James Cracknell is running 100 miles in five days, while fasting

Written By Claire C

By Jane Mcguire

Published September 9th, 2020

Difficulty Level: Easy Read– gives a good overview of the event without too much complexity

In September of 2020, James Cracknell and a group of seven other runners completed a 100 mile run over 5 days.  Plus, they consumed only water and did the entire run in a fasted state.  Their goal was to prove that our bodies can, and maybe should, run on little-to-no carbohydrates. 

Our thoughts:

  • James Cracknell is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who ran 100 miles over the course of 5 days without consuming anything but water
  • His reasoning for the run was to show the problems with the UK’s dietary guidelines
    • The guidelines suggested that individuals should consume a diet consisting of 55% carbohydrates
    • He felt these guidelines had a little scientific basis and were a major reason for the increase in overweight individuals over time
    • He believes that society puts too much emphasis on our need for carbohydrates
  • His goal was to show that the body could be fuelled just by stored fat
  • He wanted this experience to show others that low carb diets and fasting are effective options for diabetes/pre-diabetes

Who is James Cracknell?

  • An Olympic rower from Great Britain
  • He has won two gold medals and six world championship titles 
  • In 2005, he was appointed an Order of the British Empire award for his services to sports
  • Since retiring, he has focused his energies on philanthropy, while working to bring awareness to the problems with our current dietary views

Can fasting actually help reverse or prevent type II diabetes?

  • Trials have shown intermittent fasting to be more effective than cutting calories for weight loss
  • Fasting can also help with blood pressure, inflammation, and circulating levels of fat and sugar
  • Researchers have noticed fewer fatty deposits in fasting subjects
    • Fatty deposits are lumps that develop under the skin due to a buildup of fat
    • They are often caused by insulin resistance
  • Small preliminary studies on the use of intermittent fasting to reverse diabetes have resulted in subjects being able to eliminate their need for insulin injections
    • Some were able to stop taking their other diabetic drugs as well 
  • Overall, preliminary findings look good, but scientists are committed to doing more research on the subject in the future

Our sources for information on type II diabetes reversal: 

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