Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Eat Before You Train? Maybe.

Remember all those folks over the last 20 years that wrote or said it was critical that you eat a large portion of a blue whale before and after each workout so you could avoid muscle catabolism and thus becoming a girly man with tiny biceps?  And that you should eat at least one blue whale fin every 3 hours?  And that breakfast is the most important meal of the day?  
That advice was worth what you paid for it - if you got it for free.

In previous installments, I’ve discussed the powerful effect of fasting on weight loss, particularly with respect toadipose tissue. I’ve explained how intermittent bouts of going without food have been shown to increase cancer survival and resistance and improve patient and tumor response to chemotherapy, and I went over the considerable evidence suggesting that fasting can provide thelife extending benefits of caloric restriction without the pain of restricting your calories day in, day out. And last week, I highlighted how fasting may have protective and therapeutic benefits to the brain.
As such you might be thinking that I only recommend fasting to the sedentary, the aged, and the infirm. Surely I wouldn’t go so far as to recommend to the active, the athletic, and the jacked that they engage in vigorous physical activity without having eaten a solid square meal beforehand – right? I mean, no good can come of a fasted training session, as the gym bros with the sweet ‘ceps are so quick to intone.
So, Sisson, what’s the deal? Can we exercise in the fasted state and live to tell the tale?
Yes. And there may even be benefits to doing it.

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