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on October 04, 2008
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By dotFIT experts
on October 06, 2008
Traditional whole foods are not ideal pre- and post-training snacks because of the time it takes to digest solid food including extraction then absorption of the needed nutrients (about 2-3 hours). Although nutrition bars with the proper carbohydrate, protein and fat ratios can be effectively used before and after exercise, liquid is generally better for the simple reason of speed to the muscles. More...

I read that doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is the best way to lose fat. What do you think?


Answer:  The goal for fat loss is to burn more calories daily than you eat and drink. Exercise helps you increase your daily calorie burn and lets you get away with eating a bit more food than dieting alone. Ideally, you would want to burn the greatest amount of calories when doing your cardio. Doing cardio at a higher intensity will help you burn more calories and fat, as well as increase your metabolism for many hours afterward (called the after burn or EPOC). First thing in the morning you are in a fasting state; having not eaten for many hours (breakfast is “breaking the fast”). Your metabolism and muscle energy stores are low. If you work out first thing on an empty stomach, you will not have the energy to work your hardest and this will lower your total calorie burning, not enhance it. You may find it better to use a couple hundred calories of your daily food intake prior to exercise. A liquid meal or meal replacement bar is a good choice since it digests easily and gives you energy more quickly. Following these steps will let you make the most of your cardio workout.

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