Intermittent fasting can help improve endurance when working out.
Losing weight is a combination of both diet and fitness, and a new study has shown that one particular eating plan favoured by celebrities and dieters alike could give you a boost in the fitness department too.
Intermittent fasting, an umbrella term for various diets that alternate between a period of fasting and non-fasting during a defined period, has gained popularity in recent years, with diets like the 5:2, where you eat normally for five days then restrict your calorie intake for the other two days of a week, one of the most followed.
The 16:8 diet, where you only eat during an eight-hour window every day, 'fasting' for the other 16, is also popular, and was Hugh Jackman's diet of choice when bulking up to play Wolverine.
"Emerging evidence suggests that (intermittent fasting) might improve overall health and reduce risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease in humans," lead researcher Mark Mattson, of the Laboratory of America's Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, told MailOnline. "Our new findings in laboratory animals provide evidence that similar intermittent eating patterns can enhance the beneficial effects of aerobic exercise on endurance performance."
For the research, the team of experts studied four groups of mice; a sedentary group who had food around the clock, a group who ran on a treadmill for 45 minutes daily and had constant access to food, a second sedentary group which was deprived of food every other day, and a 45-minute treadmill group which ate every other day.
After a two-month study period, it was found the mice with restricted access to food which ran on the treadmill were able to run further and longer compared to the other treadmill group.
Results have been published by The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.