What is the Science behind Fasted Cardio?

WE’VE all heard of fasted cardio and the amazing fat-burning affect it is supposed to have. But do we understand fasted cardio science enough to help inspire the motivation to get yourself out of bed and straight into a workout first thing in the morning?

Fasted cardio works for some, and not for others, but after reading this blog we hope you’ll be able to make that decision for yourself.

If you’re new to running itself, why not check out our blog featuring Kilian Byrne of Irish Runner who writes about the health benefits of running. 

What is fasted cardio?

It simply entails engaging in a heart-pumping exercise while fasting. (However, you can and should drink water beforehand!) In a nutshell, the purpose of this type of workout is to burn more fat.

This would generally happen first thing in the morning after sleeping overnight, but if you practice intermittent fasting, it can also happen later in the day.

fasted cardio science

Fasted cardio science is suggested as a strategy to accelerate fat reduction as compared to nonfasted cardio. And, while it sounds fantastic, its efficacy has yet to be established.

Let’s take a closer look.

What are the benefits to fasted cardio?

Fasted cardio science works on the theory that if you fast overnight and work out first thing in the morning, your body will be drained of glucose – its primary source of energy – and will instead turn to stored fat for fuel.

The evidence for this approach’s success is mixed.

Fasted exercise resulted in higher metabolic performance after the workout in multiple studies, according to one review. However, eating before a long aerobic workout improved performance, according to the same analysis – check it out HERE.

Fasted cardio provides some other possible benefits as you will see below, however more research is needed to make more clear claims on the benefits.

  • If you’re short on time, fasted cardio eliminates the need to prepare, eat, and digest a meal
  • Fasted cardio allows you to exercise before you eat for the day if you observe intermittent fasting
  • Fasted cardio may be an excellent alternative if you prefer working out on an empty stomach, especially if you have a sensitive stomach or feel more energized without a meal before a workout.

fasted cardio science

Is Fasted Cardio safe?

Yes, for the most part.

If you’re in good health, incorporating short or moderate-length steady-state fasted exercise sessions into your training should be fine.

Fasted cardio, on the other hand, can be harmful if you’ll be exercising for a long time or undertaking a high-intensity workout because of the potential side effects of low blood sugar or dehydration, such as light-headedness, dizziness, shaking, or even passing out.

How does fasted cardio affect heart rate?

At rest, most people’s hearts beat between 60 and 100 times per minute.

During exercise, your heart rate rises. The more vigorously you exercise, the higher your heart rate will rise.

When you exercise in your fat-burning heart rate zone, your body uses fat stores instead of simple sugars and carbohydrates for energy. Fat loss occurs as a result of this.

A tempo run might be your ideal workout, read more about What is a Tempo Run here. 

Your fat-burning heart rate is currently around 70% of your maximum heart rate.

The maximum number of times your heart should beat during activity is your maximal heart rate. Subtract your age from 220 to get your maximal heart rate.

A 35-year-old woman’s maximal heart rate, for example, is 220 minus 35, or 185 beats per minute. Her heart rate should be 70 percent of 185, or roughly 130 beats per minute, to enter the fat-burning zone.

One of the best ways of tracking your heartrate on the run is with a smartwatch or wrist monitor – check out our range HERE.

fasted cardio science

Bodybuilders have employed fasted activity to help them lose body fat before competitions for years. This is because fats are the principal fuel source for low-intensity steady-state (LISS) movement below about 70% of your maximal heart rate.

Working out in a fasting condition should focus on LISS, which is when the intensity is low enough that you are sweating but can still chat easily while exercising. Fat, which is digested with oxygen, is the principal source of fuel while you can talk while doing out.

Is it better for weight loss?

Burning more calories than you ingest is the most important part of weight loss.

While the evidence on whether fasting cardio aids fat loss is divided, with research showing mixed results

Fasted cardio, on the other hand, has been shown to improve fat-burning effects throughout a workout in several studies.

