Tips & info

Fasted training

Running desert outdoor

In the register of the periodization of carbohydrates, or in other words the learning of the management of carbohydrates, we find training on an empty stomach. It is a method (or protocol) that has been used for centuries to "improve" athletic performance.

It is therefore a very well-known method and one could say "classic" or "simple" in its practice. Fasted training is suitable for many sports sessions and it is probably a protocol that you have already heard of, or read about or even practiced without necessarily being aware of it.

Training on an empty stomach raises a lot of questions. It can be seen on social media, blogs, vlogs and videos. Opinions are unfortunately often divided and too often stem from a bad experience and/or, more seriously, from a false belief. Faced with this, we can ask ourselves a whole host of questions which we will answer, such as:

Is it dangerous for health?

Can you end up with hypoglycemia?

Is hypoglycemia a problem? Even dangerous?

What is the benefit of training on an empty stomach?

What is fasted training?

First of all, to be fasting, you must not have eaten during the 8 to 12 hours preceding the exercise. This is why training on an empty stomach is often associated with waking up in the morning. But in practice, at any time of the day, you can be fasting as long as your stomach has not had to digest anything other than water during that time.

The main purpose of fasted training

It depletes glycogen stores so the body can use fat as its primary fuel.

This is to delay race day glycogen depletion, but it doesn't work for everyone (must be tested at a secondary race).

Secondly, an increase in the mitochondrial quantity can be observed which promotes the development of endurance.

Some people have digestive problems on their tests because the absorption of sugars in greater or lesser quantities upsets them. Doing training when young helps them gradually learn to limit carbohydrate intake to avoid these disorders.

- For convenience, it is sometimes easier to go to train early in the morning before facing a busy day.

- To also protect from the heat it is interesting to get up early to go and do your sport when you are young.

- By tradition and to establish a routine (a routine is linked to mental preparation) as in Kenya where going for a muscular awakening when young is very common.

- To work on the mind because it is not always easy to get out of your cozy bed to go and do your sport in the cold night and sometimes in the rain.

- To initiate a workout called "Train low". This other method will be the subject of a future article. Just tell yourself that if training on an empty stomach scares you, then "Train low" will make you shudder in terror.

As you may have noticed, training fast does not guarantee progress. Moreover, in the worst case, the effects are nil. Conclusion: why not test and see what it looks like on you over 6 to 8 weeks. You will be fixed. Unless you want to know if it's dangerous first.

Is it dangerous to train on an empty stomach?

Before starting training on an empty stomach, you must be in good health.

For example, an athlete with type 1 diabetes should avoid practicing sport on an empty stomach (unless otherwise advised by his doctor).

If you have hypertension, heart problems or any other health concern, it is best to consult your doctor to ask him about it.


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