2

votes

Is it okay to workout and not eat until 4-6 hours later?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 28, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Hey everyone,

since I started taking Fish oil Capsules and Vit D, I sleep like a Baby and wake up very early (for me, haha, around 8), and I like to work out immediately after I get up. (usually 10 Sets ?? 20 American Kettlebell Swings (8kg) and a little dumbbell training for the upper body)

I workout every 2nd day.

After that, I usually fast, because my eating window is from about 2-9, and I like the way that kind of IF controls my hunger issues and my generell well-being.

My Question: Is that bad? Because I always read how important the PWO meal is, and that the first thing that??s getting burned after the Workout are muscles!

FYI my PWO meal usually is something like Sweet Potatoes, meat or fish, and Veggies slathered in Butter.

Btw I couldn??t be happier with my body right now, finally lost the muffin top and feeling very fit.

Thanks in advance!

Fc891327db916c10347b008acde0daca

(1022)

on May 28, 2012
at 09:10 PM

thanks for sharing that!

Fc891327db916c10347b008acde0daca

(1022)

on May 28, 2012
at 09:08 PM

I´ll listen into that one, thanks!

F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on May 28, 2012
at 08:24 PM

@Flip: The six pounds wasn't the absolute amount of increase, it was the difference between the two groups. In your case, of you had waited another four hours post-workout to eat, your bench would now be 252 instead of 258.

20203f15287a14924c714eb68a34ce6c

(596)

on May 28, 2012
at 07:38 PM

I'm currently waiting over an hour since leaving the gym, getting home, prepare the food and chug it down. My Bench press went up like 38 pounds doing so( from 222 to 258, more or less). The studies published should not be granted as holy grails.

20203f15287a14924c714eb68a34ce6c

(596)

on May 28, 2012
at 07:28 PM

FED,'im currently doing the same: IF + Wendler 531, with some adaptations in the assistance side. You wont regret it. I also take 10-12gr BCAA 30min pre-workout, sometimes with a shot of an expresso and i'm good to go!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 28, 2012
at 05:02 PM

Thanks! just listened and it seems like the conclusion is they do more good than harm. I think I'm going to make a puchase :)

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 28, 2012
at 03:41 PM

The insulin resistance thing is what prompted me to ask the question in the first place. Robb didn't seem to think it would be that big a deal. I encourage people to listen to the podcast (Paleo Solution episode 132) as they talked for a good 5 or 6 minutes specifically on this subject. You'll get a better explanation than what I can give.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:53 PM

Here you go: http://thesimplesaloon.com/2011/06/04/the-gospel-you-can-do-without/

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:50 PM

OK, looks like he's back with a new blog: http://thesimplesaloon.com/

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:49 PM

trjones you're good. I have considered BCAAs but once I found out that they can cause insulin resistance (at least in the short term), I have been weary of dosing with them. What do you think about that? I think the Warrior Diet dude talks about this, and i'm sure you can find some pubmed stuff on it too.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:44 PM

But here's a link to an interview with the LeanSaloon guy:http://www.threenewleaves.com/john-nguyen-interview-one/

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:06 PM

There is more research out there, but I don't have access to the links anymore (through LeanSaloon's no-longer-existent blog.)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:05 PM

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/early/2011/02/02/jn.110.135038.abstract

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 28, 2012
at 01:56 PM

@Severine, Flip means muscle mass gain, not mass in general.

20203f15287a14924c714eb68a34ce6c

(596)

on May 28, 2012
at 11:49 AM

a remember that podcast, Rob's answer equacionated the insulin raising properties and the protein sparing effect od BCAA. Cool podcast that one! :D

Fc891327db916c10347b008acde0daca

(1022)

on May 28, 2012
at 10:29 AM

My goal is definitely NOT Mass Gain, so it seems I´m doing the right thing :)

20203f15287a14924c714eb68a34ce6c

(596)

on May 28, 2012
at 09:34 AM

IT's not a myth, it depends GREATLY on your goals. For general well being and or fat loss, probably it is ok! For mass gaining and or performance, it's not. At least for these two, getting a dose of plain BCAA, or Leucine would be very beneficial to stimulate the protein synthetesis.

Fc891327db916c10347b008acde0daca

(1022)

on May 28, 2012
at 08:09 AM

about 3 months I´d say!

76026e8ef496039d5075440ff731aa0d

(5386)

on May 28, 2012
at 07:16 AM

I would never do that personally...how long have you been doing this?

