The Fast Way To Boost Endurance
If you’re hungering for extra stamina, an empty plate could be the key to smashing your cardio goals
By now you’re doubtless used to hearing that fasting has been linked to increased longevity. But such distant promises can be tough to swallow in the shortterm, especially when, well, swallowing isn’t an option. Thankfully, new science suggests there’s a more immediate benefit to getting
hangry. A European Journal
of Applied Physiology study has found that combining intermittent calorie restriction with cardio modifies your muscles on a cellular level, to serve up a feast of previously off-menu stamina. Yes, running on empty will undeniably feel more grind than glide as you’re temporarily forced to use body fat, not carbs, for fuel. But the Swedish School of Sport and Health Science found that the stress placed on your muscles when training without adequate glucose yields incredible physiological changes, responding with an eightfold increase in mitochondria – your cells’ energy factories. This means that once you restock with glycogen via a big bowl of pasta, your muscles will have more firepower than ever before.
You’ll need to cut out more than your morning oats, though. Try restricting to 800 calories, mainly from protein, the day before training to deplete your glycogen. Therein lies the difference between a meagre increased fat-burn provided by fasted cardio and a certified endurance boost. Follow this protocol once a week in the three months leading up to your race and you’ll sink your teeth into a PB – without having to chew through “the wall”.