Fasted training – yay or nay? Comments Off on Fasted training – yay or nay? 23,901

Some people absolutely hate fasted training, but there are also those who swear by it. Regardless of which side you’re on, there’s no denying the benefits and results one can attain from fasted training. What is fasted training? Basically, fasted training is the act of training or working out while your body is in a fasted state. A fasted state is not limited to “an empty stomach.” It could also pertain to a period of time wherein the individual has gone five or more hours without food or drink that contains calories.

If not performed properly and with the correct precautions, fasted training can definitely be counterproductive to your goals since it may impede recovery. (1) Additionally, lean muscle tissue is at a greater risk of being catabolized as energy during long, fasted states. In order to reap the benefits of fasted training, it’s important to know what body parts/muscle groups to train, the intensity at which you should work out, and which supplements to take and when.

 

Adjusting to Fasted Training

It’s very important to understand that your body will need to adjust to fasted training. For most individuals, the adjustment period may take up to 1-2 weeks. A select few may be able to adjust in less than a week and others may take longer than two weeks which is why it’s important to pay close attention to how your body responds to fasted training. During this time, it is highly recommended to train smaller muscle groups during the adjustment period as you may feel weak and lethargic due to the lack of food that you have been previously accustomed to.

Going straight to your regular training program, especially if it contains heavy compound movements, may prove to be too taxing to your central nervous system, thereby prolonging recovery time in between sessions. (2) Furthermore, it could be dangerous and may even increase your chances of getting injured.

Avoid Training Big Muscle Groups Right Away

Avoid training big muscle groups such as legs, back, chest, and avoid HIIT (high-intensity interval training). Instead, opt to do smaller muscle groups such as deltoids, biceps, triceps, calves, forearms, and perform only light cardio. Incorporate the bigger muscle groups only once you get accustomed to fasted training. There is always a risk of low blood sugar levels, also known as hypoglycemia, in a fasted state and can result in headaches, dizziness, and fainting, so transition slowly to give your body time to adjust.

Modify Your Training Intensity

Keep in mind, your body still has to adjust to training fasted so be sure to pay close attention to how your feels during and after your training. Are you exhausted? Do you still have the energy to go about your day? Do you feel lightheaded and undernourished? If you’re having a difficult time recovering, lower the weight or decrease the number of sets you perform for each exercise. (3)

Conversely, if you truly feel that you are capable of doing more and the weight is moving fast, increase the intensity gradually. This can be done by using heavier weight, keeping rest times shorter, adding more repetitions, or adding more sets per exercise.

Supplements for Fasted Training

Studies show that fasted training can significantly help with fat loss since insulin levels are very low when the body is in a fasted state. (4) When insulin levels are low, the body becomes more efficient at using fat as energy for your training. Unfortunately, your muscles can also be used by the body for energy which is why correct supplementation is vital for muscle preservation.

BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) should be taken before training to prevent your body from going catabolic and possibly losing the muscle. (5) Those who train for an extended period of time, roughly more than an hour and a half, should sip on BCAAs throughout their training session to reduce the risk of muscle loss.

A pre-workout supplement can give you a much-needed energy boost to get you through hard training sessions and may actually improve your workouts. (6) At times, getting that extra kick of energy can turn a training session where one simply just goes through the motions, into a training session with intensity for every repetition. Remember to always listen to your body. A pre-workout supplement can mask the symptoms of overtraining and eventually lead to excess fatigue resulting in missed training sessions.

A very popular fat loss stack that is meant for fasted training is the yohimbine HCL, l-tyrosine, and caffeine stack. Studies show that this stack is effective for targeting stubborn fat areas. (7) For women, these areas are the triceps, hips, lower abdomen, and legs. For men, it’s the lower back and love handles. The yohimbine HCL, l-tyrosine, and caffeine stack has proven to be effective when the body is in a fasted state.

The Final Word

Is fasted training right for you? It could be, however, if your current pre-workout nutrition protocol is already working for you, there’s no need to take unnecessary risks on fasted training.

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3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over Comments Off on 3 Podcasts We Can’t Get Over 201,275

Podcasts are the way of the future. Think radio shows but being able to listen whenever and wherever you want. The best part about podcasts is that there’s a niche for everyone. Whether you’re into finance or the Bachelor, we’ve got you covered on the 3 podcasts we can’t get over. 

Finance is Fun!: The Financial Diet

The Financial Diet is the perfect mix of learning more about finances, different career paths and having fun. Each week Chelsea Fagan interviews a guest with an interesting job position. From Youtubers to publicists, you’re sure to feel like an insider after the episode. Chelsea pressures guests to reveal big financial numbers in their life. For some, it’s how much student debt their in while others discuss how much money they made off one Youtube video. If you’re interested in learning the finances behind different professions, check out this podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts! 

