Answering the following questions will help you grasp your goals a lot clearer.
- What are your training goals
- What are your body composition goals?
Answering these questions will help you decide if eating before or after training will be more useful for you. I have tried them both, and for my goals, as well as how I train at optimal levels, I choose to eat after I train. I will explain in further detail as this strategy may be beneficial for a lot of people.
Three reasons why training fasted is more effective for body composition and hypertrophy goals.
- Less digestive issues. I find that I feel quite heavy and have trouble focusing on my workout when I’ve eaten food beforehand. My body is focusing on digesting, inhibiting energy to get to the muscles first, where they are needed the most. When working out in a fasted state, the focus is on what I’m doing, whether it’s lifting heavy weights or interval training. It also means that I’m a lot more effective, therefore receiving the best results. This strategy may not work for everyone, but I have found it to work best for me. If you suffer from IBS, have a sensitive gut or food allergies, it could be a great alternative. Getting used to this method may take some time, but I guarantee you will get great results.
- Training in a fasted state activates Human Growth Hormone. HGH is the hormone to activate, as it not only promotes muscular growth but increases your fat-burning potential as well. I train to increase lean muscle mass, as well as maintain my leaner body composition. Fasting also keeps your insulin levels lower during the day, which can further promote the benefits of HGH. The only bad news is that HGH triggered with longer fasts (above 16 hours), therefore you will have to stretch yourself a bit more to get the benefits. It’s not all that bad for the benefits you receive.
- You are training your body to become more flexible metabolically. When you fast regularly, especially when training, you create a learning environment for your body, to use food effectively as an energy source. I find that I can consume a lot more carbohydrates (and I’m talking the non-refined types here) to assist with my training and recovery. What excellent news for those who are a bit more carb intolerant, to find that extra carbohydrates negatively affect their body composition. Allowing your body to feed and fast regularly helps push the body into energy efficiency mode. Our bodies are always capable of this, but when we overfeed or consume too many food alternatives, it can leave it in disarray. You will discover over time, that increasing your protein or even your carb consumption, won’t have adverse body composition effects as it used to. I had some problems with this before fasting. Now it’s a thing of the past. Allow your body the time it needs to heal and regenerate with fasting, and it will serve you a lot more efficiently with the food you consume.
I hope this does help you somewhat. We all have different bodies and what works for one, may not for another. Allow some time and space to experience various alternatives to find out what works best for you.
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