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Is Running on an Empty Stomach the Real Secret to Fat Burning?

Running woman

Running on an empty stomach, or doing a fasted cardio workout, would help burn more fat. Let’s find out if that’s really the case.

Running on an empty stomach, perhaps early in the morning before breakfast, is a training method used by many people. But doing a cardiovascular workout, such as running, fasting really allows you to burn more fat? The so-called ” fasted cardio ” is one of the fitness choices that, according to those who practice it, allows you to maximize metabolic functions. Furthermore, running on an empty stomach is a practice that has its roots in the 90s , when it was one of the essential rules of every personal trainer. So let’s see if running fasting really allows you to lose more weight.

Running on an empty stomach to burn more fat?

The theory that running on an empty stomach allows you to burn more fat is based on a very simple principle. That is, a prolonged fast like that of the night predisposes the body to draw on its energy reserves.

Running woman
Running woman

Specifically, running fasting allows you to consume glycogen , the form in which sugars are stored, and other stores of fat to produce energy.

Basically we can say that it will be easier to burn fat stores because, thanks to night fasting, glycogen has gradually been used up. Furthermore, running on an empty stomach, and therefore fasting, favors the action of glucagon, a compound that stimulates catabolism, which is the mechanism that allows to demolish the body’s fat mass.

Running on an empty stomach: what happens to the metabolism

While running on an empty stomach is a method used by many people, experts tend to point out that metabolism is a dynamic tool. This means that it is very difficult to modify it and direct it towards a single source of energy to burn. In fact, the body needs a fat oxidation balance, which lasts at least 24 hours.

Furthermore, several studies have indicated that, regardless of the type of exercise, the metabolism preferably draws on the supplies of a specific type. However, in the following hours, the metabolism of the other reserves increases in order to bring the overall balance into balance. In short, the more carbohydrate stores you burn during training, the easier it will be to burn fat after training.

Running at dawn
Running at dawn

Running fast or training?

Running on an empty stomach, in addition to burning fat more easily, also allows you to promote the catabolism of the muscles . In fact, when glycogen is depleted, the body cannot immediately switch to the fat reserves and the energy source used becomes proteins. Specifically, those derived from the demolition of lean mass.

This means that running on an empty stomach can affect the lean mass, and the proteins that form it. A valid alternative is HIIT training , which allows you to burn a lot of fat by maximizing the action of the metabolism. It must be remembered, however, that these exercises must be performed strictly after restoring the glycogen stores.

If you really can’t give up the morning run, it is possible to take branched amino acids, which allow you to integrate proteins and offer an alternative energy source to catabolism. in any case, before taking supplements, it is always better to ask your doctor for advice.

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