PDA

View Full Version : Cardio before eating breakfast



dsuh
07-18-2004, 11:17 PM
I've heard mixed truths on this. Is it true that doing cardio first thing in the morning will burn more fat?

Vido
07-18-2004, 11:24 PM
Yup. And more muscle, so pick your poison.

migs
07-18-2004, 11:39 PM
Why will it burn more muscle ? Isnt that what happens when you do too much cardio ?

Vido
07-18-2004, 11:45 PM
Carbs are the preferred source of fuel for the body...if they're available. In the morning, your glycogen levels are fairly depleted so the carbs that "should" be used to give you energy for the cardio aren't there. Your body thus turns to it's alternate fuel sources, fat and muscle.

kozen
07-18-2004, 11:49 PM
personally, i wouldnt go over 45 minutes of moderate intesntiy cardio on an empty stomach. Try to avoid high intensity at all costs.

migs
07-18-2004, 11:55 PM
So if it burns my carbs rather than my fat whats the point of it ? Dont you want to lose fat ? Instead of eating alot of carbs and burning them cant I just monitor my carb intake ?

Augury
07-19-2004, 04:35 AM
Its a reterospectave thing....you need to not think of it in terms of "burning the carbs you just ate".

If you are say going to be eating 2500 cals for the day and out of that you are eating 250g of carbs (just an example)...then:

you wake up. muscle glycogen is pretty normal, liver glycogen is almost if not entirely depeted. you are also in a catabolic state. protein breakdown is higher than protein synthesis.

If you go run now you will chew up muscle (but also fat burning is going to be at its highest).

If you eat some carbs now and run in 30 mins (fructose/glucose might be a good idea in liquid form) then you will top off liver glycogen and turn the catabolism to anabolism. Lets say you drink down 50g of carbs.

You go for your run, and burn less fat than the above example but no muscle at all due to being in an anabolic state.

After the cardio metabolic activity is also raised for the rest of the day so you will continue to burn fat but obviously you are feeding yourself so will remain anabolic.

The 50g of carbs you ate comes from the 250g (and the 2500 cals) that you are budgeted for. So you can only eat 200g more carbs across the rest of the day. The carbs you eat before the run arent "extra" they are part of your budgeted diet and therefore drinking them pre run will mean you have less to eat during the day and the effect will be felt there also from a fatburning point of view. If the food you eat is USED by the body (ie pre cardio carbs and post workout carbs+prot) then you are in a much better situation than eating them and possibly having those cals go to stored bodyfat.

I think thats pretty close to right...though im happy to engage in debate on this...im still learning a lot and open to suggestions / new facts.

Augs

skyjumper
07-19-2004, 05:50 AM
....you need to not think of it in terms of "burning the carbs you just ate".

If the food you eat is USED by the body (ie pre cardio carbs and post workout carbs+prot) then you are in a much better situation than eating them and possibly having those cals go to stored bodyfat.

Augs

Good analysis. Make your daily food work for you, not against you.

Vido
07-19-2004, 09:56 AM
After the cardio metabolic activity is also raised for the rest of the day so you will continue to burn fat but obviously you are feeding yourself so will remain anabolic.

Everything you said appears to be bang-on, except the above. Unless the cardio is high intensity, your metabolism will return to normal basically right after you end your session. That's why it's kind of unfair to compare calories burned during HIIT to calories burned during something like an incline walk on a treadmill. You may only burn 400 calories in a 20 min HIIT session, and 800 calories during a 45 minute incline walk, but the calorie burning from the walk ends right then and there, while your metabolism stays humming for hours after the HIIT.

That being said, in terms of recovery time HIIT seems more like a weights session to me personally, while I could walk on the treadmill daily and not see any ill effects. So, they both have their own advantages.

