During my transformation, I frequently did 30-40 minutes fasted walking as cardio. I’m now going to convince you that fasted cardio is better than sex. I’ll keep it short:
- When you wake up, you’re in a fasted state. Insulin is low, and growth hormone is high. These two hormones are antagonistic.
- Insulin is a storage hormone, whereas growth hormone is a fat-loss and muscle-sparing hormone. The body is ready to burn fat in this state.
- Usually we have a carby cereal breakfast in the mornings, which spikes insulin. Growth hormone drops. When growth hormone is low and insulin is high, lipolysis (fat loss) stops. This usually is accompanied by sadface. Redeem this by having carbs at night.
By doing a LOW intensity form of cardio in the morning (fasted high intensity cardio is a bad idea for so many reasons*) you are capitalising on the high growth hormone, and free fatty acids. I used the following fat loss supplements before my fasted cardio to accelerate the fat-loss process. At PropaneFitness we’re always experimenting with new things to find out what’s best for you, so I wrote up a comparison of my experience.
(*Fasted high intensity cardio:
a) Burns muscle
b) Will make you feel like a teabag
c) Performance will be worse than if you were in a fed state
d) Offers NO additional fat loss benefit.
e) Drives up cortisol, a catabolic stress hormone. )
So without further ado:
Polyphenols (from Green Tea Extract [std. to 95% polyphenols by UV, 50% EGCG by HPLC]): 356.25mg
Thermogenic Blend (Caffeine, Raspberry Ketones, Cayenne Powder (30,000-50,000 SHU): 300mg
L Tyrosine: 200mg
L Theanine: 125mg
Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine HCl): 5mg
Chromium (as Chromium Picolinate): 120µg
Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin): 21µg
The daily mail gave this 2/10, and gave ‘coffee slender’ (coffee extract) 7/10. Lol.
I would take 1-3 of these before cardio and weight training.
This definitely makes you hot, uncomfortably so when taken pre-workout or pre-cardio.
- Lost more fat while using it when combined with calorie restricted diet. Raspberry burps.
- In an attempt to reduce the edge from the caffeine, Myprotein added L-theanine to this supplement. Makes you sad and sleepy, not a good move. Caffeine stimulation is a good thing, and you’d be stupid to take a thermogenic at night anyway.
- Obviously not much will happen unless you’re dieting and exercising.
- Pricey. I feel some of the ingredients in it are redundant, most of the work is being done by the green tea extract.
- No significant effect on appetite either way.
- Hot and sad.
- Good for augmenting fat loss, but pricey for what you get.
Green Tea Extract
I feel this was the main active ingredient in thermopure, and hella cheaper. Similar results to thermopure except:
- No more of thermopure’s trademark ‘hot & sad’. In fact, when taken before fasted walks it’s very euphoric.
- No caffeine buzz that’s associated with energy drinks.
- Much cheaper
- Not quite as hot when taken before training.
Staple. Many health benefits as I’m sure you’re aware, and noticeable effects on speed of fat loss when taken pre-cardio. In capsule form, it is highly concentrated and equivalent to drinking several cups of green tea.
Research on rats with this amino acid seems to strip the fat off them, but unfortunately it doesn’t transfer to humans.
I used 3000mg per day (6 pills), which is considered a high dose. Again, I lost fat during the period but at no faster rate than without this supplement. No other effects. I would avoid this one.
Plain Old Coffee
If you’re a coffee lover, you’re in luck. Caffeine mobilises fatty acids, and is great to use pre-workout and pre-cardio: Pre-workout, caffeine will help excite your nervous system and blunt pain receptors, helping you push harder.
Pre-cardio, the caffeine will help mobilise fatty acids into the bloodstream ready to be burned off! Combine caffeine with yohimbine to target stubborn fat areas more (stomach, lower back etc.).
I used coffee and green tea tablets (high caffeine) interchangeably pre-cardio, and noticed a significant difference in how I felt, performed and lost fat. If you’re doing fasted cardio, any more than a teaspoon of milk in your coffee is not acceptable. Obviously no sugar either. The reason for this is both sugar and milk will interrupt the fasted state and you will not receive the benefits of the fasted cardio.
- Same as the green tea capsules and thermopure, noticeable fat loss. By this point it was obvious that caffeine was the crucial common denominator between all of the above.
- The ‘buzz’ from concentrated green tea is softer and more euphoric. Coffee can be a little more jittery and can cause an upset stomach when drinking fasted frequently due to its acidic nature.
Coffee seems to be a love or hate kind of deal, so if you love it, carry on. If you hate it, go with the green tea.
For the few that will listen: ANY fat loss supplement is only effective in conjunction with a solid base: consistent calorie deficit and correct training. These will always function as the cherry-on-top and nothing more. There is no magic pill, and fasted cardio will be effective if you do it naked and supplement-free. But if you put some clothes on and use a bit of caffeine, you’ll accelerate the fat-loss process.