T Nation

Pre-Cadio Eating

What should I eat prior to early morning cardio(for weight loss)? Carbs or protein for the fastest results?

[quote]Kal-El wrote:
What should I eat prior to early morning cardio(for weight loss)? Carbs or protein for the fastest results?[/quote]

I don’t usually eat anything before cardiop. There have been some weekends where I get out of the door late and would pass out if I tried to do anything without something in me. During those times I have eaten bacon. You should know by now that carbs would impede your progress wihout even asking.

Prof X: why bacon and not, say, a handful of nuts?

I just have a slice of bread, but for me I do cardio for my heart, not to lose bodyfat.

[quote]BFBullpup wrote:
Prof X: why bacon and not, say, a handful of nuts?

[/quote]

Because I don’t like nuts and there are arguably even more calories in that handfull than in one strip of 30-50% fat turkey bacon. If fat loss is the goal, calorie restriction is also.

Some have also suggested just BCAA’s by themselves are enough to halt muscle catabolism and still give any of the added benefits of ‘fasted’ cardio.

I’ve personally tried just one serving of Whey protein. Then I have the rest of whatever my first meal was planned out to be after I shower.

That’s the least I’ve eaten prior to cardio in the morning.

I do my cardio in the morning about 20 minutes after a stiff cup of green tea/coffee, a teaspoon of evoo and a couple fish oil caps.

There are those who would hasten to claim that I’m stuck in the precambrian era of bodybuilding/fitness technology, but I remain less than entirely convinced of the horrendous effects of fasted cardio.

I do drink these small amounts a fats on the unproven theory that blood borne calories being consumed first, it’s an easy step for my body to dip into adipose stores once what’s in my blood is consumed.

This is even easier to believe on a high fat/cyclical carb diet where the adaptation to lipids as the primary metabolic fuel has already taken place anyway.

Edit: I also remain less than entirely convinced of how catabolic a state sleep is in actual practice due to it’s fasting state.

wouldn’t this depend on the exercise? If the physical activity was for an endurance sport than you probably would want some slow digesting carbs roughly an hour before, no? that was what I was given to percieve after Nancy Clark and Edmund R. Burke put that out in their books. However, if training for body image, that would imply a strip of bacon or whatever. or do I have this wrong?

[quote]SWR-1240 wrote:
Some have also suggested just BCAA’s by themselves are enough to halt muscle catabolism and still give any of the added benefits of ‘fasted’ cardio.[/quote]

But that’s assuming your body won’t convert the amino’s to get the carbs it needs via gluconeogenesis.

It’s shakey. There’s no definitive answer.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
SWR-1240 wrote:
Some have also suggested just BCAA’s by themselves are enough to halt muscle catabolism and still give any of the added benefits of ‘fasted’ cardio.

But that’s assuming your body won’t convert the amino’s to get the carbs it needs via gluconeogenesis.

It’s shakey. There’s no definitive answer.[/quote]

I say, let it. If the body wants to turn those aminos into carbs, it’s going to make them worthwhile, but likely stave off muscle wasting if there’s enough aminos to go around (10g should be plenty).

Also, since BCAA tabs are so expensive, I take liver tabs before morning fasted cardio or at any other time during the day when there might be a delay in getting some food. I keep a big container of liver tabs in my car now, for staving off catabolism.

I do use BCAA powder, though, in my workout shakes. That, I can afford. Just too lazy to cap it, I guess… Besides, liver has other benefits.

[quote]Nominal Prospect wrote:
SWR-1240 wrote:
Some have also suggested just BCAA’s by themselves are enough to halt muscle catabolism and still give any of the added benefits of ‘fasted’ cardio.

But that’s assuming your body won’t convert the amino’s to get the carbs it needs via gluconeogenesis.

It’s shakey. There’s no definitive answer.

[/quote]

That’s better than your body taking from your existing muscle though.

Any sports nutrition book that I have read says the same thing. This process that I will describe I know is not exactly correct, but something like: as your muscles burn energy they take more carbs from the blood. As the blood level goes down it is replenished by the liver. The liver replenishes its stores by sending out hormones to burn fat and to burn muscle.

So if you don’t keep your blood sugar up you burn fat and muscle. So to protect your muscle while exercising you must take in carbs (not protein) at the rate that you are burning it.

The main protector of muscle during exercise is carbs, not protein. I have not seen any nutritionist that disagrees with this, and this includes those in the weightlifting world.