Intermittent Fasting For Athletes: The Why and How

Why do you recommend intermittent fasting?

I recommend intermittent fasting because it’s proven to improve your health and fitness level. I believe that the benefits are worth the time, effort, and money required to implement it into your life. If you’re interested in intermittent fasting then read on!

What does intermittent fasting mean? What is the difference between fasted and fed states? Is there any benefit of eating during these two states?

Intermittent fasting means “time” or “intermittent.” Fasting means not eating. Feeding means consuming food and fluids while fasting. There is no real distinction between them, though some people may prefer one over the other depending on their personal preferences. Some studies have shown that fasting for just 24 hours can increase longevity by up to 30%. That being said, there isn’t much research done on how intermittent fasting affects human health beyond what’s already known about caloric restriction (CR). However, CR is a well-established way to lower risk factors for disease such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and many others. So it makes sense that intermittent fasting could have similar results.

There are several benefits of intermittent fasting. One benefit is improved health and fitness levels. Another benefit is weight loss. In fact, many people report losing weight while intermittent fasting. There are even some people that claim they feel better than ever and have more energy.

Do you recommend any meal plans or diets?

Intermittent fasting is a broad term that can be implemented in several different ways. It is up to you to choose the right way for you. One person may find that eating 500 calories per day works best for them while another may find success with eating 2000 calories per day. It is all up to you to find what works best for your needs. I recommend you try different ways of eating and listening to your own body. There are also many online resources with meal plans for those who prefer a more structured approach.

What does it mean to fast for a long time? Should I eat or drink anything?

There is no specific definition of “long-time.” It depends on each person and the goals they have. Anywhere from 12 hours to 3 days is considered to be within the “intermittent fasting” label. During these periods it is best to drink water, tea, or coffee. It is also fine to consume zero-calorie drinks like diet soda. Sometimes people will consume caffeinated drinks since these can help improve alertness and stimulate the mind. However, it is important to be careful not to overdo it with the caffeine as this can lead to side effects like jitteriness, anxiety, increased urination, and irregular heartbeat.

Many people choose to consume alcohol while doing an intermittent fast. There is nothing inherently wrong with this as there are studies that show that light-to-moderate alcohol intake may be protective for cardiovascular disease in some cases. However, it is important to keep in mind that alcohol contains a lot of calories and can hinder weight loss.

Can women safely do intermittent fasting?

Yes, women can safely do intermittent fasting! In fact, there are many women who find this way of eating and lifestyle change very easy to adapt to. There are also many women who have reaped the benefits of intermittent fasting by curing PCOS, ending their battles with insulin resistance, increased energy, and improved hormone balancing.

Is intermittent fasting safe while pregnant?

There isn’t enough research on this matter to say for sure, however, some women do report safely doing intermittent fasting while pregnant. Because there isn’t enough research on this matter and you should always listen to your own body and make the best decision for yourself and your baby.

Does IF allow you to eat as much as you want every once in awhile?

No. This idea comes from the misinterpretation of the eat-stop-eat fasting method, which was later altered into the 5:2 diet. If you are eating less than your body needs, you will likely lose weight regardless of whether you do it 3 times a week or every day. But when you eat again, it is very important to listen to your body’s signals.

Sources & references used in this article:

Effect of Ramadan intermittent fasting on aerobic and anaerobic performance and perception of fatigue in male elite judo athletes by A Chaouachi, AJ Coutts, K Chamari… – The Journal of …, 2009 – journals.lww.com

The effects of Ramadan intermittent fasting on athletic performance: recommendations for the maintenance of physical fitness by A Chaouachi, JB Leiper… – Journal of sports …, 2012 – shapeamerica.tandfonline.com

Effects of Ramadan intermittent fasting on sports performance and training: a review by C Anis, JB Leiper, S Nizar… – … Journal of Sports …, 2009 – journals.humankinetics.com

Effects of intermittent fasting, caloric restriction, and Ramadan intermittent fasting on cognitive performance at rest and during exercise in adults by A Cherif, B Roelands, R Meeusen, K Chamari – Sports Medicine, 2016 – Springer