Every month we ask our panel of experts their opinion on what’s hot in health and fitness. This month we ask: Does fasted cardio burn extra fat, or should you have coffee and BCAAs beforehand?
It all comes down to effort. If you aren’t putting as much effort into your cardio when you don’t have something in your stomach, it won’t burn as much fat regardless of if it’s fasted or not.
Having coffee before fasted cardio is fine, but BCAAs raise your insulin levels as if you were eating food, so it defeats the purpose of “fasted” cardio!
Research hasn’t proven fasted cardio is any more effective. For some, working out on an empty stomach and delaying your first meal can stave off cravings.
Fasted cardio has been proven to burn the same amount of fat vs fed cardio state. A black coffee and BCCAs will not take you out of a fasted state and are fine before a fasted session. The best cardio tool is to meet the required intensity and time you set out, either fasted or fed.
Studies have shown fasted cardio helps burn more fat but, also, that it doesn’t. If you like to do fasted cardio in the AM as it works best for your schedule, go for it! Remember: if you drink black coffee and aminos, you’re still considered fasted.
You should have some coffee, BCAAs and a protein shake. Fasted cardio does not burn more fat and research has shown fasted cardio can burn hard-earned muscle.
Studies show it burns up to 20% more body fat, but nothing substantial compared to eating a meal before cardio. I’d suggest having BCAAs before any fasted cardio, because of the risks of putting you in a catabolic state.