Intermittent Fasting and Athletic Performance

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Today you will find dozens and dozens of wildly inaccurate and promising diets which will promise to make you fit and get you in shape in just a couple of weeks. But as an athlete, you are probably wondering what the safest and most efficient diet plan is, which will keep your energy up and boost your athletic performance. Intermittent fasting requires you to skip some meals every once in a while, but don’t let this tiny requirement fool you into thinking that your performance and energy will go down. Here is a list of reasons why fasting methods like Leangains and The Warrior Diet are better than any alternative.

Leangains

This fasting method prides itself in maintaining muscle mass while providing healthy weight loss.

But how can this be achieved?

First of all, this method works differently for male and female athletes. Men are required to fast for 16 hours each day while women are required to do so for 14. The remaining 8 or 10 hours during the day should be reserved for food consumption, ideally divided into 3 courses. During the fasting period, you must not consume any calories, but you are permitted to consume a diet soda, sugar-free bubblegum, and black coffee. Experts believe that this kind of schedule is achievable by almost everyone, and they believe that it is most efficient if the fasting period is reserved for the evening hours, so as to keep the hormones balanced. Experienced athletes know that on days reserved for working out, food containing carbohydrates should be consumed, and fat should be avoided. Resting days are reserved for the intake of fat foods.

Does it boost athletic performance?

Experts who have conducted a research to measure the difference in athletic performance of well-fed and fasting athletes concluded that the percentage of muscle glycogen was drastically higher in those who were as they said, ”training low but competing high”, thus they had the greater advantage over the non-fasting crowd.

The Warrior Diet

As opposed to the Leangains fasting method, this one is for the most devoted athletes and people who like to work out a lot. It consists of two major phases.

The “Undereating” phase

The man who started it all, Ori Hofmekler, expected that a person following this concept should fast for 20 hours during the day in order to activate the response of the Sympathetic Nervous System, thus triggering the body’s alertness, energy and fat burning processes. The fundamental concept is that you have to eat during the night during the “overeating” stage. During the long fasting phase, you are allowed to eat raw fruits and vegetables, and drink coffee. Although you may consider yourself to be a hardcore gym rat, keep in mind that this method of fasting is rather extreme. Therefore, you should always keep a close watch on your health, more importantly; always monitor your heart rate.

“Overeating”

This final phase is reserved for the triggering of the Parasympathetic Nervous System which reacts by helping the body recover and calming it down while performing the necessary digestion processes. Consuming your food during the late hours of the evening is great for balancing out your hormones while you spend the entire day burning fat, according to Hofmekler. He also firmly believes that one has to start with vegetables and then move to protein, finishing with foods that contain fat. Carbohydrates can be eaten additionally only if you haven’t satisfied your hunger.

Even though you will be asked to give up a lot for the Warrior Diet, if you are determined to achieve your goal in the most efficient and time preserving way, then don’t be afraid of a little sacrifice. For pro athletes, it is strongly advised to try out both the Leangains and the Warrior diet method, but only for a certain period during the year.

 

samanthaolivier
Samantha has a B.Sc. in nutrition, and has spent two years working as a personal trainer. Since then, she has embarked on a mission to conquer the blogosphere. You can read more of her posts at Ripped.me