Are you or is someone you know taking BCAAs before or during their fasted workout to ‘protect muscle mass’?⠀
I’ve got a newsflash for you.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The BCAAs probably have the opposite effect.
BCAAs is the collective name for 3 amino acids (protein building blocks): Valine, Isoleucine and Leucine. The latter in particular is the key AA that starts muscle (re)building [Glynn 2010].⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
However, during a fasted workout you take the 3 BCAAs in isolation, without any of the other 17 AAs in the blood, as you didn’t have a meal for a while.⠀
Research finds that in this situation BCAAs indeed lower protein breakdown. But also protein synthesis, and to a bigger degree. Therefore the net result is muscle loss (or “a net increase in protein breakdown” [Wolfe 2017]. Not good.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
When you’re trying to protect your muscle from breakdown during a workout, just eat any protein source beforehand.
That will save you a lot of misguided action, money (BCAAs aren’t cheap) and muscle.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Do you supplement with BCAAs, and if so, for what purpose (I know some are crazy about the taste)?