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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016, Article ID 1503956, 8 pages
Research Article

Effect of 48 h Fasting on Autonomic Function, Brain Activity, Cognition, and Mood in Amateur Weight Lifters

Institute of Sports Science and Innovations, Lithuanian Sports University, Sporto Str. 6, Kaunas, Lithuania

Received 10 July 2016; Revised 10 October 2016; Accepted 9 November 2016

Academic Editor: Abdel A. Abdel-Rahman

Copyright © 2016 Rima Solianik et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. The acute fasting-induced cardiovascular autonomic response and its effect on cognition and mood remain debatable. Thus, the main purpose of this study was to estimate the effect of a 48 h, zero-calorie diet on autonomic function, brain activity, cognition, and mood in amateur weight lifters. Methods. Nine participants completed a 48 h, zero-calorie diet program. Cardiovascular autonomic function, resting frontal brain activity, cognitive performance, and mood were evaluated before and after fasting. Results. Fasting decreased () weight, heart rate, and systolic blood pressure, whereas no changes were evident regarding any of the measured heart rate variability indices. Fasting decreased () the concentration of oxygenated hemoglobin and improved () mental flexibility and shifting set, whereas no changes were observed in working memory, visuospatial discrimination, and spatial orientation ability. Fasting also increased () anger, whereas other mood states were not affected by it. Conclusions. 48 h fasting resulted in higher parasympathetic activity and decreased resting frontal brain activity, increased anger, and improved prefrontal-cortex-related cognitive functions, such as mental flexibility and set shifting, in amateur weight lifters. In contrast, hippocampus-related cognitive functions were not affected by it.