Does fasted cardio work?

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You might wonder whether to eat before a workout or not, particularly in the morning. Here’s what you need to know.

Performance and fasted exercise

Good nutrition is key to optimal performance. So it would make sense that eating before you exercise boosts your performance. However, it’s not as clear cut.

Because your body stores energy as glycogen and fat, it has access to a large energy source even when you haven’t eaten for a very long time. So when you exercise fasted, your body taps into these energy stores and can still perform at a high level.

Your performance can take a hit if you exercise fasted for longer than one hour or if you’re an athlete who exercises more than once a day. In these cases, aim to eat beforehand.

Weight loss and fasted exercise

Exercising without eating increases your body’s ability to use fat as fuel. If weight loss is your goal, you’d think this would translate to greater fat loss. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the case.

Even if exercising fasted isn’t causing you to lose more fat, if you prefer to workout that way there’s no need to stop.

In a nutshell

If you’re exercising for more than an hour or if you’re an athlete training at a high level, eating before you exercise is probably a good idea.

If you don’t fall into these categories, it’s up to you to decide whether you’d like to exercise fasted or not. We're all unique so pay attention to how you feel and find out what works for you.

P.S. What to do after exercise is pretty straightforward — eat! Nutrients are essential for helping your body recover and adapt after exercise, especially if you exercised fasted.

EB