BCAAs and IF (How BCAA's Aid Intermittent Fasting)
How beneficial are branched chain amino acid supplements while intermittent fasting? IF or intermittent fasting can be helpful in order to reduce gut inflammation, control calories for fat loss or improve an overall better relationship with food.
One area where IF fails is with people looking to build muscle. Simply put, intermittent fasting makes muscle growth more difficult because you’re not hitting the 30-40 grams protein target for muscle protein synthesis as often as you should.
When you fast, your insulin levels drop, your body uses up stored muscle glycogen and fat cells get burned up. As a result, most people don’t eat for anywhere from 12-16 hours. Personally I’ve found that in the short term, intermittent fasting can increase muscle soreness but with consistent hard training, IFing may not be the best option because your protein intake in overall lower.
(Best Pre Workouts While Intermittent Fasting)
Remember, to optimize muscle protein synthesis, you need a minimum of 30 grams of protein every 3-4 hours.
BCAAS and IF
Taking BCAAs during an intermittent fast can have benefits for supporting muscle growth while improving fat loss.
The Physique Formula BCAAs are artificial sweetener free. There is a topic of conversation in the intermittent fasting community on artificial sweetener use. Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners do cause an insulin response so if you are drinking a diet soda with the assumption that it’s okay for fasting, you might be doing more harm than good.
BCAAS are taken up directly by skeletal muscle. They are metabolized differently and don’t go through the same digestive processes as a whole protein source.
I touched on it earlier but I feel that intermittent fasting reduces muscle recovery with consistent progressive training. BCAAS support muscle growth in a few ways, one being improving muscle recovery time. As a result, you can fast and also have an increased degree of muscle recovery.
Muscle mass is precious. It boosts metabolism, increases strength and endurance while taking a long time to build. While training fasted has some benefits in bodybuilding for increasing fat loss, a long 12-16 hour fast while training and restricting calories will burn muscle tissue for energy.
Taking BCAAS while intermittent fasting can prevent the loss of muscle tissue.
Are you truly fasting if you use BCAAS?
By the textbook definition, no you aren’t but since BCAAS are metabolized differently and you’re not consuming a meal, you’re still in a negative caloric balance (provided your overall calorie load is adjusted) and you’re still not consuming calories for 12-16 hours. The benefits of fasting will be there.