Research Alert

Intermittent fasting is becoming increasingly popular due to its simple advice: Don’t change what you eat; simply change when you eat. One popular method of intermittent fasting, 16:8 time-restricted eating (TRE), involves 16 hours fasting and eight hours eating each day. In this study, investigators were the first to examine the effects of 16:8 TRE in athletes, namely male middle- and long-distance runners, who undertook the dietary approach for eight weeks. Authors didn’t find any positive or negative impact on several measurements associated with endurance running performance or metabolic health. However, 16:8 TRE produced a decrease in body weight of approximately 1.5%, or roughly two pounds in the eight weeks. The weight change happened due to a spontaneous drop in daily calorie intake by the athletes. Authors suggest that whether this pattern continues for longer than eight weeks or other behaviors begin to bring calorie intake or body weight back up will be interesting questions for future research.