Don't cardio on an empty stomach

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by manuva, Aug 29, 2005.

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  1. manuva

    manuva Master Don Juan

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    Don't cardio on empty stomach

    I see a lot of guys saying a good way to burn fat is cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. (Warboss, I'm looking in your direction hehe)

    Don't cardio on empty.

    15-20 mins before commencing your cardio, eat a single piece of water-based fruit - an orange or mandarin is perfect, watermelon, apricot or anything else that is really juicy and dribbles down your chin is excellent.

    If none of that is available, have half a glass of fruit juice. It's nearly as good, just make sure its as fresh as possible and preferably with no added sugar.

    The reason for this is that when you wake in the morning, your body is still in starvation mode. Due to the lack of food overnight, your body is fasting and holding on to every ounce of fat it can. (Thats why they call it breakfast - you are quite literally breaking your period of fasting. Cool, huh?)

    Doing cardio while your body is in fat-conservation mode is of limited use. It will burn some fat, yes, but will also derive some limited energy from breaking down muscle tissue - remember your body will be reluctant to part with any energy sources at all while it is being starved. Due to this reluctance, your energy levels during your cardio will also suffer, reducing the overall amount of cardio you can do.

    A small portion of water-based fruit first thing in the morning is enough to break your body out of its fat-conservation mode and switch it into fat-burning mode. Basically, you're tricking your body into burning more fat by providing a small source of simple carbs for your body, which will convince your body that food is in abundant supply and that subsequently it is under no pressure to conserve energy (fat) supplies.

    Such a light snack is not going to weigh your down or make you sluggish as would a normal breakfast (anyone fancy some hill sprints with a stomach full of porridge and toast?) but is sufficient to boost your bodies metabolism and break it out of it fasting mode.

    Your body will subsequently burn more fat during your morning cardio session.
     
  2. Warboss Alex

    Warboss Alex Master Don Juan

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    I've recommended empty stomach cardio and HIIT in equal measure, you'll find. :p

    In theory this sounds excellent advice though I haven't come across it before, in fact I've always found arguments to the contrary, that even something like 5g of l-glutamine can cause the dreaded insulin spike we'd rather avoid before doing empty stomach cardio .. I've found myself however, that fruit is optimum before HIIT, not too heavy on the stomach but enough of a sugar (fructose) kick to get you revved up.

    I use green tea or black coffee myself, before empty stomach cardio, to bump up the metabolism.

    Got any links for me to read around this? I've no problem taking your word for it, since I'm not a qualified trainer or anything, but I'd always like to learn more..

    Would water-based veg (e.g. cucumbers, lettuce) have the same effect?
     
  3. tj

    tj Guest

    There is nothing wrong with cardio on an empty stomach..bodybuilders like Tom Venatu talks about this debate in his book.

    Moreover, Swolecat has all his clients do this and he has a 6 figure clientale. Usually people worry about cortisol.Coffee and/or ephedrine stack should help with that.

    Just go over to his website and look at his hall of fame...for visual proof.

    Or go over to A.Review and there are at least 100 people who have followed this cadio for contest prep...
     
  4. tj

    tj Guest

    The secret suggesion that no one wants to tell is that you have to have your diet dialed in. follow diesals template.

    Don't ride bike or stairmaster...chews up quads too much.

    Must Use Treadmill..low impact....low impact..low impact..

    Moreover, one has to condition themselves to lose weight.

    I.e. start with 20 three days a week and work your way up to 45.

    Just like everything else in life. It needs to be cycled.

    Peace



    attention mods...Sticky this pronto!
     
  5. The Bad Ass Canadian

    The Bad Ass Canadian Master Don Juan

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    I'm big into mountain biking and this morning i decided to try the empty stomach approach.

    For what I do, it's absolute garbage... I was winded and weak for the entire ride, through the trails. I'm a pretty intense biker, so I burn alot of calories in my 45 minute rides.

    I'm trying to find the best combination of food for an early morning cardio session. Something light usually does the trick. Even just a watery fruit might not be enough.... I don't want to eat up all my muscle but I am trying to get toned, not big.

    It's a trade off.... burn fat stores or burn what you you just ate.

    i need just a little something to get me going.
     
