Fasted workouts

Here is an article written regarding fasted workouts and women. Stacy Sims also writes about fasted exercise for women.
I am always cautious about anything that get touted as “must do” by the media- the latest diet, exercise, supplements.


Great article- thanks for sharing @Petals!

Please see this thread for supporting studies.

Yes, there is a lot of misinformation out there - not only in articles, blogs, but also books! Lots of stuff based on either a very limited view of the facts/research or based on pseudo-science. Unfortunately pretty much anyone can publish anything these days…

Fasted workouts are not indicated for women, unless it is a once-a-week, easy spin kind of workout (but that’s not really a workout!) Same goes for the low carb. I think where a lot of people get lost is in trying to manage weight. I see so many trying different things because they want to either lose weight or look a certain way.

It’s key to keep things in perspective and always ask ourselves why and what the desired outcome is. There is no need to cut carbs or fast to lose weight and be strong and fast on the bike. More often than not, the adjustments needed in nutrition are very simple and basic. But that won’t get media attention!!!


I’m glad I saw this, because I was going to ask about it today.
I keep hearing people saying they are doing fasted rides or fasted workouts, and I always wondered if there was any real good science behind it or if it was mostly anecdotal.
I’ve had a few good bonks over the years, before I really knew how to fuel better. I used to get exercise induced migraines (they would also happen at work from extreme sweating, stressful conditions) until I figured out I was super dehydrated, electrolyte depleted and haven’t had one in a long time.
for a bit though, I went to the opposite extreme and over fueled to the point of weight gain.
I’m way better now and really try to stay what i think is only slightly ahead of the game so I don’t bonk, or over do it.

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Look interesting when I’m not on the phone I will read it. Quite honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything fasted. I live food too much! :rofl::rofl:

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I like your approach to be curious and question the purpose. Before we embark on any significant changes in nutrition that involve eliminating or significantly reducing a food group, macronutrient, or energy availability, it’s always wise to ask ourselves “why”. Why is this something to consider? And most importantly, why would I need it?

As with everything these days, and as I mentioned in our Q&A on Monday, we can find support for almost everything we want to do. But is it the best approach for us?

So often folks get caught up in the shinny new complex theory out there when - if they looked at their lifestyles as a whole (every day, from the time they wake up to the time they go to bed, and how well/how long they sleep)- they might come to realize that there are many BASIC changes they can make that would have a big positive impact in their lives and performance. With the exception of elite/pro athletes who are already on a precise diet and are looking for every little possible edge they can get, I am willing to bet that most of us can see significant changes with going back to the basics. What people don’t seem to realize is that there is a lifestyle cost of investing in health and performance. Drinking 2 bottles of whiskey then fasting on their next ride is not it. Sleeping 5-6 hs a night also can’t be compensated by anything else we do other than good and consistent sleep, day in and day out. It’s hard work!!! But it’s a commitment. And that lifestyle comes before any of the other shinny stuff we read or hear about.

Now back to the fasting per se. Intuitively, we know that our bodies need energy to perform hard efforts. There is no getting around the need of glycogen for high intensity workouts and efforts. That is well settled in research and evidence-based science. In addition, using glycogen vs. fat for fuel is not an “ON and OFF” switch. Our bodies work in a continuum, with certain efforts using more of one vs. the other, but both are needed and used at all times.

It’s OK to do an easy 1h fasted ride. That won’t be detrimental. But again, why? That fasted ride won’t make anyone look like a body builder on the cover of a magazine. Also, some might want to “train” their bodies to transform more fat into fuel so they can go long on less carbs. But again… what for? Why?

I go back to emphasizing the hard work part. There is no magic trick to being lean. It’s a lifestyle - it takes dedication and conscious daily decisions on what to eat, drink, etc. No, it does not have to be perfect, it can be 80/20. And it’s back to basics: types of food, eating when hungry, portion size…

There are benefits from fasting, but the context for us here is with cycling and doing fasted rides.

Lastly, women do not respond to fasted exercise in the asme way that men do. Another thing to consider.

See also a few related discussions below

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