T Nation

cardio, Eat first or not?

Im in the middle of a cutting cycle right now and although i dont do any “real” cardio i do go for a walk or mow my lawn I have a huge lawn that i mow at 1/4 of it each day so it takes me four days to do it all(bout a half hour each day) or i walk with my wife for about the same time. Anyway i do this first thing in the morning. My question is should i eat first (I follow the massive eating/dont diet) or eat after for maximum fat burning. or by not eating first am i risking losing lean mass. Should my meal be a PF or PC…

In the past, when I would perform 30-minute sessions of cardio first thing in the morning, I would begin with a empty stomach. My personal preference. And your after workout meal should be P&C.

I would actually have a light P+C meal first. You need to replenish your liver stores after the night (your brain needs glucose), as well the exercise will shunt the blood glucose into the muscles. I assume you’ll be training later in the day. Maybe a skim-milk protein shake (only carbs should be from the milk)? Then you can have your P+F meals a couple hours later to aid your cutting.

I guess my main question is will I get a boost in fat burning by doing this “cardio” on an empty stomach or after fasting all night long do i need to eat asap when i get up to help hold onto lean mass. I do my weight training workout about 3 hours later before i go to work
I follow that workout with a good P+C meal.
Thanks for your replys…

I have a pure protein shake before the cardio, no carbs, no fat, just 30- 50g of protein. This should stop the body cannibalising muscle, but shouldn’t significantly impact on fat burned (or if it does, it should be outweighed by the anticatabolic effects of the shake)

There has been a lot of debate on this. I workout before eating, but I have branch chain aminos before and a PC meal after. This morning workout is always areobic in nature, I save the heavy stuff for later in the day.
Here is my reasoning. Your body stores glyogen and other energy substraits in the muscle and liver. These are usually enough to last you several days. That is why most people loss 8 to 10 pounds their first week on a diet and very little of it is fat. They are burning off their stores and dropping water. Normally, if you are on a maintenance diet, morning cardio presents no problem, because your body will call on these stores and your fat for energy.
Since your level of “cardio” is so low you will burn mostly fat and some carbs. So unless you have depleted all your stored reserves, I would not worry about it.
Best of Luck.

definately no P+C before