  6. manuva

    manuva Master Don Juan

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    For an intensive 45 minute cardio session you're going to need more than a piece of fruit mate, my advice about the fruit is directed at people who do an 'average' cardio workout - jog for a couple of km's or 20 mins of HIIT. For endurance cardio you will need more fuel.

    Warboss, I could show you a dozen articles where it's recommended, and I could show you a dozen articles where its not. The area of fat-burning is probably the most debated in the whole of the fitness industry.

    What I can tell you is that in almost all articles and studies that indicated empty stomach cardio is better, they are comparing it solely to doing cardio after eating proper meals instead of considering a light injected of simple carbs/water. I would recommend empty stomach cardio in preference to full stomach cardio too, so I can see where they're coming from.

    This advice was given to me by the head lecturer when I was studying, and he is a man I respect enormously. He has assisted the training of some of Australia's best athlete's - including Kostya Tszyu, whom he counts as a personal friend - and is employed as a consultant in leading sports training centres Australia wide, including the Australian Institute of Sport (the AIS is quite a big deal over here).

    He swore by it with the athletes he trained, and I used it to great effect when cutting down to make weight during pre-fight training. (And yes, I used to run in the morning on an empty stomach, and found the fruit idea produced greater results.)

    It also fits in with what we know about the body, and its biological and evolutionary approach to survival. Starve it, and it'll conserve fat. Feed it and it won't be as inclined to store fat (and no, that doesn't mean eating more will burn make you skinny :p ).

    A small hit of sugar/fluid in the morning is sufficient to convince the body that food is abundant so our bodies evolutionary instinct to store fat is assuaged temporarily. However, since the food intake is limited, it will quickly be burnt off leaving the body to continue burning a higher percentage of fat than it would have otherwise.

    I can't really be bothered going into more detail than that at the moment, but if people REALLY want to know more, let me know and I'll do it later.
     
  7. semag

    semag Master Don Juan

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    It's actually really interesting manuva. I'm glad to see the intelligence behind the discussion here.

    Here's a thought of mine....

    Let's say you have 8 oz of grape juice, or 8oz of orange juice or something... I've generally found those things to be around 35-50 g of carbs.

    I noticed you advocating "half a glass" of fruit juice if no orange or other such fruit is available. So... looking at some of my info I've got lying around, an orange is like 60 calories... around 15 carbs or so, and half a glass of fruit juice would be talkin like 17-25 carbs, so like .... up to 100 calories or so. We're talkin 60-100 calories, Okay.

    Now, if I get up and bust a 45 minute 'brisk walk" the treadmill lets me know that I've burned something like 300 calories or whatever (I think.) So would the fact that the body burns off that little bit of fruit, which cuts into what your calories are burning, outweigh the fact that it drops the total calories burned.... I don't think that made a lot of sense.

    In other words, let's say you burn 300 cals. You eat 100 cals of fruit first, so after the fruit, you've got 200 cals of "pure fat burning" or so we're trying to do with this science. Now.... if you hadn't had that 100 cals of fruit... would the body burn 300 cals of fat, 150 cals of fat... see the question?

    I don't know if this post kinda rambles or not... I apologize.
     
  8. The Bad Ass Canadian

    The Bad Ass Canadian Master Don Juan

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    I really like the logic behind this.... it does make alot of sense...but I'm not expert on how our body functions, and of course this is something that will always be debated, so who knows if it's right?

    Doesn't matter.

    I'll eat well all day, everyday, and watch my body change and I won't fret on wether I should eat or not, in the morning before cardio.

    You COULD alernate between eating and not eating every few days or so...see what that does.
     
  9. vanwilder

    vanwilder Senior Don Juan

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    Re: Don't cardio on empty stomach

    this keeps being brought up more and more, yet i still maintain my opinion on you will not get as good results going this way.
     
  10. King of You

    King of You Don Juan

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    why would anyone run on an empty stomach? Would you lift on an empty stomach? no. because it will make you feel like ****!
     
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  11. manuva

    manuva Master Don Juan

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    I think I get what you're hinting at here semag.

    The thing to remember is that the body draws on energy from three major macro-nutrients - carbs, protein, and fat. When desperate, the body can also begin breaking down muscle tissue in order to burn that for energy too. When you are exercising, your ratios with which your body draws on these macro-nutrients will vary depending on a massive number of different factors.

