Time-Restricted Eating May Help Athletes Lose Weight and Improve Body Composition
Time-restricted eating (TRE) is a form of intermittent fasting in which a person eats all of their meals and snacks within a particular window of time each day. The eating window in time-restricted programs ranges from 6–12 hours a day. A new study suggests that TRE may help athletes lose weight, improve body composition, and improve peak power output/body weight ratio.
Sixteen elite cyclists with an average age of 19.3 participated in the study. Half of them consumed all of their calories between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. for 4 weeks. The other half consumed 3 meals between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Body weight, fat mass, and fat-free mass were assessed at baseline and at the end of the study period. Participants performed a cycling ergometer test at baseline and at the end of the study period to evaluate peak power output and respiratory ratio.
Participants in the TRE group saw a 2% reduction in body weight and a 1.1% reduction in fat mass percentage. They also saw improvements in the peak power/body weight ratio as a result of weight loss. No significant difference between the groups was seen in performance.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Padova. It was published on December 11, 2020 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.