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28.03.2017


Strength athletes perform no better or worse with time-restricted feeding

Intermittent fasting, time-restricted feeding, or whatever you want to call it, doesn't reduce the effect of strength training on strength or muscle mass. But it doesn't have a positive effect either, write sports scientists at Texas Tech University soon in the European Journal of Sport Science.

Study
The researchers divided 18 men, none of whom had ever done weight training, into two groups. Both groups trained three times a week. One group did nothing else; the other group did time-restricted feeding on the 4 days a week that they didn't train. This meant that they only ate after 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Both groups were allowed to eat as much as they wanted.

Results
The participants in the time-restricted feeding group, and therefore had only one eating window, ate about 650 kilocalories less than they did on the days they trained. This reduction was mainly in carbohydrates. The figures below show the effect on average calorie and carbohydrate intake per week. They are statistically significant.


Strength athletes perform no better or worse with time-restricted feeding


Strength athletes perform no better or worse with time-restricted feeding



The protein intake in both groups was about 1 g per kg bodyweight per day. The researchers suspect that their research results would have been different if this intake had been higher.

The lean body mass increased more in the group who only did strength training than in the time-restricted feeding group, but the difference was not statistically significant.


Strength athletes perform no better or worse with time-restricted feeding


Strength athletes perform no better or worse with time-restricted feeding



The fat mass remained constant in both groups.

The maximal strength and number of reps that the participants managed to do at 65 percent of the 1RM increased a little more in the time-restricted feeding group than in the other group.


Strength athletes perform no better or worse with time-restricted feeding


Strength athletes perform no better or worse with time-restricted feeding



Conclusion
"Time-restricted feeding is a unique eating style that can be used to decrease energy intake, but further research is needed to examine the potential short- and long-term effectiveness and feasibility of these programmes," wrote the researchers in their summary.

"Time-restricted feeding does not appear to be detrimental to muscular improvements in young males beginning a resistance training programme, and the magnitude of improvements in muscular strength and endurance was equal to or greater than the improvements of those following their normal diet."

"While it is possible that time-restricted feeding limits the ability to gain lean tissue during an resistance training programme, additional research utilizing matched protein intake at optimal levels for muscular hypertrophy is necessary."



"Some individuals may find time-restricted feeding to be a simpler style of eating to adhere to rather than decreasing energy consumption at each meal, and personal eating preferences should be evaluated when considering a time-restricted feeding programme. Researchers should continue to examine time-restricted feeding as a means of reducing energy intake, as well as the potential interactions of time-restricted feeding, nutrient intake, and exercise programmes."

Source:
Eur J Sport Sci. 2016 Aug 22:1-8. [Epub ahead of print].

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