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Electrolyte Supplements for Intermittent Fasting


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I've been doing the 16/8 intermittent "fast" for a long time but I feel it's been too easy with limited benefits. That's 16 hours without eating and an eating window of 8 hours.

 

So I recently switched to the harder 20/4 (eating window of 4 hours) intermittent fast and am considering moving to OMAD (one meal a day plan) later. I will probably switch things up though to avoid my metabolism getting too used to these more severe plans.

 

Anyway so far I am liking the 20/4 and can feel that the longer fasting time makes a difference.

 

However there is so much conflicting information about the technical details about fasting.

 

I am seeing a consensus that if doing 20/4 or OMAD you need to take electrolyte supplements. Which is what this topic is meant to mostly be about.

 

I also see a consensus to take either multiple vitamins, B complex, or both (with food!) and using apple cider vinegar is also frequently mentioned. Anyway obtaining vitamins or vinegar is not a problem, but I have no experience with electrolytes.

 

I associate them with body builders, athletes, etc. 

 

So as I'm in Thailand I'm wondering what exact brand of electrolyte that I should buy, what dose I should take, should it be daily or only on exercise days, and when should I take them (before exercise?). 

 

Drinking a supplement with sugar during the fasting period would break the fast, and sugar in general as we all know by now, is undesirable. I think a lot of these supplements are flavored with sugar. Some use stevia though which I think might be OK. Coconut water is out. 

 

So I think anyone who has read this far would get the gist of my question by now.

 

If you have anything to add about this specifically with products available in Thailand, please post.

 

Thanks. 

 

 

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Well, as no reply about electrolytes, might as well raise a more general issue.

Mixing it up. 

It's always good to learn lessons as we try new things in life, whether about eating plans or really anything.

A lesson which I think I've learned from my quite long 16/8 intermittent fast is that I kept doing that same thing and didn't mix it up.

In other words whatever you're doing even more extreme plans, if you're not mixing it up, the body will just learn to adjust to that and lessen or ruin any positive outcomes you were looking for. 

Based on my own experience and many outside sources, that's a common and big mistake. 

So I'm doing the 20/4 now and falling into the same pattern of keeping that the same. 

I know I should have a plan to mix it up, but I'm not yet sure about the specific details. 

This video provides an example of one woman that mixed it up well:

 

 

Edited by Jingthing
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What did you see as a long term effect of the 16/8 diet?

You're correct anything that stimulates your bodies insulin

production breaks the fast and you may want to find a diabetic 

powder supplement in Facino as all the Sponsor type

drinks will have sucrose as an additive.  

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6 hours ago, 4reaL said:

What did you see as a long term effect of the 16/8 diet?

You're correct anything that stimulates your bodies insulin

production breaks the fast and you may want to find a diabetic 

powder supplement in Facino as all the Sponsor type

drinks will have sucrose as an additive.  

As per this forum topic weight loss or at least prevention of weight gain. 

Like many people during the pandemic my physical activity has been way down so I thought it was a good idea when that started to do something to counter. 

The effects faded over time which I do think is probably because of not mixing it up though of course I can't prove that.

 

Here are some possible potential benefits.

 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-health-benefits-of-intermittent-fasting

 

I found something that might help with my question about electrolytes.

 

As I'm adding apple cider vinegar to my routine as is so often recommended for use with intermittent fasting I saw an item that suggested adding Himalayan sea salt to that as a good electrolyte source. 

 

I will mention that since starting the 20/4 my energy levels and mental focus have noticeably improved. Doing lots of long procrastinated chores. At times I almost feel speedy  Hunger isn't a problem as I was already used to the 16/8 and I try to eat nutritious ample meals with adequate portions and healthy fats 

 

 

 

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I started with the 5/2  to lose weight successfully and when it became onerous, I switched to daily variants. Regarding electrolytes: I have been on electrolytes drips in hospital: basically a form of saline solution with sugar like additives. You can buy electrolytes drinks commonly used by athletes. You tend to lose electrolytes via perspiring, fevers, sun stroke,urination or some illnesses or medical treatments. As with all such issues I always suggest: see a good doctor.

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I also intermittent fast on the 16/8 scheme but break from it every now and then for a reset.

My objective was controlling insulin and losing visceral fat from my internal organs 

and it works well I feel in those regards.

Studies show you can plateau after a while and if you'd like to lose more weight 

actual exercise is needed.  

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13 hours ago, 4reaL said:

I also intermittent fast on the 16/8 scheme but break from it every now and then for a reset.

