Fasted Training is fashionable. However, this new trend contradicts consuming energy bars and water-calorie gels during the exercise instilled in us for so many years.
We are again with opposite recommendations!
What is the scientific evidence behind fasted training?
Are the benefits of fasting real?
Let me explain.
Imagine for a moment that you are a hunter fighting for survival and that you need to focus all your strength on getting food.
When do you think it’s going to be more important to move?
- Right after you’re fed.
- When hunger tightens, and you have nothing to eat.
Exactly! You’ll only move when there’s a need.
When your body feels satiated, it doesn’t want to “waste” energy, it induces you to rest, and your performance decreases. That’s why he catches us sleepy after lunch.
Instead, when you’re fasting, your body and mind understand that it’s time to strive for food and your performance.
👉 Therefore, the optimal body condition for physical activity is fasting.
But in addition to this advantage, there are many other benefits of fasting. Benefits that you will have both performing strength training and going fasting.
Getting Started with Fasted Training – How to fast
Training on an empty stomach is what we call fasted training, and it consists of training, leaving a margin of at least 3 and a half hours between your last meal and exercise.
Therefore, ideally, you will do your train in the mornings or the afternoon-night to lunch for your last meal. Time is not as important as the fasting period.
However, training in the mornings has many advantages in addition to the benefits of fasted training, such as:
- Release of stress and tensions: When training, your body is releasing endorphins (the happiness hormone). Therefore you have greater chance of being more productive and positive for the rest of the day.
- More energy in your training: when you get up, it is, without a doubt, when the more energy you have accumulated. If training in the morning, you can devote all your energy to the exercise (and recover it later when you eat).
- Many times, when training in the afternoon, fatigue kicks in and you do not feel like doing it. This is because much of your energy has already been spent throughout the day.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Occasional fasting is a Diet Plan Routine that spans between short periods of fasting, with no meals or significant fat reduction, and intervals of unrestricted eating.
Prolonged relatively low-calorie diets can cause physiological changes that might cause the body to adapt to the calorie restriction and prevent additional weight loss. Intermittent fasting tries to address this problem by cycling between a low-calorie level for a short time and normal eating.
However, research does not consistently show intermittent fasting is superior to constant low-calorie diets for weight loss efficiency.
The explicit concern of enthusiasts of intermittent fasting is that they will probably try to compensate for calories lost during fasting by overeating on non-fasting days.
However, studies haven’t shown this to be accurate when compared with other weight loss methods. A systematic review of 40 studies discovered intermittent fasting was successful for weight loss, with a typical loss of 7-11 pounds within 10 weeks.
Long periods of food deprivation or semi-starvation places one at risk for overeating when food is reintroduced and may foster unhealthy behaviors like an increased fixation on meals.
What is the long-term impact of intermittent fasting?
Though certain benefits of caloric restriction have been demonstrated in animal research, comparable advantages of intermittent fasting in humans have not yet been observed.
It’s unclear that intermittent fasting is superior to other Weight reduction methods regarding weight loss, biological alterations, compliance rates, and decreased appetite.
More high-quality studies are needed, including random trials with more than one year of follow-up, to show the immediate impact and potential benefits of intermittent fasting.
I cannot make firm recommendations on intermittent fasting for weight loss at this time.
What is fasted cardio?
Fasted cardio is working out at a non-fed condition. It is a controversial issue as soon as your body isn’t digesting food.
However, on the other hand, a couple of scientific studies claim fasted cardio is no more potent than fed cardio for fat loss.
Fasted cardio is any cardiovascular exercise performed in a fasted state.
People typically utilize low-intensity aerobic exercise for Fasted cardiovascular.
And that’s why plenty of people perform fasted cardio before breakfast.
Morning Fasted cardio is a simple way to exercise on an empty stomach without fixing your meal program.
Conversely, if you are already intermittent fasting, you can perform Fasted cardio whenever you aren’t eating. (Intermittent fasting is also the most popular name for any eating schedule that divides your day or week into times of eating and fasting.) And although nobody knows for sure if fasted cardio originated, it is safe to state that the practice goes back to prehistoric times.
Additionally, but bodybuilders also have used morning Fasted cardiovascular as a fat loss plan for decades.
Individuals typically use Fasted cardio for fat loss purposes.
Most individuals who question fasted cardio use a “calories in, calories out” model for fat loss.
To put it differently, the main argument against Fasted cardio is that it doesn’t matter if you do aerobic, as long as you burn off calories.
- Fasting involves not eating before, but you can drink coffee alone, infusions, or kombucha before exercising.
- These drinks will give you the energy to help you feel better during training if you’re starting fasting.
