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  1. #1
    super.muscle3 is offline Junior Member
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    Eat before cardio

    I do my cardio 30 min every day when I wake up.

    I've noticed that if I eat and wait one hour to do the cardio my performance is better than if I eat I go running immediately after.

    Shoud I wait one hour or not?

  2. #2
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    If your doing cardio to lose body fat then do not eat before. Sure it's a little harder, but at least your metabolizing stored body fat instead of your breakfast.

  3. #3
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    fasted work-out is better. If your looking for energy maybe check out pre work out supps???
    i find myself, when i wake up im instantly starving. i take my stuff (L-Carn & albutarex) than skull water and suck it up for the duration and enjoy breakfast when i finish.
    but find soemthing that works for you i guess

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    Quote Originally Posted by bowldawg View Post
    If your doing cardio to lose body fat then do not eat before. Sure it's a little harder, but at least your metabolizing stored body fat instead of your breakfast.
    Quote Originally Posted by naenae85 View Post
    fasted work-out is better. If your looking for energy maybe check out pre work out supps???
    i find myself, when i wake up im instantly starving. i take my stuff (L-Carn & albutarex) than skull water and suck it up for the duration and enjoy breakfast when i finish.
    but find soemthing that works for you i guess
    Neither of these statements are actually fact....

    If by eating a meal before a cardio session enables you to perform that cardio harder and burn more calories then you better off eating first....

    Energy balance people......

    The only exception may be where people get very lean... However the same rule should still hold up...

  5. #5
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    I never have to worry about any of that. Eat right all day, and you dont have to worry about the "Window", pre or post workout shakes, etc... And it works great with less stress over nutrition.

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    Eat whenever you want..it all comes out i the wash man. Just as base said ....

  7. #7
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    There are advantages to both fasted and fed cardio... The problem is that people don't understand why they are doing fasted state cardio... They think it's because they are burning more fat.... (don't pick wholes in that last statement, I will just come right back at ya)... Where in actuall fact the only advantages of fasted state cardio are at a hormonal level.....

    But again there are advantages and disadvantages to hormonal differences when performing fasted state cardio....


    I like jimmys analogy..... It all comes out in the wash...


    Another thing is wether to do low intensity cardio or higher intensity cardio..... Again, look to burn as many calories as you can at that time from the body's energy pool (muscle glycogen, liver glycogen, free glucose, fatty acids etc...)

  8. #8
    gbrice75's Avatar
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    I am in a bit of a different place than Base and Jimmy with regards to some of the statements above, but I don't want to hijack this thread and make it about calories in/calories out. I will keep it simple and say that depending on the intensity of your cardio, a meal prior isn't necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I prefer fasted cardio but I keep it moderate intensity/steady state. When I do fed state cardio, it always follows a workout. The true intention of the meal was to fuel my workout, and the fed state cardio is simply 'collateral damage', for lack of a better term. Note I DO up the intensity and/or mix in HIIT when doing fed state cardio.

    Personally, I don't see a benefit to fueling a cardio session whose primary purpose is to burn bodyfat - regardless of intensity.

  9. #9
    baseline_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    I am in a bit of a different place than Base and Jimmy with regards to some of the statements above, but I don't want to hijack this thread and make it about calories in/calories out. I will keep it simple and say that depending on the intensity of your cardio, a meal prior isn't necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I prefer fasted cardio but I keep it moderate intensity/steady state. When I do fed state cardio, it always follows a workout. The true intention of the meal was to fuel my workout, and the fed state cardio is simply 'collateral damage', for lack of a better term. Note I DO up the intensity and/or mix in HIIT when doing fed state cardio.

