At the time of this article, it’s Ramadan. This is when Muslims fast for an entire month, from sunrise to sunset. Basically, it’s intermittent fasting for 12 hours, which I just spoke about recently.
And, I’ve gotten a LOT of questions about when are the best time and best way to work out and exercise, during Ramadan.
And so, that’s what I’ll quickly discuss today.
This information is perfectly suited for anyone who is doing intermittent fasting, regardless of Ramadan, and also wants to know the best time and way to exercise when doing a 12-hour fast.
Should I Fast Before Working Out?
So, let me make this quick.
If your goal is to gain muscle, you NEVER want to lift weights on an empty stomach. Your muscles need glycogen and amino acids for a good workout.
If you’re in a fasted state, your glycogen stores will be low because you burned through your carbs when fasting and this means you won’t be able to get as many reps, nor will you have as much stamina. So, your workout will be “half-assed”.
Your body will also be depleted of amino acids since you’ve used up your protein during the fast. Protein needs to be constantly replenished. It’s hard to store it, unlike carbs and fats. And if you lift weights without any amino acids, your body will BREAK DOWN muscle tissue, for the protein and amino acids to help repair your body.
You again, don’t want this.
Remember, your body’s goal is to SURVIVE. The last thing it wants to do is build muscle. So, you better make sure everything is set up correctly to BUILD muscle, or else your body will focus on general repair FIRST, before building new muscle tissue.
Always remember, survival comes first, then new growth, and finally, adaptation. Rinse and repeat.
Yes, I’ve simplified the process because all of this comes down to having optimal hormones.
If your body is under stress from fasting and thus, NOT eating and basically, “starving”… then your stress and thus, “survival” hormones are high. This is bad stuff, like cortisol.
Your “repair and growth” hormones such as testosterone, growth hormones, and thyroid are now going to be LOW.
This is BAD for muscle growth.
When Should I Eat?
So, in an ideal world, you would eat at least 1 solid meal and preferably 2, then go to the gym.
Afterward your workout, you want to again, eat at least 1 solid meal, preferably 2, to fill up your body again.
The 2 most important meals are pre and post-workout.
So whether you’re observing Ramadan or you’re doing intermittent fasting, make sure you follow this simple rule — eat before and after your workout.
The rest of the time is up to you and not as important.
I hope this makes sense.
Remember again, it’s all about having optimal anabolic hormones while minimizing negative, catabolic hormones.
Now, I’ve got two important links.
The second links to my other article about the “Best secret for building muscle, while intermittent fasting”.
Happy Ramadan and wishing you a successful and healthy fast.
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