Intermittent Fasting While Sick - Is It A Good Idea? [Science-Backed Tips]

Updated: Jan 20

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Catch a cold and caught wondering if you should skip your Intermittent Fasting protocol for the day? Is it ok to fast while you're sick? Think about this: if you've ever had a pet that gets sick, it tends to quickly lose it's appetite and interest in food. There has to be a reason for this, right? It turns out the human (and animal!) body is pretty clever by reducing the urge to eat when you don't feel well.

Today I'm sharing 4 science-backed reasons you may want to consider continuing your Intermittent Fasting protocol while feeling under the weather.

1. Increased Beta-Hydroxybutyrate Production

That's certainly a mouthful! While following Intermittent Fasting, your body begins using fat as fuel. One major benefit of this process is the increased production of ketones in your body. One ketone called beta-hydroxybutyrate has even been found to reduce the inflammatory response. (1)

Related: Do Magnesium Supplements Break A Fast?

2. Faster Turnover of Immune Cells

Your immune system, like every part of your body, requires a process of regeneration. This regeneration can help to boost your immune system by removing damaged immune cells and replacing them with healthy ones. (2) It turns out that fasting may actually help with this process. (2)

Pssst - wondering what type of fasting is best for your goals? Click below for my free Intermittent Fasting Schedule quiz to find out!

Related: [QUIZ!] Find Out The BEST Intermittent Fasting Schedule For YOUR Goals!

3. Discarding Sick Cells

Remember that thing called autophagy? Autophagy is the process of removing waste products and damaged organelles from your cell.(3) This process includes getting rid of dysfunctional mitochondria (your energy powerhouse) in order to make way for new, higher functioning mitochondria.(3) This means that your body may be more efficient at producing the energy needed to help fight the infection.

Related: Intermittent Fasting By Body Type | What Is It/Does It Work?

4. Turns on "Power Saving" Mode

You know when you're at 20% battery and your phone switches over to power saving mode? This process is meant to save energy for only the most crucial apps (like YouTube so that you can go and watch my videos... right?!). Breaking down food in your GI tract requires a ton of energy. Considering we all have fat stores that we can tap into, using energy to break down food while you're also fighting an infection isn't the best utilization of fuel. Instead, focusing energy on getting your body healthy should take priority.

Related: Do Essential Oils Break A Fast?