What Is Fasted Cardio?

What Is Fasted Cardio

While fasting has long been associated with religious practices, recent research shows that it can also be beneficial for health.

For example, fasting can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation. It can also help us lose weight.

In this article, we will discuss what exactly fasted cardio is and how it works. We will also look at the pros and cons of doing it.

What Is Fasted Cardio?

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What is Fasted Cardio

When we talk about fasted cardio, we are referring to an exercise routine without eating anything after midnight. This includes skipping breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, etc.

The reason why this kind of workout is called “fasting” is because it allows your body to use stored fat as fuel instead of carbs.

When you skip meals, your body starts burning fat stores to get energy.

This is different from intermittent fasting which involves only one meal per day. You can do both types of workouts but they have their benefits.

How Does Fast Cardio Work?

The main benefit of fasted cardio is that it burns more calories. Research shows that when you don't eat anything after midnight, your metabolism goes up by 10%. That's not all! Your body uses muscle glycogen (stored carbohydrates) as fuel during this time.

So if you want to burn fat, then fasted cardio is the best choice.

There are two ways to perform fasted cardio:

1. Intermittent fasting

2. Continuous fasting

Let's take a closer look at each method.

Intermittent Fasting

You can do this type of workout anytime between 12 pm and 3 am. During these hours, you consume no food or drinks except water.

However, you still need to make sure you're getting enough sleep.

You should try to maintain a consistent schedule so that you won't feel hungry while exercising.

If you find yourself feeling hungry during the workout, then you might consider taking a snack before starting.

Pros of Intermittent Fasting

  • The fastest way to burn fat
  • More effective than continuous fasting

Cons Of Intermittent Fasting

  • If you skip breakfast, you may experience hunger pangs later on. 
  • You may also feel tired and weak.

Continuous Fasting

This type of workout is done continuously throughout the entire night. You can start working out right after you wake up until you go to bed.

Pros Of Continuous Fasting

  • No hunger pangs
  • Easier to stick to

Cons Of Continuous Fasting

  • It takes longer to complete compared to intermittent fasting.

Fasted Cardio Vs Traditional Cardio

Traditional cardio refers to any form of cardiovascular activity that doesn't involve fasting. These include running, cycling, swimming, elliptical machines, rowing machines, etc.

Although fasted cardio is better than traditional cardio in terms of calorie burn, it isn't always recommended.

However, there are some situations where fasted cardio is preferable. For example, if you're trying to lose weight quickly, then you'll be able to burn more calories with fasted cardio.

Here are some examples of fasted cardio exercises:

  • Running
  • Swimming
  • Elliptical machine
  • Rowing machine
  • Cycling
  • Stair climbing
  • Climbing stairs
  • Walking
  • Cardio circuit training

When you combine several exercises into a single session, it becomes known as cardio circuit training. It's a great way to boost your heart rate for 30-45 minutes.

Some popular circuits include:

  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Jump rope
  • Burpees
  • Mountain climbers

What Are The Risks Of Fasted Cardio?

As mentioned earlier, fasted cardio has its pros and cons. It's important to know what the potential risks are before deciding whether or not to use it.

Some people who choose to do fasted cardio have reported experiencing headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and dehydration.

These symptoms usually disappear once you stop exercising.

However, if they persist for several days, then you should talk to your doctor about it.

Who Should Avoid Fasted Cardio?

People who have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney problems, thyroid disorders, anemia, hypoglycemia, stomach ulcers, gallbladder stones, liver disease, cancer, or any other medical condition should avoid doing fasted cardio.

How Long Should I Exercise When I'm Fasting?

The amount of time you spend exercising depends on how much weight you want to lose.

For instance, if you want to lose 10 pounds in one month, then you should aim to work out for 30 minutes per day.

If you want to lose 20 pounds in two months, then you should aim for 45 minutes per day.

You can increase the duration as needed. However, don't overdo it. Doing too much-fasted cardio could lead to muscle loss.

Fasted Cardio Tips

There are a few things that you need to keep in mind while using this method of exercise.

First, make sure that you drink enough water. If you feel thirsty during your workouts, then you probably aren't drinking enough water.

Second, try to eat at least 1 hour after each workout session. This will help replenish your body's glycogen stores. Glycogen is stored energy that your muscles use to perform physical tasks.

Third, make sure that you rest between sessions. Your body needs time to recover from the previous workout. 

Fourth, listen to your body. Don't push yourself too hard. If you start feeling lightheaded, nauseous, or otherwise unwell, then you should slow down until you feel better.

Fifth, don't forget to stretch! Stretching helps prevent injuries and improves flexibility.

Sixth, maintain a healthy diet. Eating right allows you to get all the nutrients that you need to stay fit.

Finally, remember that fasted cardio is only effective if you follow these guidelines. You may find that you experience different results than those listed here.


Fasted cardio is a great way to burn calories quickly. It also provides many health benefits like reducing stress levels and improving sleep quality.

But be careful with fasted cardio. Make sure that you're following the guidelines outlined above.

Kevin Harris