Is it possible to working out during intermittent fasting? It may sound a bit odd but you can have a normal workout while intermittent fasting. With little bit of time management, let’s see how?
Edward Lansdale, head of special operations at the Pentagon, once looked at McNamara’s statistics and told him something was missing.
“What?” McNamara asked.
“The feelings of the Vietnamese people,” Lansdale said.
That’s not the kind of thing a statistician pays attention to. But, boy, did it matter.
Emotions play a vital role in our well-being, still, we tend to ignore them.
While doing fasting people go through an emotional roller-coaster, how not eat when everyone is having lunch? How not to eat at a social gathering? What others will think if i don’t eat? Should I work out during intermittent fasting? Should I work out in the morning or evening? Is It ok to do mild cardio or go with regular weight training workout? In this post, I try to answer some of these questions.
Can you work out while on a fast?
The simple answer is yes, for most of the healthy adults. The long answer, it depends.
- During fasting state, the body uses stored glycogen for energy.
- An average person needs 1800 to 2400 calories per day for various body activities. Which also called a Basal metabolic rate (BMR).
- Body holds around 400 to 600 grams of glycogen, which is a form of carbohydrates used as energy.
- 1 gram of glycogen provides 4 calories, so the total caloric store of the body is around 1600-2400 calories. In the absence of food, most of this glycogen used up by body to get energy for daily activates.
- When Glycogen stores exhausted, the body starts producing energy from stored fat in the form of ketones this process called ketosis.
- When a person does workout during fasting, the body rapidly burns through available glycogen. Due to the shortage of glycogen body taps in to fat store for energy. Which means more fat loss compared to normal day.
Studies showed that during fasting period bodies BMR (Basal metabolic rate) increase with an increase in fasting time. Which mean higher fat oxidation.
However, if you are doing fast longer than 24 hours, you need to be careful. After 24 hours body already exhausted its glycogen stores, as fat is not easily available to use as energy. Body taps into its own muscle for energy called as muscle catabolism which results in muscle loss. Studies shown that exercise in long term fasting may slow down your metabolism.
For short term fasting (less than 24 hours) doing a workout is a good thing, however for longer-term fast which is (more than 24 hours) one must avoid workout as it may result in muscle loss and slow metabolic rate.
In both types of fasts, one must be careful about energy levels, if you feel dizzy or shaky immediately stop your workout
Intermittent fasting workout plan
To get the benefits and to avoid negative side effect, you must plan your workout according to your meals on a fasting day. So if you doing exercise in fasting state it’s important at what time you do a workout.
Intermittent fasting and morning workout
In the morning your glycogen stores are full, you can work out with the same intensity as any normal day. Your body is well-rested in the morning so not much reason to worry. However, you may feel dull early in the day, due to low glycogen levels.
Other times for Workout during intermittent fasting
- If morning workout is not possible, try to do workout immediately before or after your next meal.
- When you want to do a workout at the end of the fast or late in fast one should do mild cardio. Keep the intensity of your workout low. Doing workout late in fasting routine it may hamper your performance due to less energy available.
- If you want to do strength training, have a meal immediately after exercise which will provide you with essential nutrients and proteins. Don’t do strength training without an adequate supply of nutrients, it may harm your muscle and strength.
- If you have any health condition like type 2 diabetes, you should do mild exercise and check how your body responds.
Which intermittent fasting schedule produce a good result?
It is clearly advisable to do mild exercise in the long term fast for more than 24 hours.
- 16:8 fasting is very suitable for doing strength training workouts. You need to exercise immediately before or after your 8-hour fasting window. Make sure you eating enough protein and nutrients.
- In 24 hour fast do workouts early morning or immediately before you have a meal or before breaking your fast.
Placing meals immediately before or after your exercise can remove the downside of slowing metabolism and muscle loss.
Low-intensity cardio can be done at any time of your convenience.
How to do workout safely while fasting?
Identify what time you going to have a meal, adjust workout time before or after a meal and drink plenty of water.
- Electrolytes are important for muscle functioning, drink coconut water or add some salt to the water before drinking.
- People with health conditions like type 2 diabetes should do mild workout and keep a close eye on body’s response.
- Anyone who feels dizzy during a workout should immediately stop, the best thing to do is start with a low-intensity workout.
Should you take pre-workout supplement during intermittent fasting?
- Most of the pre-workout supplement contains caffeine for energy. I advise you to avoid caffeine on empty stomach however it’s ok after the meal.
- A small amount of BCAA is good at any time. Keep a check on calories you taking in form of a pre-workout supplement.
Do workout first thing in the morning on a fasting day. If not possible place workout time before or after your big meal of the day.