Intermittent Fasting and Running: How to Get Lean and Improve Performance
Intermittent fasting is a type of dieting that involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting. For runners, it can be a great way to get lean without cutting calories or going on a diet. Research suggests that intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, blood glucose, and body mass, while also improving metabolic health and blood sugar control. But does intermittent fasting have any impact on running performance?
Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Running Performance?
A small study of 23 runners suggests that while intermittent fasting can reduce body mass, it does not impact running performance. However, there are over a hundred thousand studies on intermittent fasting, and none support the use of intermittent fasting by runners or endurance athletes. That being said, if you’re a runner who wants to try intermittent fasting, there are some important things to consider.
Tips for Intermittent Fasting and Running
If you’re planning to run in a fasted state, you should start by limiting the duration of your runs to 1.5-2 hours. This will help you get used to running in a fasted state and prevent any unpleasant side effects. As you become more comfortable with fasting and running, you can gradually increase the duration of your runs.
Some people take a more aggressive approach, fasting for 18 to 20 hours at a time or fasting for a full 24 hours once or twice a week (referred to as the ‘eat-stop-eat’ approach). This type of fasting should only be done if you’re comfortable with it and if you’re sure that it won’t negatively affect your performance.
Intermittent fasting and running can be a great way to get lean without compromising performance. Research suggests that intermittent fasting can reduce insulin resistance, blood glucose, and body mass, while also improving metabolic health and blood sugar control. However, there is no evidence to suggest that it will improve running performance. If you’re a runner who wants to try intermittent fasting, make sure to start by limiting the duration of your runs to 1.5-2 hours and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable with it. Additionally, be sure to consult with a medical professional before starting any type of fasting program.
Is it permissible to go for a jog while participating in intermittent fasting?
Runners participating in intermittent fasting should aim to keep their pace at an easy level (RPE 2-3 out of 10, or heart rate zone 2) in order to burn fat as energy rather than glycogen, which might be in short supply since they are fasting. According to Jack Coxall, a strength and fitness coach, failure to do so could lead to “hitting the wall.”
What are the consequences of running while not having eaten?
Research has revealed that running on an empty stomach leads to a higher proportion of fat being burned for energy, as opposed to muscle glycogen. This suggests that more of the calories burned during a run are coming from body fat stores rather than from glucose stores.
If you’re interested in learning more about intermittent fasting and its benefits for runners, check out Fasting Books. Our website provides a wide selection of books on the topic of fasting, including guides focused on how to fast properly while still maintaining proper nutrition and athletic performance. Get started on your intermittent fasting journey today!