Augury
07-19-2004, 05:37 PM
Everything you said appears to be bang-on, except the above. Unless the cardio is high intensity, your metabolism will return to normal basically right after you end your session. That's why it's kind of unfair to compare calories burned during HIIT to calories burned during something like an incline walk on a treadmill. You may only burn 400 calories in a 20 min HIIT session, and 800 calories during a 45 minute incline walk, but the calorie burning from the walk ends right then and there, while your metabolism stays humming for hours after the HIIT.

That being said, in terms of recovery time HIIT seems more like a weights session to me personally, while I could walk on the treadmill daily and not see any ill effects. So, they both have their own advantages.

Gotta agree with you there actually. I forgot about HITT. The cardio only works whilst you are working. Once you stop, the calorific deficit it casues vanishes off the face of the earth. HITT is different. It has less "burning" effect whilst its happening but a large "post HITT" increase in basal metabolism occurs for many hours afterwards. Good point Vido :)

mqgeek
07-19-2004, 05:48 PM
So walking before having breakfast will burn muscle? I was under the impression that walking wouldn't burn muscle but just burn fat because it's low intensity?

Augury
07-19-2004, 05:59 PM
So walking before having breakfast will burn muscle? I was under the impression that walking wouldn't burn muscle but just burn fat because it's low intensity?

essentially yes. it will burn "some" muscle and "some" fat. more muscle will be "burned" than had you had some carbs 30 mins before the walk. however you hit the nail on the head. Walking is low intensiy. You will be lucky to burn 50-100 cals. Even if it all came from muscle (which it wont), you wouldnt notice a scrap of difference.

No pre cardio nutrition: burn max fat and some muscle.
Pre cardio nutrition: burn some fat and little or no muscle.

Take your pick, depending on your goals. Mr A.N.Other couch potato coming down from 35% BF should really be going for max fatloss as they are made up almost entirely of the stuff :(
Someone cutting from 8%BF to 7% BF whilst trying to hand on for dear life to the hard earned muscle he/she has would be better advised to have a slower fatloss but preserve the muscle.

Augs

Vido
07-19-2004, 06:47 PM
Walking is low intensiy. You will be lucky to burn 50-100 cals. Even if it all came from muscle (which it wont), you wouldnt notice a scrap of difference.


I beg to differ once again :D.

I walk on the treadmill quite often as my form of cardio as I find it easier on my joints than jogging or sprinting. I usually go for 45-60 minutes and burn 800-1200 calories (according to the calorie counter on the treadmill). How accurate is this? Probably not very, but I can guarantee you I am burning more than 50-100 calories.

Also, by the looks of disgust from everyone else at my gym at the sweat I'm dripping through 2 shirts, I can vouch that it need not be low intensity.

Augury
07-19-2004, 06:56 PM
I beg to differ once again :D.

*whimper*

your pickin on me tonight. I hate cardio....i know little about it. I am on a mission to learn more.

Last time i did cardio i did 25 mins solid on an eliptical crosstrainer at about 80% of its highest difficulty. It told me i did 270 cals of work. You manage to hit 1000 after 45 mins of walking? There is just something incredibly wrong with the world. im coming to use your gym equipment. Ill get fitter over there :)

Augs

mqgeek
07-19-2004, 08:26 PM
If what you all are saying is true, then why would people eat PF meals before lifting? Wouldn't this cause the same muscle wasting effect?

Vido
07-19-2004, 09:47 PM
Last time i did cardio i did 25 mins solid on an eliptical crosstrainer at about 80% of its highest difficulty. It told me i did 270 cals of work. You manage to hit 1000 after 45 mins of walking? There is just something incredibly wrong with the world.
Augs

I do it on the highest incline and it's a pretty brisk walk. To be burning the same number of calories on flat ground I'd probably need to be running at 9 or 10 mph..."walking" doesn't have to be easy.

dsuh
07-19-2004, 09:57 PM
just go on the stairsteps. Killer cardio.

Vido
07-19-2004, 10:09 PM
just go on the stairsteps. Killer cardio.

