I hear many questions on how you can combine intermittent fasting with other nutrition topics. One of the most frequent question I get is intermittent fasting and BCAA.
Intermittent Fasting is a relatively new method that has been used to lose weight, but the truth is that the health benefits are numerous. This nutritional strategy seeks to restrict the number of calories we consume at any given time, to lower our sugar levels, and start using other sources of energy such as fat.
Although there are several different types of Intermittent Fasting, but in the end they all have the same goal: to expand and improve our metabolic flexibility. This is a procedure that can take quite some time, but whose benefits are worth the sacrifice.
The most crucial thing in this nutritional strategy is that we are cautious about what we eat and stop eating. Creating a real balance is what will allow us to achieve our goals, and to do that, we must be pretty strict with our caloric regimen.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) explained
The Secret of Athletes
BCAAs have been the secret supplement of many athletes, especially bodybuilders and crossfitters, since the 1980s. There is evidence that confirms how BCAAs can act on protein synthesis, but more importantly, improve recovery after training. These characteristics made it an essential component for athletes.
However, BCAAs were designed to be used in combination with delicately prepared eating styles. Not just anyone could use them, or at least get the benefits that come from them.
Designed diets typically balance calorie levels to accept this amount of protein-forming amino acids and to properly regenerate muscle while having the energy to get through training.
What if we combined it with Intermittent Fasting?
The better question lies here. The balance that must exist in the Intermittent Fasting, talking about the calories that must be stopped for a long time, is quite delicate. Is it possible to use BCAA, which are also calories?
First: There is no amino acid that is not capable of generating calories. Proteins ARE a source of calories, after carbohydrates and fats, so they are also able to break the Keto state.
However, in the case of intermittent Fasting, it turns out that exercising during periods of Fasting can dramatically increase the amount of fat we are burning, while at the same time helping you build more muscle. But why?
When we are fasting, we lose a lot of fat, but we also lose protein. This is where BCAAs come in. Just when we need amino acids the most, we start to replenish them. In this way, we can control the way we rebuild our body composition and start losing fat while gaining muscle.
Still, this is a delicate process that should be supervised by an expert, at least initially. Entering the Intermittent Fasting is not an easy thing, and you need to know when you will be completely “adapted,” enough to start training and using the BCAAs, whenever necessary.
In regards to timing the BCAA intake and when to eat with intermittent fasting , it could go something like this:
6:00am: 10g BCAAs
6:15am: Weight Training
8:00am: 10g BCAAs
10:00am: 10g BCAAs
3:30pm: Snack (if needed)
Can you take the Amino Acids (BCAA) during your intermittent fasting?
The answer is Yes. The consumption of essential amino acids will not take you out of ketosis and will not break a fast.
With consumption of BCAA you can optimize your workout in a fasted state and in addition, you can also still reap all benefits that intermittent fasting brings along.
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