This Thursday April 23rd marks the beginning of a well-known fasting period, and we would like to take this opportunity to address this issue which seems to be very unclear to many of you : How can it be approached in the best possible way?
What is fasting? What's going on in my body?
Fasting' is characterized by a voluntary defined period during which the body receives no nutrient intake (dry fasting) or only water intake (water fasting). This means that during the period of fasting you are allowed or not allowed to drink water. There are several types of fasting, either intermittent fasting or fasting over a longer period of time. The latter is practiced for health benefits or also for ideological reasons such as Ramadan for people of the Muslim faith.
When the body is deprived of nutrients for a defined period of time, the body will be forced to develop physiological reactions to cope with the deprivation.
The body's metabolism is accelerated by a decrease in insulin production and an increase in growth hormone production. This results in a loss of weight, which will mainly be fat mass.
When the organism finds itself in a period of fasting, it practices cellular autophagy. That is to say, it feeds on its own cells, the ones it no longer needs. By definition, the body recycles itself by using the wrong cells as a nutrient.
This phenomenon also occurs in our intestine. Eradication of the bad bacteria, development of the beneficial ones... When we put our intestine to rest, we develop a new intestinal flora. This is why a gradual and adapted return to eating remains essential after a period of fast, especially if it was a long period of time.
If you are able to drink during your fast, do not hesitate to drink a lot. How do you know if you drink enough? You just have to pay attention to two things: your lips, if they are dry, you are dehydrated. The second is to control your urine. Your urine should be clear, always clearer than your first morning's urination.
As a matter of fact, we cannot give you a quantity because you may know that we are all different and that we have a different lifestyle too (manual or office work for example).
When your period of fasting stops, it is recommended to fill your food intake slowly and preferably by dividing the meals over your period of ingestion.
Our dietary advice :
Favour the consumption of solid proteins such as meat, fish or eggs.
Also eat solid and 'slow' carbohydrates such as wholemeal rice, sweet potatoes, etc.
Don't forget your intake of fruits and vegetables and make sure you have enough good fats such as olive oil, oilseeds, avocado...
During periods of fasting, our body's detoxification mechanism will become more pronounced. The liver will neutralizeall the more and eliminate the toxic substances contained in our body. To stimulate hepatic elimination, you can drink herbal teas of liver detox plants such as artichoke, dandelion or milk thistle.
On the level of supplementation :
Although you're emphasizing good dietary practices, a multi-vitamin complex is always welcome. Our diet has become low in micronutrients.
Taking ZMA before you go to sleep will help you sleep and recover better too.
It is interesting to consume so-called 'slow' casein-based proteins in order to have a continuous intake over several hours and thus cover the intake during the period of deprivation. If your fasting period is very short and you are unable to meet your macronutrient quota, we encourage you to think about liquid 'meals' such as: Whey/Casein + instant oats/sweets.
To break the fast and reintroduce the first nutrients during the ingestion period, it is interesting to consume A.A. This will have positive effects on neurotransmitters, increasing serotonin, adrenaline and melatonin. This will imply a better mood and an easier time falling asleep during fasting.
And last but not least...
Concerning the aspect related to your supplementation in terms of training, we invite you, if your fasting period allows it, to supplement you in the following way:
- Before training, an essential amino acid complex (e.g. BCAA, glutamine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine, cysteine).
- During training an essential amino acid complex combined with a set of anti-fatigue vitamins (such as B12-B9-B6) and possibly a solution that will stimulate you and or generate a higher production of nitrogen monoxide (Arginine, Beta alanine, citrulline). This will allow you, in spite of the caloric deficit, to have more energy, strength, endurance.
- Iso Carbo Nox: fuel intake during sport + electrolytes for good hydration. This allows you to avoid discomfort due to a lack of carbohydrates during sport, knowing that you are coming out of a period of deprivation. The intake of rehydration minerals will allow you to have a 'deep' hydration by osmosis effect.
- After training the return to macronutrients will be more appropriate as proposed above. Our advice will be on an elaborate intake of instant oats or sweet potato flour provided that your carbohydrates are proportionally accompanied by fast assimilation protein (whey isolate).
Remember that during this period of fasting, working on a type of physical preparation based on a medium or even low load and intensity will be vigorous; otherwise your lean mass ("dry" - muscular mass) will deteriorate too much and thus cause defacto atrophy, which is clearly not the desired effect.
Work towards maintenance and stabilization, focus on your technique rather than your performance. Avoid training that is aimed at seeking hypertrophy of muscle mass or pure strength.
We also advise you at this particular time to follow and respect the rules in force concerning social distancing and health in order to take care of yourself and others.
Your dedicated advisers,