My objective was controlling insulin and losing visceral fat from my internal organs 

and it works well I feel in those regards.

Studies show you can plateau after a while and if you'd like to lose more weight 

actual exercise is needed.  

I understand your point about the helpfulness of exercise. I do exercise moderately and I'm sure there would be a benefit to stepping that up, but I still think the plateau thing is much more about the metabolism reset and the body knowing your game if you don't change it than exercise. 

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Back to the secondary topic about mixing it up.

For now the 20/4 is still definitely new enough to my system to be working. 

But I do plan on mixing it up probably including full days of fasting and even some days of non intermittent fasting.

However, I don't really have a specific plan for how do that yet, as in the exact schedule to follow.

The video I posted in the OP provides one idea but I'm wondering if others have some ideas on specific plans.

I'm not sure that the specifics are as important though as just doing the shocking my system often enough so that it doesn't figure out what I'm doing so that it makes unwelcome adjustments / resets. 

But I don't know the definition of often enough.

Wait for clues that my body is adjusting too well or make sure to shock my system before noticing anything like that?

My gut feeling is that if I start to notice any clues of too much adjustment, I wouldn't have shocked my system soon enough. 

But that's only a guess.

Edited by Jingthing
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20 hours ago, Jingthing said:

But I do plan on mixing it up

I saw a doc a few years ago abt a village in S. America - - whatever -- but the doctor doing the study had a plan of intermittent fasting days, non-fasting days and total fasting days in the course of a week... it showed his limited experience as quite positive but only over a 2 month period or so...

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Can't speak with any authority on any diet I've not tried but I have for the last 7 years been eating a blood type '0' diet, (google it) took a few years to settle into it, but heaps better for it now.

It's more about not eating unsuitable foods for blood type '0' rather than eating any special foods.

And you don't have to stick to it 100%, if you can manage 90% it's fine.

Have heard doing a day fast a fortnight is a help with the health too.
That is no eating for an entire day, from wake up till go to sleep, just liquids, electrolytes would be acceptable.

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2 hours ago, kenk24 said:

I saw a doc a few years ago abt a village in S. America - - whatever -- but the doctor doing the study had a plan of intermittent fasting days, non-fasting days and total fasting days in the course of a week... it showed his limited experience as quite positive but only over a 2 month period or so...

Yeah I am getting the impression that I'm going to need to do full fasting days more often than I would want which honestly is never. I'm not so much worried about the hunger and crankiness which I would expect but the psychological impact of not having the pleasure of foods during those times. Obviously the 20/4 or Omad does limit that pleasure but I've had no problem with the 20/4. Maybe I can reduce the frequency of total fast days by keeping the 20/4 as my core program and using Omad sometimes instead of full fast.

In other words, lots of switching. 

 

20/4

16/8

Omad 

Total fast

No fast

 

But with what schedule?

 

Maybe I could randomly pick them daily out of a hat? Just kidding. 

Edited by Jingthing
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I also am in the process of fasting currenlty 20/4 which suits me fine

As for electrolytes LAZADA has everything you need 

Himalayan Pink Salt
Bicarbonate of Soda
Pottassium Chloride 

per 2 litres water 

1/2 teaspoon Himlayan Pink salt
1 teaspoon Potassium Chloride 

1/2 Bicarbonate soda

 

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2 minutes ago, Nadia6 said:

I also am in the process of fasting currenlty 20/4 which suits me fine

As for electrolytes LAZADA has everything you need 

Himalayan Pink Salt
Bicarbonate of Soda
Pottassium Chloride 

per 2 litres water 

1/2 teaspoon Himlayan Pink salt
1 teaspoon Potassium Chloride 

1/2 Bicarbonate soda

 

Interesting. 

I already have the Himalayan salt.

I see that is mixed in 2 liters of water.

That's a lot of water.

Is that meant to be only one daily dose?

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Just now, Jingthing said:

Interesting. 

I already have the Himalayan salt.

I see that is mixed in 2 liters of water.

That's a lot of water.

Is that meant to be only one daily dose?


I drink around 2 liters per day and since you are fasting you need to be drinking enough water with electrolyes else you will start feel light headed and tired, remember the water here has absolutely ZERO minerals in it and it generally desalinated water with nothing in it.

Drinking water also eases hunger pains initially when you start fasting  after the first couple of days hunger pains should stop and if you do feel the urge drink a glass of water.

Now its very easy for me on the 20/4 and many times I do 23/1 just depends on how I feel.

