Can you train safely during intermittent fasting?
First thing’s first – don’t think that intermittent fasting is a short-term deal that you will be able to back out of as soon as you reach what you want. Success of any diet or workout program lies in being able to sustain it over a long period of time. Ideally – forever!
Most of us are just out there trying to burn that extra fat on our belly and while it is ben proven that intermittent fasting can help you reach that goal, you should also thing about the ways you are doing it.
Here are some simple tips to follow if you want to fast and train safely:
Timing a meal
Glycogen stores in your body are a perfect fuel for your workout, but you don’ get to tap into this fuel source if you eat too close to your workout or eat a too big of a meal. Timing is the key.
The quality of food that you get into your body is also very important, because it should be something that can fuel your workouts.
My recommendation is to eat a moderate carb meal at least 2 hours before your intensive workout, especially if you train in the evening. On the other hand, if you train in the morning and you are doing some moderate activity (more cardio based), you should try to train on an empty stomach or fuel your workout with just black coffee. At least that’s how I do it.
Fasting is not about destroying your body. And dehydration is a warrior’s biggest enemy, so you have to make sure that you drink enough water. That’s right! Only water! Other fluids have a nutritional value, added sugar etc., so it’s important that the only fluid you take is water.
It is strongly recommended that during the fasting period you should drink more water than usual.
It’s very important that you listen to your body during training. Especially if you are hitting the weights hard, you should pay attention to the way your body reacts and how you feel. If you feel dizziness or just plain weakness – take a break!
You should keep some emergency electrolytes source at hand, and the best one is coconut water. It’s natural and contains no added sugars like almost all sports drinks.
Type of Fasting
If you are going extreme and you don’t consume nutrients for 24-hours, your workout program should be very light. Think – walking, Pilates, stretching, yoga.
On the other hand, if you are doing 16:8 fasting, like I do, you can do different variations of training based of your personal feeling. Especially if most of that fasting time is sleeping, you can really get into those famous glycogen stores.
While training and intermittent fasting may work for some people, others may not feel comfortable doing any form of exercise while fasting. Check with your doctor or healthcare provider before starting any nutrition or exercise program.