Fasted cardio has become one of the more popular techniques of burning fat and bodybuilding in recent years. The technique focuses heavily on burning fat for energy in order to get rid of fat. Unsurprisingly, burning fat is really popular!
- Read: Is Fasted Cardio a Myth?
But everything has its pros and cons. What are the pros and cons of fasted cardio? In this piece we shall discuss exactly that- the fasted cardio pros and cons:
Pros of Fasted Cardio:
- Faster fat loss
- Saves money
- Saves time
Cons of Fasted Cardio:
- You feel hungrier
- You have less energy
Keep on reading and let’s talk about all of this in-depth! Here we go!
Fasted Cardio: Pros
#1 – Faster Fat Loss
This is probably the biggest and best benefit of fasted cardio. It helps burn fat faster than normal cardio.
A study named, Effects of aerobic exercise performed in fasted v. fed state on fat and carbohydrate metabolism in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis, found that fasted cardio often led to more fat burn than normal cardio.
During normal cardio, we take a meal before the workout. This means that our body has food to digest and make glucose out of. This glucose can be used for energy at the gym. As opposed to this whole technique, fasted cardio takes things differently.
There is a prolonged fast before the workout which means the body has no food to digest and make glucose out of. (Typically, this is just after you sleep) In such conditions, the body uses body fat for energy. This is how fat is quickly burnt in fasted cardio.
Faster fat burning has made fasted cardio a favorite among new generation bodybuilders who are ready to push their bodies to new limits.
There generally is no other safe technique that burns fat as fast as fasted cardio. Combined with its other benefits, and burning fat fast, fasted cardio has become a favorite.
#2 – Fasted Cardio Saves You Money
Fasted Cardio is, in general, a cheaper alternative to other types of cardio. Now you might be asking- Tommy, what do you even mean by that? How does this save money?
The main difference comes from the amount of food you’re eating. Fasted cardio does not involve a meal whereas other types of cardios do. This leads to significantly less money spent on food.
Most people have a smaller meal before they do cardio, and that costs money. Especially considering most people will eat AFTER their workout too. You’re taking a whole meal out of the equation.
Furthermore, you cannot just eat anything before your workout, you typically have to eat the more expensive, healthier foods like yogurt.
And some people go ALL OUT on their pre-workout meal. We can be talking upwards of $20 for a pre-workout meal! (I’m looking at you, Ian)
Suppose you hit the gym daily, now if you are into normal cardio you’ll be making pre-workout meals every day. This means we should not just think about one meal, but think in terms of weeks and months.
The cost of meals will keep adding up!
In the case of fasted cardio, there is no meal, this means that no costs add up daily and at the end of the month you find that fasted cardio is way cheaper than normal cardio.
And- nothings wrong with saving money! (Especially with how gas prices are right now!)
Whenever calculating costs, it is important to realize if a cost is of recurring nature, such as the daily meals of normal cardio. Recurring costs should be multiplied with time to get the correct picture. And by the same technique fasted cardio stands cheaper.
What I’m trying to get at is- don’t think “oh, I’m just saving $2-3 a day”- think: “I’m saving nearly $100 a month”.
#3 – Takes Less Time
Fasted cardio takes less time than normal cardio. This is because you do not have to spend any time making meals.
Not having to prepare that meal in the morning can really save up a lot of time each day.
Remember, it’s not like we just eat then run 5 minutes later. Oftentimes we need to wait 30-60 minutes before running to not throw up, get an upset stomach, or get side stitch. And food doesn’t come out instantly either, it can really take a lot of time!
This saved time that you will save by not making a meal each day can be utilized for something more productive than preparing a meal.
For instance, you could use it for studying or relaxing. I know a lot of my readers are students and it can get hard to stay fit when it feels like you have to study a billion hours a day. This is a good way to really cut down that time.
Fasted Cardio: Cons
#1 – You Feel Hungrier
This con is one of the main ones. Most, if not all bodybuilders who perform fasted cardio report that they feel hungry during and after the exercise. The reason for this is simple – we haven’t eaten in quite a long time, and now we’re exercising.
During the exercise, our body is literally begging for food. It is why the body gets forced to use body fat as energy. Feeling hungrier although a con should not be seen as such because it is more of a side effect.
With that said, the hunger is not of any harmful nature. It is a safe hunger that we feel during any time of the day. Oftentimes after you start exercising the ‘hunger’ feel will go away anyways and come back when your run is over.
#2 – You Feel Less Energy
It is true that you feel less energy during fasted cardio. The reason for this is simple. The body has had no food and therefore is feeling hungry.
Fat can burn and be used as energy but unfortunately, it will not satisfy hunger. This is why during fasted cardio people feel less energy.
Next comes the question if it is safe to exercise with such low energy levels. The answer is yes, it is safe to exercise at such low energy levels reason being you still have fat as an energy source in your body.
Due to this lower energy, fasted cardio generally isn’t recommended for weight lifting, however.
Fasted Cardio has much more pros than cons. Fasted cardio has gained so much traction because it excels in burning fat.
Pretty much everything has its pros and cons but that doesn’t really mean if the thing has cons, it is bad. The same way fasted cardio. If you are looking for a technique that burns fat fast and is safe to follow then fasted cardio is for you.
In any case, fasted cardio has been here since 1999 and has been gaining traction among the bodybuilding community.