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20 minutes ago, Nadia6 said:


I drink around 2 liters per day and since you are fasting you need to be drinking enough water with electrolyes else you will start feel light headed and tired, remember the water here has absolutely ZERO minerals in it and it generally desalinated water with nothing in it.

Drinking water also eases hunger pains initially when you start fasting  after the first couple of days hunger pains should stop and if you do feel the urge drink a glass of water.

Now its very easy for me on the 20/4 and many times I do 23/1 just depends on how I feel.

Yeah I see your point but because I has been doing the 16/8 for so long the transition to 20/4 was pretty easy. But when I start doing all day fasting yeah I think that will be hard.

 

Anyway based on your answer I'm assuming those measurements are a suggested daily dose.

 

Thank you.

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Thai monks are not permitted to eat from noon until dawn the next day. I don't know how much they eat during the five or six hours, but I'm sure there are no restrictions on sugar, and I'm pretty sure they don't use electrolyte substitutes. I've been trying to cut down on the amount of sugar I eat, but not give it up altogether, so I haven't really paid attention, but I take a sports drink called New Tower Electrolyte Beverage. Sorry, I have no idea if it contains sugar, as the components are written in a very small Thai font which I can't read without a magnifying glass. I sympathize with your plight, but I think you're trying to be too strict. Long ago I adopted a motto from the alt.fitness Usenet News group, "Breathe through your mouth." The meaning is, you don't get extra points for running a marathon only breathing through your nose. Good luck with your quest.

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A bit of an update.

I've decided not to stress so much about electrolytes while on the 20/4 program unless I actually have symptoms like headaches and dizziness, which haven't happened.

If I do start doing some full day fasts then I would take some but maybe just some Himalayan salt would be OK for that length of fast.

I am even considering a seven day fast in which case I would take this much more seriously, including protocols for safely breaking the fast.
I doubt I will actually do that because I think it would be very, very hard but I do see the potential benefits.

Once in my life I did a total fast for over a month! It was a spiritual experience and I don't regret it, but I was in my 20s at the time. 

As far as what I have been doing so far I can now say that the 20/4 is significantly harder for me than the 16/8 which turned out to be too easy.

Sometimes the no pain no gain (or loss) cliche has some truth.

I have yet to mix it up from the 20/4 even once. I tend to get into habits and think mixing it up might be hard for me. But I still feel that I will need to eventually. 

There was another possible "mistake" I made with the 16/8. Based on various sources I heard it was OK to have put a few tablespoons of whole milk into morning coffee while on a fast. It's not that I even like milk in my coffee. I was concerned that black coffee would upset my stomach while empty.

Well it's apparently not that foolproof.

First of all if you do milk your coffee during a fast it should be all fat CREAM not whole milk and certainly not reduced fat milk. 

Also whether even the cream messes up your fast can be based on the individual.

So I have switched to only black coffee. So far, it hasn't made me sick but I'm still not thrilled about black coffee on an empty stomach.

As far as results, well, as far a fairly rapid weight loss, yes, it is working at least for now. 

As far as do I think being on a 20/4 very long term (presumably with some mixing it up) is sustainable for me or not, I do think it is sustainable though as stated still unsure if I can handle the full fast days. I partly feel this way because I did sustain the 16/8 for so long so easily. 20/4 is harder but not so hard that I feel that I can't do it. As far as OMAD long term, I'm sure I can do that as a mix it up occasionally, but I doubt that I could sustain that long term.

Obvious tips:

While in the eating window, focus on nutrition.

Don't be afraid of healthy fats. They help you keep the fasting part.

Do not "diet" as far as portions during the eating window. Eat enough to satiate well!

More vegetables, less carbs, and sadly less fruits (because of the sugar). 

 

To add, as far as side effects, the initial phase of being super energetic and even "speedy" have largely faded, but I still feel that my mental focus is much improved, but physically not so much.

 

I am maintaining my previous not overly aggressive exercise program, doing the exercise before breaking my fast (which I've seen recommended). 

Edited by Jingthing
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On 12/23/2020 at 10:54 PM, millymoopoo said:

Can't speak with any authority on any diet I've not tried but I have for the last 7 years been eating a blood type '0' diet, (google it) took a few years to settle into it, but heaps better for it now.

It's more about not eating unsuitable foods for blood type '0' rather than eating any special foods.

And you don't have to stick to it 100%, if you can manage 90% it's fine.

Have heard doing a day fast a fortnight is a help with the health too.
That is no eating for an entire day, from wake up till go to sleep, just liquids, electrolytes would be acceptable.

