Fasted Cardio: Magic Or Myth?

Fasted Cardio: Magic Or Myth?

Going for a walk or a run first thing in the day can be a game changer.

Akash Vaghela Akash Vaghela · Jun 27th, 2017

Training Intermediate
3 Mins


    There are many of us that start our day by diving straight into some fasted cardio. Many ‘old school’ bodybuilders swear by it suggesting it’s imperative, but some newer ‘evidence based’ coaches claim it makes no difference whatsoever.

    So which is better? Fasted cardio or fed cardio?

    Current scientific evidence suggests that there is no benefit for fat loss from performing cardio in a fasted state. However, just because there aren't any benefits on paper, it doesn't mean that it's not potentially beneficial for you.

    It gets the job done

    Other than being a great way to start the day, it gets it done straight away and there’s nothing that can crop up during the day to interfere.

    Knowing this from experience, we usually recommend our members to begin their day with their workout regime. While some prefer evening cardio, life has a way of getting in the way and they often end up being too tired, working late, or have to attend a last-minute event etc. 

    The problem with this is it’s a slippery slope and missing just one cardio session can easily turn into two and so forth, and so begins an ‘I’ll get back on it from Monday’ mentality.

    For those leading busy lives, getting up just 20 minutes earlier a day to get this done ensures it’s fitted into a busy schedule, sets you up for your day ahead, and gives you some headspace when no one else is around to interrupt you.

    Smashing your cardio first thing ensures this non-negotiable never goes amiss. To get the most out of fasted cardio, taking 100-200mg caffeine along with water mixed with a pinch of salt can help speed up results. 

    Never settling

    Theoretically, there’s no difference between fasted and fed state cardio. 

    However, you can’t argue with the fact that thousands of ‘shredded’ bodybuilders have achieved peak condition over the years whilst performing fasted cardio.

    If it ensures daily structure and strategy, why not? It’s a mindset factor that drives transformation.

    There are exceptions to the rule naturally. For instance, if an RNTer struggles to get a solid 6-8 hours sleep, then we wouldn’t even consider suggesting fasted cardio.

    Likewise, if someone’s schedule really doesn’t allow for it and they can only fit it in late evening or post workout, we’d go with that option.

    Essentially, fasted or fed cardio is a personal preference. 

    More often than not, fasted cardio first thing is a winning combination, but not everyone’s lifestyle can accommodate this. But as long as it gets done, who are we to judge?

    The bottom line is just doing the cardio full stop is what will dictate results, regardless as to whether it is fasted or fed.
    Akash VaghelaAkash Vaghela

    Akash Vaghela has spent 10+ years transforming bodies and lives around the world, and in May 2017, founded RNT Fitness to serve this purpose. His vision is to see a world transformed, where ambitious high performers experience the power of the physical as the vehicle to unlock their real potential. He’s the author of the Amazon best-selling book Transform Your Body Transform Your Life, which explains his unique and proven five-phase methodology, is host of the RNT Fitness Radio podcast, has been featured in the likes of Men’s Health and BBC, whilst regularly speaking across the world on all things transformation.

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