Intermittent fasting – breaking fast, competition and grandmothers

In your daily training regimen, you have probably found a way to make it work, if you follow Intermittent Fasting (IF), whether this means training on an empty stomach(which for 90% of the time I would not recommend) or training after you have broken the fast with some food in the stomach.

But what do you do if you suddenly find yourself entering a competition that is on a different time of the day and maybe even before your normal “feeding window”?

Some people become so obsessed and religious with their approach to both dieting and training. Once they think they have “seen the light” they preach nothing but. In terms of IF this could mean that you under absolutely no circumstance break your fast! Whether your grandmother had been up early baking bread for her birthday breakfast or you are signed on for at high intensity competition – no matter – you will go through it with an empty stomach because all else is a sign of weakness. Utter bullshit!

In the former you are a disgrace to your grandmother in the latter you are a disgrace to your optimal performance. Yes you CAN probably get away with both – but that does not mean it is either optimal or the right thing to do.

Your muscles work optimally when burning carbs so give them carbs to operate at their best. If this means that on competition day you have to break your fast at 8am as opposed to 11am then so be it. Just be sure to have tried it some weeks ahead of actual competition day as explained in “Competition preparation do’s and don’ts” – you should not experiment on actual game day.

In my experience it makes no difference the subsequent days if I break the fast early. My stomach does not suddenly turn back to expecting breakfast at 7am after having followed IF and had my first meal at 11am for 4-5 years. Of course you can still experience some stomach upset depending on what you eat – but that’s why you should try it a few weeks before actual game day. Gather information on how you feel and act/change your approach accordingly.

The backsides of not having anything in your stomach on game day are so astronomically bigger than the downsides of breaking your fast. So break your fast or prolong your feeding window – whatever it takes for you to operate at your best on game day and then get back into the convenience of IF afterwards. IF is not a religion it’s a convenient way to time your eating.

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