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29.03.2017


Experienced strength athletes lose fat by intermittent fasting, not muscle mass or strength

Strength athletes perform no better or worse if they do time-restricted feeding we wrote yesterday, based on an American study in which the participants did weight training for the first time in their life. In 2016 Italian sports scientists published in the Journal of Translational Medicine their findings from a comparable study. But the Italians used bodybuilders who had at least five years' experience of weight training. And these bodybuilders reacted a bit differently to the combination of intermittent fasting and strength training than untrained people...

Study
The researchers recruited 34 male bodybuilders in local gyms, all of whom had been doing weight training for at least 5 years. They divided the 34 bodybuilders over two groups. One group ate meals throughout the day [Normal diet; ND]; the other group ate during an 8-hour period of the day [Time-restricted feeding; TRF]. The intermittent-fasting group ate between 1 o'clock in the afternoon and 8 o'clock in the evening.

The researchers got all the participants to do identical training for a period of eight weeks.

Results
Both groups had approximately the same total intake of kcals, carbohydrates, fats and proteins.


Experienced strength athletes lose fat by intermittent fasting, not muscle mass or strength



Throughout the experiment both groups built up about the same amount of muscle mass and gained about the same amount of muscle strength. There are a few differences in the figure below, but these were not statistically significant.

The difference in effect of intermittent fasting on fat mass was statistically significant: The intermittent-fasting group lost body fat.


Experienced strength athletes lose fat by intermittent fasting, not muscle mass or strength



Intermittent fasting lowered testosterone and IGF-1 levels, raised the concentration of adiponectin, and lowered the concentration of interleukine-1-beta and of triglycerides in the blood. All of those effects were statistically significant.


Experienced strength athletes lose fat by intermittent fasting, not muscle mass or strength



Conclusion
"Our results suggest that the modified intermittent fasting employed in this study: time-restricted feed in with 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of feeding, could be beneficial in resistance trained individuals to improve health-related biomarkers, decrease fat mass, and at least maintain muscle mass," the researchers concluded.

"This kind of regimen could be adopted by athletes during maintenance phases of training in which the goal is to maintain muscle mass while reducing fat mass."



"Additional studies are needed to confirm our results and to investigate the long-term effects of intermittent fasting and periods after intermittent fasting cessation."

Source:
J Transl Med. 2016 Oct 13;14(1):290.

More:
Strength athletes perform no better or worse with time-restricted feeding 28.03.2017
The Fast Mimicking Diet: lose fat (and gain a little muscle) 25.11.2015
Build muscle mass, increase endurance capacity and lose fat through intermittent fasting 01.07.2015

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