Men's Fitness - - Endurance -

An in­creas­ing body of ev­i­dence re­veals that train­ing in a fasted state will make you a more ef­fi­cient fu­el­burner. Speak­ing at July’s World Con­fer­ence of Cy­cling Science, lead­ing ex­er­cise phys­i­ol­o­gist Louise Burke re­vealed that de­lib­er­ately starv­ing the body of glyco­gen forces the ath­lete to draw on fat re­serves rather than burning pre­cious and limited car­bo­hy­drate stores.

‘This is ben­e­fi­cial to en­durance ath­letes be­cause, ul­ti­mately, much of your train­ing will be at a level (say around 70% of max­i­mum heart rate) that utilises fat for en­ergy pro­duc­tion,’ Burke says, be­fore stat­ing that it’s easy to in­te­grate. ‘One way is to do a long, slow ses­sion (over two hours) first thing in the morn­ing on wa­ter only. The sec­ond is to do a high-qual­ity work­out af­ter break­fast when well fu­elled. Fol­low this with a pro­tein-rich/low-carb meal and a mod­er­ate-in­ten­sity re­cov­ery ses­sion a cou­ple of hours later.’


Only one work­out a week should be in a fasted state. As well as its pos­i­tive ef­fects, train­ing with de­pleted glyco­gen re­serves can sup­press the im­mune sys­tem and make you ill, so less is more.

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