Fasted commute

ChrisP100
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Joined: 24 Sep 2020, 9:00am

Fasted commute

Postby ChrisP100 » 14 Oct 2020, 10:33am

Not being a massive fan of early mornings, I like to get up, get dressed, throw down 250ml of water, brush my teeth and get on the bike for my morning commute. I'm usually on the road by 0630, and it's a 10.5km ride to work with a fairly steep hill about half way. I normally have my breakfast as soon as I get to work.

Given that I don't eat before hand, and depending when and what I ate the previous evening I am often a bit sluggish, especially up the hill. Will there be any benefit to me getting up an hour earlier to have breakfast, or should I just continue doing what I'm doing?

What are the health benefits (if any) of short fasted rides?

Jdsk
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Joined: 5 Mar 2019, 5:42pm

Re: Fasted commute

Postby Jdsk » 14 Oct 2020, 10:40am

I don't think that there's much known either way. (That's known as opposed to strongly held opinions.)

How about trying both and seeing which you prefer?

OTOH "Regular" consumption of breakfast and other meals does seem to be associated with better health. As usual it's hard to know what causes what.

Jonathan
Last edited by Jdsk on 14 Oct 2020, 10:52am, edited 1 time in total.

roubaixtuesday
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby roubaixtuesday » 14 Oct 2020, 10:45am

I've no idea what the science says, but pre lockdown I used to have breakfast, then cycle to work (10 miles, couple of hills)

Since lockdown I'm working from home and try and go out for a ride, but have breakfast on my return.

I often feel sluggish now, but also did before. I'd say it's more related to weather and general mental state than food. A lovely sunny morning sees me full of vim, drizzle much less so.

Personal experience only.

whoof
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby whoof » 14 Oct 2020, 1:05pm

Jdsk wrote:I don't think that there's much known either way. (That's known as opposed to strongly held opinions.)

How about trying both and seeing which you prefer?

OTOH "Regular" consumption of breakfast and other meals does seem to be associated with better health. As usual it's hard to know what causes what.

Jonathan

Agreed, others can only tell you what they would feel like. For instance I eat a bowl of porridge before my 20 km commute almost every morning. On the odd occasion if I need to be in very early for some reason I'll do so without breakfast and then have something later in the morning. The 'quality' of my ride is unaffected. But that's me, as above try both and see how you feel.

philvantwo
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby philvantwo » 14 Oct 2020, 1:19pm

The Mrs gets up at 5am every morning for work so in the summer I'll get up with her about 3 times a week and do a 25mile ride then get home and have a shower and breakfast before work!
Roll on retirement!!

DevonDamo
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby DevonDamo » 14 Oct 2020, 2:23pm

ChrisP100 wrote:What are the health benefits (if any) of short fasted rides?


The benefits are presumably the same as for high-intensity interval training (HIIT) i.e. after you really go balls-out, your cells continue to burn fat for a long period afterwards.

There is a downside to early morning exercise though: it can kill you. If you draw a graph of times people die, it spikes in the morning, and that's apparently due to stress hormones in the blood and blood vessels not having had a chance to loosen up yet. Apparently the optimal time to be exercising is 3pm. I know, i know - individuals are different and this is probably only of significance to those who've got serious health problems anyway.

The above info is what I can remember from one of the BBC's Horizon documentaries on health, fronted by Michael Mosley. I'm not 100% sure, but I think it was 'The truth about exercise.' It's not on iPlayer at the moment, but you can probably get it on YouTube or Vimeo.

Jdsk
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby Jdsk » 14 Oct 2020, 2:29pm

I think that Mosley is quite a good presenter. But here he is saying the exact opposite:
"The best time to do it (walking/ exercise), if you can fit it into your life, is first thing in the morning, before breakfast. That way you not only manage to rev up your metabolism but also get exposed to early-morning light which helps reset your internal clock. This in turn will help you to sleep better at night."
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8390311/Dr-MICHAEL-MOSLEY-explains-stay-one-step-ahead-Covid-19-lockdown-eases.html

IMHO blood vessels loosening up and revving up your metabolism don't have any relevance. Or possibly meaning.

Jonathan

DevonDamo
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby DevonDamo » 14 Oct 2020, 3:14pm

You b*gger.... That's been me for the past half hour trying to find that Horizon programme in vain. If it wasn't a hallucination, he definitely said 3pm was the optimal time for exercise (with respect to lowering your chances of death) because that was the exact time that I used to to to the gym, and I remember being jubilant that he'd validated my hatred for anyone who's chirpy in the mornings and goes for a run before breakfast.

