1

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BCAAs before training shut off fat burning?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 03, 2012 at 8:19 PM

I was researching BCAAs because I am thinking about trying some, but I read that they heavily spike insulin (I think the leucine in particular). Insulin acts as a glucagon antagonist, which inhibits fat burning. Now, would it be a reasonable conjecture to say that BCAAs before training may be detrimental to fat loss?

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 07, 2013
at 05:20 AM

Welcome, Abdel. If you have a new question, you should use the "ask question" link at the top of the page. That way others will be able to reply to you.

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on June 25, 2013
at 08:27 PM

...there are no calories in BCAAs btw

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 14, 2012
at 07:53 PM

I definitely agree with your sentiment. Some folks, though (myself included) keep turning the specifics over & over, trying to maximize every bit of nutrition and exercise. I pretty much guarantee this person is already aware of their diet and workload or else they wouldn't be analyzing an otherwise irrelevance.

C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on September 04, 2012
at 12:54 AM

good post. I was always under the impression that insulin & HGH over laps one another & not so white/black. Ex, 5g of BCAA on a fasted pre workout will cause a slight insulin increase & a slight HGH decrease.

Ee04db68fcab556868524acb55ac5fd4

on September 03, 2012
at 11:27 PM

Amino acids that were synthesized from a pharmaceutical company at that. Maximum Natural HGH > Pharma Marketing

Ee04db68fcab556868524acb55ac5fd4

on September 03, 2012
at 11:26 PM

Also I'm assuming you're taking the BCAA's to gain muscle, grow, or preserve muscle - or something along the lines? I'm sure a 500% increase in HGH output will make a bigger difference than taking three amino acids...

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on September 03, 2012
at 08:46 PM

In his (or her) defense, it's tough to really say without knowing the WHY behind the question. Someone wanting to truly "lose fat" who honestly needs to lose a lot of weight, and not just trying to achieve perfection, this is a very tedious thing to worry about (the Insulin/Glucogon response from BCAA's).

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7 Answers

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4
Ee04db68fcab556868524acb55ac5fd4

on September 03, 2012
at 11:24 PM

Insulin output has an inverse relationship with HGH output. Thus you want your pancreas producing as little insulin as possible if your goal is fat burning (given that HGH promotes fat burning).

HGH output preserves muscles, increases metabolism, and improves overall health in the body. The longer you can keep your pituitary gland producing HGH, the better.

High intensity exercise can boost HGH output by 500%. Fasting 24 hours can increase HGH output almost six-fold, or 600%. So even if you don't want to fast 24 hours, I'm sure 18 or 20 hours would increase it by some impressive numbers. Just imagine what your levels would be after a workout on a fasted state.

However your HGH levels are going to remain high after your workout for another 90-120 minutes, promoting fat burning even more. So if you can go without eating for two hours after your work out, you will burn some serious fat. Consuming carbs will stop HGH output in its tracks. Protein can raise insulin as well. Amino acids are proteins.

Also, fasting promotes the development of new brain cells. High insulin output is correlated with decreased brain performance and function.


http://fitnessblackbook.com/main/human-growth-hormone-hgh-breaking-down-a-few-scientific-studies/

http://www.tricoretherapy.com/training-articles/202-is-eating-sugar-after-your-workout-sabotaging-your-recovery.html

http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=131789903&page=1 (post 17)

http://www.fitnessfirstusa.com/news.asp?id=7

http://english.pravda.ru/health/23-02-2012/120585-fasting_may_help_protect_brain-0/

C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on September 04, 2012
at 12:54 AM

good post. I was always under the impression that insulin & HGH over laps one another & not so white/black. Ex, 5g of BCAA on a fasted pre workout will cause a slight insulin increase & a slight HGH decrease.

Ee04db68fcab556868524acb55ac5fd4

on September 03, 2012
at 11:27 PM

Amino acids that were synthesized from a pharmaceutical company at that. Maximum Natural HGH > Pharma Marketing

Ee04db68fcab556868524acb55ac5fd4

on September 03, 2012
at 11:26 PM

Also I'm assuming you're taking the BCAA's to gain muscle, grow, or preserve muscle - or something along the lines? I'm sure a 500% increase in HGH output will make a bigger difference than taking three amino acids...

4
785efa3950951957e65fa17efb25b078

(452)

on September 03, 2012
at 08:43 PM

Please stop being afraid of insulin: http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=319

In the way you phrased it, eating increases insulin. So stop eating. You will "lose fat"

68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on September 03, 2012
at 08:46 PM

In his (or her) defense, it's tough to really say without knowing the WHY behind the question. Someone wanting to truly "lose fat" who honestly needs to lose a lot of weight, and not just trying to achieve perfection, this is a very tedious thing to worry about (the Insulin/Glucogon response from BCAA's).

