Intermittent Fasting Health Benefits Amplified by Exercise, Studies Suggest

by Mike Mutzel


A new Intermittent Fasting study review suggests health benefits linked with Intermittent Fasting are amplified by exercise. We dive into these details and discuss fasting plan options to consider based upon your current fitness level and health.




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Best quote from the article:

As previously mentioned, the metabolic switches… carbohydrate to fat oxidation and ketogenesis are thought to be key factors promoting some of the health benefits of IF, liver glycogen content is substantially depleted within 90–120 min of moderate- to high-intensity exercise if it is not compensated by ingesting carbohydrates. Therefore, exercise appears to be an effective strategy to advance, and perhaps potentiate, the metabolic switch from glycogenolysis to gluconeogenesis, fat oxidation and ketogenesis.

Show Notes:

00:03 Intermittent fasting can reduce risk factors for cardiometabolic disease: high blood pressure and inflammatory signatures linked with cardiovascular disease. It is also a tool to help you lose body fat, and improve metabolic health and blood sugar.

00:25 Heart disease is the number one cause of death in developed countries.

01:10 Intermittent fasting reduces heart disease risk factors. 

01: 45 Alternate day fasting, intermittent fasting and calorie restriction, have been shown to improve cardiometabolic health and change body composition. Scheduling stops and starts for eating is easier than constant caloric restriction.  When you restrict calories, your hunger increases, your metabolic rate decreases and energy expenditure decreases.

03:15 Exercise accelerates the benefits of fasting, especially at the beginning of your fast.

04:15 Fasting, alternate day fasting, and calorie restriction reduce blood pressure.

05:00 Digestion is best done toward the middle of the day. As the sun goes down, your body physiology pivots toward preparing you for sleep, not for digesting food.

06:20 Berberine hydrochloride supplement can help maximize the health benefits of your fast. Mike finds that it acts as a mild appetite suppressant.

08:10 Fasting does not strip away muscle. After you eat a meal, there is mild reduction in protein oxidation. Post meal is a growth time.

09:20 Ketones are muscle sparing. Beta hydroxy butyrate has anticatabolic properties.

Related: Ketones Have Anticatabolic Properties in Muscle Tissue: Implications for Fasting and Exercise

10:30 The metabolic switch: At about hour 12 of your fast, your body favors fat oxidation. There are improvements in metabolic flexibility. Metabolic inflexibility is an inability to make the switch to burning fat.


12:15 A sign that you are metabolically flexible is that you can go for a day without eating. If you are unable to make the shift, it may be a sign that fasting may benefit you. Work into it.

14:04 Around hour 10 of your fast, amino acid oxidation is not favored, so your lean muscle is protected.

14:28 An increase of gluconeogenesis: making glucose anew. About 50% of gluconeogenic substrates come from lactic acid. Later in the fast it comes from glycerol.

15:30 Adrenaline and noradrenaline increase when you eat and when you fast,. These hormones help you burn fat.

16:20 Lipolysis is the unlocking of stored bodyfat.

17:57 Glucagon is important early in the fast to increase glycogen breakdown and help to liberate glucose from the liver.

19:20 The metabolic switch depends upon the quantity of glycogen stored in your liver, and, to a lesser extent, muscle glycogen.

19:40 Stored liver glycogen amounts can decrease severely after 24 hours of fasting, in sedentary conditions. It is almost completely depleted after 36 to 48 hours.

20:00 Exercise helps flip the metabolic switch. Liver glycogen content is substantially depleted within 90 to 120 minutes of high intensity exercise if carbohydrates are not added at that time.

20:26 Glycogenolysis is the breakdown of glycogen. Gluconeogenesis is the formation of new glucose from protein amino acids or glycerol backbone from fat.

21:11 If you do not exercise, you may need to increase the duration and frequency of your fast.

22:00 Fasting can remove stored fat from the heart, liver, arteries and muscle, thus improving metabolic health. Cardiovascular disease is a result of underlying insulin resistance.

22:24 A compressed feeding window is an effective strategy for those of us who exercise and/or are metabolically healthy.

23:05 Alternate day fasting can be effective if you don’t exercise and have a history of being overweight or obese.  A 5- 2 diet is two non-consecutive days of fasting in a week.

23:56 Movement, especially in the post meal window, is a fasting accelerant.



Dote-Montero, M., Sanchez-Delgado, G., Nutrients, E. R.,. (2022). Effects of Intermittent Fasting on Cardiometabolic Health: An Energy Metabolism Perspective.


Voglhuber, J., Ljubojevic-Holzer, S., in, M. A. F.,  (2021). Targeting Cardiovascular Risk Factors Through Dietary Adaptations and Caloric Restriction Mimetics. The Journal of Infectious Diseases

  1. I have been fasting for the past two years. Start eating at 11:00am and stop at 5:00pm. I have added Berberine and Alpha Lipoic Acid recently to see if it helps to lower my glucose. All your podcasts help me learn and strive to be as healthy as possible. Looking forward for your next post.

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