Another question that often arises regarding cardio is the argument "Low-Intensity vs High-Intensity" cardio. Many people automatically assume that low-intensity cardio is better; citing that high-intensity cardio primarily utilizes glucose (anaerobic metabolism), while low-intensity cardio primarily burns fat (aerobic metabolism).
Once again, the substrate used during cardiovascular work is not as important as the caloric deficit created by the cardiovascular work. In actuality, high-intensity cardiovascular work is superior to low-intensity cardio for several reasons
High intensity cardio has a much stronger effect on GLUT-4 translocation in muscle cells due to the increased force of muscle contraction. This means that high-intensity cardio creates a much stronger nutrient partitioning effect towards muscle tissue than low-intensity cardio.
Low periods of low-intensity exercise tend to "overtrain" the fast-twitch muscle fibers and convert the intermediate muscle fibers to slow-twitch fibers. This is not a desirable effect as the fast twitch muscle fibers are those that have the greatest chance to hypertrophy. If your body has less fast twitch fibers, then you will experience less hypertrophy from training.
The body's hormonal response to high intensity cardio is similar to the body's hormonal response to resistance training (i.e. increased insulin sensitivity, gh release, Igf-1 release, etc) without placing the same strain on the nervous system as resistance training.
High-intensity cardio causes the body to preferentially store more carbohydrates and burn more fat.
High-intensity cardiovascular exercise increases oxygen expenditure and forces the body to adapt by becoming more efficient at oxygen transport (increase in VO2 max). More efficient oxygen transport to the muscles will increase fat oxidation as fat oxidation is dependant upon the presence of oxygen.
High-intensity cardio seems to be more muscle sparing. Several studies have shown that high-intensity interval training (aka HIT) burns less calories when compared to continuous lower intensity cardio. However, the skinfold losses were greater with the HIT group than in the continuous intensity group. This means not only did the HIT group lose more fat, they also spared more muscle tissue by burning less overall calories .