Intermittent Fasting Programs and Their Effects on Body Composition: Implications for Weight-Restricted Sports

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Abstract

INTERMITTENT FASTING (IF) ENCOMPASSES A VARIETY OF SPECIFIC PROGRAMS THAT USE SHORT-TERM FASTS TO IMPROVE BODY COMPOSITION AND OVERALL HEALTH THROUGH ALTERED SUBSTRATE UTILIZATION AND HORMONAL CHANGES. THIS REVIEW EXAMINES THE EFFECTS OF IF PROGRAMS ON BODY COMPOSITION AND DISCUSSES POTENTIAL IMPLICATIONS FOR ATHLETES, PARTICULARLY THOSE COMPETING IN WEIGHT-RESTRICTED SPORTS. INTERMITTENT FASTING CAN REDUCE BODY WEIGHT AND BODY FAT IN NONATHLETES, BUT LITTLE IS KNOWN REGARDING ATHLETIC POPULATIONS. MIXED RESULTS REGARDING RETENTION OF FAT-FREE MASS HAVE ALSO BEEN REPORTED. A DISCUSSION OF HOW INFORMATION FROM THE EXISTING LITERATURE CAN BE CAUTIOUSLY USED FOR APPLICATION IN WEIGHT-RESTRICTED ATHLETES IS PROVIDED.

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