If you are into sports training and bodybuilding, you are surely already familiar with different bodybuilding supplements. Pre and post workout supplementation have become the trend among many gym fanatics and bodybuilders alike because of the great benefits these supplements are known to provide.
The more modern supplement option today, however, is intra workout supplementation. Also called “during” workout supplements, products like Xtend Scivation are also starting to establish names in the sports and bodybuilding industry because of the unique and added benefits they claim to offer.
What is an intra-workout supplement?
Unlike pre and post training supplements which are recommended to be consumed before and after a workout, respectively, intra workout supplements are best taken during the exercise itself. There are reports, however, claiming that such supplements can also be taken immediately before or after training to maximize effectiveness.
What are the benefits?
‘During’ workout supplements promise to give you optimum benefits for your training. They are also known as thermogenic supplements since they help in controlling the body’s temperature while providing energy to the muscles during the training.
They are said to improve sports performance while increasing time to fatigue at the same time. Apart from these benefits, drinking this type of products is also linked to improving strength and muscle growth, as well as enhancing amino acid levels in the body. The improved muscle pump and lifts also help in muscle gain and achieving optimum performance during training.
Muscle recovery and catabolism prevention are also known benefits of such supplements.
(Catabolism refers to destructive metabolism — the muscle breakdown from complex to simpler substances results to release in energy. Anabolism, on the other hand, refers to the opposite. It’s usually considered as constructive metabolism and is generally preferred during training.)
Top 10 Intra-workout supplements
Compared to pre and post bodybuilding supplements, intra-workout supplementation is a relatively new concept in the sports training and bodybuilding industry. With this field being typically competitive and constantly evolving, however, there are already numerous studies proving the effectiveness and benefits of such supplements.
Intra workout supplements typically include BCAA, carbs, and beta alanine in their main ingredients; since these are also popular ingredients in many sports supplements, make sure to go for those products that offer a healthy dose of these in their ingredient composition. Should you decide to invest in it, make it a point to choose your product wisely and settle only for a trusted and genuine supplier so you can get the best value for your money.
Below, you can go through our list of best Intra-workout supplements, and you can click on “+” sign to read more in-depth remarks/details about the product.
|1||ALRI (ALR Industries) Humapro 90 Servings||Humapro from ALRI Industries optimizes your potential to grow lean muscle mass and have less fat by optimizing absorption and letting your body do its thing. You can get your glucose levels in track and easy digesting. This is a repartitioning product along with having the ability to produce lean muscle with less fat. This works because Humapro was designed from EAA's that is similar to the human enzymatic conversion of all amino acids our bodies need to be healthy. Humapro will go into your bloodstream faster and much more efficient.|
|2||Nutricost Intra Workout||Nutricost's straightforward Intraworkout is the perfect mix of amino acids and energy boosters to increase your exercise capacity, decrease muscle fatigue, and take your workout to the next level. With two delicious flavors, the balanced 2:1:1 BCAA ratio, and even more amino acids and vitamins, Nutricost's Intraworkout is our top choice for an effective and affordable workout.|
|3||Scivation XTEND||Boosting your workouts with an intra-workout catalyst, Scivation's XTEND holds a revolutionary formula that is both free of sugar and carbohydrates in a powerful BCAA drink mix. Using the 2:1:1 BCAA ratio with 7 grams in each serving, the advanced design of this supplement aids in the building of muscle, incinerating of fat, and shortening of recovery as well as hydrating of the body with a proprietary blend of electrolytes. XTEND encourages the optimal synthesizing of protein and fuels the body with energy for a power-filled workout.|
