Ah heck no!

What do all these things have in common? Well if you guessed they’re all the things we hear when that morning gym alarm goes off, ding ding ding you’re right! Early morning workouts are tough. I’m a pro athlete and I still hit the snooze button all too often! I have one client who actually loves to rise with the sun to get in her daily workout; but, most of us dread those early training sessions. On top of trying to get dressed in the dark or cold, you’re trying to figure out whether or not to eat before your burn. What’s the big deal anyhow, right? To fast, or not to fast?
By definition, “breakfast” literally means to break a fast. After a long night’s rest (hopefully!), not only is your body dehydrated but you’re naturally hungry. Here’s when fasted training comes in to play.

If you are looking to burn serious fat (perfect for folks on a weight loss, or competition program) fasted training can be your ticket to fast track success; besides, your training performance depends more on what you ate 24-48 hrs before, so you’ll be relying on stored sugars and body fat to fuel your workout. Another thing about fasted workout is that overnight, while you’re sleeping, your body is burning much of those stored sugars for metabolic purposes (cellular growth, muscle repair, normal breathing, digestion, and to keep your heart beating and brain functioning) so it then begins to mobilize aminos acids and fat for fuel.

So Summer, you’re telling me to go workout on a totally empty stomach?

Well, not exactly! Remember 2 weeks ago when we talked about the importance of BCAAs? Before, during, and after fasted training are the perfect times to consume these amino acids. Not only will it give your body fuel to sustain your cardio session, but it will help prevent your body from using more of it’s own amino acids (aka muscle) for fuel.

Now, even more importantly for fat loss is doing high intensity interval training (HIIT) for your fasted cardio. Studies show that doing HIIT cardio sessions (usually between 7 and 30 minutes) can burn up to twice the amount of calories than steady state cardio! Yes, the calorie counter looks higher when doing 1 hr of steady state cardio vs 20 min of HIIT or weight lifting, however your body will continue burning fat and calories after the HIIT or lifting sessions!

If your schedule doesn’t permit fasted cardio or you are in a muscle building program and still trying to burn fat, hiit cardio will be more beneficial for you than steady state cardio, so don’t stress yourself.

Try this 8 minute tabata-inspired HIIT session for your fasted cardio or whenever you can get it in!
40 seconds burpees
20 seconds rest
40 seconds high knee jog in place
20 seconds rest
40 seconds jump squat
20 seconds rest
40 seconds fast mountain climbers
20 seconds rest

Tamara and I would love to hear from you! When was the last time you got in an early morning fasted cardio session? Which one of those above sounds actually got you out of bed!? What do you love or hate about it? I admit, I love when it’s over and I can head back into my kitchen to whip up a healthy, filling breakfast! Share with your fellow Soma Superstars your favorite post-fasted cardio breakfasts – tag us on Facebook and Instagram using #somafoodlabs.

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