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Improved athletic performance?

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26 Oct 2010 06:36 #5288 by Kira
Kira created the topic: Improved athletic performance?
(I am new so pardon me if a discussion on exercise should be posted elsewhere)

I was wondering if anyone experienced increased athletic performance after a short fast - or as a result of intermittent fasting?

I just completed my first 4 day water fast, and I expected to experience some muscle loss. (I lost about 6 lbs during fast)

On the contrary, the day following my fast, I felt good enough to hike for 5 hours w/ elevation - I felt about 90% of normal re strength. Surprisingly good considering the distance and relative little food in my system.

Day 2 afterward, I had the strongest run I've had in months. It was incredible.

Day 3 - checked muscle strength at gym, and there appears to be no loss of strength, in fact, I am recovering from a fractured arm and even that was improved. Perhaps it was just lucky timing given I was closing in on 2 months - nearly healed)

Perhaps my body is just giddy at the lack of extra pounds, but my breathing feels remarkably deep and muscles have no residual muscle ache - they feel "perfect".

I look forward to hearing from folks on this topic!

Cheers, Kira

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26 Oct 2010 08:06 #5289 by bienguilla
bienguilla replied the topic: Re: Improved athletic performance?
Hi, I'm new to forum. Your post was interesting. My fear is that upon starting my fast I would feel so tired and not be able to work out at all. Did you have that problem? Or did you go back to gym after your fast? I am going to begin mine tomorrow. Any info would be great. Thanks.

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26 Oct 2010 08:32 #5290 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Re: Improved athletic performance?
Hi Kira and bienguilla! I have been a proponent of the "active fast" for more than 30 years now. Traditionally people were advised to stare ta the ceiling and wait to feel better during a fast.. then I observed Nature in the little nature and game reserve where I live: Eating animals are the lazy ones.. they tend to sleep most of the time. Hungry animals tend to either hunt (carnivores) or trek to find food (herbivores).

Mother Nature endowes fasting creatures with an increased abiolity to exercise. That's part of the balance or homeostasis that makes life possible.

Personally my exercise tolerance increases at least 25% during a fast.

Physical activity "signals" to your metabolism that the muscles are NOT redundant, and thus protect them from breakdown. If you do not exercise, your body might use the proteins in the muscle to make blood sugar. If you do exercise, the metabolism is "guided" towards fat which, incidentally, contains more than twice the energy per weight that muscles do.

This "guidance" is further enhanced by doing regular cycles of detoxification; see the 5-step cycle at
www.fastingconnection.com/about-fasting/faqs-about-fasting
for my sixpence worth of advice in this sense.

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.

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26 Oct 2010 08:35 - 26 Oct 2010 08:51 #5291 by Kira
Kira replied the topic: Re: Improved athletic performance?
Hello Dr. Andre and Bienguilla!

Please note I'm new here and brand new to fasting, so I'm generally clueless (just fyi:)

I should clarify..while fasting:

Day 1 I walked a couple of miles

Day 2 was my hardest and I did nothing other than go up my stairs, and that took effort, LOL (again, I may have been a wimp as I was fixated on every physical nuance, I had no idea what to expect)

Day 3 rocked, I felt sooooo much better, I did a 3 mile walk, cleaned my house, worked on projects etc, I was up late buzzing with energy.

Day 4 was very good, perhaps not as great as Day 3. I had to break my fast which was almost a shame, I could have gone longer, something I never thought I would say ;)

I expected to lose significant muscle so I opted to just walk and skip lifting and running/hiking. I assumed it would just make me lose more muscle.

I'm glad I didn't exercise during my fast now, just because I am feeling wonderful and I am not noting any physical degradation. I do look slightly different, I think I lost some fat so definition is SLIGHTLY increased. As for how well I am performing after the fast, I don't know if it is because I didn't overdue it while fasting or if maybe my body just took advantage of the rest. Or perhaps more intense "active fasting" as the doctor described, wouldn't have been a problem.

That was my experience for what it is worth, again, this is my first fast so I hope some other folks chime in.

Good luck on your fast Bienguilla, and Thank you Dr Andre for you time and pointing me in the right direction. I promise I have been reading and searching the site in an attempt to avoid redudant questions :)

Cheers Kira

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26 Oct 2010 08:43 #5292 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Re: Improved athletic performance?
Exercise, dear Kira, will protect your muscles during a fast.. the body is "looking" for anything redundant to use as "food" when you fast, so if a muscle is not used it might just be targeted to be used that way.. but it seems as if your balance of activities suits you well. Just try to complete the whole elimination cycle and not just the exercise part in isolation.

