Fasted Vs Fed Training – Which is better?

Fasted Vs Fed Training – Which is better?

Honestly, there is no simple answer to this. Everything depends on your exercise goals and priorities – are you an athlete training for a duathlon or are your goals to maintain body weight or work towards fat loss? Fasting vs fed state of training specially has a significant impact when you are exercising for more than an hour ( which means if you are training for a marathon that requires more mileage when it come to training vs working out for maintenance).

A 2018 meta analysis (link below) looked at 23  studies on people doing cardio exercise in the fed vs fasted state and found no difference in exercise performance when workouts were less than 60 minutes. Also there are many forms of exercise besides the goals we set for ourselves. For people looking to gain strength and muscle mass, there are studies which indicate that working on a fasted state decreases exercise performance in the gym( personally i have experienced the same).

Exercising on fasted state is optimum if weight/ fat loss are your main goals and you are limiting the exercise to less than 60 minutes(jogging, biking, swimming).This helps the body to be metabolically flexible. Exercising on a fasted state helps body switch fuel sources. Body has two main fuel sources sugar and fat. Using a different type of energy like fat during exercise is great for when you want more sustained energy while keeping your insulin low allowing you to metabolically switch.

The bottom line is what are the goals you have set for yourself. Personally, when I was training for a half marathon and needed to increase training mileage – my nutrition requirements changed and I did incorporate all the  long distance training sessions post a meal. This had a significant impact on my performance( a positive one). On the other hand now while I just train ( running ) for maintenance I do run on a fasted state as my workouts are less than 60 mins and also helps me utilise fat as fuel source as opposed to sugar while I was training for a competition ( metabolically flexible). The days I weight train I purposely do it in the later part of the morning after a hearty breakfast. I have seen increase in my gym performance when I have trained on a fed state as opposed to fasted .

PS- Your diet and lifestyle also plays an important role to supplement your workout routine irrespective if you choose to train on a fed or fasted state. Sleep, recovery, protein intake, active relaxation , hydration, meal timings etc are all pivotal to your health.

Always pay close attention to how you feel during and after fasted training and then do what’s most comfortable for you and your goals.


Stay healthy,


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