 

 

Interesting as I've asked doctors about the blood type diets all told me its absolutely bovine scatology.

 

 

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5 hours ago, 4reaL said:

Interesting as I've asked doctors about the blood type diets all told me its absolutely bovine scatology.

Definitely works for me, not saying it will work for anyone else, but labelling it as 'BS' is a closed mind to it, thus eliminating any possibility it might work them.!

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Posted (edited)

I've made some new adjustments to my intermittent fasting program based on continuing research.

 

First thing in the morning I drink a large glass of water with 1/8 teaspoon Himalayan salt (could use sea salt as well) and 1 tablespoon of unfiltered Apple Cider vinegar.

 

Then an hour or to later I drink my one large black coffee of the day. 

 

Plenty more water as well.

 

Another tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in a large glass of water one half hour before breaking the daily fast.

 

I don't start my four hour eating window until currently 3:30 p.m. 

 

Yes I know it sounds like this would be brutal on an empty stomach, but so far, doesn't seem to be an issue.

 

I eat two meals during the four hour eating window. Because four hours isn't a long time and I want to still be hungry for the second meal, I eat ample portions but try to limit that somewhat.

 

The ACV acts as a mild appetite suppressant and I'm finding myself frequently not finishing the food and either tossing the excess or saving for leftovers when apt.

 

This is significant for me because I'm a visual eater. If it's on the plate and it's not disgusting, I have generally cleaned the plates.

 

After the first meal (lunch?) I usually have a hot cocoa (Hershey's 100 percent Cacao powder) with cinnamon and a tiny bit of honey. That of course has caffeine in it. 

 

Then later a bottle of soda water.

 

After the second meal (dinner?) I have a large pot of strong green tea.

 

Problems with hunger have been very minimal. 

 

I am finding the new morning regime has resulted in increased mental and physical energy until breaking the fast. Still not as "speedy" as my initial response but quite good.

 

Note the use of ACV is probably controversial. It's no kind of magic bullet and there might be downsides but I'm liking it so far. If you try ACV to avoid permanently damaging your teeth enamel, don't take it straight, it needs to be well diluted, drink it through a straw, and afterwards rise out your mouth well with water.

Edited by Jingthing
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  • 1 month later...

Well, it's time for an update.

I've experimented with "mixing it up" and found that quite hard.

For me, staying on the set schedule 4/20 (4 hour eating window) remains doable enough.

I am still doing the morning thing of ACV with Himalayan salt and then black coffee.

I am even exercising BEFORE breaking the fast in late afternoon, as is generally recommended. At first that sounded pretty radical but that remains doable enough.

Doing research there is all kinds of conflicting info about mixing it up.

Well, I've realized that won't work for me.

But then I saw another source saying, be careful, you will reset your metabolism lower with intermittent fasting just as calorie restricted "dieting" does.

It suggested taking an occasional long break. At least a week, maybe two, after doing the fasting for four or five weeks.

By break it's meant eating three meals a day but being careful to not gain weight during that time. In other words, losing weight during that time isn't even the goal. Rather, just not going backwards.

So I've done that one time already. I was able to stay stable during my one week "break" period and am now back on the 20/4 intermittent fast. 

My initial hope was to lose weight at about 6 to 8 pounds a month. Well with this current program, that's not going to happen. 4 or 5 at the most is the more realistic. But the larger goal is to avoid hitting the frustrating wall of a plateau. So far I've avoided that. Maybe the one week break has helped with that. I really don't know. 

I think I've mentioned this before but I don't think it can be said enough. There is no one plan or program that will work for everyone. You need to do the work, research, and experimentation, and try to find what works for you. You might not succeed but hopefully it will be worth the effort.

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7 hours ago, Jingthing said:

Well, it's time for an update.

I've experimented with "mixing it up" and found that quite hard.

For me, staying on the set schedule 4/20 (4 hour eating window) remains doable enough.

I am still doing the morning thing of ACV with Himalayan salt and then black coffee.

I am even exercising BEFORE breaking the fast in late afternoon, as is generally recommended. At first that sounded pretty radical but that remains doable enough.

Doing research there is all kinds of conflicting info about mixing it up.

Well, I've realized that won't work for me.

But then I saw another source saying, be careful, you will reset your metabolism lower with intermittent fasting just as calorie restricted "dieting" does.

It suggested taking an occasional long break. At least a week, maybe two, after doing the fasting for four or five weeks.