Your "3rd day experience" fits with decades of observation and my own experience. The third day is typically when the lipolitic (fat breakdown) enzymes comes into full activity, thus supplying you with enough ketones to drive the metabolism and some exercise.

Best wishes!

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.

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26 Oct 2010 09:05 #5293 by Kira
Kira replied the topic: Re: Improved athletic performance?
Thank you for thoughts, I am familiar with the biochemistry, but it was a whole other thing to FEEL it! Fascinating experience.

That's what prompted my fast, I have read so may opposing views on these biochemical pathways I figured I should just give it a test. I am so glad I did now.

You are validating my suspicion that our evolution would not allow the human creature to simply waste away with out food in such a short time...we would need some energy to find our food wouldn't we? :)

I have had some interesting experiences with endurance activities, and what it actually takes to fuel the body, it is far less than people assume. Not to mention what the human body is truly capable of, it is an amazing thing to push yourself. And I am sure I am barely scratching the surface.

I have great respect for "Mother nature" these days.

Best, Kira

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27 Oct 2010 06:34 #5296 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Re: Improved athletic performance?
You're quite right, Kira.. also bear in mind that in our evolutionary past, the tribe post-famine would need maximal survival of the female of the species in order to regain their numbers.. one or two males would suffice! That's likely why females have so much more body fat as a percentage of total weight than men. In my experience women lose less than half the weight per fasting day than men do.

And indeed, the more we study the biochemical pathways the more it fill me with awe to see just how craftily we've been designed and with how much foresight. But we've changed our environment drastically. To live most compatibly with our own make-up, we can do a lot worse than from time to time to imitate the circumstances our ancestors evolved in.

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.

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29 Oct 2010 01:44 #5313 by Kira
Kira replied the topic: Re: Improved athletic performance?
I have experienced a similar phenomena while climbing at altitude - while my body does not have that enviable strength of a man, my energy is very stable, I can continue to eat/digest longer/better than the men and my weight loss is half or less in comparison.

Interesting point you make about emulating the circumstances of our history. I like that.

I have exercised every day since my fast and I feel EXCELLENT, I tested myself at the gym, no noticeable decrease in muscle strength, and my longer run was fantastic, no muscle soreness, and my breathing is particularly easy.

Again, I am not sure why my energy/endurance seems to accelerated, perhaps I needed the break from exercise, the weight loss may contribute to the ease of my the runs..but I have experienced those variables before without such a noticeable boost.

Perhaps the fasting IS responsible for my "tune up". :)

Best & happy fasting, Kira

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05 Nov 2010 19:57 #5323 by Marsh
Marsh replied the topic: Re: Improved athletic performance?
I also find that fasting doesn;t seen to affect my stamina that much.
After about three days, I can run a full marathon, though at a slightly slower pace. Climbing hills and cycling also seen constant.
I do a little gym work - mainly toning and CV when the weather is rubbish. It helps assess my fast/energy levels.
On my longer fasts, it seems that as my body gets lighter, I need less energy to do the same step. My body feels great, and it does work.
There is a little downside, My ribs do stick out much more, and the more I work out, the leaner I'll get.

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06 Nov 2010 07:29 #5325 by TheFastDoctor
TheFastDoctor replied the topic: Re: Improved athletic performance?
Bear in mind, dear Marsh, that you need the energy in about half a kilogram (About one imperial "pound") of fat to complete a marathon. Judged by the photo I guess you may consider yourself rather lean so it would be OK to load some energy on your eating days. Energy dense foods includes nuts, seeds, oils and oily plants. You don't need a lot of protein to exercise, as this substance is supposed to have more structural functions.

André

All my posts are "generic", based on my opinions and experiences only and are not intended to replace the advice of your own licensed medical practitioner.

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10 Nov 2010 16:30 - 10 Nov 2010 16:31 #5349 by carolineq
carolineq replied the topic: Re: Improved athletic performance?
My last fast of 9 days duration (8 days of fasting) left me with a ton of energy too! My sister challenged me on the day after I stopped my fast to a run up a very steep hill and dare I say I was not challenged at all! If anything I was a little ticked off that she was taking her sweet time. I wasn't that strong prior to the fast and did lose about 14 pounds (about 6 of which was water probably)... nonetheless, I am quite confident the fast gave me an improved endurance. I haven't fasted since early September and am starting again today, but I do feel that the benefits of my last fast have stayed with me. I was eating plenty without much weight gain.

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