Can't disagree with that. Good for the calves too. Try HIIT on it, 30 sec on the highest setting, 30 sec going at a nice pace, and repeating 10 times...that's a good, short cardio session.

Augury
07-20-2004, 06:16 AM
If what you all are saying is true, then why would people eat PF meals before lifting? Wouldn't this cause the same muscle wasting effect?

I need to make an assumption here to reply. You asked about people eating a PF meal? Ive assumed to meana protein + fat meal from that?? Im pretty sure though you meant to ask about a P+C meal? If im wrong sorry...Ill try and answer both questions anyhow.

The first one ill address is people eating P+F before a workout. I have honestly never heard of anyone going out of their way to eat fat and protein just before a workout. Its certainly not something I would suggest. I cant really think of any good reasons for doing so. Protein yes....but with a bunch of fat also floating around your bloodstream....thats not so good. At the end of your workout you are catabolic and you are going to eat a post workout shake to drive you out of catabolism to anabolism. I would not think it wise then, to have a lot of free fatty acids floating around in your blood all the way through the workout and then into this insulin spike that the post workout shake causes. Id be gunuinely interested to hear peoples reasoning for having a P+F meal pre-workout.

i think you perhaps meant P+C meal pre-workout. The reasons for this are pretty straight forwards. Weight training causes an effect that ramps up protein sythesis slightly by the end of the workout. However it also causes protein breakdown mechanisms to be ramped way up. This results in a net catabolic state at the end of the workout which the post workout shake drives (we hope) back into anabolism. A shake or whole food works just fine. The numbers for the post w/o shake are typically 0.8g/lb of carbs and 0.4g/lb of protein (varies depending on which nutritionist you currently believe). So if you know that during the workout you are going to go catabolic it would seem wise to try and counter the effect at the other end too. hence a pre-workout shake. But you have a compromise here. some people feel realy sick if they do a heavy assed workout with a tummy full of food/shake. So the shake tends to be light and about 30 mins before the w/o. Values of perhaps 30g carbs, 15g protein. That kind off scale (again depending on who you listen to). The effect of this is to create an insulin spike and leave you going into the workout as anabolic as you can be so you come out as mildly catabolic as poss. Thats the theory anyhow. Another damned good reason is simply that having some carbs in you just before you workout will top off liver and muscle glycogen and leave you as strong for lifts as you are going to get without drugs.

hope that makes sense. People work out to bulid muscle and so you want to be in anabolic states to do that.

people do cardio to either lose max fat (not caring about muscle loss) or to lose some fat (whilst sparing muscle) and so in the latter case, cardio after a shift from morning catabolism to anabolism due to a pre cardio shake will spare muscle and burn some (but less than the former case). Losing some fat is better than none. keeping muscle if you are a BBer is a good plan.

Augs

mqgeek
07-20-2004, 09:28 PM
JB himself recommends a PF meal before a lifting session...

Augury
07-21-2004, 05:19 AM
but JB is a bit mad and actually dosnt have any modern (i mean last 5 years)science to back up the food combining claims he makes. JB's food combining is based on a 20 or 30 year old model of insulin that has since been updated and changed via research. There are other storeage pathways for fat that are totally insulin independant and this means that insulin manipulation (food combining) has limited effect. He just backpedalled very recently on his "massive eating" ideas and re-wrote them to be "massive eating re-loaded". Even the rewrite has come under similar scientific criticism.

Some interesting reading on this is to be found at www.bodyrecomposition.com. Do a search for "berardi" and read all the links that come up. Most, if not all of them are Lyle McDonald and some well elarned physiologists proving (with evidence) that food combining is essentially voodoo.

