Intermittent Fasting and Post Workout Meals

Marcus Aurelius

Triple-Digit Post Count
Hello Everybody,

So this is my scenario, let's say I workout at like 4:30 - 5 am and then fast until around 5 or 6 pm. Maybe I'll have a coffee but no food until I break my fast.

Do you find post workout meals to be necessary? Some say yes and others seem to say no. Does anyone have an opinion or any info to help me out?

My opinion is that it may not be necessary because our ancestors wouldn't have had immediate access to food following a fight or a chase. I've also read that growth hormone tends to increase after exercise and during fasting. HGH is a muscle preserving mechanism. While I'm not big on gaining muscle I don't want to waste any. I've read that it only matters if you get your protein requirements within 24 hours which I think makes allot of sense.

I'm excited to hear your opinions/facts.

Thank you, Marcus
 
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Oscar

> 1k Posts
Leangains recommends bcaa before and after training in your case. The calories it provides are little so don't affect significantly the fast.

I have a similar schedule as yours and I haven't eaten anything before or after training. So far so good for a a few months. But bear in mind my training is s&s and I don't push it with the weight, so it's not so demanding
 
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Jak Nieuwenhuis

> 1k Posts
I would always need something protein packed in order to feel decent if I really worked myself out.

These days I approach my workouts (practice) differently and can wait until I break the fast at 5-6pm.

Have you tried a piece of lean meat, or some protein powder + milk or water after your sessions? In my experience it helps a lot with energy after training if I am fasting for the rest of the day.

Plus, as I'm sure you know, you can fast longer on the WD with less hunger if you eat a few pieces of meat/cheese during the fasting period
 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
Do you find post workout meals to be necessary?
Post Workout Meal

Dr Brad Schoenfeld's research demonstrated that a post workout isn't necessary. It what you consume during the day that matters.

My personal experience and that I have spoken on Intermittent Fasting have found that to be true.

I've also read that growth hormone tends to increase after exercise and during fasting.
Growth Hormone

Research has demonstrated an increase in growth hormone from fasting.

The question is how much growth hormone does it really produce. I question if it is that much.

What Does Occur

High Intensity Training is elevates norepinephrine, along with epinephrine, growth hormone, dopamine, and cortisol.

These hormone (primarily norepinephrine) increase fat burning through AMP-k, Activated Protein Kinase.

An acute increase in cortisol during training is a good thing. Cortisol job during training assist in burning body fat.

Kenny Croxdale
 

kennycro@@aol.com

> 1k Posts
Leangains recommends bcaa before and after training in your case. The calories it provides are little so don't affect significantly the fast.
BCAAs

Martin Berkhan's Lean Gains is a great site. He's a smart guy.

However, I question that use of BCAA's peri-workout use.

1) Since BCAAs is a food, taking it before or after you workout mean you are not in a fasted state.

So, how can you be in a fasted state when you are consuming food?

2) Leucine spikes insulin. Insulin blocks the fat burning, AMP-k process.

Kenny Croxdale
 

Sean M

> 1k Posts
IF has been a constant in my life since January 2017. Fasting from 6 or 8 pm to 12pm or up to 4pm the next day.

In that time my training has varied:
- S&S in the evening, in the “feeding window”. Usually had second dinner after training session. Lost 30 pounds in 4-5 months (but had a lot of extra fluff to lose - I don’t attribute it to the timing of training/eating).
- TSC prep in the evening. Less swings and getups and more deadlifts, snatches, and pull-ups. Got a little leaner but I believe I put on 1-2 pounds of muscle in that ~9 weeks from the training.
- RoP first thing in the morning. Gained strength and some mass, and thus weight on the scale. Waist circumference/body fat went up again, but this was also over the holidays and I was using what ended up being a light weight (should’ve used 20kg), and frequency went down to 3 days/week when I was previously at 4-5. Also couldn’t go for walks as I had been doing, due to the weather.
- Dry Fighting Weight first thing in the morning. Gained lean mass and lost fat.
- Now back to S&S for a few weeks, first thing in the morning. Curious to compare to DFW results.

