Does Intermittent Fasting Make You Gain or Lose Muscle?

The intermittent pattern of the most popular diet tends now a days.

There are many various types, But they have in common fasts that last longer than regular night fasting.

While the study has shown that it can help you lose fat, Some people are concerned that intermittent fasting can also lead to muscular loss.

Types of Intermittent Fasting

While intermittent fasting is quite common or popular, Sometimes it’s confusing as to what it really is.

This is likely due to the fact that intermittent fasting is a general term, explaining more than one specific type of power supply. These are the most popular types. (1):

Time Restricted Eating

Time-restricted eating (also known as time restricted diet) limits caloric intake to a specific period of each day.

It can be anywhere from 4 to 12 hours, but an 8-hour meal period is popular.

Alternate Day Fasting

According to his name, alternate-day fasting is to alternate between fasting and meal days. It means you’re fasting every couple of days.

While certain people eat nothing on fasting days (true fasting), It is more frequent to eat a small meal on the day of fasting (modified fasting).

Periodic Fasting

Periodic fasting (It’s called fasting all day) is made up of irregular fasts, separated by a few days or weeks of normal meals.

While the exact definitions differ, programs involving fasting for one or more days every 1 to 4 weeks are generally considered to be periodic fasting.

The 5:2 Diet

The standard 5:2 diet is very similar to another day and periodic fasting. This usually consists of eating for five days in a week and (2).

Very low calorie days can be considered a modified form of fasting, especially if you eat just one meal.

Religious Fasting

A lot of different religions have a regular fasting period.

One example is the month of Ramadan by Muslims and various fasts associated with Orthodox Christianity (3).

Do You Lose Muscle When Fasting?

Almost all studies of intermittent fasting were carried out in order to lose weight. (1).

It is important to note that in the absence of exercise, Weight loss often results from losing fat and lean mass. Lean mass, except for fat, including muscles. (4).

This is true when it comes to weight loss caused by intermittent fasting and other diets.

Because of this, certain studies have shown that lean mass is low Approximately 1 kg or 2 lbs can be lost after several months of intermittent fasting. (1).

However, other studies have shown that there is no reduction in lean mass. (56).

In fact, some researchers believe that intermittent fasting can be more effective in supporting lean mass while losing weight than diet, but more research is needed on this topic (7).

Overall, it is likely that intermittent fasting will lead to more muscular tissue loss than other weight loss diets.

It Probably Isn’t the Best Method for Gaining Muscle

There is limited research on the question of whether or not it is possible to gain muscle after intermittent fasting.

This is likely because weight loss is the subject of most studies about these diets.

However, the study of periodic fasting and weight training provides basic information about muscle gain (8).

In this study, 18 young men completed a muscle building program of 8 weeks. They had not done bodybuilding regularly before.

Men have either followed a regular diet or a diet plan of limited duration. The program asked them to take all their food within four hours out of four days each week.

By the time the study was completed, individuals in the time-limited food group had maintained their lean mass and increased their strength. However, the normal food group gained 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) of lean weight, while increasing their strength.

This may mean that periodic fasting is not very good for muscular gain. This may be due to the fact that the time-limited dietary group consumed less protein than the normal dietary group.

There are some other scientific reasons, why intermittent fasting can not be ideal for muscle gain.

To gain muscle mass, you need to get more calories than you burn, eat enough protein to create new muscle tissue and exercise enough to stimulate growth (91011).

Periodic fasting may make it difficult to obtain enough calories to build muscle, especially if you eat foods rich in nutrients that are easy to fill (12).

Also, it can be different to get enough protein by eating less often than with a regular diet.

Some studies have also shown that consuming protein on a regular basis throughout the day may promote the accumulation of your muscles (1314).

All these reasons do not basically mean that it is impossible to gain muscle While following periodic fasting, but it may not be the easiest or easiest diet to get muscles.

Weight Training Can Help You Maintain Muscle During Intermittent Fasting

Research has shown that weight formation can help in the prevention of muscle loss during your journey to lose weight (15).

In addition, some studies have shown this especially when it comes to periodic fasting (816).

An eight-week study investigated the combination of intermittent fasting and strength training three days a week (16).

The researchers divided the 34 men who had a great deal of bodybuilding experience into two groups: a time-limited food group (taking all calories in 8 hours a day) and a regular food group.

Both groups set the equal number of calories and the quantity of protein each day, and just when to take food varied.

At the end of the study, neither group experienced any loss of muscle mass or strength. However, the time-constrained group lost approximately 3.5 pounds (1.6 kg) of fat, while there was no change in the normal food group.

This shows that weight training for three days a week can help keep the muscle when they have lost fat during periodic fasting.

