The fact that intermittent fasting has numerous health benefits and can also have a favorable effect on many disease processes can be read in the article "Effects of interval fasting on diabetes and (chronic) inflammation". But just health-conscious sportsmen ask themselves again and again, to what extent intermittent fasting can affect also favorably or unfavorably the different kinds of sport. The pleasing answer right up front:

Sports - whether endurance sports or strength training - can be combined quite wonderfully with intermittent fasting and even benefit from it.

Because sport and movement are indispensable for the physical and mental health. Intermittent fasting is extremely beneficial when combined with sports.

However, in order for athletes to benefit from Intermittent fasting and for energy levels to increase rather than decrease despite intermittent fasting, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Which sports can be combined with Intermittent fasting?

In principle, all types of sports fit perfectly with intermittent fasting and vice versa, interval fasting supports all types of sports. However, it is important that you consume sufficient protein, especially during endurance sports or strength training, so that your body does not lose muscle mass. For a similar reason, it is advisable not to do strenuous sports towards the end of the fasting interval - i.e. completely without energy reserves.

Too little energy and an empty stomach can also lead to symptoms of hypoglycemia in some athletes, such as dizziness, circulatory problems and a feeling of nausea. If you experience such symptoms, it is better to start your training during or shortly after a meal. You should also not train directly after a rich meal, because the body needs time and energy for digestion and is even more efficient in the fasting phase.

So you should pay a little attention to your inner, biological clock and your well-being and adjust the type and timing of your sports training accordingly. Then interval fasting can even help with targeted muscle building by ensuring the release of the appropriate hormones.

intermittent fasting and strength training

Especially after a physically demanding strength training, your muscles need sufficient protein for their recovery and growth, which is supposed to be promoted by the training. About 24 hours after your training, the important phase of muscle synthesis begins. During this time you should consume high-quality proteins, which can be of vegetable or animal origin. Protein-enriched shakes and similar supplements can also help you to supply your body with sufficient protein. An additional benefit of taking high quality proteins is that they can help you feel fuller:

Proteins are considered to be effective fillers, making it even easier for you to lose weight. A good schedule that takes into account both your exercise in conjunction with fasting and your protein intake at the optimal time is especially important here.

This is how intermittent fasting helps you build muscle

You also don't have to worry that fasting will have a negative effect on your muscle mass. On the contrary:

Because after a longer period of abstinence from food, a slight hypoglycemia causes increased growth hormones to be released. First, there is an increase in the peptide hormone ghrelin, which in turn ensures the increased release of the growth hormone called somatotropin. This not only plays an important role in fat burning, but is also significantly involved in muscle building.

A particularly large amount of this growth hormone with its anabolic effect is produced during long periods of fasting. The longer these last, the more of this effective hormone your body produces! Strength training and intermittent fasting are therefore an unbeatable team when it comes to keeping your body healthy, fit and muscular!

Intermittent fasting and endurance training

The sports scientist Prof. Dr. Kuno Hottenrott (University of Halle-Wittenberg) was able to prove in a sensational study that moderate endurance training in combination with intermittent fasting has clear advantages.

This study examined whether and how the combination of interval fasting and endurance training compared to endurance training without fasting. 84 amateur athletes participated in this study for almost three months, training and interval fasting in parallel.

A comparison group trained in the same way, but without abstaining from food in any form.

The clear result: The intermittent fasting group cut off at the end in many points clearly better than the comparison group, whose results could be nevertheless seen. But the study participants of the chamfering group decreased on the average more at body fat, could register a clearer increase of the efficiency and improve rest pulse and blood pressure values significantly.

Intermittent fasting and cardio training

Cardio training - i.e. endurance training on equipment - will do you the most good on an empty stomach. Who can arrange it temporally, this should put with the 16:8-Methode thus on the early morning after getting up. Because then the efficiency is still quite high with most humans, without immediately strong symptoms of low bloodsugar show up. Of course, the following also applies here: Pay attention to your well-being and your individual needs. Do not overtax yourself and increase your performance level step by step.

Optimal combination: Intermittent fasting and sport

The healthiest and most effective way to combine intermittent fasting is not with one-sided sports, but with a successful mix of endurance training, cardio and strength training. Here, all muscles - including the heart - are optimally trained and challenged. Interval fasting is also about the big picture and the greatest possible flexibility, which makes it easier for you to integrate it into your everyday life.

In this way, in addition to losing unwanted body fat reserves, you will also increase your performance and do your health a great service.