Cardio on an empty stomach?

  1. Hello health gurus,

    I work out early in the mornings, and usually have a glass of milk with some vitamins and water before I head over to the gym. During cardio days, I always drink water during and after the cardio session.

    However, I've heard that the best way to burn fat is to work out on an empty stomach. Should I forgo the milk and just have green tea, water, and vitamins before my workout?

    Thanks so much!
  2. I get into huge arguements with my dad over this topic! I run early in the mornings and I don't eat anything beforehand, just drink lots of water. My dad walks on the treadmill in the AM, but he will eat some toast and juice beforehand. He tells me I'm going to faint, but I tell him he's going to have tummy troubles if he exercises with a full stomach. The "scientific" answer is.....there isn't any answer =( You should follow the routine that makes you feel most comfortable. I think, though, metabolism is slowest in the morning, so it will take more effort to burn calories. However, starting on an "empty tank" does force your body to look towards other sources of energy.

    BTW, I read a glass of milk is a great post-workout drink, due to the proteins and calcium. It's a great drink!
  3. IMO, there is no right answer to this question. I prefer to eat a small snack before my workout. I also work out early in the morning, before work, and have either a ready-made protein shake (EAS Carb Control) or a teaspoon of natural peanut butter and a glass of skim milk. I have hypoglycemia - low blood sugar - and need to have something in my system to regulate my blood sugar, or else I would probably pass out on the treadmill.

    More than likely, the difference in fat loss when doing fasting cardio vs. not fasting cardio is not that significant. If you feel better with a little something in your stomach before your workouts, I wouldn't change things.

    PS - I finally PMed you back!
  4. I used to compete in fitness competitions. My last one was 2 years ago. They obviously require you to show up with a very low body fat %. During the "cutting"/leaning out phase everybody I know worked out first thing in the a.m. on an empty stomach. This only applies to cardio; never to weight lifting. It gets you really lean but after about a week it DOES become grueling. I used to run for about 1 hour/1 h 1/2 on an empty stomach in the 2-3 weeks leading up to a competition or a fitness modeling engagement depending on how much body fat I needed to lose. I would also work out with weights in the afternoon (after I had replenished my carbs & proteins) and do cardio again for an hour or so in the evening. It works but I would never do it long term because I think it's ultimately too taxing on the body!
  5. ^ That is grueling! :push: That's 2.5 hours of cardio :wtf: One of my secret desires is to compete at least once in a figure competition, but I'd have a lot of work to do and I just can't adhere to that lifestyle for very long.

    Did you work with a trainer or coach?
  6. ^^^ Yes, I had a coach I saw weekly while I was training and competing. He trains most of the female athletes in SoCal and I was lucky he was only about an hour away from where I live. I used to see him to monitor my body fat and muscle mass and make adjustments to my diet when needed. For a while, I trained with a trainer, but after a couple of years I felt I knew what I needed to do and was able to just train by myself. The lifestyle can be grueling but I was going through a lot a chaos in my personal life at the time (my mom was very sick) so I found the control it afforded me quite comforting... I miss it soooo much now that I'm pregnant and I cannot wait to start training again... If you decide to compete and you have questions (which I might or might not know how to answer lol) don't hesitate to PM me! I think it's really cool when women train hard and I can't wait to be able to get back into it. Right now I'm just living vicariously through the forum and by seeing some of my friends get in amazing competitive shape... soon though :wlae:!
  7. Thanks so much to all of you who responded! I'm going to try to do cardio on an empty stomach just to see how I would respond to it. If I'm looking for fat loss/weight loss, how long should I do cardio for? Thank you!
  8. ^^^ How much cardio are you doing now? If you're doing 20-30 minutes,
    I would start with half an hour and gradually work my way up to an hour. I have been told that beyond an hour on an empty stomach you start hurting yourself (by going into your muscle mass v. fat storage for energy). I've gone past an hour in the past --but it was mainly desperation and feeling like I was running out of time before an event; I don't think it helped significantly! Pay close attention to how your body feels, have water available (but drink only small sips until you're sure it doesn't make your empty stomach act-up) and, if you can, maybe get a GOOD Polar watch (or equivalent) with a torso heart monitor so you can get a decent idea of how much strain you're putting on your heart!
    Let us know how it works for you!!!
  9. one time i went to the gym and took a boxing class and i woke up late and only had time to eat 1/2 of a grapefruit and i rushed to the gym the class was 1 hour long and once the class ended i had to run to the bathroom didn't even make it to the ladies i just ran into the mens bathroom and i vomited. I always thought it was because i didn't eat something before hand :shrugs:
  10. ^^^ And maybe also the citric acid from the grapefruit straigt on the empty stomach? I know that would get to me big time...:throwup: at any time during the day....
  11. ahhh i never thought about that...i just thought i couldn't workout unless i ate
    im going to try it tomorow
  12. white flowers: I noticed your question in Cristina's thread about whether you should do 60 continuous minutes of cardio or take breaks within the 60 minutes. IMO --for cardio-- it pays off to do it continously (whether it's for 20-30 mins at first) whereas w/ weightlifting it's best to takes quick rest breaks (in between sets not reps). You'll find that w/cardio, your resistance will go up the more sessions you log in --so even if you start at 20 continuous mins you'll be able to gradually work your way up to 60 mins w/o it seeming too daunting a task! :jammin:
  13. Ahh emma thank you!
  14. I think working out on an empty stomache is better.

    If you are doing a hard workout, milk isn't good. It can make you sick.
  15. You're welcome, white flowers! Keep us posted!!