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-   -   Does coffee "break" the fast? (http://www.catalystathletics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21)

John 10-13-2006 08:56 AM

Does coffee "break" the fast?
After reading Performance Menu #6, I've been experimenting with IF for about 10 days, with IF periods between 15 and 17 hours. My question: does drinking a cup of black coffee or eating a handful almonds after 12 hours break the fast (if I don't eat a real meal for another 5 hours)? Or does an effective IF require total abstinence?

Robb Wolf 10-13-2006 09:36 AM

The coffee will only enhance the effects of the fast so long as you do not overdo it. People tend to tolerate caffeine a bit less when on IF due to the enhanced adrenal cortical response.

Regarding the handful of nuts…not sure on that. One can approach this stuff a few different ways. Some combination(s) of: low carb, caloric restriction and intermittent fasting. My thought is leaning towards low carb and IF we will get huge benefits and not suffer the downsides of CRAN on the one hand (being suuuuper skinny) and chronic low carb on the other (inability to perform at a high level of exercise intensity). That said, we must still maintain the integrity of the fast to SOME degree. It is becoming ever more clear that humans are wired to go fairly long periods sans food. That scenario will likely produce a tough, wiry type of person but I’m not sure how much muscle they will be able to carry about. So this is a compromise between trying to push the performance envelope while garnering some nice metabolic benefits from brief fasts. So skip the almonds until you are ready to eat for real!

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