Intermittent Fasting And Working Out

    Fasting And Working Out

    Martin Alvarez

    Martin Alvarez
    Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide

    Updated on 12/3/2022

    Both exercising and engaging in intermittent fasting (IF) have been shown to contribute to increased longevity; the question is, should you mix the two? Let's go through all the questions you had about working out while fasting. We will discuss the advantages of working out in a fasted state, including the distinctions between cardio, sprint training, and weight training. Additionally, we will offer some straightforward advice on how to practice this strategy so you can get the most out of your fasted workouts.

    Is It Possible For Me To Work Out When I'm Fasting?

    Is It Possible For Me To Work Out When I'm Fasting?

    Yes, it is safe to exercise while on a fast since optimizing hormones, not only calorie restriction and exercise, is the secret to successful weight reduction and muscle building. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting on its own has a variety of positive health effects. Still, those effects are magnified to an entirely new level when combined with sprint training. The combination of the two causes an increase in growth hormones, making you more sensitive to insulin, which is essential for maintaining a youthful appearance and lean body.

    Many individuals are obsessed with the number of calories they take in against the number of calories they burn. They are afraid of the muscle loss that is said to occur when they exercise without first refueling. Physical activity is done while fasting has a positive effect on the body's hormones, so fasting and physical activity aren't just permissible; they are also the most effective way to improve your health and body composition.

    Is It OK For Me To Work Out On An Empty Stomach?

    Is It OK For Me To Work Out On An Empty Stomach?

    It is not only safe to work out on an empty stomach, but research shows that doing so amplifies the health advantages of exercising and fasting. Multi-therapeutic approaches involve combining two factors, each beneficial to health on its own, to increase the benefits of each element.

    Working out first thing in the morning, before eating breakfast, is one of the most effective methods to take advantage of these benefits.

    Combining Periodic Starvation With Physical Activity

    Combining Periodic Starvation With Physical Activity

    You may also claim that you work out throughout your intermittent fasting by saying that you work out in the morning before breakfast. In the context of a 24-hour clock, the period during which your body goes without food (even while you are asleep) is an intermittent fast. The periodic fasting window begins when you have your last mouthful of food or drink (other than water) before going to bed and continues until you have your first bite of food the following morning.

    The short length should be between 16 and 18 hours if you want to get the most out of the advantages of intermittent fasting. For instance, you should have food between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.

    When You Should Exercise When You're Intermittently Fasting

    When You Should Exercise When You're Intermittently Fasting

    When practicing intermittent fasting, the optimal time to exercise is typically right after waking up or immediately after to complement the natural circadian cycle of the body. Studies have shown that engaging in vigorous physical activity (or eating) in the hours leading up to bedtime might disrupt levels of deep and REM sleep; thus, it is recommended that you postpone your workout for the following day.

    If possible, you should avoid eating right after a workout for the same hormone-optimization-related reasons that motivate you to train while fasting in the first place. According to studies, even waiting two to three hours after an exercise before eating stimulates an increase in growth hormone, which helps make you a fat burner and replenishes the energy you burn (sugar). A shift in hormone levels is an adaptation to the stress caused by an exercise performed at a high intensity. Suppose you are only able to exercise at lunchtime because of your schedule. In that case, you may still get the hormone surge benefits by working out when you have available and then delaying eating for two to three hours following your activity.

    Combining Aerobic Exercise With Intermittent Fasting

    Combining Aerobic Exercise With Intermittent Fasting

    When you fast, the glycogen reserves in your muscles and liver get depleted—exercising while in a fasted state provides hormonal effects that are connected to this depletion of glycogen stores. It's OK to do cardio when you're intermittent fasting, but your performance will be determined by how well your body has adapted to burning fat (how good it is at burning fat for fuel instead of glucose). It may take some athletes as long as six months to properly adjust their endurance to the new fuel source when they begin fasting and exercising together for the first time. If you are starting with this combination of behaviors, you should anticipate a slight decline in your performance. Do not move too fast in training, for instance, if you are a competitive athlete and your primary objective is to improve your performance during a race less than two weeks before the event.

    If you are doing cardio while fasting, you should not continue the fast after the workout but should instead choose to refuel once you have finished.

    Combining Sprint Workouts With Intermittent Fasting

    Combining Sprint Workouts With Intermittent Fasting

    Sprint training, also known as high-intensity interval training (often abbreviated as HIIT), consists of periods of strenuous exercise interspersed with periods of relaxation lasting 15 to 30 minutes. Studies have shown that sprint training time is incredibly efficient and gives health advantages you cannot receive from aerobic exercise alone. These benefits include a significant increase in human growth hormone (HGH). Sprint training has several advantages, including but not limited to the following:

    • Greater strength and stamina in the muscles and brain
    • Increased levels of growth hormone
    • Improved body composition
    • Increased cognitive function
    • Higher levels of testosterone
    • A reduction in depressive symptoms

    These advantages are amplified when combined with sprint training and intermittent fasting. Sprint training is the best exercise approach to integrate into your fasting time. To maximize the benefits even more, you may continue to fast for another two to three hours after you have finished your workout.

    Combining Weightlifting And Dietary Restriction

    Combining Weightlifting And Dietary Restriction

    You can lift weights while fasting; however, you should be aware of the function glucose plays in healing your muscles after an effective weightlifting exercise, especially while fasting. When you exercise while fasting, your glycogen stores are reduced much farther than before. Even if you are lifting heavy weights throughout your workout for the day, you can do so while fasting; nevertheless, you should prioritize consuming a meal immediately after your training. Heavy lifting, as opposed to short bursts of activity, produces sufficient stress on the body to require immediate refeeding. As with engaging in cardiovascular exercise, lifting weights while fasting may cause a temporary drop in your strength as your body adjusts to cardiovascular exercise new role as a "fat burner." Because of cardiovascular exercise, you should try to schedule your weightlifting sessions when you have already eaten (in which case you may fast for two to three hours following your workout), and you should try to combine fasted exercise on the days when you engage in burst-style training.

    In Summary:

    including an improvement in body composition.

    • It is not only permissible but also incredibly helpful to exercise while fasting because it helps optimize hormone levels, which is the key to numerous health advantages, including an improvement in body composition.
    • If you combine burst training with intermittent fasting, you can increase the efficacy of this multi-therapeutic strategy and get the most out of its potential advantages;
    • In a fasting condition, you may still conduct cardio and weight training, although you may experience short-term performance issues;
    • To sync up with the natural circadian cycle of the body, the most effective time to combine fasting with exercise is first thing in the morning.
    • Even if you aren't lifting big weights or doing cardio for an extended period, you can still reap hormonal benefits from going without food after you've worked out (for two to three hours).