  • Fc891327db916c10347b008acde0daca

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9 Answers

best answer

6
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 28, 2012
at 08:22 AM

It's totally fine. If you are feeling good, then it sounds like it works well for you. It's a myth that you need to eat immediately after a workout.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/post-workout-fasting/#axzz1w9OlJaZ8

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:53 PM

Here you go: http://thesimplesaloon.com/2011/06/04/the-gospel-you-can-do-without/

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:05 PM

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/early/2011/02/02/jn.110.135038.abstract

Fc891327db916c10347b008acde0daca

(1022)

on May 28, 2012
at 10:29 AM

My goal is definitely NOT Mass Gain, so it seems I´m doing the right thing :)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:06 PM

There is more research out there, but I don't have access to the links anymore (through LeanSaloon's no-longer-existent blog.)

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:50 PM

OK, looks like he's back with a new blog: http://thesimplesaloon.com/

5662d1262516ccbd70249e7aeaf58901

(681)

on May 28, 2012
at 01:56 PM

@Severine, Flip means muscle mass gain, not mass in general.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:44 PM

But here's a link to an interview with the LeanSaloon guy:http://www.threenewleaves.com/john-nguyen-interview-one/

20203f15287a14924c714eb68a34ce6c

(596)

on May 28, 2012
at 09:34 AM

IT's not a myth, it depends GREATLY on your goals. For general well being and or fat loss, probably it is ok! For mass gaining and or performance, it's not. At least for these two, getting a dose of plain BCAA, or Leucine would be very beneficial to stimulate the protein synthetesis.

5
4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 28, 2012
at 11:47 AM

On Robb Wolf's podcast a couple weeks ago they answered a question of mine about whether it made sense to take BCAAs before and after fasted training if your goal is fat loss. Rob said that BCAAs will definitely help because the last thing you want when trying to lose fat is to lose lean muscle mass. It seems like this would apply to your situation as well. Believe me, you won't bulk up doing weight training if you are in a calorie deficit, but you do want to be careful not to lose the muscle you have by starving it after a workout.

20203f15287a14924c714eb68a34ce6c

(596)

on May 28, 2012
at 11:49 AM

a remember that podcast, Rob's answer equacionated the insulin raising properties and the protein sparing effect od BCAA. Cool podcast that one! :D

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 28, 2012
at 02:49 PM

trjones you're good. I have considered BCAAs but once I found out that they can cause insulin resistance (at least in the short term), I have been weary of dosing with them. What do you think about that? I think the Warrior Diet dude talks about this, and i'm sure you can find some pubmed stuff on it too.

4ec0fe4b4aab327f7efa2dfb06b032ff

(5145)

on May 28, 2012
at 03:41 PM

The insulin resistance thing is what prompted me to ask the question in the first place. Robb didn't seem to think it would be that big a deal. I encourage people to listen to the podcast (Paleo Solution episode 132) as they talked for a good 5 or 6 minutes specifically on this subject. You'll get a better explanation than what I can give.

Fc891327db916c10347b008acde0daca

(1022)

on May 28, 2012
at 09:08 PM

I´ll listen into that one, thanks!

1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

(14952)

on May 28, 2012
at 05:02 PM

Thanks! just listened and it seems like the conclusion is they do more good than harm. I think I'm going to make a puchase :)

3
Dc6407193ba441d1438f6f0c06af872b

on May 28, 2012
at 12:52 PM

For normal people with a health & longevity outlook: eat paleo and exercise. As to all the details of exactly how often you eat, postworkout nutrition, etc: irrelevant. Just get a system going that works in the context of your life, and enjoy. You're doing great!

Even in the realm of exercise, Robb's first principle is "do what you love".

2
Dfe1dfb34939145fe21b3d8fa6832365

on May 28, 2012
at 07:34 PM

There have been some good answers here already, with sources.

I'd like to offer just my personal experience..

I IF with a 4-hour feeding window, and the rest is water fasting. Initially I lost quite a bit of muscle, but after a couple months I was able to eat more, and my body became more adapted to fasting, and I started gaining muscle again.

I encountered a similar issue when I started doing high intensity cardio, sometimes as early as 9:30am and not eating till as late as 8pm. But once again my body adapted and my weight returned.

Currently I do as much or as little activity as I like each day (including hypertrophy inducing exercises) and muscle can still be gained simply by eating more, despite doing a training session and not consuming any calories till 8, or so, hours later.

