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Cardio on an empty stomach - do or don't?


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I really like doing cardio first thing in the morning before work. It sets the pace for the rest of the day and I find my energy levels are higher as well. My question is whether or not it makes a difference if I've eaten anything before my workout? I usually just have a scoop of protein mixed in water before, but am now wondering if I should do it after instead. Any thoughts? FYI...my main goal is fat loss and I've been doing 2-3 days of HIIT on the treadmill, which is why I haven't tried cardio in a fasted state yet.

 

 

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/randy7.htm

This article is pro-eating.

 

So is this one.

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=835725

 

I couldn't find one that advocated cardio on an empty stomach, but I didn't have time to really search.

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I personally can't do that. I'm so hungry in the morning when I wake up! I HAVE to eat first.

 

I honestly wouldn't recommend doing cardio on an empty stomach. Since your stomach is empty from fasting overnight, your carbohydrate stores are low. After 60 minutes of intense cardiovascular exercise, carbohydrate stores are depleted, assuming you ate an hour before the workout. So, if you do your cardio on an empty stomach, your body will go into anaerobic mode a lot faster.. And start using muscle for fuel if it has no glycogen stores left. You will fatigue much quicker, and probably won't get a very good workout as a result.

I recommend you at least have a banana and some water before you do your cardio in the morning, and then have the shake afterwards.

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I didn't read the articles but I will still post what I know so far which can be wrong.

When you sleep you've been resting and not eating for hours therefore your metabolism is probably lower when you wake up. If you go and workout with an empty stomach you might not be getting as much from it as you could because your metabolism will be still down and not triggering the right energy expenditure mechanisms. You are under the risk of going through some hypoglycemic lapse because of this.

 

I know, though, that it is hard to workout with a full stomach as well. I couldn't do it myself, but I wake up more often because I'm hungry than becasue the sun hit my face. So if I would go out just like that to workout I would probably faint or something like that.

 

I think that what you're doing about having a light snack before working out is good so you don't run out of energy (for not eating) or get indigestion (for eating too much). I used to do that when I was in martial arts. It was a very exigent training but it was very early so I would eat a fruit, train and then go back an eat some more serious food.

 

But that is just my individual impression of what works best for me. Your body might find more suitable other kind of timing.

 

Cheers!

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I do both, it depends if I'm hungry or if I feel like eating or not. Personnally sometimes I have lots of energy in the morning without eating anything, and it's also better to train on empty stomach because it's two things: either digesting, or work out... You can't be at your 100% capacity if the body do both at the sametime.

Cardio on empty stomach in the morning = burn fat... and maybe losing some muscles too.

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Cardio on empty stomach in the morning = burn fat... and maybe losing some muscles too.

Not necessarily, if you could give me a convincent explaination I would listen to it because I'm not expert.

 

But cardio on an empty stomach in the morning means that your metabolism is down from within and it will not be burning fat as efficiently as if it is working at its maximum. Besides as your energy levels are down you will be working for shorter time. Remember that fat storages are not used as easily as saying "hey get up because I haven't eaten"; you need to put your metabolism into work already so that it shifts to burning fat after having used the closer source available=food. Otherwise you will lose much more muscle as well as you pointed out. But I wouldn't say that working on an empty stomach is that efficient.

 

No negative response here, just explaining my pount of view which I hold because I find it to be the most convincent so far; not because it's mine but the other way around. Again, I would listen to any other suggestion.

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Do you work out very early?

I could not stomach anything when I used to do 6am spin...I would get nauseas, So I drank a cup of soy milk before and that was it. I ate afterward and it never bothered me.Sometimes if I eat a big meal the night prior I am not hungry enough in the morning. So you could make a thin protein shake or just a banana and soy milk in a blender. All studies I have read say it is not good to work out running on empty. You wont burn as many calories if you do not eat due to lack of energy and body going into starvation mode.

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from time to time i do some jogging in the morning and i always do it with an empty stomach. i just drink a glass of juice and a protein shake before. i read that you're burning more fat doing it this way because your body has almost no carbs to burn so it has to burn fat instead.

but i never feel really hungry before i go out jogging since i drink the juice and the protein shake.

 

i would say that doing cardio in the morning with an empty stomach is cool but i would never do a real workout without eating anything before.

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Yes empty stomach after protien drink 90mins later solid meal

ROBBIEx

 

If there is a protein shake in your stomach, it wouldnt be empty.

 

but serously are we talking empty stomach or not taking in solid foods.

 

If it is an empty stomach, then I can only say that for 20 years I have not ever seen a significant difference in any perrson I have trained. saying that an empty stomach has not had a seen advantage over having ingested some fruits and greens before a workout. you may run the risk of going hypoglycemic if you trian too hard at the onset of exercise, with a truly empty stomach.

