T Nation

Early AM Cardio


I am currently on the "CUTTING PHASE"I have read several threads about to do or not to do AM cardio before eating breakfast. Now I am curious what some of you have tried in the past or present that works the best for you.

I am currently working on a M/W/F weights, T/T/S Cardio split. I have been drinking a small protein shake with a tsp of Olive Oil along with some glutamine before cardio sessions.

I am curious if I am having to burn off the protein shake first before I start burning fat.

What has worked for you? And before you begin ripping, I have read the round table forum. I am just curious what has worked for some of you.

If it helps to know some stats to compare yourselves to here it is...
I am 27 years old, 6ft 240 lbs approx 15-18 % BF? 17" arms 45" chest/back.
I know this may not sound big to some but I still want to drop some BF.


Lots of info and options here:



AM cardio was originally touted as best performed on an empty stomach. The reason being in a fasted state it is easier to burn fat rather than glycogen (however its not this simple) and also easier to reach a target pulse rate.

But, for a bodybuilder this activity might be catabolic. When an article ran in MM2K some years ago, drinking a litre of water was supposed to have some anti-catabolic effect. I am not sure, but drinking this much water on an empty stomach will make you puke it up and not great for pre-cardio.

The grapefruit diet where coffee and grapefruit was used for breakfast was your post cardio meal. The reason behind the grapefruit was some geezer found out that a component of grapefruit called 'narangenin' slows down the rate that the caffeine is converted to paraxanthine in the liver. Meaning you got some increased and longer thermogenic effect from the caffeine.

Drinking some juice from a can of tinned grapefruit (canned in nat juice not syrup) with mant fat burning stacks can help if you are using any, particularly methylxanthines (this is a group which includes caffeine).

AS for pre -workout, I think Dr. Lonnie Lowery said he used some whey in his coffee, pre cardio. Its enough to prevent catabolism (the body wanting to make glucose from certain amino acids in this case) during cardio. Its not just that you could ear after and re-gain and effects of lost muscle through catabolism, but cortisol levels would also be increased by fasted cardio. Amongst many other things, ascorbic acid helps with cortisol levels you could take some with a small pre cardio drink.


It depends how you're doing your cardio. If you're releasing so much lactic acid that it makes you nauseous, it's not cardio anymore it's an anaerobic activity.

I don't think you'd puke if just taking it easy at 60% of max heartrate.

Everything else you said I agree with.


I meant if you drank a lot of water, first thing it does strange things to you stomach and you can sometimes barf water up, rather then the actual cardio making you sick.




We are both build simular in size. I'm 6'2" 240 lbs (bf unknown, guess its about 15%) 48" chest 17.5" arms. I've done both early morning and afternoon cardio workouts. I can lose about 4 pounds of bf a month doing only afternoon cardio. When I do early morning cardio (empty stomach only water) I've lost as much as 8 pounds in a month.

But when I did this I was weighing 220 and my diet was 2200-2400 clean cal. 200 grams protien a day. Hope this helps

My diet and protien has changed so I don't have an apples to apples comparison.


Thanks alot, you all have been a great help. Wish me luck her I go...see you all in a couple..


I forgot to ask this before, how much muscle could your body actually eat in that much time (overnight & cardio)? Is really enough to worry about? Or is it just the fact that even an atom of muscle is being taken away?

I mean, if the only muscle loss is so minute compared to the fat loss then whats greater?