    Personally, I don't see a benefit to fueling a cardio session whose primary purpose is to burn bodyfat - regardless of intensity.
    How about to increase intensity and burn more calories?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by baseline_9 View Post
    How about to increase intensity and burn more calories?
    It's pretty well accepted that low/moderate intensity cardio will burn more fat (i.e. the so-called 'fat burning zone'), but higher intensity cardio will burn more calories overall. So yes, at the end of the day (figuratively), you have used more energy... or burned more calories using high intensity methods. However, I am not interested in 'blindly' burning calories. I'm interested in losing bodyfat. I loosely equate it with people who post here every day saying they want to lose 'weight', and we correct them by letting them know they mean 'bodyfat', because we care about the composition of said 'weight'.

    It's sort of the same reason I still believe meal timing plays a role. Maybe not for the 20% + bodyfat guy (ok, forget maybe - that's a definitely IMO), but for guys who are looking to take things to the next level, REALLY dial it in... I believe things like meal timing and selective cardio are still valid and have a place.

    If you haven't noticed by now, i'm not an avid Alan Aragon follower lol!

  11. #11
    baseline_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    It's pretty well accepted that low/moderate intensity cardio will burn more fat (i.e. the so-called 'fat burning zone'), but higher intensity cardio will burn more calories overall. So yes, at the end of the day (figuratively), you have used more energy... or burned more calories using high intensity methods. However, I am not interested in 'blindly' burning calories. I'm interested in losing bodyfat. I loosely equate it with people who post here every day saying they want to lose 'weight', and we correct them by letting them know they mean 'bodyfat', because we care about the composition of said 'weight'.

    It's sort of the same reason I still believe meal timing plays a role. Maybe not for the 20% + bodyfat guy (ok, forget maybe - that's a definitely IMO), but for guys who are looking to take things to the next level, REALLY dial it in... I believe things like meal timing and selective cardio are still valid and have a place.

    If you haven't noticed by now, i'm not an avid Alan Aragon follower lol!
    I know exactly where your coming from and I'm well aware that you know exactly where I'm coming from and that our differences in opinions are just that, differences in opinions...

    It's simply the case for me now that I can't come up with enough good reasons to agree with you on your opinion that 'fuel targeting' (body fat) is the way to go for fat loss..... I hope u like my new term there....

    My point is that targeting fuel in general is the goal... Not targeting only some of the fuel.....


    This is how I like to think of it....


    Your body is a car.... You have two fuel tanks.... One operates at high speed (glycogen) and is the main fuel tank and one operates at low speed (stored body fat) and is a reserve tank linked upto the main tank...

    When you drive fast you use a lot of fuel.... When you drive slow you use a little fuel....

    If you drive fast and use the whole tank of fuel (which can be achieved quicker than if you drove slowly), the car then has to be able to get the fuel from the other tank into the now empty tank....

    If you were to drive slowly and not burn as much fuel then the tank would not be as depleted and overall you have not burnt as much fuel

  12. #12
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    My explanation is terrible, I know....

  13. #13
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    At the end of the day ...20 gallons of gas = 20 gallons of gas.
    Just like 3500 cals = 1 lb of bodyfat.
    Doesnt matter when you burn it.
    Cant trick the body.

  14. #14
    gbrice75's Avatar
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    Personally, I like it. I won't say I agree 100%, but I found it to be an interesting read.

    The problem with the car analogy (and in the past I've used a variation of it myself, so don't take this as any type of criticism of yourself) for me is that our bodies are far too complex to even make that simple comparison, though I completely understand the points you're trying to make with it.

    I guess in the same way I cannot seem to provide enough compelling evidence to convince you of what I currently believe, such is the case for me. I haven't seen or read enough to the contrary to change my views. At least not yet. Maybe i'm stubborn. Or stuck in old philosophy (although I don't believe that's the case). Who knows what we'll see down the road.

  15. #15
    gbrice75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyinkedup View Post
    At the end of the day ...20 gallons of gas = 20 gallons of gas.
    Just like 3500 cals = 1 lb of bodyfat.
    Doesnt matter when you burn it.
    Cant trick the body.
    That's the problem for me Jimmy. 3500 calories isn't just 1lb of bodyfat; it's 1lb of any 'mass'.

