This article is only for those, Who wants to know whether or not you should be working out and exercising on an empty stomach to get better results with your nutrition and training. Let’s clear out first things first; fasting is a period of time in which one abstains from food (completely or partially) for a certain period of time. In the case of fitness, fasted workouts normally refer to exercising without the intake of anything that contains calories (energy) a few hours before training.
Fasted workouts have been a topic of hot debate between the nutritionists and fitness trainers which is a never-ending debate. So, with both sides of the argument in mind, we have assembled the pros and cons of fasted workouts.
Pros of Fasted Workouts
- Improved Fat Burning
The reason why many people prefer working out in a fasted state because such workouts can boost fat burn during your training session and consequently, increase weight loss. The body stores fat and when a person works out, the body metabolizes the stored fat and converts them into fuel. People usually depend on glycogen, carbohydrate stores, to perform intensity workouts. If your body is running low on glycogen stores, the body will burns fat more quickly to get energy, therefore increasing fat burning.
- Easier Digestion
Eating a meal just before training hard at the gym can cause indigestion. Don’t worry about passing out while working out on an empty stomach, with the right nutrition; your body will have sufficient nutrition stores to provide you energy. Fasted training lessens digestive problems during workout such as stomach cramps, and you won’t feel weighed down as you do after having a large meal.
- Enhanced Training Adaptations
Fasted workouts help in enhancing and building endurance by teaching the body to burn fat more quickly. Exercising in a fasted condition will train your body to adapt to low levels of blood by burning fat. Working out on an empty stomach will increase the quantity of oxygen utilized during training and enables us to perform the sustained workout.
Cons of Fasted Workouts
- Reduced Workout Performance
Working out in a fasted form and run-out glycogen decreases one’s capability to sustain strength during the training session. As the body has no other choice than burning fat in order to receive energy, performance is compromised; the person gets exhausted very quickly. There is a reason why it is said that “food is fuel.” Working out in a depleted condition will not only tire you quickly but may boost the danger of injuring yourself while working out (joint and muscle injury)
- Loss In Muscle Mass
The muscle that you have built with hard work is likely to be reduced if you train in a fasted state. Fasted exercising boosts the creation of Cortisol (stress hormone), which can cause burning of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, for energy. As a result, your muscle tissue will be degraded overall muscle mass will be reduced. In order to prevent breaking down of muscle, it is recommended to take protein particularly in the form of a shake at least half an hour prior to your workout.
- Reduced Afterburn
Although you are burning more fat when you are working out in a fasted state, that fasted training does not increase the process of fat burning generally over a 24 hour time because of the afterburn outcome.
Afterburn is associated with the energy that is exerted and calories that are burnt after you have worked out. According to a few researches, the Afterburn effect is decreased when you are performing exercises in a fasted form, whereas intake of carbs prior to a workout can actually escalate the Afterburn effect.