Other studies on fasting for one day out of two have shown that 25 to 40 minutes of exercise on a bicycle three times a week can help maintain muscle mass during weight loss (17).

In general, exercise is strongly recommended to keep the muscle while fasting intermittently. (8,16).

Should You Exercise While Fasted?

Also among those who use periodic fasting, There is a discussion about whether or not to exercise during the fasting period. Many studies have looked at that as well.

A 4-week study followed 20 women fasting for not-soaked exercise on a treadmill. The participants practice three days a week for one hour each session (18).

The two groups lost as much weight and fat, and Both groups have not changed their lean mass. Based on these results, it does not matter if you are practicing fasting, if your goal is to lose weight.

However, fasting training may interfere with your exercise performance, particularly for serious athletes. (19).

Due to this, studies of intermittent fasting and weight training did not use exercise during fasting (816).

Overall, exercise on an empty stomach may seem like a personal choice.

This will not make your exercise more effective, and there is even the possibility that exercise during fasting will reduce your performance.

However, some people like to exercise at the same time as fasting. If you would rather do this, it is suggested that you get 20+ grams of protein shortly after exercise in order to promote muscle recovery (19).

Nutrition Strategies to Support Your Muscles

If you would rather use periodic fasting as a tool to lose weight and health, There are a lot of things you can do to maintain as much muscle as possible.

As we have seen, strength training can help sustain muscle mass. Slow and regular weight loss ratio can also be useful.

Studies have shown that you are more likely to lose lean weight, Also muscles when you lose weight quickly (20).

It means that if you keep fasting intermittently, You should try not to cut your calories too much at the same time. Try to cut down gradually.

Although the perfect weight loss rate can be different, many experts suggest 1 to 2 pounds (0.45 to 0.9 kg) per week. However, if muscular maintenance is your first preference, you may want to pull for the bottom end of this range. (2122).

As a result of the weight loss rate, The composition of your diet may play a key role in preserving muscles during periodic fasting.

No matter what kind of regime you follow, Getting the right amount of protein is essential. This is especially the case if you are trying to lose fat.

Several studies have shown that following a diet filled with sufficient protein can help keep the muscle while fat loss (2324).

A protein intake of about 0.7 g/lb body weight per day (1.6 g/kg) may be suitable for weight loss (2325).

Sufficient protein intake may be particularly important in the practice of intermittent fasting, Given that your body is going to go for longer periods of time without obtaining nutrients.

Dietary Supplements to Support Your Muscles

If you would like to maintain or gain muscle during intermittent fasting, some nutritional supplements can be helpful.

However, please note that when you want to take supplements, For this may interrupt the results of your fasting.

Supplements During Your Feeding Periods

Two of the most important supplements that should be taken into consideration are proteins and creatine.

Although protein supplements are not needed if you obtain sufficient protein from your diet, they may be a practical way of making sure you get enough.

Especially if you’re physically involved, Protein supplementation can help improve muscle size and exercise performance (26).

Apart from proteins, creatine supplements can sustain your muscles.

Creatine is a naturally occurring substance found in the body. You can increase the quantity of creatine in your cells through nutritional supplements. (27).

Creatine supplements are especially useful when you are exercising. Creatine is estimated to increase strength gains through bodybuilding by an average of 5-10% (2829).

Supplements During Your Fasting Periods

You may want to consider whether you should take protein, creatine or other supplements like BBAAs (branched chain amino acid) during your fasting periods. This is primarily because of the idea that these times will have a negative effect on your muscles.

However, as described in this article, small times of fasting may not be a concern for muscle loss (716).

In addition, some of the health benefits of intermittent fasting may be because your body does not receive nutrients (30).

This slight stress on your body can make it stronger to fight the biggest fears, such as illness, in the future (31).

If you are taking supplementation with amino acids (including protein and BCAA supplements) During your times of fasting, you give signals to your body that you do not fast (32).

In addition, if you obtain enough protein in your nutritional period, 16-hour fasting does not appear to affect your muscles, in comparison with a normal diet (16).

In general, it is unexpected that you should take food supplements during your fasting periods. Some supplements, such as creatine, can even be better when taken with food (33).

Intermittent fasting is a popular diet program, which have longer fasting times than a regular fast night.

There are so many different kinds of intermittent fasting, like diet limited in time, fasting every second day, regular fasting, a 5:2 diet, and religious or ethical fasting.

Intermittent fasting cannot lead to more muscle mass loss than other weight loss regimens.

However, including exercise, specifically bodybuilding, Your intermittent fasting program may help you keep muscle mass.

But whether you exercise during periods of fasting is up to you. Fasting may not add benefits, and it may trade off your optimal performance of exercise.

Targeting a slow rate of weight loss and proper protein intake can help you keep the muscle while fasting intermittently.

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