Should we perform fasted training?
A study from the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism makes an argument for not eating. At least for overweight men. (1).
The researchers say that fasted training results in higher fat burning rates than exercising after eating.
What Happens When We Eat?
Once you start to eat, your pancreas produces insulin and releases it into your blood.
When in a fed state and your insulin are elevated no fat burning takes place. Instead, your body will use the glucose in blood and store what is not used for energy. What and how much you eat can affect how long this state last for (2, 3).
But, as the nutrients are eaten are absorbed, insulin levels decline, and the body senses that its post-meal energy is running out. It then shifts toward burning fat stores to meet its energy needs.
Exercising in this fasted state increases fat loss, with weightlifting being useful in this regard. Fasting for longer than 6 hours has been shown to further increase your body’s ability to burn fat, so early-morning fasted training is a great option. (4, 5, 6).
A study showed that endurance training in the fasted state over six weeks for one hour at 70 percent maximum capacity led to intramuscular fat breakdown (muscle fat) in both fast and slow- twitch muscle fibers (7).
This finding shows that exercise in a fasted state causes the muscle cells to burn fat for fuel (8).
Why Eating Before A Workout Can Effect Fat Loss
Having a pre-workout meal that elevates insulin levels will cause fewer fat cells to be broken (lipolysis) down during that workout. This has been shown correct with both untrained and trained individuals. Lipolysis is not the only thing required for fat loss.
Consuming carbohydrate before and during exercise makes carbohydrate the primary fuel source while suppressing the burning of fat. While increased ingestion of fat stimulates energy production by fat burning at the same time suppressing carbohydrate usage. Nonetheless, the consumption of high-fat foods will restore the fat consumed during exercise, reducing the loss of body fat (11, 12).
Exercising in a fasted state prevents the fat burned from being restored as body fat.
Lipolysis and fat oxidation go hand in hand. Studies show that the total amount of fatty acids available regulates fat oxidation rates (13).
If exercise is combined with fasting to optimize the burning of body fat and following meals are low in calories and fat, a negative fat balance will occur, promoting lower body fat (18).
Working out fasted increasing fat burning for 24 hours and prevents the fat burned from being restored as body fat.
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