    Basically, the flaw in your reasoning is that you are burning "200 cals of pure fat". This is not the case - you may indeed be burning 200 cals of energy (although I'm skeptical of those calculators on treadmills) but those 200 calories will comprise of different fuel sources; some carbs (either stored or unstored) and some fat.

    At a brisk walk approximately 50% of the energy you burn will be from stored fat, the other half from carbs (note to flamers - I don't really care if you've got evidence we only burn 49.67*% fat, I deal with averages and approximations).

    Also, as carbs and fats are equal fuels for LSD (Long Slow Distance) cardio, the carb hit from your fruit does not have to be burnt off before you start burning fat - they can start burning together. This actually means that until the fructose is gone, the energy your body is burning from stored sources (as opposed to those sitting in stomach) is close to 100% fat.

    As the carbs from fruit disappear, the body will turn to glycogen (stored carbs) to burn with fat. Either way, you're still burning 50% fat.

    So 50% of 300 cals is 150 cals of fat, give or take.

    The problem with doing that same workout on an empty stomach is that there is a high risk your body still be in 'starvation mode' due to the overnight fasting period. While the body is in this condition it is reluctant to burn fat at all and you run a very real risk of your body turning to muscle tissue as a source of fuel in order to conserve fat. This will result in less fat being burned overall, plus the loss of all-important muscle tissue (amounts will vary from person to person).

    Hope this clears some of that up.

    PS If you're serious about burning more fat, try shorter periods of high intensity work, rather than LSD. Incorporate some sprints etc, as these will raise your metabolism higher and thus your body will continue to burn more energy throughout the day, resulting in more fat burnt overall.
     
  12. semag

    semag Master Don Juan

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    That hit the nail on the head for me, manuva. Thanks.
     
  13. Not Quite There

    Not Quite There Senior Don Juan

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    what do you mean, chews up quads???

    i thought riding a bike was good for your legs.
     
  14. manuva

    manuva Master Don Juan

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    I have to admit that tj's advice - when I can understand it - contradicts nearly everything I've ever learned in my career as a fitness professional.

    Depending on your fitness goals, bike is usually an excellent form of exercise.
     
  15. manuva

    manuva Master Don Juan

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    No worries mate. Glad to help. If you go ahead and put my advice into practice, be sure to let me know how it works for you. I'm very interested in your feedback on subsequent rates of fatloss, and also energy levels during and after workout.
     
  16. Chrisman

    Chrisman Banned

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    There's absolutely no benefit to cardio on an empty stomach. It's all a game of numbers. Calories in and Calories out.

    By keeping out food, and going on an empty stomach, you're sabotaging your metabolism, burning less calories.

    Like if you do a cardio and burn 400 calories, that's all good and fun, but it means **** when you have an empty stomach.

    Yeah, you burn 400 Calories, than you eat later and add calories. Or you can eat now, keep your metabolism flying high, push yourself harder during your cardio session.
     
  17. semag

    semag Master Don Juan

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    sounds good manuva... I'm game for trying it out (if I can get my schedule nailed down!)

    I noticed my experience with low impact morning cardio was interesting. I could almost induce vomiting from walking for a good 45 minutes or so! That was when I had set the incline on the treadmill up a ways tho... but still, at 3.5 mph, shouldn't wanna puke after that ;)
     
  18. tj

    tj Guest

    Manuva=owned.

    for some reason this guy just can't have an intellectual difference of opinion without hurling insults but that is okay...must be insecure about something.

    as far as fasted cardio...1000s. 1000s of bodybuilders use low intensity cardio...on a treadmill..a bike tends to put to much pressure on your quads and make it a anaerobic workout for some.

    A "real" world trainer knows this.

    some have tried hit some others fasted.


    Once again..ask yourself..should I listen to maneuva who acts like a little kid when challenged. Or should I listen to proffessionals...It is up to you.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2005
  19. tj

    tj Guest

    Once again people...


    read this...

    What do Manuevas clientale look like..


    What do swolecats customers look like.

    Just go over to his website and see what fasted cardio can do for you.


    Manueva cannot challenge this.and he knows that.
     
  20. mrRuckus

    mrRuckus Master Don Juan

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    is one stupid piece of fruit really going to matter?

    oh no i'm gonna go from muscle bound freak to fat slob over night from a piece of fruit.. aahhh!
     

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