Fasted Cycling: 5 Benefits Of Riding on an Empty Stomach

Fasted cycling has been all over the web by this point. But is it a good idea to cycle during a fasted state?

I’ve been fasted cycling for almost 2 years and I must tell you, It’s one of the best things I’ve discovered when it comes to my training. I am shocked at how many people are sleeping on this.

So if you are interested in tapping into cycling during the fasted state, listen closely. Cause there are some things you should pay close attention to.

And at the end of this article, I will show you my exact fasting-when-cycling routine. So you can implement it for yourself right away.

Let’s hop into it.

What Is Fasted Cycling?

The first thing we need to understand is what is fasted cycling.

In the simplest terms, fasted cycling is when people ride their bikes without eating anything, usually in the morning before breakfast, on an empty stomach.

When we eat food, our bodies break it down into small pieces, which give us the energy for the ride. But when we haven’t eaten anything, our body uses its own stored energy instead to keep us going.

So when we do fasted cycling, our body uses its own stored fat as a source of energy instead of relying on the carbohydrates we get from food.

5 Benefits Of Fasted Cycling

1. It’s A Time Saver

Since you don’t have to wake up 15 minutes earlier to make yourself oatmeal, fasted cycling can save you a ton of time in the morning.

This can be especially helpful if you are working 9 to 5 and you have a busy schedule.

2. Improved Fat Burning

As I mentioned earlier when we go on a ride early in the morning without eating anything before, our body is “forced to eat itself” to release fatty acids that can be used as energy.

This is especially important for people who have a higher body fat percentage.

As you do this more often, your body becomes better at using the stored fat for energy, resulting in greater efficiency.

This can lead to improved fat burning, which can be beneficial for weight loss and improving overall body composition

In fact, studies have shown that fasted exercise can lead to increased fat oxidation during and after exercise compared to exercising in a fed state.

3. Better Insulin Sensitivity

When we ride in a fasted state, our body’s insulin levels are lower.

Insulin is a hormone that is released in response to consuming carbohydrates, and it helps to store excess glucose as fat.

When insulin levels are low, our body is less likely to store excess glucose as fat, which can further promote fat burning.

4. Extreme Mental Clarity

Riding in a fasted state can help improve mental clarity and focus, as well as reduce feelings of fatigue and sluggishness.

This can help you feel more alert and energized during and after your ride.

5. Improves Cycling Performance

But here comes the key question. Can cycling during a fasted state increase your performance?

The answer is yes, but there is a catch.

In general, fasted cycling can have a positive impact on your body’s ability to produce energy by increasing the number of mitochondria in your cells. As a result, your body becomes more efficient at generating energy, leading to improved cycling performance over time.

But here is the catch. 

If you run out of fat, your body will start using muscle tissues for energy. Which can lead to muscle loss and a decrease in your overall strength and fitness.

That’s why it’s extremely important not to cross that line. 

A sudden feeling of weakness or exhaustion in your muscles may indicate your body is using your muscles as fuel.

That’s why when doing extremely hard rides, your body needs carbohydrates for energy. So, if you try to do really hard cycling while fasting, it can be difficult to have enough energy to finish the workout.

It’s better to save your fasted rides for easier rides, where you don’t need to go as hard.

And make sure you are not going on an extremely long ride when you are in a fasted state. Keep your fasted rides between 1 to 2 hours.

How Do You Get Started With Fasted Cycling?

It all starts the night before! 

Have a good dinner that includes carbs and protein

Then, sleep for 7 to 9 hours depending on your sleep cycle. 

When you wake up, make sure to drink water to hydrate your body. You can add electrolytes to your water to keep your body fresh. 

After that, have a black coffee without milk and sugar because they will break your fast. Remember, anything with more than 40 to 50 calories will break your fast. 

Then, go for a ride for 60 to 90 minutes. 

After finishing the ride, have a nutritious meal like eggs, oatmeal, avocado, fruits, and nuts

But don’t eat too much because it can be hard on your stomach since you haven’t eaten anything for like 16 hours.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, fasted cycling can provide multiple benefits for both weight loss and improved cycling performance.

Fasted cycling can be a valuable tool, but it should be approached with caution and moderation. 

As with any training technique, it’s important to listen to your body and adjust your approach as needed.  

So, keep pushing yourself to improve, keep experimenting with different training methods, and keep striving towards your goals.

I hope this was helpful.

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