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Does Fasting Build Muscle?

Lizard King

Lizard King

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 9, 2010
11,595
3,418
#1
Interesting...

Could it be time to go on a hunger strike—against heart disease and diabetes? Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center in Utah reported in two new studies that fasting—not eating or drinking anything but water—for 24 hours once a week may be linked to a lower risk of these diseases.

In the first study, researchers asked 200 people if they fasted regularly. The findings: Those who said they fasted were 12 percent less likely to have both diabetes and heart disease than those who didn’t ever go without grub.

In the second study, a separate group of 30 people—none of whom had fasted before—were asked to put down their forks for 24 hours. Researchers then compared the subjects’ post-fasting blood samples to those taken after a day of normal eating. The results? The scientists observed that the male participants’ levels of human growth hormone (HGH) were 20 times higher on the days the men fasted than when they followed a regular day of eating.

What’s so great about HGH?

When your body senses you’ve run out of food, it triggers your pituitary gland to release the HGH. This hormonal surge causes your body to use more fat for energy, instead of breaking down muscle, explains lead author Benjamin D. Horne, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Horne thinks that this explains why those who fasted regularly were less likely to have heart disease or diabetes. His contention: HGH reduced their body fat, which in effect lowers the risk of these diseases, he explains. When researchers pooled this study data with the results of a previous study on a different group, the fasters had slightly lower BMIs than non-fasters. (The researchers didn’t specifically record body fat measurements in this study.)

A drawback: Twenty-four hours—the length of the current study—is nowhere near enough time to judge fasting’s long-term benefits, and the surges of HGH might only last a day or two, says Horne.

Fasting for Health: What the Believers Say

Health experts don’t usually recommend fasting because it’s believed that your body will break down your muscle tissue for energy. But contrary to popular belief, there’s no evidence that fasting for as long as 72 hours reduces your muscle mass, says Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat, a weight-loss plan combining fasting with weight training.

These studies looked at long-term and short-term fasters. But how does it work for regular guys who want to be lean? While Pilon acknowledges that there’s a lack of experimental studies to support fasting, he claims that his clients have effectively used the strategy to lose fat, improve their cholesterol, and lower their blood pressure levels.

The bonus, Pilon says, is that fasters walk away with an entirely different relationship with food. “You no longer have to continuously plan your day around the timing of your next meal, and you may be resetting your body’s expectation of when and how much you are going to eat,” Pilon points out. Further, he says, when you do start eating again, you’ll replenish what your body needs, instead of fueling a continuous cycle of digesting, absorbing, and storing extra nutrients. “Think of it like filling a hole as opposed to creating a mountain,” says Pilon.

Pilon recommends one to two 24-hour fasts per week, during which you can drink water, black coffee or tea, diet soda, and herbal tea—but nothing with calories.

Research is Limited

But still, there’s no definitive proof fasting has any special perks, explains Alan Aragon, M.S., Men’s Health advisory board member.

“Researchers have yet to do a prospective randomized controlled trial, where they assign some people to fast and others to eat the same amount of food in a more typical pattern, then follow them both see what happens,” he says.

Though Aragon doesn’t recommend fasting until there are more studies, Horne says that the occasional bout of 24-hour food abstinence is safe for most healthy adults. After all, if you consider the eating habits of earlier humans, it wasn’t uncommon to feast without knowing how long it would be until the next meal.


—Cindy Kuzma
 
AllTheWay

AllTheWay

TID Lady Member
Mar 17, 2011
4,240
411
#2
interesting. there seems to be a big trend in intermittent fasting in the bodybuilding community right now. i have fasted before for personal reasons and it leaves me feeling tired and wore out. i dang sure wouldnt do it twice a week for health reasons!!!
 
W

Wolf

MuscleHead
Dec 25, 2010
274
45
#4
Fasting for long periods of time to lose fat and preserve muscle has been performed as a protein sparing modified fast. Which is basically a fast that includes protein, omega 3 fatty acid supplementation, calcium supplementation, fiber (in the form of leafy green vegetables) and multivitamin intake. At any rate I would never follow a fast that didn't include some sort of protein intake, especially when you are lean and your body won't mobilize fat as effectively for energy.

And this part "Health experts don’t usually recommend fasting because it’s believed that your body will break down your muscle tissue for energy. But contrary to popular belief, there’s no evidence that fasting for as long as 72 hours reduces your muscle mass, says Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat, a weight-loss plan combining fasting with weight training."

After three days your body will mobilize most of your liver glycogen stores, you'll be in ketosis but you will still suffer a net protein loss of more than 70 grams a day after this point. You guys can look at the last chance diet, it was a liquid fast that was performed with just collagen intake. People died because of excessive fasting where cardiac tissue (i believe) was broken down as a result of the progressive muscle loss that occurs when quality protein is not consumed on a fast.
 
ITAWOLF

ITAWOLF

VIP Member
Dec 9, 2010
1,106
489
#5
i do kinda of a psmf--when in the field..i have to worry about flyn lead and dont really eat for a long time...and when i do its not much...i believe it has helped keep my bf down while not losing much muscle..when i do eat anything with simple sugar i get sick so i stay away...and sugarless gum keeps me regular with alot of water---i eat alot ..i mean alot of jerky in the field...i carry like 10packs of jack links
 
hugerobb

hugerobb

VIP Strength Advisor
Sep 15, 2010
2,027
56
#7
I agree DW people just need to get back to old school thinking if it was good for Arnold and Lou and the rest then it still is today I train old school which is to eat big
and train hard and long.Its worked for me for the past 25yrs and no study is going to change my mind like the old saying goes you cant teach and old dog new tricks.cause the new shit dont work stop trying to fix what aint fucking broke.Desire Determination Discipline stick too that thought and you will see results.
 
ajdos

ajdos

MuscleHead
Sep 8, 2010
2,282
388
#8
Wont catch me fasting unless I run outta money, Im eating damnit!
Interesting article, just I live to eat.
 
hugerobb

hugerobb

VIP Strength Advisor
Sep 15, 2010
2,027
56
#9
Im with u on that ajdos eating is my main priority before anything else evryone is looking for the quick fix just stay to the basics and they would get there
 
AllTheWay

AllTheWay

TID Lady Member
Mar 17, 2011
4,240
411
#10
i agree with you DW! seems like everybody is looking for something that might be quick vs the long drawn out process of living a healthy life. i doubt they had stastical significance in their studies. i think it would be interesting to do a study in a group of bodybuilders who eat correctly. would they find the same result vs a group of people who probably eat like crap so it probably is a good thing for their body to go a day without mcdonalds and the like! i have a hard time believing that depleting ones nutrients is really going to build muscle!
 
ajdos

ajdos

MuscleHead
Sep 8, 2010
2,282
388
#11
So damned true...hard work in all area will get net results...quick fixes are the big thing, but they are a losing proposition...look at the hardware the tough blue color guys are toting that shit comes from brutal workouts, consistency w diet and approach, its a 2-4-7 3-6-5 endeavor, if you aint down with that, then you aint down with results on a consistent basis.
 
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