3
Fba408128497343799ac28ffbce1d884

(175)

on December 14, 2012
at 06:31 PM

This is probably the most severe case of "missing the forest for the trees" I have ever seen in regards to nutrition.

How is it that someone is so concerned with the the 20 calories a scoop of BCAA offers, while not asking questions like "how many calories a day am i eating and spending"?

How is it that the response to this question was a long winded and WILDLY nonfactual (citing sources and studies that were not done on humans, not done on those exercising, or only affects diabetes patients with terrible controls and design) broscience rant about how HGH is a miracle hormone and fasting makes it spike.

Yes, HGH rises when fasting. But why? as a result of STRESS HORMONES. HGH rises to counterbalance cortisol and other stress hormones (cortisol makes you fat too). Cortisol skyrockets when fasting as well. But none of these hormones can do ANYTHING BAD (or good) if you don't have the calories to add fat. So why does it even matter (unless you're diabetic or borderline).

I can understand when someone reads a few Pubmed articles and basically derails their own progress because for some reason they think 10g BCAA is going to mess up their goals. I don't understand how the response from the community is to confuse him even more...get him to worry about HGH, Insulin, Endocrine signalling, and the rest.

Want to lose weight?

  1. Build some muscle. Muscle is highly thermogenic..and burns calories just to maintain.
  2. Set a baseline where you're not gaining or losing weight.
  3. Eat less until you lose some weight....
  4. When you plateau ( it will happen) you can either work out more..or eat even less, or build more muscle to burn more calories at rest.

The rest of the stuff...dont even think about..until you can master this program.

Jeez..i should get paid for this stuff.

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on December 14, 2012
at 07:53 PM

I definitely agree with your sentiment. Some folks, though (myself included) keep turning the specifics over & over, trying to maximize every bit of nutrition and exercise. I pretty much guarantee this person is already aware of their diet and workload or else they wouldn't be analyzing an otherwise irrelevance.

86c97b2779feab3c330f5e1c5fea7e25

(2312)

on June 25, 2013
at 08:27 PM

...there are no calories in BCAAs btw

3
9bd33dab06ad6696b1b6a06aed818f05

on September 04, 2012
at 03:47 AM

My practical advice; dont sweat the small stuff. The little difference that consuming v not consuming might possibly make will be completely blown out of the water if you just get in there, train hard, eat right, recover and repeat. It is not hard, just dedicate yourself to getting better and eat well, simple.

3
68294383ced9a0eafc16133aa80d1905

(5795)

on September 03, 2012
at 08:38 PM

It's a bit more complicated. The response of Insulin, to something like Leucine, is a Phase 1 response. Depending on why someone is using the Leucine and what else they are ingesting with it, what training they are doing and most-importantly, what they are eating afterward. The Phase 2 Insulin secretion is what is going to inhibit the burning of fat. Also, Leucine can also cause Glucogon release meaning there is a very little net effect from the Insulin and Glucogon. This is especially true if Insulin is taken with something like Argenine or Beta Alanine.

If I were someone who wanted to lose fat and was considering using some sort of fasted training, I wouldn't recommend using Leucine or other BCAA's, but instead try using MCT Oil or Coconut Oil and being sure that my training was smart, not too long and that my post-workout nutrition was spot on. Then again, I'm not sure what your situation is so who knows.

1
C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on September 04, 2012
at 01:17 AM

Now, would it be a reasonable conjecture to say that BCAAs before training may be detrimental to fat loss?

Yes, if your goal is to solely promote fat/weight loss & not so much gain/preserve muscle.

You can skip the BCAA pre workout but keep in mind that you must refuel your muscles (whether you do the typical 30mins PWO window or wait a few hours) with quality BV proteins.

0
26ab8672d2bc6eb9dcec8093238cc1c4

on July 07, 2013
at 01:33 AM

Hi, I'm preparing for a bodybuilding comp and it would be great if you could answer some of my questions. Currently I'm doing intermittent fasting with the theory that I can utilise some of the techniques I have read to increase fat loss whilst gaining muscle. I fast for 18 hours a day to attempt to increase HGH output, with my gym session and 2 hours post workout included in that fast for maximum fat loss. My understanding is that my supplementation of bcaas pre during and post workout will offset muscle loss, however it seems like there is contradictory information on this site. Can you please clarify?

72cf727474b8bf815fdc505e58cadfea

on July 07, 2013
at 05:20 AM

Welcome, Abdel. If you have a new question, you should use the "ask question" link at the top of the page. That way others will be able to reply to you.

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