Burn More Fat Through Exercise and Intermittent Fasting
January 13, 2019 | 2,348 views
By Dr. Mercola
Do you eat before working out, while worrying about its potential impact? A New York Times article suggested that consuming a pre-workout meal does not affect your workout performance, and may in fact help you perform better.
They observed a group of cyclists and noted that those who drank sugary drinks prior their workout were able to successfully finish their 20-minute ride without complications.
Another study has shown that consuming digestible carbohydrates an hour before exercising may help you endure the activity.
These studies bust the fitness dogma that tells people not to eat before working out, but take note: There are actually more benefits when you go on fasting mode as you exercise. Read this page to know how you can maximize your fat-burning potential when you skip eating before working out.
Benefits of Exercising on a Fasted State
Exercising alone could help you lose weight. But if you do it while fasting, it not only does it help you burn more fat, but also provides more benefits to your brain and body muscles.
Because your stomach is empty while you exercise, your body, as controlled by your sympathetic nervous system (SNS), will be compelled to shed fat. This process maximizes the impact of cellular factors and catalysts (cyclic AMP and AMP kinases), which lets your body use fat and glycogen as energy sources.
The combination of exercising and intermittent fasting may benefit your muscles, as it helps produce acute oxidative stress that counteracts all the main factors of muscle aging. It also leads to a mechanism that rejuvenates the brain and muscle tissues. This process signals brain stem cells and muscle satellite cells to transform into new neurons and new muscle cells, making them biologically young. Other benefits of exercising on a fasted state include:
- Improving cognitive function and body composition
- Preventing depression
- Boosting growth hormones and testosterone
- Promoting more energy storage
One study also found that eating before working out decreases only your body weight, but doing aerobic training while on a fasting mode may help reduce both body weight and body fat.
When Is the Best Time to Exercise While on a Fasting Mode?
Timing your meals is essential when fasting, though binge eating followed by starvation is not an advisable routine to follow. You could either fast for a couple of days in a week or you may do it every other day — eat between 11 am and 7 pm, and then fast for the remaining 16 to 18 hours.
This means that your first meal would be lunch, giving you spare time to exercise in the morning. Doing this would force your body to burn stored fat and increase your muscle protein. Your body may then be able to regulate your insulin sensitivity, leading to the prevention of most chronic diseases.
Just remember that there are a number of factors to consider if you want to fast before exercising. These include your age, time of last meal, pregnancy, health condition, level of fitness and the type of workout that you follow.
If you experience lightheadedness, dizziness or nausea during the first 15 to 25 minutes of working out on an empty stomach, this is due to the decline in blood sugar, especially when you do it in the morning. It’s best to consume a small pre-workout meal instead — a high-quality whey protein shake is a good option.
If you do heavy lifting, it is recommended to eat 30 minutes after your workout. Your meal must contain fast-assimilating protein, which could be found in whey protein. Consuming 20 grams of whey protein before and after exercising may provide twice the fat-burning and muscle-building abilities to your body.
High-quality whey protein was also found to help boost your thyroid function for as much as 24 hours after your workout and avoid the decrease in testosterone level, especially when taken 30 minutes before resistance training. If you weigh 250 pounds or higher, yand AMP Kinasesou might need 50 to 75 percent more protein. But if you are a small woman, you may take half of the suggested amount.
You may or may not need to eat before exercising, so it’s best to listen to your body as you decide what to do. If you want to know more about exercising and fasting, read “Should You Eat Before Exercise?”