I've read this article here.

Stating that BCAA suppliments can be substituted by consuming the whites of two hard boiled eggs prior to working out.

I've been on an intermittent fasting regimen for more than a month now but have never tried consuming BCAA prior to working out (or any kind of supplement pre/post workout for that matter).

Would the inclusion of 2 hard boiled egg whites improve my workout, protein synthesis, etc in the long run?

I'm kind of afraid that by consuming the egg whites pre work out I might break my fast hours before I even want to start eating my post work out meal.

  • I'd feel uncomfortable with two eggs on an empty stomach.
    – Baarn
    Dec 14, 2013 at 11:43
  • 1
    Yeah i guess you have a point, lol
    – reverb
    Dec 16, 2013 at 6:47

1 Answer 1


I read the article, as an advocate of Intermittent Fasting for the past 4 months or so.

It makes sense, and basically states that the inclusion of BCAA's post and pre-workout are beneficial to preventing the catabolic state that your body can go into during intense workouts without the immediate nutrition we are all so accustomed to.

Your questions:

would the inclusion of two egg whites pre-workout improve my workout?

It depends, are you already supplementing with BCAA's? If not, then it's possible it will give you a slight boost in energy levels. If you are supplementing with BCAA's already and are looking for a switch, well - according to the article it's a positive one as the small amount of protein will boost your circulating insulin levels, keeping you out of any sort of catabolism, but not spiking your insulin to the point that you break your fast.

I mean I guess this is the controversial part. I don't believe that your body will go catabolic in hours. So with that in mind, I find myself asking how or why your workout would improve. According to Dr. Loren Lockman, your body will go after adipose tissue first. Which is long term fat storage, or the fat on your body. If this is the ultimate goal of your workout, then I think you would be best with BCAA's, although based on the findings, BCAA's and Egg whites are going to both give idealistic benefits.

I would also point out that BCAA's are derived and produced with the intention of using during intense workouts to fuel your muscles. Egg whites are natural and not produced by anyone, so for a more natural approach I would say the Egg whites are your best bet. The BCAA's may work faster, as also mentioned in some of the comments in the article, the egg may take hours to activate protein synthesis, and it's more of a continuous process than BCAAs which enter your blood stream within a half hour.

We're all in this for the long run. I think your choice to use intermittent fasting as a tool for weight loss and lean muscle gain is a good one. In reality, I think the change is minimal, and probably won't make too much of a difference.

You don't have to worry about breaking your fast early, because as long as your training is intense, you will deplete glycogen anyway, and your body will raise HGH post-workout. Just don't eat any more egg whites then. BCAA's are OK though.

Might of rambled a bit, I apologize. This is all from personal experience, and research. I've been interested in the same types of things. Bulletproof coffee would be your best bet as a morning pre-workout/fuel

  • Thanks for your insight, much appreciated. I havent used any supplements whatsoever due to personal preference. But have been wanting to experiment with egg whites as bcaa substitute, because whenever i fast for lets say 36 hours then eat a 800 calorie meal then go for a workout 6 hours after the meal i still feel lethargic so i was thinking maybe egg whites can help me feel energized before my workout after my 36/24 hour fast
    – reverb
    Dec 18, 2013 at 8:50
  • yea I've been playing around with 36 hour fasts, basically eat at 8pm last meal of night. Fast all next day, into the following day, workout in AM still fasted with only BCAA's, and then I eat after that meal. Throughout my 36 hour fasts, I re-load BCAA's every 8 hours or so, just to be safe, I haven't noticed any lethargy post-workout after around 28-30 hour fast. I think you would need to follow a warrior diet principal at that point. Look into that style of IF, one large meal per night, but small amounts of protein throughout the day help keep you from going catabolic, as well as energized.
    – Hituptony
    Dec 18, 2013 at 13:30
  • Hmm, but if you have a lot of adipose tissue lying about (like me since ive slimmed down from an obese body), would you still constantly need bcaa to make your body avoid catabolism?
    – reverb
    Dec 19, 2013 at 8:18
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    The reason you are worried about breaking down muscle is because your body uses glucose or blood sugar as a main source of energy. To ensure you always have a ready supply, your body stores it in your liver and muscles as glycogen. When you're fasted your body goes after the glycogen first in the liver, then your body fat. You run out of glycogen between 6-24 hours of fasting. As the liver's energy stores deplete, and you are not giving your body nutrients the body will begin to look for amino acids to convert into glucose, if none are available, it will break down muscle to get them.
    – Hituptony
    Dec 19, 2013 at 13:30

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