  16. #16
    Live for the PUMP's Avatar
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    When you do fasted cardio ( first thing in morning before food consumption) you will burn 300% more fat. This is because your glycogen levels are depleted and instead of your body relying on fats/carbs for energy it relies on stored adipose tissue(fat). However one must be careful to stay in fat burning zone as too high of intensity for too long will burn muscle. Find your calculated heart rate for fat burning zone.

    On the flip side if you do cardio with food in stomach (middle of day) you shouldn't try to burn calories from fat. In doing this you will burn a higher percentage of calories from fat. However the goal should be to burn more calories total. If you stay in the fat burning zone you are cutting yourself short. A higher intensity will allow more total calories burned and put you closer to your goal. Don't worry about what calories you are burning, concentrate on burning more. Calories are calories.

  17. #17
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    GB and Base you guys come to the table with a lot of knowledge as I have seen!! Just throwing my knowledge out there too.

  18. #18
    baseline_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Live for the PUMP View Post
    When you do fasted cardio ( first thing in morning before food consumption) you will burn 300% more fat. This is because your glycogen levels are depleted and instead of your body relying on fats/carbs for energy it relies on stored adipose tissue(fat). However one must be careful to stay in fat burning zone as too high of intensity for too long will burn muscle. Find your calculated heart rate for fat burning zone.

    On the flip side if you do cardio with food in stomach (middle of day) you shouldn't try to burn calories from fat. In doing this you will burn a higher percentage of calories from fat. However the goal should be to burn more calories total. If you stay in the fat burning zone you are cutting yourself short. A higher intensity will allow more total calories burned and put you closer to your goal. Don't worry about what calories you are burning, concentrate on burning more. Calories are calories.
    Yeh maybe at the time... But over a 24 hour period.... Nope!

  19. #19
    gbrice75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Live for the PUMP View Post
    When you do fasted cardio ( first thing in morning before food consumption) you will burn 300% more fat. This is because your glycogen levels are depleted and instead of your body relying on fats/carbs for energy it relies on stored adipose tissue(fat). However one must be careful to stay in fat burning zone as too high of intensity for too long will burn muscle. Find your calculated heart rate for fat burning zone.

    On the flip side if you do cardio with food in stomach (middle of day) you shouldn't try to burn calories from fat. In doing this you will burn a higher percentage of calories from fat. However the goal should be to burn more calories total. If you stay in the fat burning zone you are cutting yourself short. A higher intensity will allow more total calories burned and put you closer to your goal. Don't worry about what calories you are burning, concentrate on burning more. Calories are calories.
    This actually brings up a good point. I don't want this to be misconstrued as me arguing that lower intensity cardio is somehow better than high intensity. That's not what i'm saying at all. What I was getting at was with specific regards to fasted cardio (which for me will always be in the am) and it's benefits. The OP asked about eating before cardio, and my whole point here was that I would never purposely eat before cardio just to have a more intense cardio session. I eat to fuel my workouts, not cardio. I think there's a place for both moderate intensity as well as high/HIIT cardio in a well balanced routine. In fact, I've posted many times that my ideal cardio would look something like this (time/schedule permitting):

    am fasted cardio - 45 mins moderate intensity, steady state

    pm PWO cardio (fed) - 20 mins HIIT followed by 25 mins moderate-high intensity steady state

    So I am by no means against high intensity cardio, quite the contrary. I AM however still a fan of fasted lower intensity cardio. Note I did not reference LOW intensity cardio anywhere, as I personally find it useless.

