Should you work out fasted or not? That is a hot topic of discussion in training circles and one that ultimately matters less than whether you workout or not at all.
Important: By "fasted" we mean before you start your "eating window" as we call it. This means, if you typically eat at 10am and 5pm (ie within an 8 hour period) then you would plan your workout for 9am so you can eat right after. Many BodyRockers work out at 6am, eat breakfast at 7am, and start preparing their second meal at 2pm so they are finished by 3pm. This is the 8/16 rule we speak of: eating within an 8 hour window, and fasting for 16 hours per day. Read all about the process and benefits in our IF Guide.
However, for people who are looking to make the most of their sweat sessions, it turns out working out fasted has many, many merits--just ask all our BodyRockers who are crushing Sean’s Fast & Furiously Fit workouts on BR+.
These short and powerful workouts are designed to help people make the most of their fasted state so they can burn more fat in less time.
Join us on BR+ today and try these workouts for yourself--plus thousands of others for ALL fitness levels.
Keep reading. Here are 5 things you need to know about working out fasted.
5 Things to Know About Working Out Fasted
1. It Burns More FatStudies show that working out in a fasted state increases the body's dependence on carbohydrates as fuel and increases the reliance on fat. The result is that fasted exercise burns approximately 20-30% more fat than non-fasted exercise.
Get more information about how to fast in our Fast & Furiously Fit ebook--full of information on intermittent fasting, tips, and recipes to help you burn more fat with less effort.
2. It Helps You Burn More MuscleWhile fasting helps you lose fat, it has been shown to also help you build muscle. This is in large part due to the fact that fasting can increase human growth hormone by up to five times. In addition to further fuelling the fat burning process, a higher level of human growth hormone will also support major muscle gains.
3. It Increases Performance
It's been shown that working out fasted, low glycogen state facilitates better enzyme activities involved in energy metabolism and mitochondria formation--the parts of cells that convert fats, proteins and sugars into the chemical energy the body uses to live, and in this case, perform better.
4. It Helps You Control HungerWorking out in a fasted state can help you control your hunger throughout the day and make more positive, healthy food choices.
5. It Helps You Sleep BetterSeparately, working out and fasting have both been shown to improve the quality and quantity of your sleep by helping to balance your hormones. Put them together and you've got an all but guaranteed way to catch better shut-eye.
Who Shouldn't Workout Fasted?Despite all the incredible benefits brought on by fasting, there are some people who should abstain from the practice as a lifestyle choice due to their more complex energy requirements. These people include:
Women in early postpartum
While everyone should consult with their healthcare provider before beginning fasting (or any change to diet or exercise), there are some people who absolutely need to be cleared. These people include:
Those with gout
Those taking medications
Those with GERD
Granted, fasting can actually help alleviate some of the conditions mentioned, but you should still seek the opinion of a medical professional before you take on fasting.
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