Anyway, I'm clearing up the confusion about "Cardio on an empty stomach" today. I'm sure you heard the saying, "do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach so you'll burn more fat". Well, let's set the record straight...
Alright, now back to the topic. I first read about this study from Craig Ballantyne. It was a study done in Italy from researchers who had a study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition Exercise and Metabolism (21:48-54, 2011).
The Italian researchers wanted to see what would happen when eight healthy young men did the following workouts:
Workout A: 36 minutes of slow cardio at 65% maximum heart rate in the morning without eating
Workout B: 36 minutes of slow cardio at 65% maximum heart rate in the morning AFTER a small meal
4 hours after exercise, the results found that eating before cardio increased both calorie burning AND fat burning. Yep, eating before the workout increased fat burning in the 24-hours after exercise. The scientists concluded that “fasting before exercise does not enhance lipid utilization; rather, physical activity after a light meal is advisable.”
What it means for you:
You certainly don't need to do cardio on an empty stomach to "burn more fat". Another myth debunked. For those of you that have been following me, you already know how I feel about "cardio" anyway. If you really want to drop fat, you need to do interval training. I put up a post about that here.
Keep in mind, you have to do what's right for YOU. If I have the chance to knock out a workout at 5:30am (which I've been known to do because I have a full plate that day), I'll be honest... I go to the gym and work out with nothing in me. Why? Because I actually perform my workout better. I've experimented with a little snack and eating nothing. "Nothing" wins. I have some clients that have a better workout with an apple and half a protein shake. I encourage them to "experiment" and really figure what works best for them. That's what you have to do. If I work out mid-day, I find that eating a small snack about 90 minutes before my workout is what works for me. Some people like to eat 15 minutes before. Everyone is different. Experiment and see what works for you, but don't do something one way because it's the "magical" way to lose fat. Sorry, there is no such thing :(
To your fitness success,