session itself while fasting, it doesn’t imply that you will lose more fat overall, for over a 24-hour period, for example.
This was brought to light in 2011 when a study found that if you burn more of one substrate during a cardio session, you will burn less of that substrate over the next 24 hours.
A group that ate a meal before cardio burned less fat during the session compared to the fasted group. Twelve hours later the numbers flipped, and 24 hours after the cardio session, the fasted group was burning significantly less fat compared to the group who had a meal.
Another study that looked at long-term trials and full-scale changes in body fat was published in 2014 by Schoenfeld. In the study, two groups of women ate the same amount of calories and did the same amount of cardio three times per week. After 4 weeks, there was no difference in fat loss between the groups.
Lastly, a study from 2017 did a systematic review and meta-analysis of 5 independent 4-6 week trials which “found that fasted compared to fed exercise does not increase the amount of weight loss and fat loss.”
If you want to hear more arguments regarding the myth around fasted cardio, check out Nippard’s video below.
VIDEO – Is Fasted Cardio Good for Burning More Fat?
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