In my experience PWO meals are beneficial, but by no means required. This is just my experience though.

Fc891327db916c10347b008acde0daca

(1022)

on May 28, 2012
at 09:10 PM

thanks for sharing that!

2
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on May 28, 2012
at 12:58 PM

What you're doing is very good for you - you're starting autophagy, which will extend your life, you're also resetting any insulin resistance, which is also a very good thing.

I don't know if you have to wait 4-5 hours, but certainly 1-2 hours is more than enough for the effects above.

You won't start catabolizing muscle until after something like 16-20 hours. As trjones mentioned, BCAAs are also good for preventing muscle loss. So obviously make sure that during your eating window, you eat enough, and on rest days that you actually rest.

Congrats on the fat loss. :)

1
Medium avatar

(19469)

on May 28, 2012
at 06:57 PM

I'm starting a little IF experiment myself and am looking to follow an 8-16 plan (8 hr feeding window, 16 hr fasting) along with a 5/3/1 lifting program.

I asked for some feedback on the Paleo Reddit group and you might find some of the responses interesting... http://www.reddit.com/r/Paleo/comments/u5a9b/if_intermittent_fasting_results_and_experiences/

I've only been following the IF plan for about 5 days now and so far I'm feeling subjectively good. I am also tracking weight, body fat, measurements, etc. so I will be able to watch any changes that manifest along with performance metrics like numbers for bench, squat, etc.

It makes sense to me to pick up BCAA supplements for pre-workout in order to spare lean tissue during intense exercise, so I will be starting those when I begin the lifting program this Friday.

20203f15287a14924c714eb68a34ce6c

(596)

on May 28, 2012
at 07:28 PM

FED,'im currently doing the same: IF + Wendler 531, with some adaptations in the assistance side. You wont regret it. I also take 10-12gr BCAA 30min pre-workout, sometimes with a shot of an expresso and i'm good to go!

1
F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on May 28, 2012
at 03:20 PM

This study ... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17095924 ... compared protein/carb supplementation 1 hour before and after resistance training with the same supplement 5 hours before and after training.

I have access to excerpts from the full text. They measured strength gains in three different lifts. In one lift the timing didn't make any difference. In the two other lifts (squat, bench-press) the one-hour protocol had some benefit. After 10 weeks of training, for example, the 1-hour protocol was worth an extra 6 pounds in the 1RM for the bench-press.

You can draw your own conclusions.

20203f15287a14924c714eb68a34ce6c

(596)

on May 28, 2012
at 07:38 PM

I'm currently waiting over an hour since leaving the gym, getting home, prepare the food and chug it down. My Bench press went up like 38 pounds doing so( from 222 to 258, more or less). The studies published should not be granted as holy grails.

F0a3e3f17d9a740810ac37ff2353a9f3

(3804)

on May 28, 2012
at 08:24 PM

@Flip: The six pounds wasn't the absolute amount of increase, it was the difference between the two groups. In your case, of you had waited another four hours post-workout to eat, your bench would now be 252 instead of 258.

0
5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on May 28, 2012
at 07:35 PM

It's ok .

0
1edb06ded9ccf098a4517ca4a7a34ebc

on May 28, 2012
at 02:01 PM

I have switched to IF-ing 1x per week, and, I will workout and not eat until 3-4 hours later. However, I do take 5g glutamine post workout, religiously.

my opinion is that working and fasting 16hrs a day and not eating until several hours after your workout will result in reduced muscle mass and performance gains. I would say that improved muscle mass/body fat ratio improves insulin sensitivity more so than IFing. You will be in autophagy merely by working out (resistance training is catabolic, recovery is anabolic). In order to recover you want to become anabolic as quickly as possible post workout. So, consuming protein/carb beverage will do this. This will not halt fat burning- it will repair your muscles and restore some precious muscle glycogen. You will also be improving your muscle/fat ratio.

If you want to have the best of both worlds, I would say to consume a liquid carb/protein beverage immediately post workout.

If you are not opposed to protein powder, I would recommend taking 21g protein with 10-20g SUGAR immediately post workout, and then waiting however long you wish to consume an actual meal. As long as your calories are controlled, you will not gain size but will only get tighter and leaner. The protein shake with added sugar will be just enough to jump start the repair process. it will not go to fat because you are highly insulin sensitive post workout and your muscles are starving. As you get leaner, you can increase the amount of sugar you consume post workout.

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