BCAAs during your fast

Written by: Brad Pilon

Today, I want clear up some confusion about protein, branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and fasting.

First, my opinion on protein is that frequency trumps amount…

So I’d rather see you eat between 15-30 grams (depending on your size) of protein every 4-8 hours, than see you have 100 grams of protein once per day. When it comes to protein I believe that consistency is key.

However, I also want you to take a break from this protein-dosing schedule at least once a week… which is why for MOST people I don’t think you need BCAAs during your fast.

When you fast, you DO break down some protein. HOWEVER this is not all muscle AND it is a very important part of the health benefits of fasting.

When fasting, it is the ‘bad’ proteins – the damaged, or weak ones, that are broken down first and then recycled into new proteins. So the small amount of protein breakdown that occurs during a fast is part of how your body improves the proteins in your body – it gets rid of the weak and broken ones first.

This is why for people who are overweight and have typically been in a constant state of protein surplus, I think that a true 24 hour fast is ideal.

However, once your start to become noticeably lean I think it is OK to experiment with taking some BCAAs during your fast.

So that’s the more complete version of my view on BCAAs and protein during a fast.


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