Fasting and exercise protocol

Young woman running on mountain

One of the questions I’m asked the most is if it is safe to fast and exercise at the same time.  The answer is YES! ABSOLUTELY! One of the worst things you can do if you’re feeling well while fasting is to sit on the couch like a big starchy lump of potatoes. Exercising may help prevent episodes of hypoglycemia and reduce your small risk of having issues when refeeding after a fast.

Rule #1: Listen to your body

Use common sense to help guide you towards the level of intensity of your workout. If you’re not feeling well, take the day off and get some rest. If you’re just feeling a big sluggish, go for a walk or do a light yoga session. If you feel completely fine, then hit the weights. You may have the best weight training session of your life! I often do while I’m fasting. Even if I’m feeling a bit tired during my fast, I often have an incredible weight-training session since there may be benefits to exercising in a fasted state.


Benefits of exercising while fasting
  • It can give you an energy boost
  • Exercise can bump up your blood sugar levels a bit while in a fasted state if you’re feeling a little low
  • Improved mental clarity means you’re more focused during your workouts
  • Increased adrenaline while fasting helps you power through those extra couple of tough reps
  • The combination of fasting and exercise also yields acute oxidative stress, which may benefit your muscle machinery
  • May help you manage stress and anxiety
  • Boosts growth hormone production
  • May improve body composition
  • May raise testosterone levels

Rule #2: Hydrate

In order to have a good work out regardless of whether you’re in a fasted state or not, it’s important to be adequately hydrated. When we’re fasting, we’re not getting any hydration from foods. It is important to remember to properly hydrate before and after a workout.


Drinking water right before you work out isn’t a good idea. That water doesn’t work its way from your cup to your muscles immediately; it takes a bit of time for the water to get from your stomach to your muscles. You need to make sure you’re hydrating close to the time you plan on exercising, but not immediately before a workout.

Also, if you properly hydrate before and after and working out, you shouldn’t experience any post-exercise food cravings. Those cravings usually come about because we’ve gotten dehydrated.


The hydration protocol

First: Drink one of the following fluids 45 to 60 minutes before you plan on working out:

  • A glass of water with a pinch of natural salt (sea salt, Celtic salt and Himalayan salt to name a few)
  • ¼ cup of pickle juice, by itself or diluted in water
  • 1 cup of broth, with salt to taste

Repeat step (1) within 30 minutes of completing your workout.


The most important rule of all is to stop fasting if you feel unwell for any reason.  You can always eat wisely and get back on your fast when you’re feeling better.

Happy fasting and hydrating!

Megan Ramos

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Intermittent fasting


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