How many of you have thrown out the idea of Intermittent Fasting because of liking that you workout in the morning and want to get some good protein into your body right afterward? See, if you ingest protein right after you workout in the morning (like you should) then your eating window begins. If your window of eating begins at 9am then you have to stop eating by about 4pm which having dinner done by 4pm doesn’t sound too appealing nor does it work in a lot of people’s schedules. So if you like to workout early in the morning, should this stop you from intermittent fasting? Well, that is totally up to you but here is some information to help you make that decision.
Let’s recap first what intermittent fasting is… in short Intermittent Fasting, known as IF is a way of eating that requires fasting for anywhere from 12 to 20 hours at any given time. This restricts you to eat anywhere from 4 to 12 hours a day. IF has caught on in the wellness world and has received praise for its health benefits, including weight loss, improved cognitive function, reduced inflammation, and better gut health. A lot of people that practice IF prefer to skip breakfast and start eating around lunch time and stop eating between 6 and 8 p.m. Which leads us back to our initial problem… So what are you supposed to do if you want to intermittent fast, but you’re a morning workout person?
Now let’s take a look at the benefits of consuming nutrients, especially protein right after a workout… consuming protein within 30 minutes of finishing a workout, a lot of people report feeling less sore the next day which shows the importance protein gives the muscles in their recovery period. This is because the protein shortly after a workout helps the body to begin quickly healing the micro-tears in the muscle you just created during your workout, which is a process which makes muscles stronger over time.
At a basic level, there are a couple of things you need to consider when choosing Intermittent Fasting or not. The easiest question is asking yourself if you can change the time you workout. If you can workout later in the day, then Intermittent Fasting is easier to tackle. If you can’t, then you need to figure out if you want to Intermittent Fast and stop eating earlier in the day or workout in the morning and not consume anything still until around lunchtime which could lead to injury and not reaching your goals in your workouts over the long run.
With the right information and knowing your body best, this decision is completely up to you. Intermittent Fasting is absolutely possible to still do and keep your morning workout, it just may take some getting used to the rest of the day with your eating schedule.
If you would like to learn more about Time-Restricted Eating which is another name for Intermittent Fast, we wrote a blog post about it here.