  20. #20
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    Do u like my drawing GB..... Haahahh


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by baseline_9 View Post
    Yeh maybe at the time... But over a 24 hour period.... Nope!
    Base, I don't understand the logic here (not being argumentative, I really want to know). What's wrong with burning more fat 'at the time'?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    This actually brings up a good point. I don't want this to be misconstrued as me arguing that lower intensity cardio is somehow better than high intensity. That's not what i'm saying at all. What I was getting at was with specific regards to fasted cardio (which for me will always be in the am) and it's benefits. The OP asked about eating before cardio, and my whole point here was that I would never purposely eat before cardio just to have a more intense cardio session. I eat to fuel my workouts, not cardio. I think there's a place for both moderate intensity as well as high/HIIT cardio in a well balanced routine. In fact, I've posted many times that my ideal cardio would look something like this (time/schedule permitting):

    am fasted cardio - 45 mins moderate intensity, steady state

    pm PWO cardio (fed) - 20 mins HIIT followed by 25 mins moderate-high intensity steady state


    So I am by no means against high intensity cardio, quite the contrary. I AM however still a fan of fasted lower intensity cardio. Note I did not reference LOW intensity cardio anywhere, as I personally find it useless.
    100% agree! That is almost exactly what I do and recommend.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by baseline_9 View Post
    Do u like my drawing GB..... Haahahh

    Haha. That is cool!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    Base, I don't understand the logic here (not being argumentative, I really want to know). What's wrong with burning more fat 'at the time'?
    He was referring to burning more fat at the time while performing LIC.... Yes I agree....

    If you burn 450 cals in a 60 min LIC session and nothing else (no glycogen) then you burn 50g of fat (50x 9= 450)...

    If you burn 900 cals in a 60 min higher intensity session (all of which is glycogen.... For this example) there will be a 225g glycogen debt that will at some point be replenished..... If in a calorific deficit with a negative energy balance the body will release fatty acids from fat stores which will be converted to free glucose via the liver to replenish the glycogen debt....

    So in the second example at the end of the day/week/ whatever, you have actually burned 100g fat....



    And that is the way I see it.... I may be wrong but that's my understanding

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    Quote Originally Posted by baseline_9 View Post
    He was referring to burning more fat at the time while performing LIC.... Yes I agree....

    If you burn 450 cals in a 60 min LIC session and nothing else (no glycogen) then you burn 50g of fat (50x 9= 450)...

    If you burn 900 cals in a 60 min higher intensity session (all of which is glycogen.... For this example) there will be a 225g glycogen debt that will at some point be replenished..... If in a calorific deficit with a negative energy balance the body will release fatty acids from fat stores which will be converted to free glucose via the liver to replenish the glycogen debt....

    So in the second example at the end of the day/week/ whatever, you have actually burned 100g fat....



    And that is the way I see it.... I may be wrong but that's my understanding
    Now IMO the real question is at what point does glycogen replenishment (after a bout of higher intensity cardio) via fatty acid breakdown slow to a point where glycogen is no longer an available energy source and glucogenesis begins to take place....

    I suspect body type, body fat, drugs and genetics will play the biggest role in this

  26. #26
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    Man you can complicate the shit out of this . I know I used to do it. Nutrient timing blah blah blah.
    The body is so complex and adaptational (is that a word?!?) it just cannot be tricked or fooled.
    Ultimately the end result is the same. If it makes you feel better by all means do fasted cardio , do fed cardio , do whatever the hell cardio you want. Bottom line - just do cardio.

  27. #27
    baseline_9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyinkedup View Post
    Man you can complicate the shit out of this . I know I used to do it. Nutrient timing blah blah blah.
    The body is so complex and adaptational (is that a word?!?) it just cannot be tricked or fooled.
    Ultimately the end result is the same. If it makes you feel better by all means do fasted cardio , do fed cardio , do whatever the hell cardio you want. Bottom line - just do cardio.
    Although I agree with u jimmy I think the debate has now moved onto intensity of cardio..... Ie. fed cardio =more intense vs LIC cardio =less intense...


    My point is that if eating a meal b4 cardio enables u to do it harder then go for it....

