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Coconut oil during Intermittent Fasting

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 22, 2013 at 1:47 PM

If I eat a couple tablespoons of coconut oil during a 16-20 hour fast will it help prevent muscle breakdown? Or will it defeat the purpose of the fast?

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:11 PM

I also tried the BCAA in the morning plus my coffee and 20-to-30ml Aroy-D coconut milk. I've come to think that the BCAA are not that useful for IF itself, I can manage hunger almost the same and spare muscle with or without them, but coffee helps a lot. But surrounding workouts they seem to work pretty well for endurance and preventing going too much catabolic. Also, I usually prefer coconut milk with coffee so I can stick low cal (mostly water there). Coconut oil is too energy dense and I like it a lot pre-workout but for IF I guess is too much. I need more experimentation with all this BTW.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:03 PM

thanks! I honestly don't even know what BCAA's are..I've never touched anything but real food..not even protein bars. I've just noticed that when I eat a small high fat brunch my stomach feels tighter all day...I'm wondering if there's something to it.

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4 Answers

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3
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:33 PM

It shouldn't have any effect on muscle breakdown. Protein intake, (or BCAA intake) will help prevent that.

That said a 16 hour fast isn't going to make any difference on muscle breakdown. Takes far longer before your body will begin catabolizing muscle. This is why when doing IF, an 8/16 is recommended.

You can do a perfectly fine IF with fats if you're trying to reset insulin resistance, and get into autophagy. i.e. bulletproof coffee, etc. It's the carbs and proteins you want to avoid. You'll still lose some fat unless you're eating like 4000kcals in fat, and you'll turn off your appetite as well.

Whatever you do don't sweeten it, not even with stevia, as when sweet hits our tastebuds, it signals an insulin release anyway, and if you're fasting, you're signaling your cells to absorb blood sugar, which is already low, so there's a small danger of hypoglycemia (more likely you'll instantly feel very low energy and hungry.)

2
Ca2c940a1947e6200883908592956680

(8574)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:58 PM

I have thought about this a lot, and from what I understand the actual muscle loss during a fast is far less then what we assume. From experience I have lost more muscle by not working out for a week and consuming three meals a day, than doing fasted training and intermittent fasting. Muscle loss seems to me much much more about use rather than food consumption.

Although I have to say I personally take BCAA's before working out (they appear to improve my performance), but once my tub of Xtend is finished I probably won't bother buying another tub (Xtend contains ACE-K unfortunately).

When practicing intermittent fasting, one can increase protein synthesis by doing resistance exercise (weight training, HIT), which tips the scale toward muscle growth, and away from muscle catabolism. This may actually lead to significant muscle gain in the long term. Fasting itself promotes the secretion of hormones (e.g., growth hormone) that have anabolic effects. Ned Kock. http://bit.ly/WSbyG7

Paul Jaminet's Food for a Fast: http://bit.ly/ZRNZer

2
D05f3050dc3d973b8b81a876202fa99a

(1533)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:58 PM

Depends on why you're fasting. Both of the previous answers are correct. But why risk it? If you have the discipline to fast for health or fat burning why try to "cheat" and sneak in less than 50 calories of fat or milk or whatever? For me, if I'm going to fast I'm grabbing a jug of water and some coffee and doing it. That's it. Trying to add in fats, which doesn't prevent muscle loss, probably won't make a difference in terms of your hunger over the long term anyway. I find BCAAs do give me a good energy boost though and, if working out, prevent muscle loss. If you're not training fasted then that also becomes unnecessary.

2
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on March 22, 2013
at 01:59 PM

Personally, my experience leads me to believe that anything over "trace" calories can break my fast quite readily. So black coffee (the only way I drink it, anyways) is AOK, but I cannot add anything to it. Even a teaspoon (~40-50 calories) of coconut oil will send my hunger sky rocketing, which is not good in the middle of a fast.

However, many of the "experts" out there on this usually say that anything under ~100 calories should not break a fast. So, "your mileage may vary" and I would definitely experiment if you'd like to try it, but in my experience, no - just don't eat any energy bearing foods at all.

Regarding muscle breakdown, you may want to read up on LeanGains. Martin Berkhan suggests BCAAs for people that workout in the morning in the middle of their fast to prevent muscle breakdown. Honestly, I felt like I was on drugs when I experimented with BCAAs during my greater fasting experimental phase - I felt itchy, constantly. So, overall, I can't suggest BCAAs either, but others do. Suffice to say, potions like this aren't paleo in the slightest, but it's worth an experiment if you are into it.

0b4326a4949718451a8571b82558dc10

(2349)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:03 PM

thanks! I honestly don't even know what BCAA's are..I've never touched anything but real food..not even protein bars. I've just noticed that when I eat a small high fat brunch my stomach feels tighter all day...I'm wondering if there's something to it.

048dd52752c45129c1212bfffb37ca72

(3150)

on March 22, 2013
at 02:11 PM

I also tried the BCAA in the morning plus my coffee and 20-to-30ml Aroy-D coconut milk. I've come to think that the BCAA are not that useful for IF itself, I can manage hunger almost the same and spare muscle with or without them, but coffee helps a lot. But surrounding workouts they seem to work pretty well for endurance and preventing going too much catabolic. Also, I usually prefer coconut milk with coffee so I can stick low cal (mostly water there). Coconut oil is too energy dense and I like it a lot pre-workout but for IF I guess is too much. I need more experimentation with all this BTW.

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