So it’s early to say, but training fasted and continuing to fast afterwards was still effective for me.
 
My opinion is that it may not be necessary because our ancestors wouldn't have had immediate access to food following a fight or a chase.
Normally following a fight or chase in the animal kingdom you are immediately eating a meal or have become one (and recovery no longer a concern).

My opinion is based largely on my personal eating habits - I'm more of a grazer than a feaster, many small eats during the day with only breakfast being a bigger meal.

I find I feel refreshed faster if I eat something fairly soon after I train, tho in my case is usually a glass of chocolate milk.

The higher the intensity the more important this becomes as I am replenishing glyco stores as well as rehydrating.
 

Sean M

> 1k Posts
The higher the intensity the more important this becomes as I am replenishing glyco stores as well as rehydrating.
I thought the point of IF was to force your body to burn the triglycerides in your blood and adipose cells in the absence of outside sugar (glucose) from eating. So wouldn’t glycogen-depleting exercise, followed by a fast, be optimal for burning body fat for energy?
 
I thought the point of IF was to force your body to burn the triglycerides in your blood and adipose cells in the absence of outside sugar (glucose) from eating. So wouldn’t glycogen-depleting exercise, followed by a fast, be optimal for burning body fat for energy?
The answer to that is outside the scope of my understanding.

From what I have read, with a healthy insulin response you'll shuttle most of the carbs directly into storage. Carb ingestion within an hour following a workout doesn't even require insulin for glycogen synthesis. And out to a couple of hours you still get better glycogen synthesis than if consumed later.

Either way you're going to rely on fats during recovery and off peak activity. I'm not aware of any studies showing this to be a concern but doesn't mean they aren't out there.
 
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Marcus Aurelius

Triple-Digit Post Count
This man says to do cardio as close to your eating window but to do resistance training as early as possible :


The same guy says that as long as you get your nutritional needs within 24 hours you'll be okay :

 

Sean M

> 1k Posts
The answer to that is outside the scope of my understanding.

From what I have read, with a healthy insulin response you'll shuttle most of the carbs directly into storage. Carb ingestion within an hour following a workout doesn't even require insulin for glycogen synthesis. And out to a couple of hours you still get better glycogen synthesis than if consumed later.

Either way you're going to rely on fats during recovery and off peak activity. I'm not aware of any studies showing this to be a concern but doesn't mean they aren't out there.
Yeah I think your point in the second paragraph is key. Minimizing excess amount or duration of insulin is key to weight/fat loss. Option 1 is to fast after waking so insulin remains low and you remain in a fat-burning state. Option 2 is to eat after exercise, so the glucose you do eat is efficiently used to replenish glycogen in the muscles and liver (and more muscle mass means a bigger “sponge” to soak up glucose, rather than sending to fat storage). Option 3 is most Americans/Westerners: constant barrage of insulin-inducing high-carb feeding and no exercise: the fat storage switch is always set to “on” and without exercise the excess glucose (being toxic in high concentrations) gets sent to storage.

Option 2a is what I’m curious about: exercise but continue fasting and allow the body’s own energy stores to replenish depleted glycogen.
 
Yeah I think your point in the second paragraph is key. Minimizing excess amount or duration of insulin is key to weight/fat loss. Option 1 is to fast after waking so insulin remains low and you remain in a fat-burning state. Option 2 is to eat after exercise, so the glucose you do eat is efficiently used to replenish glycogen in the muscles and liver (and more muscle mass means a bigger “sponge” to soak up glucose, rather than sending to fat storage). Option 3 is most Americans/Westerners: constant barrage of insulin-inducing high-carb feeding and no exercise: the fat storage switch is always set to “on” and without exercise the excess glucose (being toxic in high concentrations) gets sent to storage.

Option 2a is what I’m curious about: exercise but continue fasting and allow the body’s own energy stores to replenish depleted glycogen.
I don't have any direct studies to compare, but I think this is an area where it all depends on total glycogen stores in the body and carb totals when you eat.

