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Intermittent Fasting and Its Effects on Athletic Performance

A Review

Levy, Emily MD; Chu, Thomas DO

Current Sports Medicine Reports: July 2019 - Volume 18 - Issue 7 - p 266–269
doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000614
Nutrition and Ergogenic Aids/Section Articles

Intermittent fasting (IFast) has been around for most of human history, and its proposed health benefits have been mentioned in ancient civilizations. However, recently, there has been a renewed public interest in IFast. Given the importance of nutrition in optimizing athletic performance, there is a concern about the effects of IFast on athletics. Most of the studies looking at performance and fasting are regarding athletes who observe Ramadan. Looking at high-intensity, endurance, and resistance exercises, studies have been varied but are uniform in showing that there is no benefit to athletic performance while fasting. More long-term studies need to be done to evaluate specific fasting protocols during sport.

Drexel Sports Medicine and Department of Family, Community & Preventive Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Address for correspondence: Emily Levy, MD, 10 Shurs Lane, Suite 206, Philadelphia, PA 19127; E-mail:

Copyright © 2019 by the American College of Sports Medicine.