Don’t Skip Out Before Athletic Competitions
If you are a hard-core athlete or participate in athletic competitionsbodybuilding, marathons, and the likeyou need to be at your peak. Not that fasting is harmful to you, but giving your body all of the nutrients it needs to burn calories effectively will allow you to perform better. The amount of calories you will burn while competing needs to be readily available, and you dont want to risk feeling lightheaded or nauseous due to lack of food.
What Is Your Fasting Ratio
The most common fasting window is 16:8 which means you fast for 16 hours and have an 8 hour eating window. Your fasting window can be anywhere between 12-18 hours, the more hours you fast the more beneficial the fast will be for you. I like to go with the common 16:8 ratio, this way, when I workout, I am sure my body is in a fasted state.
Intermittent Fasting And Exercise
Back in prehistoric times, fasted exercise was a normal and necessary behavior. When our ancestors ran out of food, they had to exert themselves to find calories.
These expeditionsSunday morning spearfishing, spirited berry picking, etc.were powered by a deep and bountiful energy reserve: body fat. If you do the math, a lean person with 10% body fat still has about 80,000 calories of energy lining their frame.
And so it makes sense, in the absence of other energy sources, that fasted exercise boosts fat-burning. Its been shown, for instance, that fat utilization goes up when low-intensity exercise is performed in a fasted state.
But not all types of exercise follow this rule. With moderate or intense exercise, fat-burning is about equal between the fed and fasted states.
The why is interesting. With harder effortsfed or fastedyour body releases more fatty acids into circulation than it can burn.
In other words, you hit a fat-burning limit. In one study, athletes burned the same amount of fat while cycling at moderate intensity in a fed state.
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Things To Know About Intermittent Fasting And Working Out
Favored by those on the low carb diets like Atkins and keto, intermittent fasting is the method of eating only during certain times of day or certain days of the week and fasting for others. Whether its alternate day fasting, our preferred option of 16:8 , or something else entirely, fasting has been show to help some with weight loss, among other health benefits like stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Because exercise has its own health perks, its understandable that you would want to maintain a regular workout schedule while fasting. Here are six things you should know about safely and effectively working out while fasting.
Fasted workouts have their benefits. Working out on an empty stomach could help you lose weight because your body will rely on stored fuel, in the form of glycogen and fat rather than burning your most-recent meal.
While exercising in a fasted state, however, there is a chance your body could start breaking down muscle for fuel. Thats because high-intensity activities rely on carbohydrates for fuel. Which means running sprints or doing your regular CrossFit routine while fasting, or at the end of your fast, may decrease the benefits of your workout. You may also feel less energized to work out hard if youre new to IF.
The Best Method Is The One That Works For You
Intermittent fasting might not be for everyone, so be careful when trying it out! Switch methods if the one you chose isnt working for you, or try a completely different eating approach that actually supports your goals without draining you in the process. The ultimate goal is to have a healthy fitness journey, so good luck!
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What Is Intermittent Fasting
First off, what is intermittent fasting? Johns Hopkins Medicine describes it as alternating between a regular eating schedule and fasting. When you’re intermittent fasting, you can only have meals during a particular timeframe. Many individuals do it as a means to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight.
If Every Workout Feels Miserable You Should Stop Intermittent Fasting
It takes a few weeks for your body to adjust to any new routine so you cant make a judgement until youve given it at least a couple of weeks, Poyourow says. However, intermittent fasting isnt for everyone. So how do you know if its doing more harm than good?
If youre experiencing mental fog, obsessive thoughts about food or weight, weakness, exhaustion, feelings of depression or burnout, insomnia, stress injuries, extreme muscle soreness and/or very slow recovery after your workouts, then its time to call it quits, Fine says. Intermittent fasting, particularly if youre under-eating, can lead to an increased risk of injury, lowered bone density, and mental illness, she cautions.
There are lots of ways to achieve your health goals and if intermittent fasting isnt helping you reach them then move on and try something else, Poyourow says. Its all about figuring out what works for you and that may not be the same thing that works for someone else.