They will stay low a lot longer/take longer to replenish if you don't eat/drink any carbs fairly soon after your exertions or don't consume small amounts at intervals. If you only train once a day and are unlikely to really exert yourself between then it probably makes even less of a difference.

Theoretically, it makes sense to at least avail yourself of the initial insulin free window and pound some carbs, reducing the amount you need to eat later when it will have a much greater effect on insulin and circulating glucose. This should boost glycogen levels and have even less effect on fat burning than eating all your carbs in a bigger meal.

From a practical standpoint I really couldn't say.
 

elli

> 5k Posts
Referring to first post:
Try it out. Give each variation about two weeks and watch parametres like
Sleep
Digestion
Appetite
Recovery
Perfomance

IMHO there are studies and there is n=1. Trust your body.
 

Marc

> 1k Posts
The most important thing would be to hit your makros/calories in the long run, 24-48h or so.
If you do not need food immediately post-training, then that is fine.
On the other hand, I see no reason not to have a small meal like some fruit and a yoghurt, for example. That is not fasting anymore but you do not have to fast for the sake of fasting if having a small meal would make your life easier.
And actually growth hormone has zero to do with muscle growth in adults and within physiological ranges. It simply liberates fat from adipocytes to be used as fuel.
 
I've done months at a time of training in the morning, then not eating until lunch. I never had any issues once my body became adapted to fasting in general.
@Snowman Am basically doing the same since beginning of this year. If you don’t mind me asking, for how many months did you do it and what were the reason(s) for you to stop it?
 

Snowman

> 1k Posts
for how many months did you do it and what were the reason(s) for you to stop it?
Well, I've been doing intermittent fasting (mostly 16/8, with some longer experiments thrown in) since the end of 2014. As I've moved through seasons of life, my training times haven't always been consistent, but I'm comfortable saying that the large majority of my training in the last three years has always occurred in the morning, hours before I eat anything.
The reason I stopped (for now) is because of a dietary trial I started. Normally, whenever I make an experimental adjustment to my diet (which is fairly often), I make that change within the context of intermittent fasting, and I planned to continue IF with this last experiment. A couple weeks in, though, and my appetite significantly increased, so instead of terminating the experiment I decided to start temporarily eating breakfast and see what happened. I'm presuming the increase in a appetite was the result of increased growth signals, due to the dietary changes. I say this because I started gaining about half a pound of lean muscle mass a week. I'm up about 6-7 pounds so far, and I think I'm starting to level out. Once my body stops asking for more food, I plan on going back to IF.
 

Sean M

> 1k Posts
Well, I've been doing intermittent fasting (mostly 16/8, with some longer experiments thrown in) since the end of 2014. As I've moved through seasons of life, my training times haven't always been consistent, but I'm comfortable saying that the large majority of my training in the last three years has always occurred in the morning, hours before I eat anything.
The reason I stopped (for now) is because of a dietary trial I started. Normally, whenever I make an experimental adjustment to my diet (which is fairly often), I make that change within the context of intermittent fasting, and I planned to continue IF with this last experiment. A couple weeks in, though, and my appetite significantly increased, so instead of terminating the experiment I decided to start temporarily eating breakfast and see what happened. I'm presuming the increase in a appetite was the result of increased growth signals, due to the dietary changes. I say this because I started gaining about half a pound of lean muscle mass a week. I'm up about 6-7 pounds so far, and I think I'm starting to level out. Once my body stops asking for more food, I plan on going back to IF.
Smart, listening to your body. I will probably eat breakfast on training days my next round of RoP. Last time I did notice more hunger and probably made poorer food choices during the eating window. Probably hampered strength gains as well.
 
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ali

> 1k Posts
@Marcus Aurelius .......it may be of interest to you to check out carb back loading by Kiefer.
The general approach follows many IF type of things, eating light with a big meal in the evening.
I don't do it. And if following it does involve various supps, shakes etc with the reasoning behind altering schedules to train in the morning, rather than the proposed evening meal. It is more focused on bodybuilding and muscle growth.
Whether or not you do do it as prescribed is your choice but the science and reasoning behind it all may come in useful for making any decisions for your goals.
 
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