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BCAA - anyone have experience with this supplement?

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  • BCAA - anyone have experience with this supplement?

    So I'm on a 36 hour fast and would like to lift some serious weights tomorrow. Well, for me and my size! I was reading Mark's suggestion to take 10 grams of BCAA if working out in a fasted state.

    My local health food store has a 12 oz powder for 32 bucks. Should I get it? Has anyone had experience using BCAA and would recommend using it? I fast 14 hours pretty much daily and would like to do these longer fasts more often.

    Thanks in advance for any info!

  • #2
    oh and I'd love to hear what others do as far as working out in a fasted state. What else works for you? a quick banana maybe or perhaps its ok to work out cold turkey after a 36 hour fast?


    • #3
      For me, has not helped much. I think it would probably help you if you were a bodybuilder and the extra 0.5% in supplements might help, but for normal people, think it's extraneous.
      My chocolatey Primal journey

      Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog


      • #4
        I train the best on coffee the first thing in the morning (~ 5:30 am, when gym opens up).

        It is more efficient to train about 3:30 pm because I can start working at 6 am, and leave work by 2:30-2:40 making it a shorter day overall. But I HATE training at 3:30. I am tired and the gym is busy. My pre-workout meal for pm training is usually bananas and egg whites, or tuna and some other starch. Some people advocate honey, but I already sweat more with added carbs. I try to put in some Greek yogurt and lean meat with starch after as well, if I am a good girl. But normally I just eat a lot of fruit, and not enough starch after workouts. I love fruit

        Very rarely (every few months) if I feel really run down I would take Jack3D as a supplement. Once I finish it (in another 2 or 3 years at the rate it's going) I will not buy this supplement again. It does provide a boost, but it seems to be better for cardio, as it is simply an energy surge. The most valuable aspect is it decreases appetite. But on another hand it disturbs sleep for me, which means I will eat more the next day because the day gets too long.

        Once in a while I also try creatine, but normally forget keep taking it after a few days, so can't say I have seen results.

        Glucomannan (konjak fibre) proved to be a great supplement for me (I take a couple of pills daily to power through the morning part of the fast), as it does help fight hunger. I guess fibre is necessary for my satiation.

        Diet pop is a cheap hunger killer as well, but I won't take it before the workout.
        Last edited by Leida; 07-25-2013, 05:40 AM.
        My Journal:
        When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


        • #5
          I've never done a 36-hour fast before. My longest is around 30-32 (didn't pay attention to the exact number of hours, but, basically, I'll fast starting from the night of day 1 and won't eat again until morning of day 3). I eat before I work out after such a fast. I'll usually have 2 bananas or a banana and a Larabar. One time I only had one banana, and that didn't feel like it was enough for me.

          I think it's perfectly possible to work out in a fasted state after a 36-hour fast. I bet a lot of people on here do that. I just haven't tried it yet. I'd probably give it a shot if I worked out on my own and can stop and eat something if I started to feel like crap. But I crossfit, and it's not really possible to stop in the middle of a class to eat. So I eat beforehand just to be safe.

          Edited to add: Re the BCAAs--when I do take them, I take them after my workout, not before. They're supposed to help with recovery and help reduce DOMS. But I haven't noticed much of an effect from them. One of the top crossfitters at my box who competed in the crossfit regionals said that she was taking BCAAs while training for the regionals, but after the competition, she got lazy and stopped taking them for a few days. She said she could really feel a difference when she forgot to take them. But she trains at a whole different level than I do.
          Last edited by diene; 07-25-2013, 07:28 AM.

          My journal


          • #6
            IIRC the protocol for fasted BCAA is break the drink up in 3rds and take 1/3 30 min pre-workout, 1/3 mid-way through the workout and the rest afterwards.

            I have never tried it due to the prevalent opinion that it does zilch for an average Jane.

            Oh, and a poor woman's BCAA is whey isolate, so if you want to test if it impacts your performance you can try with ~ 50 cals of that in the same protocol. I did it when I first started Leangain, and frankly no difference from fasted on coffee.

            I only did the 30+ hour fast once as an adult, and never again, lol.
            My Journal:
            When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


            • #7
              Have a coffee & get lecuine ,, it's the main beneficial BCAA in the mix.

              London UK


              • #8
                I am a BCAA guzzler, so I will weigh in here.....

                I fast most every day, and am fond of doing my long overnight hikes (15+ miles) without taking any food with me. I am doing one this weekend in fact

                The purpose of the BCAA is to give your muscles a steady stream of the key amino acids to muscle growth. If this is done WHILE fasted, it can prevent muscle loss via proteins being used for glycolysis. In other words, you burn it instead of torching your own muscles to supply glucose to your working-out can take it after and it will do the same, to supply amino acids in the "golden hour" of supposed increased protein use. If you are fasting though, it is likely better to take it before, however this is based largely on how you train.

                Tips: BUY THE BRAND XTEND BCAA!!!!!! I am not tied to them in any way, but it is seriously very good tasting (like weak kool-aid) and can be mixed with other stuff well.....I use their grape flavor and put my creatine in with it. Don't buy the junk at the supp store....a quick glance at the back, you want to see "take ONE scoop". If it says a "serving" is TWO scoops, that means you are going to be downing 25oz of really gritty tasting froth. Screw that.

                Xtend or nothing. I have tried half a dozen and nothing else comes close for flavor and dissolving ability.
                "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."


                • #9
                  I have heard that Xtend dissolves well and have wondered about that. Branched chain amino acids are hydrophobic, which is why they do not dissolve well in water. I buy the unflavored stuff (which really just has a very gross flavor ) and mix it with a bit of coconut oil and unsweetened chocolate. Then I add a bit of maple syrup to make it palatable. Eat with a spoon, or refrigerate and harden. It's a pain in the ass, but at least your not ingesting the artificial sweeteners that come with the flavored BCAAs.

                  My journal


                  • #10
                    I was thinking about this one:

                    Allmax BCAA

                    I did not want any art flavors and stuff added to it.
                    My Journal:
                    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.