Q. What should you break your long fast with?
Ans. Any fast beyond 36 hours, the digestive system goes on a break and the size of stomach really shrinks. So breaking a fast needs to go with a plan. Straightway diving into solid foods which give a violent reaction in the form of watery bowel movements.
Breaking a fast with ghee or butter will be the lightest on the stomach. Next is a fermented product like curd to feed the gut.
But the most powerful food to consume after a prolonged fast is a bone broth soup or paya soup as it is called in India. Paya shorbat is the safest as it does not contain any spices or masala.
Bone broth is full of protein, it is high in gut bacteria and fibre. It also contains gut nutrients which help the gut to get in action to accept the more solid foods.
Bone broth helps repair the inner lining of your gut with the help of glycine. Prolonged fast brings in autophagy with it. At the end of the fast there are lots of dead cells which have been destroyed by the body to survive. So when you break a fast there is a sudden cell production happening all over the body at various places. There is cellular division, new cells creation by stem cells and so on. All these can be really fuelled by bone broth soup.
Stem cell production begins after 24 hours of fasting and it begins at the intestines and begin repairing there. At 72 hours white blood cells start dying and they are replaced by newer white blood cells created by stem cells.
Q. Why do I see a sprinter working out wearing a mask?
Ans. Sprinting for short duration is a good way to increase production of growth hormone by 700%. This is the HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training which is sprinting for 20 secs and then resting for 90 secs and repeating it.
The next step to really bump up the benefits is Intermittent Hypoxic Training or IHT. But first let us understand the term VO2 MAX, so popular in high end smart watches with fitness features. VO2 Max is the amount of oxygen that your body can consume in any given amount of time. So if you are exercising, that time at the peak of your heart beat, your body is consuming maximum amount of oxygen. The delivery mechanism for oxygen is your blood, specifically the red blood cells. Measured in ml per kg per min, the average values for male and female are between 40 to 45 and 30 to 35 respectively. Males can push their limits beyond 85 but for that you have to be very fit and active while for females this figure will be 75.
HIIT training with a mask is extremely dangerous and should be done with expert supervision. But for starters if you can start with short interval training like sprinting for a short duration and then resting, you will increase your VO2 Max by raising the number of red blood cells production as well as boost the production of growth hormone.
If you cannot exercise due to age or knee problem then better stick to intermittent fasting or more to prolonged fasting for a boost in growth hormone as well as spike in production of red blood cells.
Q. How many times a day should I eat?
Ans. It is important that you should not blindly toe the line of breakfast being the most important meal of the day. That was created by James Jackson and John Kellogg to sell their newly created breakfast cereal in 1906. The slogan was coined much earlier.
So technically you should aim for one meal a day or two. Whatever you want to eat should be packed in that one meal.