While fasting cardio burns more calories during the session than nonfasted cardio, the difference in overall daily calorie expenditure over a 24-hour period is negligible, according to research.

In general, increasing your daily mobility, whether fasted or not, is still the greatest approach for losing weight.

Walking, climbing the stairs, getting up from your desk on a regular basis, and playing with your kids will have a greater impact on weight loss than a 30-minute fasted cardio session.

Or why not take a run through nature, our blog on How to Start Trail Running will help you get started.

The Bottom Line

Cardio, whether fasting or not, is beneficial to your health. While diet is important for weight loss, cardio can also help you achieve your goal.

While data on its metabolic impact is still unclear, fasting cardio may suit your lifestyle or preferences better, so if you’re otherwise healthy, go ahead and try it.

fasted cardio science


Win a mascot place T&Cs

1- The promoter is Intersport Elverys whose registered office is at Moneen Industrial Estate , Castlebar.

2- The competition is open to residents of Ireland aged between 8-12 years except employees of Intersport Elverys and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.

3- There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

4- By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

5- Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are on Elverys Blog.

6- Multiple entries will be accepted per person.

7- Closing date for entry will be October 31st 2023. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.

8- Winner will be picked in November 2023

9- The rules of the competition and how to enter are as follows: Fill out the contact form on our blog

10- The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.

11- The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.

12- The prize is as follows: Win a mascot place

The prize is as stated and no extra cash or other alternatives will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

13- Winners will be chosen:

[at random by software, from all entries received and verified by Promoter and or its agents.]

14- The winner will be notified by email or social media. The winner will only ever be contacted by Intersport Elverys Official pages or an official contact. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 3 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

15- The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected / is delivered.

16- The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

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Thanks for entering & goodluck!


The Health Benefits Of Running: Is It Good for Your Heart and Lungs?

When you consider the health benefits of running, it’s easy to understand why it is so popular right now.

Running is a popular workout since it is inexpensive and can be done at any time that is convenient for you. Fun runs, sports races, and marathons are all popular among runners, so don’t forget to contact your local running club if you want to compete with other runners.

In this blog, Health and Fitness advocate and former Ironman, Killian Byrne of the Irish Runner magazine, is going to talk you through some the health benefits of running, he’ll answer if running is good for your heart and lungs, and other things.

And don’t forget to check out our other running related blogs, such as a Beginners Guide to Trail Running.

benefits of running


The Health Benefits of Running

“The saying goes ‘You’ll never regret a run’ and while many might dispute the sentiment, there is overwhelming evidence that being active is one of the best interventions we can undertake to improve our wellbeing.

“While it’s clear that moving more can increase our cardiovascular health, weight loss, improve muscle function and help in regulating pain, recent studies show that exercise can be used as part of a treatment plan for more than 20 conditions including diabetes, heart disease, obesity, chronic back pain and in some cases, exercise can play a role in preventing certain types of cancer.

“Parkrun, the global provider of free 5k events for walkers, runners and volunteers, undertook research to examine the benefits being active has on our physical, mental and emotional health. The results were so strong that parkrun teamed up with GP practises around the UK and Ireland to actually prescribe exercise as a tool in the doctor’s arsenal towards improving their patients lives.”

Is Running Good for you Heart and Lungs?

“What’s becoming clear to the medical profession today is the role exercise can have in supporting our personal mindset.

“Regardless of our age or fitness levels just getting outdoors can help lift our mood. All too often nowadays we find ourselves consumed with the pressures of work, family, finance and home life, concerns which have heightened in the enforced lockdown the Coronavirus has brought upon us. 

“We are encouraged to get 30 minutes of activity a day and for many even that is becoming a problem.

“But all is not lost, research from Sport Ireland highlights that since the start of the pandemic over one million people in Ireland have become more active, with running being top of the list of activities we like to do and a study by Asics during the pandemic found that 78% of runners said the activity helps to ‘clear their mind’.

