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Can You Build More Muscle on a Fasted Workout?

The vast majority of people who go to work out in the gym are trying to put on muscle. But should you focus on overall size, or work on making your muscles stronger in general? Whether you're putting on muscle for aesthetic purposes or for practical ones, you need to adopt lifestyle patterns which help you meet your goals. And TalkVita is here to help.

When it comes to building muscle, it's not just about what you lift, how heavy you left, or when you do it. It's about everything you do before and after your workouts to help you bust through those plateaus and get the best possible results. One particular point of contention between fitness experts is whether or not you should eat before or after your workout for optimal muscular development. We're going to try and answer that question for you today. We may also be able to recommend some fantastic fitness supplements that can get you that much closer to reaching your goals that much quicker.

This Is What Happens When You Workout While Fasted

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Just so that we're clear on the technical jargon: working out fasted means that you don't consume any calories within a few hours of hitting the gym. You'll find that people on both sides of the fasted workout fence - those who believe in it, and those who are opposed to it - are very passionate about their beliefs. But according to science, who has the right to hold on to these beliefs? The truth is that it depends on your own unique physiology. It also depends somewhat on what your goals are.

There are certain people who can get a much more significant benefit from a fasted workout. For starters, if you work out fasted but take a bodybuilding supplement like the ones we sell here on the TalkVita website, it can help improve protein synthesis so that you build more muscle tissue that much faster. Endurance athletes can also get a pretty big boost from a fasted workout, along with people who have a larger proportion of type 1 slow twitch muscle fibers compared to type 2 fast twitch muscle fibers.

Many people believe that working out while fasted is highly catabolic and detrimental to your muscle building goals. But when you look at the physiology of the human body and the mechanisms by which exercise helps build muscle, this is a little bit silly. For starters, the whole reason you're lifting weights in the first place is to tear your muscle tissue apart on a microscopic level. These are the only circumstances under which your body will repair that tissue by making your muscles bigger and stronger - meaning that you are, in essence, trying to get a little bit of muscle catabolization in order to meet your fitness goals. But it's what happens during and after a fasted workout that helps you build more muscle then you would if you were working out in the fed state.

When you workout while fasted, you set off a cascade of hormonal and metabolic reactions in your body. Among these are a surge in human growth hormone, testosterone, and something called IGF-1. When these hormones circulate through your body at elevated levels, it is highly anabolic and very conducive to muscular development. If you wait to feed your body the protein and other nutrients it needs until after your workout, it helps your body utilize the muscle building power of those hormones to their maximum potential. That's why working out fasted is so popular.

This is what happens when you workout in a Fed state

Despite all the scientific literature which supports fasted workouts, there will always be some old school fitness gurus who insist that you have to shove as many carbohydrates and grams of protein down your gullet as you can before you hit the weight room. For some people, this is perfectly fine. But it's not for everyone. As a matter of fact, fed workouts provide a particular advantage for people who:

  • People who don't exercise regularly. If it's been awhile since you were on your fitness game or if you're hitting the gym for the first time because of a New Year's resolution, you may want to make sure you hit the gym with something in your belly before you go hardcore. The glycogen and electrolyte depletion that happens when you work out and lift weights could leave you feeling weak, dizzy, or potentially lead to injury if you workout while fasted.
  • People who are still afraid of the catabolic boogeyman. Like we said, there are plenty of alleged fitness experts out there who will scream in our face in about how catabolic fasted workouts are until we pretend to concede their argument while backing away slowly. If you insist that working out in a fed state will protect your muscle and build it back up faster than working out fasted, we strongly suggest that you take advantage of some of the growth hormone supplements we offer here at TalkVita. It'll get you as close as you can to the levels of human growth hormone and testosterone you would have if you had worked out fasted so that you can have your muscle growth and eat your protein shake, too.
  • People who prefer short duration, high intensity workouts. Working out fasted does deplete your glycogen stores very rapidly and is well suited for low-intensity, long-duration exercise. But if you're doing low rep and lifting to failure, you could gas out early if you work out while fasted. This is one scenario in which it's okay to have a small meal before you hit the weights even though you'll be sacrificing the hormonal and metabolic benefits of working out fasted.

Don't Pick a Side - Mix Things Up!

You don't have to take our word for it. You can - and should - experiment with different workouts to see which one works best for you and your body. Everyone's physiology is different. Some people may feel better with a fed workout, while others may see more results with a fasted workout. At the same time, we strongly suggest you peruse the bodybuilding supplements we offer on our TalkVita web portal. It's the best way to take your muscle growth to new heights, whether you work out fasted or fed.