By break it's meant eating three meals a day but being careful to not gain weight during that time. In other words, losing weight during that time isn't even the goal. Rather, just not going backwards.

So I've done that one time already. I was able to stay stable during my one week "break" period and am now back on the 20/4 intermittent fast. 

My initial hope was to lose weight at about 6 to 8 pounds a month. Well with this current program, that's not going to happen. 4 or 5 at the most is the more realistic. But the larger goal is to avoid hitting the frustrating wall of a plateau. So far I've avoided that. Maybe the one week break has helped with that. I really don't know. 

I think I've mentioned this before but I don't think it can be said enough. There is no one plan or program that will work for everyone. You need to do the work, research, and experimentation, and try to find what works for you. You might not succeed but hopefully it will be worth the effort.

Fyi i lost 22 kilograms in 12 months time just by eating from 13:00-19:30. Nowadays I basically eat 2 meals a day barely any alchohol and or unhealthy snacks. I still doing it till this day but in last few months my weight stayed the same which is fine. Its 82 kg and length is 186 cm as before i was 102 kg. I been intermittent fasting since about 15 months now.

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A fascinating article about intermittent fasting with an emphasis on reporting about scientific research on the subject.

It presents more contradictory information for me.

It appears to be showing evidence that having your eating window earlier in the day is more beneficial. 

That's the opposite of much of what I've found suggesting that you should try to to break your fast after waking until much later.

 

Intermittent fasting and why when you eat makes a difference - The Washington Post

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2 hours ago, Jingthing said:

A fascinating article about intermittent fasting with an emphasis on reporting about scientific research on the subject.

It presents more contradictory information for me.

It appears to be showing evidence that having your eating window earlier in the day is more beneficial. 

That's the opposite of much of what I've found suggesting that you should try to to break your fast after waking until much later.

 

Intermittent fasting and why when you eat makes a difference - The Washington Post

Can not open the links seems it requires a payment ? anyway its correct the earlier in the day ur last meal the better but also the more boring/annoying.

But ur eating hour is only 4 hours right? Mine its 6 hours.

I eat from 13:00 till 19:00 but i could go from 11:00 till 17:00 but i don’t see the urge.

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18 minutes ago, BigStar said:

Black good. On non-fasting days, eat bf before having the black coffee. 

 

The study found a strong coffee first thing in the morning can impair the body’s glucose response, so the researchers recommend coffee should be consumed after food and not before.

--https://newatlas.com/health-wellbeing/coffee-before-after-breakfast-glucose-insulin-metabolism/

Well I'm fasting most of time starting in the afternoon so I feel like I can't do without coffee in the mornings on an empty stomach. For awhile I was adding a little whole milk, cream would have been better, but I felt that was breaking my fast so switched to black. 

I've heard the same negative thing as you said about coffee but I'm not sure what to do other than to go into coffee withdrawal. I've found over the years that I really must have coffee.

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On 12/24/2020 at 9:42 PM, Acharn said:

Thai monks are not permitted to eat from noon until dawn the next day. I don't know how much they eat during the five or six hours, but I'm sure there are no restrictions on sugar, and I'm pretty sure they don't use electrolyte substitutes. I've been trying to cut down on the amount of sugar I eat, but not give it up altogether, so I haven't really paid attention, but I take a sports drink called New Tower Electrolyte Beverage. Sorry, I have no idea if it contains sugar, as the components are written in a very small Thai font which I can't read without a magnifying glass. I sympathize with your plight, but I think you're trying to be too strict. Long ago I adopted a motto from the alt.fitness Usenet News group, "Breathe through your mouth." The meaning is, you don't get extra points for running a marathon only breathing through your nose. Good luck with your quest.

Most sports drinks contain loads of sugar. If you want to cut back try soda, lime and stevia. Tastes great and 0.1% sugar 

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I have been IF for decades without really knowing it (one meal around 6pm) as my career was pretty hectic. I'm not on 20/4 but still have weigh issues so I assume my body has adapted and really slowed down. As with eye colour I am convinced most of it is genetic and fight as we may you can't beat genetics only control it a bit.

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25 minutes ago, BobBKK said:

I have been IF for decades without really knowing it (one meal around 6pm) as my career was pretty hectic. I'm not on 20/4 but still have weigh issues so I assume my body has adapted and really slowed down. As with eye colour I am convinced most of it is genetic and fight as we may you can't beat genetics only control it a bit.

I think the only way possible to still gain weight by eating only 1 meal a day is by consuming alchohol or other sugary non alcoholic drinks outside of ur eating hours.

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