Question:

I work out in the morning about 5am every day. I also participate in intermittent fasting. My question is about the intake of protein. They say after a workout within about 30min you’re supposed to intake the protein, but that would break my fast (I eat at 11:30am every day). Should I break my fast or just be sure to intake enough protein within the day? 

– Celeste C.

Answer:

Choosing between the benefits of intermittent fasting and refueling post workout depend on your primary goals. Losing weight would dictate adhering to your time schedule for eating, while gaining strength or lean mass would necessitate repleting muscle building blocks in a timely manner. Endurance exercise repletion generally involves carbohydrate recovery – though protein helps. Really, we may only be talking about 50-75 calories or so from approximately 15 grams protein! If you think that would damage your fasting impact, then skip it. But doing so will certainly mean resistance workouts won’t have the maximum intended outcome. 

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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