  28. #28
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    PS - I never addressed your drawing base. Personally, I think you should ditch bodybuilding and just become a freelance artist!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    PS - I never addressed your drawing base. Personally, I think you should ditch bodybuilding and just become a freelance artist!
    Lol.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by baseline_9 View Post
    Although I agree with u jimmy I think the debate has now moved onto intensity of cardio..... Ie. fed cardio =more intense vs LIC cardio =less intense...


    My point is that if eating a meal b4 cardio enables u to do it harder then go for it....
    Yeah I wasnt directing that at you buddy.
    I say do whatever makes you feel best and whatever you can and will do.
    i also say it doesnt matter which way you do it...ultimately it really comes down to caloreis burned during and post. Sure if you go more intense you burn more calories - so what? You can go less intense and eat 100 less cals and get the same effect.
    It really is cals in vs cals out and not just over a day. thats just a measuring tool ...a time frame of reference for us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyinkedup View Post
    Yeah I wasnt directing that at you buddy.
    I say do whatever makes you feel best and whatever you can and will do.
    i also say it doesnt matter which way you do it...ultimately it really comes down to caloreis burned during and post. Sure if you go more intense you burn more calories - so what? You can go less intense and eat 100 less cals and get the same effect.
    It really is cals in vs cals out and not just over a day. thats just a measuring tool ...a time frame of reference for us.
    I'm actually adopting a much lower calorie intake for a quick 6 week diet right now....

    Lower calorie and less cardio..... Going to see how things go

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyinkedup View Post
    Man you can complicate the shit out of this . I know I used to do it. Nutrient timing blah blah blah.
    The body is so complex and adaptational (is that a word?!?) it just cannot be tricked or fooled.
    Ultimately the end result is the same. If it makes you feel better by all means do fasted cardio , do fed cardio , do whatever the hell cardio you want. Bottom line - just do cardio.
    Exactly. That is what it comes down to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbrice75 View Post
    I am in a bit of a different place than Base and Jimmy with regards to some of the statements above, but I don't want to hijack this thread and make it about calories in/calories out. I will keep it simple and say that depending on the intensity of your cardio, a meal prior isn't necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I prefer fasted cardio but I keep it moderate intensity/steady state. When I do fed state cardio, it always follows a workout. The true intention of the meal was to fuel my workout, and the fed state cardio is simply 'collateral damage', for lack of a better term. Note I DO up the intensity and/or mix in HIIT when doing fed state cardio.

    Personally, I don't see a benefit to fueling a cardio session whose primary purpose is to burn bodyfat - regardless of intensity.
    Indeed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narkissos
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    Every(intelligent)thing works (once aptly and consistently applied)
    It really is that simple.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmyinkedup View Post
    Man you can complicate the shit out of this . I know I used to do it. Nutrient timing blah blah blah.
    The body is so complex and adaptational (is that a word?!?) it just cannot be tricked or fooled.
    Ultimately the end result is the same. If it makes you feel better by all means do fasted cardio , do fed cardio , do whatever the hell cardio you want. Bottom line - just do cardio.
    ^^This.

    Every few months, this very discussion re-emerges. People make it way more complicated than it truly needs to be.

    And, fact of the matter, research is emerging which negates (or redefines) all of our past-held precepts where 'calories in vs calories out'/'source of few used'/total metabolic effect etc. are concerned.

    So, while we sit here arguing about what we think we know... the real-world relevance is negligible.

