T Nation

Truly Fasted Workouts


I have never done it (as in no BCAA's or protein beforehand either). How bad is it really.
I was thinking about doing it this morning but am not sure if i should eat something anyway.
I just ate a large meal going out to dinner last night and don't feel like eating anything this morning and am pretty sure my glycogen stores are as full as they can get...Would i really be doing that much damage if i don't ingest some protein before a workout?


What do you aim to achieve from doing this?


I aim to not put anything else in my stomach because i am still bloated and uncomfortable from last night's meal. I can eat something, just don't want to.


Its now been several hours since your initial post and you are still stuck trying to figure this out.

Your post confuses me.

1 - Why did you not just go find out for yourself? What works for one person may not work for another.

2 - Seeing as you are still here, why don't you just train later on in the day when you are not feeling bloated and your performance will not be hindered? - I am not saying your performance will be hindered because you haven't eaten today necessarily, but it will be hindered if you feel 'bloated and uncomfortable'.

3 - Its not as if this will be a regular occurrence to you, so in the grand scheme of things - just get up and do it.

4 - You have clearly already made up your mind that you are not going to eat - so go lift.

5 - You should be in the gym by now.

EDIT: Fwiw, I would hold the session for later in the day after you have resumed normal eating.


thanks for your input.
my gym doesn't open for another hour and a half, so i figured i had some time to ask.
You make some damn good points.
It has always been the recommendation to eat something before hand and i hear alot about people having shitty workouts if they don't eat anything. But i feel fine and have plenty of energy so i will just see how it goes.
I really appreciate the no nonsense answer (No sarcasm)


No problem.

I would take a protein drink or at least some BCAAs to have at hand during the session.


Not a bad idea, just in case it starts going south.


I've tried one workout "truly" fasted last summer. I got on my 3rd set pulldowns and thought I was going to pass out. I could have been doing it wrong, but I took the hint it's not optimal, for me at least....


The way my work schedule works now I wake up and basically walk into my home gym to start my warm up. Sometimes I down a BCAA&whey shaker. But alot of the time I chug a tall glass of water and go. I haven't had any issues with training like this. Take note there aren't any carbs in my weekly diet other than the weekends and my body isn't addicted to it's morning glycogen.


Well, i went to the gym and did fairly well. I found i was a little bit more focused throughout but the intensity wasn't all there.
I usually go pretty low carb for the most part (1 each of a serving of grain and fruit pre and post workout, with veggies in other meals), and basically filled myself to the brim with pasta last night. Maybe all of those carbs that i am not used to are what got me through this morning. Idk. I did notice that i started sweating more though.


I train fasted all the time, no big deal. Sometimes i get better workouts when im fasted than when im fed.

I hear this happens because when you go through vigorous activity when your fasted adrenaline kicks in, kind of a primal instinct.

Think about our hunter gatherer ancestors who may not of eaten for a day suddenly finding a dear in front of them.

I can guarantee he wont look at it and think hmmm im too tired to do that.

He's be after like hell, adrenaline... boom! He's suddenly found his meal.


@Marzouk: I have a spotty history with eating, so know what it is like to go without food for long periods of time. I have read that when you fast, Ghrelin, one of the hunger hormones actually makes you more focused and mentally aware, improves your memory formation and allows, like you said, increased nervous activity for the sake of seeking out food. Although, after too long you get too light headed for it to do any good...


Was OP really truly fasted? or was he gorged on last nights meal?

No right or wrong answer.


Suppose it comes down to the individual. But yeah after an hour or so it does become a little difficult.


good point,


I don't think there's any advantage to working out without BCAA's or some kind of casein hydrolysate. These days I'm working out more or less fasted (only a few caps of fish oil in the morning with Neurostim), but I still make a point of putting down some BCAA's during my workout and having a little creatine mono before and after.

I'm sure you can have a fine workout without the protein drink, but I think it's a mistake to cut the BCAA's.


It works for me, I'm just generally leaner and stronger actually, but that might just be for me and not you. Give it a try, once you get into it you stop feeling hungry.


well i pretty much do what you do. I normally have some bcaa's in me and some fish oil.


I did them a fair bit over the xmas/new year break sort of by accident. Got up too late, gym closes early. I didnt seem to suffer much. Pumps were a problem as I achieved them earlier in my workout and that made it more painful to do the rest of the sets.

Fasted workouts in my opinion are not any worse than fed ones providing that your previous days nutrition was not lacking.


I mean, there's just no reason NOT TO put some BCAA/EAAs/small amount of whey into your body before working out, though.

Truly, TRULY fasted workouts just aren't really a good idea.