Fasted training can be beneficial for individuals looking to burn extra body fat or athletes who are up early for endurance works (runs, swims, triathlons). Personally, I often just feel better with less in my stomach.
With any type of fasted training comes the potential to lose muscle mass. While I don’t think that it’s a severe threat, you’re not going to lose all the muscle you built, the goal of fasted training should be improved body recomposition via fat loss and muscle retention.
While fasted training has long been used in bodybuilding circles as an adjunct to their training, performance and achieving a good workout should still be the goals.
Luckily, there are a few good supplements for fasted training.
I love BCAAS. That’s why I formulated the #1 selling natural BCAA on Amazon. I recommend BCAAS before and during fasted training because BCAAs will keep muscle protein synthesis elevated during fasted training. Since BCAAS are taken up directly on skeletal muscle, you’ll start the anabolic process faster and without the digestive distress from whey or any other protein powder.
BCAAS during fasted training also stop muscle breakdown. Again, I don’t think we’ll see a large volume of muscle breakdown in a typical physique fasted training session, it'll be greater with long duration, but we want to minimize any potential breakdown as best we can.
The Physique Formula BCAAS also contain citrulline malate which has been shown to increase time to exhaustion-you can train longer when you’re tired. This additional benefit will come in handy especially since you have no food incoming.
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Berberine and R-Ala
These are my two favorite glucose support supplements. With fasted training, cortisol increases. Cortisol causes an increase of blood sugar which makes burning body fat harder. It makes sense that blood glucose would creep up during a fast, especially a fasted training session, your body is seeing stress.
Berberine and R-ala come in handy here to help maintain lower insulin levels.
Rhodiola and B12
I’m a big fan of this combination of “natural” energy. Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb with studies supporting its ability to help the body handle stress. Rhodiola helps to manage cortisol and can even lower heart rate during intense activity. B12 is involved in over 300 cellular processes and many athletes don’t get enough. B12 is required for the formation of new red blood cells which provide working muscle tissue with oxygen. While I’m not suggesting some huge increase in oxygen due to B12 use, I’ve noticed improved efficiency.
Rhodiola is available in The Physique Formula Adrenal Support
Theanine and Caffeine.
“Smart” caffeine is the internet nickname given to the combination of caffeine from a pre workout or coffee and theanine, an amino acid found in green tea. Theanine helps to manage the heart rate racing and intense energy elevation that you would get with straight caffeine consumption. By combining these two together, I’ve experienced some pretty impressive focus and lasting energy without the typical coffee jittery feelings.
You can’t get it alone from green tea so make sure to supplement with theanine and coffee.
In my opinion these are the best supplements for fasted training when combined with good sleep and nutrition the night before. Let's face it, most fasted training is going to happen early in the morning so your prep begins the night before.