Cardio on empty stomach is a common form of wasted time in the fitness world. It is present in the preparation of the athlete for the stage, and in the recommendations of many fitness trainers to clients. They say jogging in the morning, then breakfast.
Let’s start with the fact that cardio is indirectly related to fat burning, diet is much more important, and the result is more from strength. Cardio is good for health. Cardio will help support the development and efficiency of the cardiovascular system, it can become one of the cutting tools, for example: instead of cutting calories again, they added a cardio session.
The tradition of “hungry cardio” comes from performing athletes and is explained by the fact that on an empty stomach there is a magical fat-burning: burning fat, not carbohydrates from food. Let’s get down to the facts:
1. Cardio is not exactly fat-burning! But, if it appeared in your schedule, it should be done in the most comfortable state.
Weight loss, fat loss from training is possible by creating a calorie deficit in the long run, and not by “hungry” or “full” training.
The only thing I can note is that studies do not take into account individual characteristics. So it is easier for someone to do cardio in the morning and on an empty stomach, since there is no feeling of heaviness in the stomach. And it’s easier for someone to train after a snack, because after eating you feel a surge of strength, energy, and training is much more efficient.
2. There is a belief that glucose reserves are depleted overnight and morning jogging burns only fat. But this is far from true, because it is not fat from the sides that is consumed, but the supply of fat contained in muscle tissue, because it is easier for the body to burn it.
In reality, something will burn only a deficiency of kcal.
In 2014, a study was conducted on 2 groups: Both groups were on a daily calorie deficit and did cardio 3 times a week. One group did “cardio on an empty stomach”, the other did cardio after a meal.
Result: Both groups lost weight and reduced body fat percentage, but there were no significant differences between the groups.
Another study on 2 groups doing 3 times a week high-intensity interval training on stationary bikes. One group trained on an empty stomach, the other after a meal.
Result: There was no significant difference between “training on an empty stomach” and after a meal.
In 2017, they conducted a meta-analysis of 5 studies on fasted training and its impact on weight loss and body composition.
Result: Fasting workouts do not affect weight loss or changes in weight composition.
3. The same thing happens when runners use low-carb and high-fat diets. Fat oxidation is higher, but the result is the same. Plus, on such diets (low-carbohydrate, low-fat), the athletic performance of athletes was low.
4. Hungry cardio in combination with low-carbohydrate diets, pharmaceuticals or dietary supplements is used by professional athletes when “drying”, specifically for burning areas with “stubborn fat”. Who is suitable for such a scheme? For those who are already slim and who find it sooooo difficult to lose the last 3kg and you can see where these 3kg are localized, who are forced to dry out on microkcal, on a strict diet.
Therefore, with a high degree of probability, hungry cardio is not about you.