- It’s essential that if this is your first time fasting, don’t start a 20-kilometer race or a thorough strength training.
- Many people, might experience dizziness or feel bad throughout the day. Try regular training sessions first or with a medium intensity to see what your sensations are like.
- Finally, when you break the fast, it is necessary that your food be rich in real foods and macronutrients. This article will interest you if you want to know more about what to eat after training.
Benefits of fasted training
Delving into the effects of fasting physical activity, we can see that it has the following advantages:
Promotes fat use
The body uses body fat as the primary energy substrate to conserve glycogen reserves and minimize glucose utilization.
This metabolic change is exciting because quantitatively, fat is the energy substrate that gives us more energy.
However, you should always consider that if your body fat percentage is low, it is not advisable to fast.
Develop your muscles
It helps develop a type of muscle fiber, which can withstand prolonged efforts while performing explosive activities.
Facilitates energy contribution to muscle
By moving on an empty stomach, we encourage muscle glucose receptors called glut4 to mobilize to the cell membrane so that the muscle obtains this substrate as a priority activity.
All this happens without the body’s need to release insulin, so improving our performance is of great clinical application in people who suffer problems regulating blood glucose or obesity.
Reduces the feeling of tiredness
When movement is consistent for our body (as in the past, going to get food), our brain supports action.
The way to achieve this is from the limbic or emotional brain, producing a neurotransmitter called dopamine.
Among other functions, this neurotransmitter relates to the cognitive ability, motivation, and pleasure. The biochemical translation of physical exercise is an essential part of mental and psychological well-being.
That is, dopamine makes us more tolerant of fatigue.
Improve your metabolic health
The energy stress caused by exercise and fasting increases the expression of energy homeostasis regulating proteins.
In this way, a cellular signal heis transmitted to improve glucose uptake, increase the oxidation of fats, and feel new mitochondria (cellular structures responsible for producing body energy).
👉 These functions are critical to maintaining a healthy metabolism.
Gain fasting muscle mass
If you’re hesitant about fasting because you do strength training and your goal is to gain muscle mass or hypertrophy, let me tell you that you can get it without a problem by fasting.
Here are the reasons:
- The only and most important thing for muscle mass gain is the protein you consume, not the calories. There is a lot of scientific studies that come to this conclusion with studies like this.
- When we are fasting, we reduce our systemic inflammation levels, with inflammation being a state that steals many of the protein we consume.
- Fasting activates the metabolism of ketones, protectors of oxidation. This makes our muscles not degrade so quickly.
- Ketones also increase blood leucine levels, and leucine is an essential amino acid for mass muscle gain.
👉 Therefore, if you follow a proper workout and combine it with fasting, you can significantly improve your muscle gain level.
If you want to learn more about gaining muscle mass, you can check out this FREE eBook.
In Gearuptofit.com, you can find a variety of informative articles focused on gaining muscle and where they combine training and nutrition so you can achieve your goals quickly and fun.
Fasting aerobic exercise
If there is a training modality where fasting will amplify aerobic training’s benefits and results, such as running or cycling fasting.
The main reason is that this type of training is based on fat as the primary substrate.
To achieve this, we need:
- The right metabolic and hormonal context: When we eat food before training, insulin release itself means that we cannot use fat as an energy substrate and use glucose. This at the health and performance level is a critical brake. Therefore, if we eat before training, we lose the primary energy source of this activity type.
- Oxygen: As the name suggests, this type of training requires the presence of oxygen (aerobics). To use fat as fuel, we need oxygen. However, with intake, a lot of blood is directed to digestion and not muscle. This way, we’ll have less oxygen available for physical activity.
Another great benefit of fasted training is developing a type of muscle fiber with a high mitochondrial density.
But why should I care about my mitochondria? These are cell organelles responsible for producing the energy we need.
Besides, they are associated with better stress tolerance, healthier aging, and improved mood.
- Following lifestyles that offer physiological coherence to our physical activity gives us many benefits, and fasting training is one of them.
- While there are many fasting benefits, it’s important to remember that not everyone feels good at first. Start with medium or low-intensity workouts when you start fasting to discover new sensations gradually.
- Fasting training is valid for both cardiovascular, and strength training provided it is done appropriately.
- The food you make after fasting is essential to regain energy and achieve your goals.
Alex is a passionate fitness enthusiast dedicated to helping people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. He encourages small – sustainable changes over drastic transformations and works with people to create customized wellness plans. His mission is to help others benefit from the most effective methods available, sharing tips, strategies, and health & fitness tools on Gearuptofit.com to inspire people to live their best lives.