I’ll throw this in too. I feel like the BCAA’s are important from waking up to first meal as well. I have trained “fasted” for years because I have to go early in the morning before work, but have never supplemented with them until now. I switch from IF a couple of weeks ago because I want to put a few pounds back on and I don’t think I can eat anymore than I was during the window. I am still using BCAA’s pre/peri-workout and feel like I am better off for it.
I also started with a 24 hour fast on a laid back non work day to see how my body would respond to hunger. I really didn’t have much in the way of hunger issues (huge coffee drinker too!) on the 16/8 plan. I train at 5:45 am, would eat lunch at 11:45am and many times would get 3 meals and all macros in by 6-6:30 pm.
Don’t want to hi-jack your thread, but would like to hear your take EyeDentist on trying to bulk with IF. If I could get over the aforementioned hurdle, I would gladly go back to IF while trying to add some quality pounds.
Good Luck with whatever you choose to use DevilDog and keep us updated.[/quote]
I think you might be interested in this topic too, DevilDog, so I hope you don’t mind me answering notbig on your post.
I like to train fasted (sort of–more below) as well. I work out in the mid-afternoon, and have no food beforehand. However, I’m convinced that weightlifting while completely fasted is not ideal, as a fasted metabolism is highly catabolic, and the inevitable cortisol spike provoked by weightlifting will render it even more so. (As an aside, I think low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio can and should be performed in a fasted state, so I don’t take anything prior to a workout of this sort.) Because of this, to alert my metabolism that it’s time to shut off catabolism and enter ‘anabolism mode,’ I take a small amount (~20 g or so) of hydrolyzed protein (including some BCAAs) about 30 min prior to hitting the gym. Further, once I get a pump going (~10 min or so into the workout), I’ll start sipping on a drink composed of leucine-rich hydrolyzed protein and cyclic dextrose. The idea is to dramatically spike insulin (and shut off cortisol) just as the muscles are getting stimulated, the hope being that an insulin spike at this juncture will preferentially shuttle/partition nutrients into the primed muscles (as opposed to indiscriminately promoting uptake into both muscle- and fat cells, which is what insulin does in the non-primed state). My first post-workout meal (eaten within a few minutes of getting back from the gym) is when I treat myself to some junk–two big donuts (man, do I love donuts!), or a double-doozy cookie (have one sitting at home even as we speak–I can hear it calling me), or several handfuls of chocolate kisses. This satisfies my sweet tooth at a time when doing so is least likely to damage my physique, and may even be helpful (ie, by contributing to the desired PWO insulin spike). I will have a clean-carb+protein meal an hour or two later, and after that I switch to clean-protein meals only for the remainder of my intake–I want insulin levels to taper off at that point in the day. So I hit my carbs + fat totals in the immediate peri-workout window, and my protein goal later in the evening.
To directly answer your question: As for bulking on IF, I’ve never tried it (assuming that by ‘bulking’ you mean running a significant caloric surplus). At this point in my life, given my current physique and age, I’m reluctant to run a chronic surplus–it’s just too hard to lose the fat that comes with it. Instead, I try to run more of a body-recomposition program–calories at about maintenance, while manipulating nutrient timing (as outlined above) in the hopes of simultaneously dropping a little fat while building a little muscle.