T Nation

IF Dieting


My work/ training schedule recently changed and was thinking of giving IF a try.

Based on recent research, articles, or personal experience would it be better to sip on BCAAS, Leucine, etc. through out the day before breaking my “fast” pre-wo at 2PM?


I have some EAAs pre workout and the rest of the time it’s just black coffee.

BCAAs cause an insulin spike so sipping them all day would be counterproductive to the fast, in my opinion.


The best thing would be to try both and see.

Personally i highly doubt you’ll get negative effects from IF since you’re breaking the fast early anyway, so i would personally save the BCAAs pre workout too like said above.


Hey Maverick how is your IF diet coming along? What did you decide to do with the BCAAs? I am thinking of getting some. Im 5 days in now. Berardi used them and so does the Lean Gains guy. So far so good without them. Time will tell.


I’ve read (forgot where) that it only takes a few grams of leucine to ruin some of the more esoteric health benefits of an intermittent fast, especially autophagy. If you want that benefit, then BCAAs are probably out of the question.


Thank you Yorik!!! That is exactly what I wondered. The extra benefits is why Im seriously thinking of never going back to regular eating. Longevity and disease protectction are interesting side effects. How much do you think the BCAAs help with not losing muscle while getting shredded?


My completely inexpert opinion is that if you’re going to fast, then really fast. It’s only for a day, or for several hours, depending on how you choose to fast. Water, or unsweetened teas are probably all you need or want. Does anybody really think you can lose much muscle over a single day? (I know a few people here tend to panic if they’re not fed with protein circulating through their systems 24/7.) My personal, and uninformed opinion, based on no scientific evidence whatsoever, is that the benefits of fasting due to autophagy (a process of cellular “cleanup”) could be far more beneficial to athletes than one more 24 hour period of amino acid loading. Heck, that Martin Berkham / Leangains guy looks pretty good, right? But WTFDIK?


If you are looking for the IF benefits, it would be best to not have the BCAA’s. There actually is quite a bit of research on IF increasing protein utilization, Growth Hormone, etc…


I personally like having a protein shake w/ very little carbs with water.