True Crime Crazed: Crime Junkie

If your ideal documentary is on serial killers, then Crime Junkie is the podcast for you. Crime Junkie features two true crime enthusiasts telling stories about the missing, captured, and murdered. Each episode captivates its listeners with a thrilling narration of true-crime from around the world. There are over one hundred episodes to binge, so start listening today! Another true-crime themed podcast that you have to hear is Serial. Serial started the genre of the crime podcasts and is still a true-crime favorite. The hit podcast has three seasons. Each season the hosts investigate a murder case in real-time. With new evidence pilling up each episode, it’ll be hard to pull away from this intense series. 

The Bachelor Nation’s Favorites: The Viall Files

The Bachelor is the show that keeps on giving. Between The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise, ABC produces a season full of love and drama – but mostly drama. Nick Viall, the bachelor in season 21, recaps each episode on his podcast The Viall Files. Bachelor Happy Hour is another amazing podcast where co-hosts and past Bachelor contestants Rachel Lindsay and Becca Kufrindives dive into each juicy episode. 

Podcasts are great for long car rides, getting ready in the morning, or winding down at night. There are thousands of podcasts to choose from, so you’re sure to find one you like. We hope you’ll love these podcasts just as much as us! 

How a simple detox can boost brainpower Comments Off on How a simple detox can boost brainpower 193,490

Girl drinking berry smoothie

 

You know that one person who’s always talking about the latest cleanse or trendy detox and how “life-changing” it is. It’s almost guaranteed that within a few days, they’ll be on to the next one. Who doesn’t want to lose weight, improve endurance, and purge toxins? It’s not surprising to see short term physical benefits from detox, but often not mentioned are the mental health and cognitive performance benefits also gained from a proper detox. Mental health and brainpower benefits are significant.

Anxiety. Insomnia. Depression. Dementia. Eating disorders. Even Alzheimer’s is on the rise. While going on a short term cleanse or detox to help treat any disorder might seem counterintuitive, restoring your body to health both mentally and physically can drastically boost your mood and overall disposition. The glow of positivity from improved self-image helps interpersonal relationships as well.

Girl hiking outside
Is a detox right for me?

Grow new brain cells

  • Most detox diets are significantly low in calories which may help boost Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This chemical signal in the brain promotes new cellular growth.
  • As a result, it may lead to a number of mental health benefits including improved brain health and functioning, as well as to help stave off mental illnesses. There are some great BDNF studies available online.

Enhance focus and concentration

  • Another benefit one can attain from slightly restricting calories during a detox is the increase in focus. This is thought to come from a mechanism known as “food-seeking behavior.”
  • The mechanism involved has to do with a rise in hormone production. Dopamine, adrenaline, and cortisol boost focus and reduce distractions. Along with helping to block out distractions, a detox can also help keep your mind focused on tasks. This can help boost productivity in an academic setting or in the workplace, as well as helping to accomplish tasks at home that require efficiency and critical thinking. Additionally, it also may help improve focus and intensity during sports and other physical activities.
  • Certain supplements called nootropics help boost brain function even further by promoting increased blood circulation, stimulation of the central nervous system, and stimulating new brain pathways.

Increase blood flow to the brain

  • Detox diets can boost brainpower through PGC-1-Alpha. This multi-faceted signal assists in a wide range of bodily functions including increased blood flow to the brain improved blood circulation and supplied nutrients and oxygen.
  • This effect is quite beneficial to cognitive health.

Boost mood and good vibes

  • High levels of vitamins and minerals consumed in certain detox treatments boost mood and good vibes by producing serotonin and dopamine.
  • Processed foods, refined sugar, and other food-like products may cause mood swings, feelings of lethargy, energy crashes, and other unpleasant symptoms that may lead to malnutrition.
  • Nutrient deficiencies should be addressed in order to promote overall healthy body function.
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No more brain fog!

Improve brainpower, cognitive function, and problem-solving skills

  • This should come as no surprise. High-nutrient, low-calorie foods can greatly improve cognitive functioning.
  • Eliminating nutrient-deficient foods will lift “brain fog” caused by poor diets.
  • Clearer thought processes and faster decision-making skills may be felt almost immediately after commencing a detox.

Improve brain-signaling

  • Hydration is always important. And increasing water intake is usually an aspect of many detox plans. Proper hydration enhances overall health, and greater hydration levels can lead to improved brain-signaling.
  • It goes without saying that water is important for all living things, and it’s especially true for living organisms that are made up of mostly water. In the human body, 73% of the heart and brain is water. This is why dehydration has a direct effect on cognitive performance.

Prevent mental illness

  • Aside from boosting mood and good vibes, assisting in the growth of new brain cells, and improving cognitive performance, a detox can also help prevent mental illness.
  • Brain matter growth can help prevent illnesses like depression or bipolar disorder from developing.
  • An increase in nutrients can help reduce anger and may help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. With the rise of mental illnesses, it’s worth trying different methods every now and then to see what works best for you.

Prevent cellular breakdown

  • A detox diet can help reduce inflammation in the body. This helps prevent cellular breakdown and promote healthy cells (which, obviously, helps overall health). This is true for all the body’s cells, including those in the brain.
  • Implementing a regular detox may not only help promote the growth of new brain cells but also help protect the cells you have, which can preserve and further boost brain function.

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