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Intermittent Fasting: Morning Workouts & Breaking Your Fast
I have been getting a TON of questions lately regarding Intermittent fasting and morning workouts. When practicing intermittent fasting, working out in the morning can be SUPER beneficial. Since it is near the end of your fast, your bodys insulin levels have hit their baseline, meaning that your body is no longer storing fat, but rather is burning it. Therefore when you workout, you are burning solely STORED BODY FAT! That being said, where the main confusion seems to lay is:
When should I be eating? Or when should I break my fast? after my morning workout. AND,
Is there a specified time limit when I should be eating my meal?
Adapting Different Workouts To Intermittent Fasting
Your fasting/ workout schedule should be based on the type of exercise you perform. For example:
Cardio + Intermittent Fasting: Your performance will hinge on how your body has adapted to doing cardio while in a fasted state. If youre new to fasting, expect your performance to go down for the first six months of this new schedule. We recommend that you do not extend your fast and that you eat immediately after an intense cardio workout.
Sprint Training + Intermittent Fasting: This falls under the HIIT category and is the most ideal form of exercise to perform while fasting. We recommend that you refrain from eating for two to three hours following a HIIT workout.
Weight-Lifting + Intermittent Fasting: Lifting weights while fasting is okay, but it is not ideal. Heavy lifting puts a lot of stress on the body which requires fuel. If you lift weights while fasting, we recommend that you eat immediately after your training session. However, wed prefer you save your weight-lifting sessions for periods after youve eaten.
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The Pros And Cons Of Exercising In A Fasted State
There are several pros and cons to consider before you start working out in a fasted state.
Pros of exercising while fasting
- You can burn more fat as that your glycogen stores will be depleted
- It can help stabilise blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity
- Exercising while fasted may boost your growth hormone and testosterone production
- It may increase your mental endurance and reduce your tension later in the day
Cons of exercising while fasting
- You may not have as much energy to fuel your workout, particularly in the beginning or if you have run out of energy stores
- You may not be able to experience significant gains in muscle mass
- You are at greater risk of electrolyte depletion and dehydration
Working Out At Night While Intermittent Fasting
Working out at night in your eating window is best for workout performance.
Many people reported feeling much stronger and can perform at their peak.
The benefit of this timing of workout means you are not restricted to the type of workout you can do.
You can lift weights and pursue other high-intensity workouts.
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How To Be Successful Whenstarting 18/6 Intermittent Fasting
Just aswith any eating change, there is always an adjustment period. One thing toremember when attempting 18/6 intermittent fasting is not to dive into it. Thisis especially true if you have never attempted intermittent fasting.
You shouldbegin with a half a day fasting window and then steadily work up through 14 andthen 16 hours. While undergoing intermittent fasting, ensure that you onlydrink plain water, carbonated water, tea, and black coffee. Consuming anythingelse, such as stevia or cream in your tea or coffee, can induce hunger, makingthe fasting window even more difficult.
Sleeping atleast 7 hours every night is important to eliminate fatigue-induced cravings.When eating, always select nutrient-packed foods and eat until you are full,not stuffed. The focus should be on consuming healthy fats, plenty of fiber,complex carbs, and protein.
Furthermore, you can use an application to help you track your 18/6 intermittent fasting plan. The app can be used to track your day-to-day progress and provide you with inspiration and motivation to continue.
About the author:
Rob Jones is a father of two who lives in Massachusetts and enjoys cooking and his dog Beau. Rob has spent years studying food and its effects on the body and mind. He believes in moderation and enjoyment.
How You Can Successfully Gain Muscle Mass With Intermittent Fasting
One thing is for sure: Muscles dont grow from sitting around, of course. Targeted training and a balanced diet are and remain the most important adjusting tools when it comes to gaining muscle.
Nevertheless, you can perfectly support your success in muscle building with intermittent fasting.
Here are the best tips:
1. Prefer working out at the end of your fasting period.
If you work out towards the end of your fasting period, you will also increase fat burning in your body.
Targeted strength training in a fasted state is particularly effective. Also try other kinds of physical activity in order not to exercise too one-sidedly or to overexert yourself.
2. Refrain from extremely long periods of fasting.
The smaller your eating window, the more difficult it will be to get enough nutrients! So its best to use fasting in a conscious and sparing way!
16-8, for example, is a good choice. Thats because a meal window of eight hours will leave enough time for adequate nourishment.
3. Take good care of your body.
If you want to optimally support muscle growth, make sure to include long-chain carbohydrates in your meals on intense training days. This will help your muscles recover. On rest days, a low-carb diet is a great choice.