 

marcina I am with you the only time I wake up is when I am hungry. Where is that food food food

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Yes empty stomach after protien drink 90mins later solid meal

ROBBIEx

 

If there is a protein shake in your stomach, it wouldnt be empty.

 

but serously are we talking empty stomach or not taking in solid foods.

 

If it is an empty stomach, then I can only say that for 20 years I have not ever seen a significant difference in any perrson I have trained. saying that an empty stomach has not had a seen advantage over having ingested some fruits and greens before a workout. you may run the risk of going hypoglycemic if you trian too hard at the onset of exercise, with a truly empty stomach.

 

marcina I am with you the only time I wake up is when I am hungry. Where is that food food food

After your cardio you take the protein shake "DUR",then 90min,s later solid meal,and yes empty stomach =burn fat,also 30mins of cardio is plenty at 125 to 130brm nice and steady[that,s how I do it for comps see pic,s of me in comp condition it works] For a workout with wt,s an hour before a good solid meal or a high gram protein/fat[if trying cut fat if bulking add carb,s] shake.

ROBBIEx

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Cardio on empty stomach in the morning = burn fat... and maybe losing some muscles too.

Not necessarily, if you could give me a convincent explaination I would listen to it because I'm not expert.

 

But cardio on an empty stomach in the morning means that your metabolism is down from within and it will not be burning fat as efficiently as if it is working at its maximum. Besides as your energy levels are down you will be working for shorter time.

 

Not necessarily. Most people have 180 000 calories stored as bodyfat, so technically a person could run for days and nights without food. It just depends for each person, some people are tired when they wake up and need their coffee, others go to work without even thinking about eating.

 

Working on an empty stomach in the morning so after many hours of fasting is more efficient for burning fat because the body have no choice of using the fat as fuel, simply because there's no food available If you eat, it's gonna use what you ate, simple as that. Also, everybody say it's risky because of low glicemy, but that's the whole point - with low glicogen storage in muscles, the body cannot use this as fuel so then relay on energy from bodyfat and/or muscle cells.

 

Remember that fat storages are not used as easily as saying "hey get up because I haven't eaten"; you need to put your metabolism into work already so that it shifts to burning fat (...).

 

Fat storage is used easily, as long as there isn't enough calories in your diet, your body is always using body fat storage or eating muscles. The metabolism is always into work, even during sleep your body needs energy to breathe and all that and can burn fat. If your metabolism isn't into work or is very very low, it means : either you're dead or you're a bear that is wintering or a frozen frog, or a frozen microbe/bacteria...

That being said: it's true that a faster metabolism will burn calories (from bodyfat or from food) faster), and the best way to boost up your metabolism is to avoid depriving your body from food for periods of time that may be too long, so in the morning may be the most important time of day to eat.

It can be just a glass of fruit juice (it will restore the glycogen storage, boost up metabolism, and since it's fast digesting and pretty low calorie, your body will shift to burning fat after maybe 30 minutes of jogging).

Or some proteins, it's also low calorie, and will prevent to use lose muscles, so it may be efficient for losing bodyfat.

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It can be just a glass of fruit juice (it will restore the glycogen storage, boost up metabolism, and since it's fast digesting and pretty low calorie, your body will shift to burning fat after maybe 30 minutes of jogging).

Or some proteins, it's also low calorie, and will prevent to use lose muscles, so it may be efficient for losing bodyfat.

That's what I'm saying. Going completely blank won't help as much. A light snack, whatever it is, will be more beneficial.

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Both are good and could burn the same amount of fat.

Eating nothing: you're burning fat during the whole cardio session, but maybe a bit muscles too.

Eating: you use the energy from food, and then for a shorter period of time you burn fat, but maybe at a faster rate because faster metabolism.

So at the end, both methods are good.

 

I think the best is to do a cardio in morning empty stomach but only sometimes , just once or twice/week, because it will surprise your body, it won't be prepared to it and will response by burning lots of fat.

The other days eat breakfast before cario.

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Lena, burning fat on slow metabolism seems to work also : anorexic people.

Christian bale wasn't eating in the morning, nor the rest of the day, lol, and you can't deny he didn't burn fat quickly : 3 months difference lol

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh240/organicspiral/155113__machinist_l.jpg

http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h103/gratts77/christian-bale-2.jpg

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I woke up this morning and my stomach was growling. Dinner is usually my smallest meal of the day so it makes sense that I would be ravenous first thing in the morning. I knew I couldn't get through my workout so I had some Spiru-Tein mixed with H20 and Almond milk. It was the perfect amount to get me through my workout. Science aside, I don't think I would have the energy to complete 25 minutes of HIIT and 9 sets of abs if I hadn't taken my protein.

