Whether or not to do cardio on an empty stomach is still a big argument in fitness and nutrition. It is believed to burn more fat than if you eat beforehand.
So we have collected some pros and cons for you from the heart and health guide; (heart-health-guide.com)
RAISE HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE
While fasting boosts growth hormone, working out on empty stomach elevates HGH ever more.
Combining fasted cardio with slow and fast paced exercises can skyrocket secretion of HGH from the pituitary gland. Since combination of these two requires a lot of energy, the body goes into your fat stores to get the fuel.
Luckily for us, in a way we need wood to make fire, the body needs growth hormone to burn fat and lots of it, at least in this case.
Fasting cardio is great for burning fat, when done in the morning on empty stomach. Actually, many people use it to get lean and burn that stubborn belly fat.
However, after working out on empty stomach, you have to supply the body with necessary nutrients to fuel recovery process.
Although the body will always try to get the most from everything you throw at it, the digestive system is particularly sensitive after fasting period, especially if you combine it with exercise.
POST WORKOUT NUTRITION
Post workout nutrition should never be neglected. However, it deserves special attention, following fasted cardio. Not only that you fasted for more than 8 hours but you also worked out on empty stomach.
All that hard work should be rewarded, preferably in the form of highly nutritious, yet delicious meal. That means, slow and quick digesting carbs, protein and some fats (good fats - avocado, for example)
IMPROVE CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM FUNCTION
According to couple of studies out there, participants performing fasted cardio experienced greater increase in VO2 max, peak power and especially muscle glycogen concentrations, in comparison to those that ate before doing cardio.
Working out on empty stomach puts more stress on the body. Since stress forces the body to adapt, more stress leads to greater adaptation response.
However, a line has to be drawn since too much of anything can be bad. Also, fasting cardio is not for everyone, whether you perform slow or fast paced cardio exercises.
BAD SIDE OF FASTED CARDIO
The biggest problem of fasting cardio, specially if combined with fast paced exercises such as sprinting, is potential loss of muscle mass. However, there are few tricks that can help.
Protein and branched-chain amino acids are anti-catabolic. They help prevent cortisol form "eating" the muscle fibers. These two, especially BCAAS, are also low in calories, so you won't break your fast.
Discipline and moderation are the secret ingredients for most things in life. Just remember to have a good balanced diet and let the body rest.
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Have a great workout girls! Before or after your breakfast - you choose ;)