    "Just do cardio" really is the bottomline as far as the entire discussion is concerned.
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasmk4
    Nark is like intel, Brilliant inside and awsome outside :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Narkissos
    Here's a little-known-secret, that most people won't tell you: In the sphere of fitness, everything works.
    Every(intelligent)thing works (once aptly and consistently applied)
    It really is that simple.
    This is the perpetual bodybuilding paradigm
    **No Source Checks**
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  35. #35
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyQSzx0ofto ~ "The truth about exercise."
    -Corey "Narkissos" Springer

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    Quote Originally Posted by texasmk4
    Nark is like intel, Brilliant inside and awsome outside :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Narkissos
    Here's a little-known-secret, that most people won't tell you: In the sphere of fitness, everything works.
    Every(intelligent)thing works (once aptly and consistently applied)
    It really is that simple.
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  36. #36
    Live for the PUMP's Avatar
    Live for the PUMP is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Narkissos View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyQSzx0ofto ~ "The truth about exercise."
    Sure a 60 min video. Couldn't of put up a nice quick 2 min one eh..


  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by baseline_9 View Post

    If by eating a meal before a cardio session enables you to perform that cardio harder and burn more calories then you better off eating first....
    I agree and disagree with this statement. Not sure 'agree' or 'disagree' are really the correct words here... but that's besides the point.

    IMHO diet should fuel activity.

    Unless a person is following an extreme style of dieting, I can't see one small meal having a huge effect on performance. And, if it does, it generally indicates (in my opinion) that the rest of the person's diet is inadequately structured. Either glycogen isn't being replenished, or their blood glucose level crashes while they sleep (NB: low to normal BG upon waking is expected. Hypoglycemia is not).

    With regard to the former, if a person is undertaking a very hypocaloric diet with severe carbohydrate restrictions... then, yes, I can see a small pro/carb feeding positively affecting performance of a.m. cardio.

    Otherwise really, I think people in general (especially fitness types ironically) eat too much...and have an unhealthy relationship with food period.
    Last edited by Narkissos; 09-11-2012 at 12:28 PM. Reason: made a typo ~ I hate typos
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasmk4
    Nark is like intel, Brilliant inside and awsome outside :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Narkissos
    Here's a little-known-secret, that most people won't tell you: In the sphere of fitness, everything works.
    Every(intelligent)thing works (once aptly and consistently applied)
    It really is that simple.
    This is the perpetual bodybuilding paradigm
    **No Source Checks**
    Contact Me

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Live for the PUMP View Post


    Sure a 60 min video. Couldn't of put up a nice quick 2 min one eh..

    Clearly you don't know me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasmk4
    Nark is like intel, Brilliant inside and awsome outside :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Narkissos
    Here's a little-known-secret, that most people won't tell you: In the sphere of fitness, everything works.
    Every(intelligent)thing works (once aptly and consistently applied)
    It really is that simple.
    This is the perpetual bodybuilding paradigm
    **No Source Checks**
    Contact Me

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    That's me nark..... Eat too much and have an unhealthy relationship with food....

    Thanks for your comments

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by baseline_9 View Post

    If by eating a meal before a cardio session enables you to perform that cardio harder and burn more calories then you better off eating first....
    Quote Originally Posted by Narkissos View Post

    IMHO diet should fuel activity.
    ^^Extrapolating further: For the past 2 years, I've followed intermittent fasting. My calories/carbs over my non-fasted period (whether that window is 4 hours or 8 hours) are adequate. I follow volume training, PWO sprint, rock-climbing, do odd-object lifting et al. (all fasted). Performance has never been affected. When I have had a very small pre-workout shake, the only physiological impact has been cosmetic: increased vascularity.

    Anyway... I've deferred.

    re: exercise supporting activity... unless the diet as a whole is inadequate, I don't see the benefit of a small pre-w/o meal.

    That said, if (for any of the aforementioned reasons) a person feels like their performance is better with its inclusion (even if that feeling is placebo in the absence of an actual effect... again for the aforementioned reasons), then that inclusion is fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasmk4
    Nark is like intel, Brilliant inside and awsome outside :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by Narkissos
    Here's a little-known-secret, that most people won't tell you: In the sphere of fitness, everything works.
    Every(intelligent)thing works (once aptly and consistently applied)
    It really is that simple.
    This is the perpetual bodybuilding paradigm
    **No Source Checks**
    Contact Me

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