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Old 10-13-2006, 09:55 AM   #1
Steve Shafley
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Default Exercise response in fasted state

Are there any references that deal with the response to resisitance exercise while in a fasted state?

DeVany asserts that PostWO meals defeat the purpose of the exercise, i.e. build muscle, lose fat.

Contrary to this, many feel PostWO meals enhance/speed recovery. What kind of PWO meals should be considered, in that case, and what would the optimal window of consumption be post-workout?

Would there be any benefit to small amounts of protein ingested prior to training in a fasted state? I know that some studies have indicated that there is a positive impact on protein synthesis and positive nitrogen balance.

I guess the geist of this is, if I were to exercise in a fasted state should I:

1. Eat a small amount of protein pre-workout?
2. Break the fast immediately after?
3. Break the fast after a waiting period (say, an hour)?
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:37 AM   #2
Robb Wolf
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You pose some fantastic questions and I apologize for my tardy response. Many of these questions I will only touch on at this time as we are addressing them in-depth in the next Performance Menu. Regarding references, the few that Prof. DeVany has provided are some of the best. Below is another good one:

Brain Behav Immun. 2006 Apr 26; [Epub ahead of print]

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Cerebrospinal fluid IL-6, HSP72, and TNF-alpha in exercising humans.
The main point of this article is exercise increases heat shock proteins and tumor necrosis factor, both in cerebrospinal fluid and in plasma. This effect is greatly enhanced when exercise is performed in a fasted state. This is the same phenomena as that seen in Caloric Restriction with Adequate Nutrition (CRAN), but obviously without the downside of loosing 40% of ones body mass!

So the gist of your questions appears to be: How should one handle pre-post WO nutrition and when should one end a fast? The short answer is: it depends. If fat loss is the primary goal extending the fast to an hour AFTER exercise is a great idea. If gaining muscle mass is of paramount importance Id take in 20g of protein about 30-40 minutes before training and then eat immediately after. Should that post workout meal be a bunch of high GI carbs? If recovery is the primary importance then perhaps. If leanness and overall health is the main objective then moderate carbs and higher fat might be a better plan.
Now the bodybuilding orthodoxy recommends this post workout carb spike and 6-8 meals per day, which is great for selling products and shackling you to your kitchen stove but we are finding that people can certainly gain muscle on fewer meals per day and with no dramatic post workout carb spike. People do need to consume some serious calories but the enhanced insulin sensitivity due to the brief fast seems to aid nutrient partitioning such that muscle is gained without fat gain.

Let me know if this answered your questions and we will be looking at all of this extensively in upcoming Performance Menus.
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:37 AM   #3
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Good stuff, Robb.

Reading a lot about IF over the last week, and evaluating my purpose behind following some IF protocol has solidified some of my positions.

I want primarily to lean out. I carry a fairly large amount of muscle mass as it is. Adding more wouldn't be bad, but I really want to decrease bodyfat. So, unless I see a performance drop, I am going to train while in a fasted state, and then continue the fast for 30 minutes to an hour after training, primarily to cool down, clean up, etc. If I do see a performance drop, then I will start by taking in small amounts of protein prior to training.

My fasts have been from 17 to 19 hours long, and Tuesday, 23-May will mark a week of following the IF (I did take Sunday off the fasting, though). I am working on the quality of the food eaten during the "feasting" window.

I am tracking bodyweight, umbilical circumference, and an abdominal skinfold, to keep a more objective eye on body comp changes.

So far the hunger hasn't been unbearable. I have visibly leaned out in my face and a bit in the stomach, though the scale doesn't reflect much more that a 1-2 lb weight loss. My energy levels have been very good. Workout performance hasn't suffered, though I do tend to crash after I break the fast.

One interesting thing, though, is that some knee pain I usually live with has faded. I can't separate the cause of the fading from a change in my "knee lube" regimen or the IF, but I have a feeling the fasting may have reduced some of the overall levels of inflammation. I haven't dug into that fully yet, but it's a nice side effect, no matter what caused it.
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:37 AM   #4
Robb Wolf
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Sounds good Steve! I think the brief fasts do hlep insulin snesitivity (and reduce inflamation). Using performance, the mirror and some smart measurements seems like the easiest way to ensure benefits. Keep us posted!!
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Old 10-13-2006, 10:38 AM   #5
Eva Twardokens
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why is TNF-alpha good? isn't it a precurser to glycosylated hemoglobin, and isn't that bad?
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