“So what benefits of running are people getting out of it?”

 benefits of running

Relieves Stress

“Running gives an opportunity to ‘de-stress’. Getting up, out and away from the desk allows us to forget the pressures of life for a while and whether you chose to run through a forest or jog by the sea the opportunity for a change of scenery provides a rush of endorphins you’ll not find when sitting at your computer in the kitchen. You don’t always have to work up a sweat but being active is an ideal way to boost the body’s ability to deal with tension.”

Enjoy More Family Time

“It’s a chance for family time we may not have had in the past. Long commutes, late meetings, increased workload and lifestyle pressures has meant that previously, families rarely spent any meaningful time in each other’s company. Today, we are not only spending more leisure time together but are actually getting out and exercising together. Children will relish the chance to run with their parents; Parents will treasure the new found time with their children. We’re beginning to understand that the really important things in life are those that are closest to us.”

Achieve Your Goals

“With our running, we get to set personal goals rather than professional ones. The motivation to reach your 10,000 steps, weekly mileage distance or 30 minutes activity a day all work towards deflecting your effort away from the pressures of ‘life’ and focus your emotions towards yourself. Personal goals give us an incentive to maintain the effort we may have planned in our January resolutions. Pick measurable, achievable targets and reward yourself when you reach them. Then when you do achieve your goals, set some more and start again.”

Receive Greater Emotional Support

“Support from friends and family – important because humans are essentially social beasts. Exercising with our family and those in our safe bubble allows us to continue the social connection that has been lost in today’s online ‘zoom meeting’ world. Remember though, exercise connects us emotionally even if we can’t connect physically. We encourage each other to get up and active and reach goals and targets together. Large scale national initiatives like 100 days of walking provide support while helping people reinforce friendships along with building new ones.”

Focus on You

“Most of all though exercise can provide ‘you’ time. Your run, walk, hike or swim is time you can spend in your own thoughts. It is time to think, to contemplate and work through the emotions that may have been weighing on your shoulders with no opportunity for release. Running allows you to direct your attention to yourself rather than on the problems others set you. You’ll be surprised by how much breathing exercises, mindful thinking and mood boosting podcasts can make your run some of the most personally productive time you can get.”

 benefits of running

The Benefits of Running for You?

“If you run then you are a runner.

“There’s no special distance or time to reach before the benefits begin, you just need to run. You don’t need to be fast, run far or enter races, you don’t need to have ambitions to run a marathon or collect medals, you just need to start.

“One foot in front of the other. You might jog, then walk, then jog again but consistency will see you get used to being on your feet and what once seems impossible will become normal.

“Three 20 minute runs a week are better than trying to run for an hour every weekend. Don’t overstretch, listen to your body and remember that we never have to run but we do get to run. How we frame our run is key, running is enjoyable and should always be fun.

“The benefits of being active are well documented. It calms us, it makes us more productive, it boosts our brain. Running helps manage stress and improves sleep. Running makes us more productive and increases creativity it. From head to toe the advantages of running are no longer disputed. You might start running to take care of the body but you’ll continue because it’s good for the mind.”

 

Avoiding Health Risks

Running injuries are common because it is a repetitive, weight-bearing exercise that requires you to work against gravity.

Because shoes help cushion the impact of landing, certain factors, such as not wearing the proper running shoe, can make runners more prone to injury.

However, the most common cause of injury in runners is doing too much too soon. Runners can avoid injury by keeping track of their fitness and making sure they aren’t overtraining.

Injury can occur if you increase your weekly running distance too quickly.

Rest, ice, and pain medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen can be used to treat most overuse injuries.

Our Ultimate Guide to Running for Beginners will tell delve into detail on this subject even  more.

But remember, the benefits of running for outweigh the risks.


Find all things running HERE and avail of Free Returns and Free Delivery Over €60.

benefits of running