Does doing cardio on an empty stomach come with any health benefits? In this article, we are going to find out if indeed fasted cardio is beneficial to your health.
What Is Fasted Cardio? Exactly?
Fasted cardio is cardiovascular training performed when a person is hungry or has not taken food before four to six hours, making the digestive system no longer processing food.
10 benefits of fasted cardio
- Fat Loss
Fasted cardio most rewarding benefit is that it’s a mechanism for burning body fat. Fasted cardio usually works by tapping on the fat reserves for energy that thus fuel your workouts, instead of using energy from the food you have consumed.
- Easier weight loss
Not only is fasted cardio a fat burner, but it is also a weight loss enhancer. Weight loss comes typically down to the calories your body takes against the calories your body burns during work out routines.
Weight loss is gained in that it burns more calories than it takes hence making it easier to lose weight if that’s your goal. Also, fasted cardio helps the body burn fat in regions like the stomach area that regular workouts find it challenging to do.
- Improves cognitive health
Fasted cardio plays a very fundamental role in your cognitive health in that; it reduces the state of degenerative brain tissue. The fasted cardio usually is intense. Hence, by the end of the day, the body often is exhausted and therefore needs to replenish itself and thus to make us sleep soundly, thus improving cognitive health.
- Faster metabolism rate
Fasted cardio helps to boost the body’s metabolism rate, in the sense that you burn more calories faster and as a result, generate more energy. People with higher metabolism have more power and are more resilient during workouts. Gaining weight is also slow fat is lost naturally during an intense fasted cardio routine. In other words, it is said to maximize your fat-burning potential.
- Stronger immune system
It has scientifically been proven that lack of exercise can weaken the immune system and make you susceptible to illness and diseases. Fasted cardio has been known to strengthen the immune system, so you become less vulnerable to infections. The fasted cardio activates the sympathetic nervous system, a pathway that increases heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate.
When fasted cardio happens, hormones such as epinephrine and norepinephrine, are released into the blood and activate a cellular reaction that suppresses cytokines, including TNF.
TNF is useful in that it boosts immune systems that, in turn, respond by killing harmful cells in the body.
- Better physique
Fasted cardio helps promote muscle tone, helping you to achieve a leaner, more ripped, and attractive, healthier body.
- Stress reliever
Fasted cardio helps to increase endorphins, which are known as happy chemicals known to make us feel good. While under stress, you tend to have tense muscles or insomnia. The worry and discomfort are eliminated after a fasted cardio workout that calms the nerves typically.
- Reduces blood sugar levels
Fasted cardio can cause low blood sugar, which leads to feelings of lightheadedness or lethargy. Because our body derives energy from a different source when we do fasted cardio, this energy can come from muscle; hence, some may experience muscle loss, especially among older individuals. However, it is always better to consult your doctor before doing a fasted cardio workout if you happen to have any metabolic health issues.
- Performance endurance
Research published in one of the Applied Physiology journals conducted a test that compared the same individuals working out fasted cardio against when they fed before their regular cardio session. It was later found out that over six weeks while training using the same intensity, those who worked out in fasted cardio showed more improvement in their endurance exercise performance compared to those who ate before training.
- Improves heart muscle
The fasted cardio makes the heart stronger because the exercise is more intense and, the intenser the training, the better it is for the heart. At the most basic level, fasted cardio involves increasing your heart rate without eating a pre-workout meal or snack beforehand.
People who practice sporadically fasted cardio have a schedule that is more accommodating to fasted training since they’re restricting calorie intake for a few hours or don’t consume any food at all for a full day or longer, which is highly not recommended by nutritionists.
In conclusion, fasted cardio is the best workout if you want to remain healthy, except for those who have metabolic health issues like diabetes are allow encouraged to consult their doctors first. Always remember to make sure that you eat healthily after an intense fasted cardio workout. There are many post work out meal recipes that contain the right carbs and protein necessary to replenish the energy your body lost. Also, after an intense fasted cardio workout, individuals tend to have a tremendous appetite than those who do the regular cardio.