Is cardio most effective when done first thing in the morning?
For fat burning purposes, cardiovascular exercise is most effective when done first thing in the morning upon waking, before any food is eaten. The theory is pretty simple; the body will have no carbs to use for energy, so it will start burning fat (and some muscle) for energy. This process has worked very well in the past for most top amateur and professional athletes and has become the âde facto’ method for cardio timing when dieting to lose body fat.
Why does it work?
If there is food in the body, it will be used first. If there is no food present, fat stores will be used (dependent on the length and type of activity). If there is food present, your body burns it first before looking to body fat stores. So if one can remove food from the equation, it’s a simple process of the body being given a workload, and using its fat stores to meet the need.
What type of cardio should I use?
Low impact: IE treadmill 3.5-4 mph for 30-45 minutes. Walking is also an acceptable option, although it is harder to measure speed and distance/time.
What should I eat/drink after doing cardio?
Immediately following your cardio, drink a shake to replenish blood levels of protein and carbs. After all, your body has been starving for over eight hours at this point.
Any warnings for me?
Never drink protein of amino acids/BCAAs when doing your early morning cardio. Aside from the obvious potential nausea, you defeat the purpose of early morning cardio by giving your body food to burn, which means it will leave fat cells alone. If you give your body protein in the morning before doing cardio, your body will try to use that protein for energy, as your body will always use any available circulating energy sources before it will ever use itself for energy. Proteins can be converted into energy, and when consumed before cardio they will be. Amino acids are the same way – they will be converted into energy for use, if available.
Will I be miserable?
Yes, it’s very likely. Most people initially HATE empty-stomach cardio. But the results speak for themselves, as evidenced by the large number of people at top levels who use it.
What if my schedule doesn’t allow it?
Many prefer it later in the day, possibly following a workout. If your options are limited, this is the second-most effective time to engage in cardio.
Are you ready to get started with early-morning cardio?
It’s hard to get going, but when you’re done, you usually feel pretty good. It’s the tried-and-true method for men and women athletes of all levels. Give it a shot!
Dane Fletcher is the world-wide authority on training, nutrition, and supplements. To build muscle fast, he recommends the world class steroid alternatives from GetAnabolics.com instead of illegal anabolics