J.Lo and A-Rod Have Started Fasting Before Their Workouts

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J.Lo and A-Rod, a.k.a. Hollywood's Fittest Couple, can't stop, won't stop. Rodriguez recently shared on his Instagram that he and his mega-babe fiancée are embarking on a new fitness experiment: fasted cardio.

"Another beautiful day in New York City, about to go do a little fasted cardio," he said, walking alongside Jennifer, who started playfully jogging in response. "That means cardio before breakfast. This is from our trainer, Dodd." ("Hi, Dodd!" J.Lo adds.)

Fasted cardio is far from a new concept. The technique—which involves completing cardio exercise on an empty stomach to burn more calories from fat—has blown up and died down over and over throughout the years. In theory, it works: When your body doesn't have a stock of fresh carbs to rely on for energy, it goes to the next available source for fuel—stored fat.

But its effectiveness isn't as clear-cut as J.Lo's and A-Rod's abs. While one study has shown that cardio in a fasted state can burn up to 20 percent more fat, more recent research (from 2017) reported insignificant fat-loss results. In other words, the method might work for instant fat burning (as in, better results from a single fasted workout) but may not pay off in the long run, if getting leaner is your goal.

Fasted cardio isn't a bad idea, per se, but if you're going to try it, there's a right way to do it: at a low- to moderate-intensity, for 30- to 60-minutes, tops.

"In general, the easier the exercise, the more actual fat you're going to burn during the workout, because in higher-intensity workouts, your body can't utilize fat fast enough," Kristin Speaker, PhD, researcher and weight loss coach at Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora, Colorado, previously told Women's Health. And according to the American Council on Exercise, if you fast for strenuous workouts, you could also end up burning protein, which you need for muscle building and repair.

Marissa Gainsburg is the senior editor at Women's Health, where she oversees the magazine's news-meets-trends Warm Up section and Love & Life section.

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