If thats not enough you can wander over to www.ruggedmag.com and read a thread there that is a defence against the "massive eating" stuff written by Berardi and where pretty much everyone posts and shows it to still be flawed. http://www.ruggedmag.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=4865

You can go to Avant Labs and do a similar search on food combining or berardi and find a lot of "so wheres the science and backup for the theories then" type of comments.. Most of JB's food combining claims are based upon the premise "it works" so it must be right. that dosnt make it science. A lot of things "work" even if you are doing something wrong. If 90% of the things you do in a training program are correct but 10% (say the food combining aspect) is founded on hore****, then you will still make good progress....the food combining aspect just has negligable effect. Most of JB's success comes from the fact he makes people on bulks eat a staggering quantity of food. Most people on bulks dont eat enough. That alone is responsible for the majority of success...but then, thats not new science.

Augs

Focused70
07-28-2004, 08:41 PM
what's a good glucose/fructose liquid form of food to ingest before engaging in morning cardio? sorry for the silly question.

also, can you do HIIT on a bike? I think I was doing my regular cardio session once and saw that setting but I'm not sure if its possible. my usual cardio bike session involves hills.

Stash

Saint Patrick
07-28-2004, 10:56 PM
what's a good glucose/fructose liquid form of food to ingest before engaging in morning cardio?

Kool Aid :D

attica
07-29-2004, 05:55 AM
what's a good glucose/fructose liquid form of food to ingest before engaging in morning cardio? sorry for the silly question.


Not a silly question at all, I've been trying (trial and error) for some time to figure out what works best for me. I ended up going with GU energy gels instead of a sports drink:

http://www.gusports.com/html/gu_energy_gel.htm

(I also found a recipe for making your own "energy gel" out of honey, cinnamon, and something else - if there's interest, I'll try to find it again)

Tried the energy bars, but I seem to work out better on an empty stomach first thing in the AM.

I think some of what Augs was saying above is dead-center right. I find that when I use the GUs before early AM cardio, I don't lose as much weight over a week, even with a consistent per-day calorie intake. That is, with a consistent (daily) caloric deficit, I lose more weight (mostly fat and probably a little muscle) when I don't use the GUs. I also notice that when I don't take them, my workouts are definitely harder. That said, if you aren't interested in cutting weight, GUs might be the thing for you.

All this might seem obvious, but it's very cool when my body backs up something that I read...

attica
07-29-2004, 06:09 AM
I hate cardio....i know little about it. I am on a mission to learn more.

If you really want to learn more, check this book out:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0873229592/qid=1091102996/sr=ka-1/ref=pd_ka_1/103-8656088-3089412

I've been reading a page or two each night before sleeping - it starts out with a bang, going right into muscle fiber composition, then into how ATP is used by the muscle fibers and goes from there.

The title is a bit misleading, it really should be "The Lore Of Bio/Physiological Mechanics With Some Chemistry Thrown In, But Written By A Runner". There is a ton of information that applies to all sports and athletic information in general, it just so happens that it tends to lean toward runners as the target. Which is nice, because running == cardio, so there you go.

IRN-BRU
07-29-2004, 07:17 AM
I've read all the stuff about this, and my take on cardio before breakfast is this.

If you are on a cut, to lose fat, doing cardio before breakfast has benefits. I think it's worth doing.

First, it can help reduce appetite, at least, you cant eat until after you cool down. Having breakfast later means you'll not be hungry until later in the day. Helping you keep your calories down.

Second, it gets your metabolism up and running first thing. Good for calorie burning.

Third, it is at a time when you dont have other responsibilities. You can always get up 20 minutes earlier, and do some. If you try to do it at lunchtime, or after work, often something will get in the way.

Fourth, all the hype about your muscles disappearing in a catabolic catastrophy is just that, overblown hype. For the most of us who aren't at 3% bodyfat, we need to worry less about the fine details, and more about just sticking to the cardio.

Fifth, if you eat before cardio, burn what you ate, then afterwards you will be glucose (or is it glycogen) depleted and therefore hungry. If you do cardio first, burn a higher % of fat, then eat. You will feel replenished, and not hungry. Scientific studies wont measure how hungry you are, and how many people bust over their calories that day because of it.

Cheers