Uncovering the Pros & Cons of Intermittent Fasting for Athletes

Is Intermittent Fasting Good for Athletes?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a form of nutrition that has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it can help with weight loss and a variety of other health benefits. But is intermittent fasting good for athletes? Many studies have shown that athletes actually perform significantly worse when they train during a fasting period. This is not terribly surprising as the lack of energy from food can have a major impact on performance. So what does this mean for athletes who are considering intermittent fasting?

The Impact of Intermittent Fasting on Performance

The impact of intermittent fasting on performance depends on the type of athlete and their goals. Intermittent fasting as a method may not be appropriate for high-level athletes, but may work well for recreational athletes. Time-restricted eating may have metabolic benefits for weight loss, but it may not be beneficial to athletes, especially those who are trying to increase their power and speed. In athletes, competing during intermittent fasting is contraindicated, and endurance training in fasting periods might boost the post-exercise recovery. So far, studies have shown that intermittent fasting has a negative effect on endurance and strength performance.

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting for Athletes

That’s not to say there aren’t other important health benefits to be gained from IF. Reduced insulin resistance, cancer prevention, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and improved cognitive performance are just a few of the potential benefits of intermittent fasting. Additionally, fasting may help athletes to develop better eating habits and make better food choices.


While it’s safe for athletes to practice IF, endurance athletes should avoid high-intensity training while fasting since the combination can lead to poor performance, fatigue, and even injury. Intermittent fasting has the potential to provide numerous health benefits, but athletes should carefully consider their goals and their type of sport before trying out IF. Ultimately, the best approach for athletes is to consult a nutrition professional for guidance on when and how to fast for optimal results.

What are the effects of intermittent fasting on athletic performance?

Research has demonstrated that there is no advantage to athletic performance when engaging in high-intensity, endurance, and resistance exercises while fasting.

Can runners safely practice intermittent fasting?

Studies indicate that intermittent fasting may have health benefits for runners. A 2020 meta-analysis published in the journal Nutrients found that this type of fasting could lead to an increase in VO2max, as well as a reduction in body mass and fat mass.

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If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits and potential drawbacks of fasting, be sure to check out Fasting Books. With a variety of informative resources and expert advice, Fasting Books can help you make the most of your fasting experience. Click here to learn more.

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