Also, make sure not to eat too little and give your body enough time to recover.
Choosing Types Of Workouts
Working Out When Fasting Results
If you want to maximize your fat loss and weight loss, improve your mental clarity, and increase your autophagy, then exercising while fasting is very effective.
But if youre not used to it, it could be some time before your body adapts.
Your results will depend on how long youve been fasting and the intensity of the workout. The longer youve been fasting, the more effective the fasted exercise will be for burning fat.
The longer youve been fasting, the more time your body has had to burn through whatever you last ate, and are now using backup fuel sources instead.
This is why its ideally best to workout towards the end of your fast to maximize your results.
But with that said, many are at the hungriest in the last couple hours of their fast. And then itll be a lot harder to push yourself in the workout.
But there are a few tips you can use
Drinking coffee will naturally fight the feelings of hunger while giving you an energy and metabolism boost .
Add in C8-MCTs like the one in this keto coffee creamer to enhance fat loss. These MCTs are your bodys preferred source of MCTs that quickly converts to ketones in your liver.
Ketones are made from your bodys fat stores for fuel, like when on the keto diet. Taking these MCTs when fasted helps to trigger a metabolic switch, allowing your body to burn even more fat for fuel.
Support Many of the Keto Benefits Associated With Increased Ketones, & Support Them FAST, but Without the Difficulty of Doing Keto…
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Types Of Exercise You Can Do While Fasting
Now that weve discussed the basics of intermittent fasting, lets talk about the types of exercise you can do while fasting. The most important thing to remember is that you should listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. That being said, there are some exercises that may be more beneficial than others.
How To Work Out While Fasting: Tips For Your Success And Safety
Here are some tips that will help you stay healthy and reach you fitness goals :
- If you are a newbie, it is better to opt for low-intensity types of workouts. In this way you wont lack that much energy.
- It is critical to be attentive to what your body is trying to tell you. This is important, as you may start feeling bad during your training sessions. If you are attentive to yourself, youll avoid injuries and a number of health issues.
- It is vital to stay hydrated all the time during your fasting period, eating-windows and training sessions. In this way youll replace the fluids your body loses during exercising. Drink even more water on your fasting-days. By the way, some coconut water or other electrolyte-containing beverages may help to replenish the electrolyte levels of your body, youll just want to avoid those with sugar if you are fasting.
- Take into consideration the type of fasting. The longer you are fasting, the lower the intensity of your exercises should be.
- Pay attention to the link between your workouts and macronutrients. For instance, if you opt for strength training, your body will need more carbs. High intensity interval training and other cardio workouts need less carbs.
- If you opt for lifting weights, it may be better to do it during your eating window and then eat high protein meals afterward to preserve and help build your muscle mass.
- Always discuss your plans with your doctor.
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When To Work Out While Intermittent Fasting Expert Reveals
If you’re trying to lose weight, you may consider doing intermittent fasting along with your fitness regimen. But before you do, we chatted with an expertDr. Mike Bohl, the Director of Medical Content & Education at Ro and a certified personal trainerwho reveals everything you need to know about it, including when to work out while intermittent fasting. Keep reading to learn the details, and get excited for that weight loss journey of yours!
Can I Exercise While Intermittent Fasting
In short, YES!! Well need to clarify a bit. For example during a regular daily fasting plan, such as 20/4 intermittent fasting, you have periods of going without food and times where you can eat . When you are on a daily regimen, you can work out as you wish, although you may want to avoid times towards the very end of a fasting period.
In fact, some experts suggest that you exercise immediately after eating before your body has time to digest and absorb the food. Although, that would depend on what you ate and how much youve consumed, of course. It may not be the best idea to hit the gym after a few slices of cheesy pizza or a big steak.
Another caveat is for those who are doing multi-day fasts as opposed to a 16/8 plan. If you are fasting for multiple days on end, you may end up feeling dizzy or lethargic due to low blood sugar. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, working out may not be in your best interest when you are fasting on a multi-day plan.
Of course, the nuance comes down to the type of exercise youre doing, as there is a big difference between taking a brisk walk and going for a trail run. Whether youre strength training with large amounts of weight or at home doing yoga, it also makes a difference. Dont just think about exercise as a whole, but consider the specific type of activity you want to include during intermittent fasting.
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