Do BCAAs Break A Fast

Intermittent fasting is one of the trending ways people are looking out for getting back to shape. But, many a times they get a number of doubts, whether they should eat a specific food or not, what is the right way to do intermittent fasting.

Many people get questions like do bcaas break a fast? do BCAAs ruin their intermittent fasting plans? So, we have tried to answer almost every query to the best of our knowledge and the studies we did go through.


No two individuals have the same opinion about a specific thing. The same applies to breaking an intermittent fast. Some believe that eating anything will ruin the fast while others are of the idea that very tiny amounts of calories and nutrients are acceptable.

A very straightforward meaning of fasting is that no food should be allowed except water in your fasting session. The reason is simple; anything can interfere with your body processes(ketosis, autophagy) which fasting initiates.

Do BCAA Supplements Break Intermittent Fasting?

Technically speaking, any food or supplement that provides you with even one calorie, breaks your fast. While there are people who do consume small amounts of tea/coffee in their fasting periods and still enjoy the benefits.

There have been researches claiming that even small amounts of BCAA can interfere with your ketosis while glutamine might impact your autophagy.

What Happens When I Take BCAAs While Fasting?

Consuming BCAAs will mean that you are ending your fast, no matter how little the amount of calories is. As said before that fasting can result in lower glycogen levels, which means less energy.

BCAAs can help you give enough energy for having a smooth workout. But, you should stay away from heavy workouts when you haven’t been eating anything.

What Can You Eat And Drink During A Fast?

To Be very specific, you can’t eat anything that contains calories or has the potential to impact insulin. This signifies that you can only go for drinks like water, tea, or plain coffee. Needless to say, you can’t have any kind of food.

While there are many fasting experts who believe that taking small amounts of coffee, low-calorie liquids, bone broth would impact the body negligibly. These might also be a good source of healthy fats or useful electrolytes during your fast.

Using BCAAs With Exercise During Intermittent Fasting

Exercising in your intermittent fasting window can really do wonders. Though staying empty might feel as a barrier to your regular energy and stamina but it will push your body to use as much fat as it can.

This will result in excessive fat burning. On the other hand, it might also affect your protein stores leading to muscle protein breakdown. That’s where BCAAs come in. They help in the recovery and replenishment of proteins.

Exercising in the fasting window

BCAAs do not have many calories, so their effects on insulin or ketosis will be negligible, while you will be getting the goodness of BCAAs. It will help you in lower muscle damage, better endurance, and maintaining your muscle mass.

Learn more about the benefits of BCAAs here.

What Are The Benefits of BCAAs?

BCAAs are one of the famous supplements bodybuilders or athletes use after whey protein. It provides you with a boost in your energy which helps increase your endurance and stamina in your workouts.

While a protein-rich diet will provide you with the goodness of amino acids, but it can’t replace the supplements. Having a combination of BCAA and whey protein will take your workouts to new greater levels.

These branch chain amino acids contain an essential amino acid leucine, which has a greater role in muscle protein synthesis. This is helpful in the production of new cells and avoiding protein breakdown. I don’t really think anybody would like a muscle breakdown.

Benefits of BCAA:

  1. Increase in Muscle Growth
  2. Reduced Exercise Fatigue
  3. Prevents Muscle Wastage
  4. Helps People With Liver Disease
  5. Decreases Muscle Soreness

Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting

As the name suggests, Intermittent Fasting is a type of fasting, but a partial one. It focuses more on avoiding food for a large period of time rather than focusing on the type of food you consume. Putting out very simply, it’s not a diet that you may follow, but a technique of consuming your food in a specific manner.

Common different types of intermittent fasting are:

  • 16/8 Fasting
  • Eat-Stop-Eat
  • The 5:2 Diet

One of the most beneficial things about intermittent fasting is that it helps to preserve muscle while cutting your body fat. In very simple words, fasting is a concept in which the body uses the already present glycogen stores. Following this, since you are not consuming anything, the body starts using the accumulated fat in your body to produce energy.

It is also helpful if you are feeling any kind of inflammations, gut health, blood sugar control, and things like insulin resistance.

Different Types Of Intermittent Fasting

If you have read it till now, you have quite an idea about what intermittent fasting actually is. It is just a simple practice in which you keep yourself from eating at regular intervals. A short session of consuming food followed by a longer session of staying empty is the basic gist.

Let’s look at the types of intermittent fasting in a bit more detail.

16/8 Fasting

The most common type of intermittent fasting practice followed worldwide is this 16/8 fasting routine. The name itself tells about what we need to do to follow this practice.

It states that a person can consume all the food he wants in an 8-hour window every time while avoiding food for the rest of 16 hours every day. It’s famous because of its simplicity and it’s easy to sustain for longer periods of time.

Some people do this a few days a week while some people follow it every day.

The 5:2 Diet

The next popular intermittent fasting technique is the 5:2 diet. In this technique, a normal person takes their regular diet for 5 days while dedicatedly restricting the calorie consumption in the rest two days.

Most of the individuals following this form cut their calorie intake to only around 500-600 calories in their 2 fasting days. It could be another medium-sized meal or two small meals.


This method is just a bit of advancement to the 5:2 Diet method. Instead of choosing two days of low-calorie consumption, you choose two fully empty 24-hour time slots in your week. You don’t consume anything in your slots.

Many people prefer this slot to be starting from a dinner one day and ending at dinner the next day. If you feel that a 24-hour break is just too much, start with 16 hour window of staying empty.

what does it mean to break a fast

What Does It Mean To Break A Fast?

As we now know, people either indulge in fasting due to religious reasons or for its health benefits. It’s a practice in which you completely avoid food for a specific time period.

Breaking a fast simply means that you will be eating food after your period of avoiding food. You can break your fast anytime upon your wish if you eat any food.

I have hidden good news, drinking tea or water doesn’t end your fast.

Will BCAAs Kick Me Out Of Ketosis?

Nope, BCAAs won’t kick you out of ketosis. This is because regular doses of 5-10 gm don’t impact glucose processes significantly.

Until and unless you aren’t taking high doses of BCAAs, you shouldn’t bother thinking about being kicked out of Ketosis.

Do BCAAs Stop Fat Loss

The authors of a 2015 study reported that “participants supplemented with BCAAs while dieting showed a greater loss of fat mass, less loss of LBM [lean body mass], and more favorable changes in muscle protein synthesis compared with a dieting control group.” In other words, BCAA supplementation may decrease metabolic damage and increase fat loss.

Do Zero Calorie BCAAs Break A Fast

We are often asked whether zero-calorie BCAAs break a fast. As always with diet, the answer is “it depends”.

If you are in a fasted state with digestive enzymes in reserve, that has not been depleted metabolizing protein, then consuming BCAAs in the form of a shake, does not break the fast.

However, if you are in a fasted state where you are experiencing protein catabolism during the fast, consuming protein will break the fast.

Final Takeaway

Do BCAAs break intermittent fasting? Do BCAAs break a fast? The answer is Yes. BCAAs do break a fast. Even a single calorie is capable of breaking your fast.

But the impact will be very negligible, so people prefer to take BCAAs while fasting which helps with their workout.