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I'm Your Man" I think the best is to do a cardio in morning empty stomach but only sometimes , just once or twice/week, because it will surprise your body, it won't be prepared to it and will response by burning lots of fat.

The other days eat breakfast before cario.

 

I like the idea of surprising my body. I'm always trying to change up my workout for both physical and mental effects. I never eat a full meal before though. It just doesn't mix well with me first thing in the morning. Maybe I'll try adding a piece of fruit to my protein shake on the days I eat before.

Edited by sophierhymes
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Yes empty stomach after protien drink 90mins later solid meal

ROBBIEx

 

If there is a protein shake in your stomach, it wouldnt be empty.

 

but serously are we talking empty stomach or not taking in solid foods.

 

If it is an empty stomach, then I can only say that for 20 years I have not ever seen a significant difference in any perrson I have trained. saying that an empty stomach has not had a seen advantage over having ingested some fruits and greens before a workout. you may run the risk of going hypoglycemic if you trian too hard at the onset of exercise, with a truly empty stomach.

 

marcina I am with you the only time I wake up is when I am hungry. Where is that food food food

After your cardio you take the protein shake "DUR",then 90min,s later solid meal,and yes empty stomach =burn fat,also 30mins of cardio is plenty at 125 to 130brm nice and steady[that,s how I do it for comps see pic,s of me in comp condition it works] For a workout with wt,s an hour before a good solid meal or a high gram protein/fat[if trying cut fat if bulking add carb,s] shake.

ROBBIEx

 

oh I dont question your results, I just have never been satisified in the resulting difference between empty and partial full.

 

Congratulations on your recent successes.

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Lena, burning fat on slow metabolism seems to work also : anorexic people.

Christian bale wasn't eating in the morning, nor the rest of the day, lol, and you can't deny he didn't burn fat quickly : 3 months difference lol

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh240/organicspiral/155113__machinist_l.jpg

 

That is exactly my idea of a prefectly healthy individual who can manage good cardio sessions and keep a beautiful amount of muscles.

 

EDIT: I wrote amount twice.

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During a workout, carbohydrates are used more than protein. Protein is more for afterwards, to repair the muscles.

 

I was reading an interesting article about carbs last night. Basically, the glucose helps deliver amino acids to the muscles, so if you didn't eat today.. chances are lactic acid would have built up quicker and you would have fatigued.

The article mentioned having a bit of a high GI carb immediately before a workout. High GI carbs are digested very quickly, and the glucose starts moving through your system quicker and can sustain amino acid delivery to the muscle throughout your workout.

So, before your workout you mentioned you had some almond milk. I'm not too sure how high on the GI chart that is, but if it was sweetened it might have given you a bit of an edge.

Other things to try before a workout are: some Gatorade, white bread, or white rice (note you don't need to consume much of this, don't wanna work out full!)

 

I used to always have sushi rolls before a workout and I could literally go for hours. I think I'm gonna go back to that!

 

Another time to consume a high GI carb is after a workout, to replenish your glycogen stores. I always have fruit with Vega and soy milk and achieve good results. Fruit is low on the GI chart, since fructose is digested much slower.. But I just don't feel like a bowl of rice after a lifting session lol.

If I was running it would be a different story.

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I;m going to have to say that like you Pazios, I have heard that ultimately it makes no true differene, HOWEVER, there is an overwhelming cult like majority who are in favor of an empty stomach while doing cardio to maximize bf loss within the bbing circuit.

 

You would think that your lbm would catabolize quicker with nothing else to burn other then bf and lbm but losing your last couple of %'s of bf takes precedence over complete muslce preservation.

 

I dunno, you think you're wasting too muscle tissue away if you wake up after 6+hrs of no food and then do cardio? possibly?

 

For myself, when it comes to crunch time and I need to shed the last couple off, I usually, like Robbie, do just this. For ordinary weight loss, I always eat before I train, something at the very least. It provides me with energy.

 

Unlike other, for some reason, I wake up obnoxiously full even if I went to bed hungry and I can go for a long time without craving food. It isn't until I eat again that I once again open my appetite and become hungry.

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Unlike other, for some reason, I wake up obnoxiously full even if I went to bed hungry and I can go for a long time without craving food. It isn't until I eat again that I once again open my appetite and become hungry.

Half of my mornings I wake up because I'm so hungry I can't keep on sleeping.

(And I don't like going to bed hungry... It's just like that, big stomach kid, I was born to be fat lol)

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