Can you fast and build muscle

Fasting Myth # 6: "Fasting Causes Loss of Muscle Mass"

This myth is closely linked to the belief that you have to ensure a constant supply of protein in order not to lose muscle mass. As I explained earlier, protein is only absorbed very slowly. After a protein-rich meal, the body is supplied with protein for several hours.

Unfortunately, so far no studies have dealt with a design that is relevant to us. For example, it would be interesting to see how the protein concentration in the blood and the consumption of individual types of tissue develop after a large steak and vegetables, followed by cottage cheese and berries for dessert. That is slightly over 100g of protein and also a typical meal for the Leangains Method.

We only have to draw our own conclusions from what we know. For example that a small amount of casein, given as a liquid on an empty stomach, is still releasing protein into the blood after seven hours. Knowing this, it is not a false assumption that after 100g of protein as part of a balanced meal in the evening, protein will still be absorbed into the blood after 16-24 hours.

A few studies have compared the effect of regular fasting on muscle mass maintenance with a control group. None of these studies looked at fasting in the way that most of us do. Some studies are full of errors in the design or methodology. Like this study, which showed an increase in muscle mass with a simultaneous loss of fat mass and without changing the caloric intake or changing the workout. Only the meal frequency was changed. I would like to use this study as evidence of the benefits of intermittent fasting, but unfortunately the BIA method was used to measure body tissues, which is too imprecise.

One problem with long fasts is that Protein catabolism. This happens when the stored glycogen in the liver is used up. To ensure a certain blood sugar level, the body converts protein into glucose (DNG: de novo glucogenesis). This happens gradually. If no protein is then supplied from the food, the body falls back on its own protein stores, such as the muscles. Mr. Cahill examined the proportion of protein in the DNG after the intake of 100 g glucose. After 16 hours, muscle protein provided 50% of the maintenance of glucose levels. After 28 hours (liver glycogen reserves completely used up), muscle protein ensured 100% of the maintenance of the glucose level.

For someone who is eating a high-protein meal before the fasting phase, there is no need to worry because they will have plenty of protein from that meal while they are fasting.

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