BCAA's or branched chain amino acid products are one of the biggest selling bodybuilding and fitness supplements out there.
With many people now experimenting with fasted cardio or intermittent fasting as part of their training and nutrition program, you might be wondering if a BCAA product while fasted can offer any benefit to performance or prevent muscular atrophy.
Do BCAA supplements break a fast while intermittent fasting?
Can training fasted with a BCAA supplement offer performance benefits?
First off, let's take a look at BCAA supplements and what they could do.
What are BCAA Supplements?
BCAA's are select amino acids that can contribute to the synthesis of protein, thereby helping the repair and building of new muscle tissue.
This makes BCAA's perfect for bodybuilders looking to increase muscle mass and performance.
But what happens when you use a BCAA during fasted training or when running intermittent fasting?
BCAAs and Fasted Training - The Ultimate Guide
What are BCAAs and What Do They Do?
BCAAs are branched chain amino acids, more specifically leucine, isoleucine, and valine. They promote protein synthesis. They also provide energy for the muscles during intense exercise.
BCAAs are great for people who want to build muscle and get stronger without having to take in excess protein from their diet or adding excessive weight. BCAAs are also beneficial for weight loss because they help reduce cravings and prevent muscle catabolism which occurs when the body breaks down muscle tissue to create new fuel.
BCAAs can be purchased online from many websites and in grocery stores as well as supplement stores such as GNC. You can also mix your own drink at home using a blender or shaker bottle with water and BCAA powder which is sold separately or pre powder.
Branched chain amino acids are essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own. They are necessary for building muscle and are important for survival.
BCAAs are made up of two protein chains: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These chains have a branched structure in their chemical makeup, which is the main reason why they're called branched chain amino acids.
These three amino acids share a common bond in their chemical structures and all have an intramolecular branch point. This makes them different from other amino acids that have no branch points.
Fasted Training - Benefits & Risks of Fasted Training
Training is important for all aspects of a person's life, and that includes fitness. With the hectic lives that many people lead, many are turning to fasted training to get the most out of their workouts. However, there is a major risk associated with this type of training. The benefits come with risks.
Many people are turning to fasted training as a way to burn more fat and increase muscle growth when they workout. A major risk associated with this type of training is if you eat something too close before your workout, you won't have enough time for it to digest in order for it to be used efficiently in your body during your workout--thus reducing the amount of energy you will have when working out.
Benefits of Fasted Exercise and Training
Research has shown that performing a fasted workout is beneficial for fat loss.
The most common time to perform a fasted workout is first thing in the morning. This is because the body does not have enough energy from food to produce as much insulin, which controls blood sugar levels. Therefore, this means that there is an increased ability for fat loss during the workout.
It also provides a number of other benefits like increased insulin sensitivity, decreased inflammation, and improved glucose regulation.
Do BCAA Supplements help when you are fasted?
BCAA supplements are popular among people who want to lose weight. BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein and help with muscle recovery after exercise. They're often used by people who follow high-intensity workouts like CrossFit or boot camp.
BCAA works very effectively and this is well-documented. BCAAs have been around for so long because they do work! That’s one of the reasons BCAA are such a popular workout supplement - they work under any conditions. M
And given that exercise promotes the breakdown of muscle, it’s accurate to say that the exercising body needs BCAAs to build muscle. BCAA supplementation helps meet that need.
According to clinical research, BCAA supplementation may improve exercise and muscle performance during fasted training.
Do BCAA supplements break a fast while intermittent fasting?
Generally BCAA supplements will not break a fast while intermittent fasting.
Branched-chain amino acid supplements are used for muscle recovery. They do not contain any sugars, so they are safe to take on a fast. However, some BCAA supplements may contain added sugars or artificial sweeteners that may break your fast and slow down your weight loss progress.
Why BCAA Supplements?
BCAA supplements are beneficial because they can help to improve muscle protein synthesis. BCAA supplements provide the building blocks for new protein production which is essential for muscle tissue repair and growth.
In addition to this, BCAA supplements can also help with recovery after a workout session. This is because they can prevent exercise induced muscle breakdown and decrease fatigue during the workout.
BCAA Supplement Amino Acids
There are 9 essential amino acids, but most BCAA supplements only cover 3.
This is because the other 6 amino acids have as bigger anabolic effects on muscle. So supplementation isn't nessacary when you are eating a balanced diet. The three main muscle building amino acids are:
L-Leucine: Promotes the repair and growth of muscle and is the amino acid which plays the biggest role in this. Thus making it the most important for athletes and bodybuilders looking to improve performance and achieve hypertrophy.
L-Isoleucine: This is crucial to ensure a healthy flow of red blood cells can be delivered to muscles. This in turn promotes healthy muscle, improves performance and also the repair of muscle tissue.
L-Valine: Provides energy to muscles but also is integral to the repair of muscles.
Will BCAA Supplements Break a Fast?
The opinion around whether BCAA's break a fast is slightly divided. BCAA's are simple structures, that are easy for the body to breakdown and use. BUT, they are also closely related to the proteins. And, if you take on board protein while fasted you'll break the fast.
Generally, we'd support the use of BCAA's even when fasted. However be careful that your supplement doesn't contain any extra ingredients on top of the BCAA powders.