A lot of people are not really feeling friendly to cardio. Especially when it comes to fasted training. It sounds like a struggle or a marathon race. Is it really something so difficult to perform? Maybe if you are in a classic metabolic state and your fuel is glucose. Let’s see fasted cardio from another perspective. Fasted cardio from a ketogenic point of view.
Running on glucose
When somebody doesn’t follow a ketogenic diet, the body will spend glucose as the main source of energy. This is known as glycolysis. But what is going to happen during the fasted cardio in this state? The body will be very low in glucose because it did not get a meal prior to the training. So, during the cardio, the body will be totally depleted of glucose and it will start searching for another source of energy. The only available sources will be its own fat and lean muscle mass. This can cause great lean muscle loss while losing very little fat. The liver will perform gluconeogenesis – a metabolic process to convert non-carbohydrate sources into glucose. If you guess correctly, the first source will be the muscle and the amino acids. They will turn into glucose to keep supplying the body with energy for performance. In the end, you will spend your muscles as energy and not the fat as you might have thought.
Running on fat
Now, what if you are in ketogenic state and your main source of energy is fat? The first and crucial thing is that you don’t depend anymore on glucose. The source is changing and the fat becomes the primary energy. Now, we have lipolysis. The body has an available source of energy at any time. It can keep supplying itself from the body fat. At the same time, the ketones will spare your muscle mass. Here I would like to point out why fasted training during the metabolic state of ketosis is much more beneficial. You will not sacrifice lean muscle mass and you will burn more fat! Two flies with one stone.
Supplementation during fasted training
Cardio training usually comes together with exhaustion and dehydration. The first supplement that fitness experts suggest is BCAA. But is it necessary to supplement yourself on keto during fasted cardio? No! If you are on the ketogenic diet you don’t need BCAA. The reason for this is that BCAA will break your fast. Also, ketones, as mentioned earlier, will protect your muscles. There is no reason to consume a supplement that has one million artificial fillers to taste better. In the end, you will not benefit from it. Only a few supplements are necessary when somebody is performing really hard in the gym. For example, choose creatine, glutamine or MCT Oil. Make sure that they are unflavoured.
Prefer whole foods instead of supplements. Companies like to sell and make aggressive commercials to sell even more. The fitness industry is a multimillion industry and everyone wants a piece. We are buying something that we actually don’t need. All this is because we don’t believe enough in ourselves. We can perform better without any additives if we eat clean, organic and nutrient-rich foods. We need to re-organise our lives and mainly prepare food at home.