Should I workout fasted?

fasted fasting fitness nutrition May 17, 2022

Do you work out first thing in the morning?

If that's you, you'll want to read this post all about fasted training. 

Fasted training gained in popularity a few years back and there is still some confusing information out there.  Some studies say working out fasted will help you burn more fat, some say it will cause elevated stress levels in your body which can cause you to lose more fat.  Because most people are living lives that are high in stress and are NOT getting enough sleep, I tend to lean more towards recommending working out with a little something in your stomach.

Here's a few reasons why, 

  • Training fasted every once in awhile isn't probably all that bad.   However, doing it for a prolonged period of time can again cause elevated stress hormones and chronically high cortisol.  This can lead to excess belly fat, more fat storage and stubborn fat loss.  
  • Training fasted can lead you to bonk out.  Without energy in your system from food, you may find yourself bonking out or hitting a wall mid workout. 
  • You may find yourself actually eating more throughout the day.  A recent study found that those that trained fasted ended up being hungrier and eating more food throughout the day.
  • You might not be able to perform as good.  Without stored energy, you might not be able to lift, run, jump, etc. to your full potential.  Besides hitting a wall you just might not be able to train as hard. 

Okay so training fasted might not be the best thing for you BUT, it's totally understandable that you don't want a full meal at 5:00am or even earlier.  So here's a few suggestions on what you could try, 

  • A few dates with a few raw almonds or cashews
  • Rice cake thin with peanut butter
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Protein powder with MCT in coffee
  • Handful of nuts
  • Branch Chain Amino Acids 

You might notice most food recommend here is mainly protein and fat.   Protein and fat won't digest too quickly so you'll have more sustained energy throughout your workout.  Eating just carbs alone will give you a quick energy spike but your body will burn through it so fast you won't be able to really optimize the glycogen.  So save the carbs for post workout when you can use them to refill glycogen stores and support muscle rebuilding.  

Bottom line, fasting workouts might work for some but for the majority of people, having a little something in your stomach will be more beneficial to your overall health and performance. 







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