Jdsk wrote:I think that Mosley is quite a good presenter. But here he is saying the exact opposite:


The man's a weather-vane. Here he is listing 'early morning is best' as a myth:

https://thefast800.com/top-exercise-myths-by-dr-michael-mosley/#:~:text=It%20stays%20quite%20high%20till,midday%20and%207pm%20is%20good.

Jdsk wrote:IMHO blood vessels loosening up ... don't have any relevance. Or possibly meaning.


Mea culpa. Those were my own scientifically-illiterate words. The internet tells me that the thing I was trying to remember was 'an increase in blood platelet aggregation.'

http://sportscardiologybc.org/the-paradox-of-the-morning-run-the-influence-of-circadian-rhythm-on-cardiovascular-health-and-exercise/

Jdsk
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby Jdsk » 14 Oct 2020, 8:52pm

: - )

Time of day effects in medicine are fascinating and understudied. There are a few medications where something is known and can be taken into account, but there can be big effects eg in both efficacy and side-effects of cytotoxics where they often aren't.

And it's easy to to understand why any high-powered study is going to be difficult and expensive.

...

Very little is known about why an individual with a certain amount of coronary artery disease has an infarction when they do.

Jonathan

PH
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby PH » 14 Oct 2020, 9:14pm

I'd be very surprised if your body needed or benefited from eating before a relatively short ride, even at a moderate effort. But I'm no doctor!
Doesn't seem a complicated question to answer yourself, just try it. You may find that getting up a bit earlier improves things, whether you eat or not, or that eating simply makes you feel better for reasons other than specifically the cycling.
When I had an early morning commute I'd to start the day with a nice coffee and a piece of fruit. Time between getting out of bed to on the road around an hour, I used to feel miserable with any less, probably more from the sense of rushing than anything else.

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NUKe
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby NUKe » 14 Oct 2020, 9:41pm

ChrisP100 wrote:Not being a massive fan of early mornings, I like to get up, get dressed, throw down 250ml of water, brush my teeth and get on the bike for my morning commute. I'm usually on the road by 0630, and it's a 10.5km ride to work with a fairly steep hill about half way. I normally have my breakfast as soon as I get to work.

Given that I don't eat before hand, and depending when and what I ate the previous evening I am often a bit sluggish, especially up the hill. Will there be any benefit to me getting up an hour earlier to have breakfast, or should I just continue doing what I'm doing?

What are the health benefits (if any) of short fasted rides?

Why do you need an extra hour for breakfast a bowl of cereal takes seconds to make and a couple of minutes to eat, microwave porridge is 2 mins, toast can be put on whilst doing other things , or just have a banana.
NUKe
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ChrisP100
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby ChrisP100 » 15 Oct 2020, 10:06am

Thank's for all the replies.

Having thought about it some more, getting up earlier to have breakfast would probably see me hungry again way before lunch time. I guess the more I do it, the less sluggish I'm likely to be. I may also experiment with evening meals and see what (if anything) makes a difference.

Next time I'm on YouTube, I'll look out for that Michael Mosley stuff.

NUKe wrote:Why do you need an extra hour for breakfast a bowl of cereal takes seconds to make and a couple of minutes to eat, microwave porridge is 2 mins, toast can be put on whilst doing other things , or just have a banana.


My digestive system can be a little delicate at times, and anything less than 45 minutes between eating and riding would likely see me leaving my breakfast somewhere on the hill on the way to work. :oops:

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531colin
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby 531colin » 15 Oct 2020, 1:20pm

2 types of energy metabolism;
Glycolysis....for high energy exercise (anaerobic glycolysis for maximal efforts)
fatty acid breakdown....for relatively gentle exercise
Isn't exercise before breakfast recommended as a way to maximise your ability to process fatty acids for energy ?

Jdsk
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby Jdsk » 15 Oct 2020, 1:32pm

531colin wrote:2 types of energy metabolism;
Glycolysis....for high energy exercise (anaerobic glycolysis for maximal efforts)
fatty acid breakdown....for relatively gentle exercise

What about aerobic respiration?

531colin wrote:Isn't exercise before breakfast recommended as a way to maximise your ability to process fatty acids for energy ?

By whom, and what's the evidence?

Are you thinking of this?
https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/105/3/660/5599745
https://www.the-scientist.com/news-opinion/exercising-before-eating-burns-more-fat--study-66789

Jonathan

PH
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Re: Fasted commute

Postby PH » 15 Oct 2020, 1:47pm

I'm happy to learn more, but my understanding has been that the body has enough stored glycogen for the sort of effort described in the OP. Something like 2,000 calories?