Better performance if you train before breakfast
Recent research has shown that aerobic training and the fasted state reduce both total weight and body fat percentage, while full stomach training only reduces total weight.
- This happens because your body’s fat-burning processes are controlled by your sympathetic nervous system, and this system is activated when fasting is combined with exercise.
- The combination of fasting and exercise maximizes the effect of cellular factors and catalysts that promote the breakdown of stored fat and glycogen for use as energy.
- It is obvious that it is good for the body only in the presence of ketogenic daily habits, otherwise fasting combined with sugars creates a very strong stress for the body and mind.
- Fast physical exercise in the presence of fasting also increases oxidative stress, which paradoxically benefits muscle formation.
It is stress that produces many ROS (reactive oxygen species) that stimulate cell regeneration, the production of glutathione and SOD (superoxide dismutase, the first antioxidant mobilized by cells for defense) in the mitochondria and increase the ability to use energy to generate strength and endure fatigue.
In practice, fasting physical exercise combined with proper exercise keeps mitochondria healthy and helps counteract muscle aging. Fasted exercise also helps improve brain function by stimulating growth factors such as BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) and myocene regulatory factors (MRF).
BDNF regulates neurogenesis by signaling brain cells to turn into neurons, while MRF promotes muscle regeneration.
Exercise combined with intermittent fasting and postponing breakfast
- improves mood;
- increases testosterone levels;
- can relieve depression;
- can optimize tissue regeneration by stimulating the production of stem cells.
Case Study: Calisthenics, Ketogenic Diet and Intermittent Fasting Ketogenic Diet and Sport: Case Study 3. We interviewed Marco (Instagram: @marco_enga_ig), a multi-athlete, about his experience with ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting
Here’s what he told us:
“I’m Marco, I’m 33 and I spend my life developing algorithms for the world of finance. I do a lot of sports: every morning from Monday to Friday I go to the gym, where I do a mix of gymnastics / calisthenics and weightlifting combined with high intensity cardio (hiit).
I love walking and I do it for half an hour or an hour during breaks at work or in the evening; on weekends I enjoy long walks around the city or in nature. Since September 2019, I changed my habits and joined the SAUTÓN Approach, with which I added regular drinking of hot water and intermittent fasting, skipping dinner, to a healthy eating style.
- Before, I had 3-4 meals a day and even though I was already in a kind of flexible low-carb, I did not pay special attention to the biological rhythms of the organs and the digestive system in general.
- My diet already consisted of a breakfast with a predominance of protein and fat, vegetables for every meal, and I kept fruit only for training.
- By working out at the gym in the evening, I often ended up eating dinner very late (albeit a light one).
Now, on the other hand, I eat two meals a day with animal proteins, fats and boiled or steamed vegetables and some seasonal fruit, and I fast for an average of 16-18 hours, skipping dinner.
I add a bit of protein powder to each of these two meals to reach my minimum protein goal for the day if necessary given the intense and regular training I do.
In addition to these protein powders, I mix other plant or root powders in the shaker to integrate various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (raw cacao, moringa, acai, baobab, maca and so on).
Hot water and intermittent fasting (skipping dinner and exercising on an empty stomach) were the innovations that gave me a leap forward in terms of energy throughout the day and its stability over time.