|4||Axe & Sledge Demo Day||Demo Day is a rapid glycogen loading product which means it can help take nutrients and shove them into your muscles at a rapid pace so your body can put them to work. It's also something that gives your muscles a rounder and fuller look. Another great thing about Demo Day is it's something everyone can benefit from whether your a powerlifter, a body builder, a cross fitter, an elite athlete, or just someone in the gym trying to look better. This product contains 4 patented ingredients and two types of carbs, a rapid glycogen loader for fast absorption into the blood stream and Carb10 with a low glycemic level allowing your body to utilize the carbs over an extended period of time. This makes Demo Day great pre-workout as well as intra-workout. Demo Day also contains GlycerPump which is a cell volumizer. That's where a lot of the muscle fullness comes from. Make sure you're well hydrated when using this product to get the full benefits. As far as flavor profile, like all Axe & Sledge products there's a very clean and tasty flavor profile.|
|5||Beast Sports Nutrition Aminolytes||Beast Sports Nutrition's Aminolytes is designed with the most advanced amino matrix that contains electrolytes and aminos to provide muscle support for longer endurance and faster recovery post-workout. Formulated with 10 grams of total amino acids, 5 of those grams being BCAAs, this blend will aid in the recharging of muscle and replenishing of the lost electrolytes and BCAAs within the body. Maximize muscle growth and retain mass with the high-quality ingredients in Aminolytes while accelerating the reparation of the muscles after intense workouts.|
|6||Metabolic Nutrition Tri-Pep||Tri-Pep is great for all day consumption and is one of the few peptide bonded BCAA on the market today. Unlike many BCAA supplements that are missing critical co-factors making it not nearly as effective for protein synthesis and muscle metabolism, Tri-Pep will turn you into an anabolic machine all day long so you can build more muscle and recover more effectively. Tri-Pep is a powerful peptide bonded BCAA that contains 10 grams of your body's most important muscle building amino acids (leucine, iso-leucine, and valine). As part of an Endurance training regimen, stir 2 scoops into 24 oz of water and sip throughout entire workout.|
|7||Universal Nutrition Animal Juiced Aminos||Universal Nutrition's Animal Juiced Aminos may be the most enhanced amino stack you'll ever try. Using key patented aminos combined together under the 6,000mg Anabolic BCAA & EAA Matrix and the 4,000mg Juiced AA Performance Blend, Animal Juiced Aminos is designed to improve strength and power in athletes during high-intensity training. Enhance the growth and recovery of muscle today with Animal Juiced Aminos.|
|8||Formutech Nutrition Endurance BCAA Plus||Endurance BCAA Plus is a powerfull BCA supplement which contains a whopping 7100mg of BCAA's per scoop and also includes ingredients such as Beta Alanine and Creatine-O-Phosphate. Endurance will give you just that, unmatched energy and endurance at the gym allowing you to workout longer and harder than ever before. Athletes and bodybuilders will get the absolute most out of every minute of their training. When intense training sessions deplete your natural energy stores, your body will turn to it's own muscles for fuel. BCAA's are metabolized from your muscle tissue, degrading your hard earned gains and weakening your performance. The only way to prevent this is through BCAA supplementation.|
|9||Muscle Sport BCAA Revolution||Muscle Sports BCAA Revolution is a Hydration and Recovery supplement heavy on the Leucine and loaded with Glutamine at a 10:1:1 ratio, the optimal ratio to optimize the anabolic environment for your muscles. When your body works hard in the gym you risk losing muscle. Taking Amino Acids, specifically BCAAs during or after exercise can help to prevent or even reverse this effect. Best of all, BCAA Revolution can be used Pre-Workout, Intra-Workout, or Post-Workout!|
|10||Universal BCAA Stack||BCAA Stack by Universal Nutrition with it's clinically proven ratio of Branched Chan Amino Acids an Glutamine can help you increase strength, boost performance, and provides you with energy during dieting. BCAA Stack can help to build lean muscle mass while increasing fat loss. BCAA stack is great for serious athletes, bodybuilders, and even runners.|
What to Look for in an Intra-Workout Stack?
Not all intra-workout stacks are the same. Many formulas boast supplying “EXTREME-O ENERGY!!”, which is unnecessary to an intra-workout stack, while others pack too many ingredients, causing absorption issues.
There’s simply no way the gut can fully process all those aminos and compounds, many of which you likely don’t even need in an intra-workout context (at a rapid pace).
Ideally, an intra-workout stack should supply only the essentials, but at an exceptionally high quality. The main ingredients to look for in an intra-workout stack include:
Though somewhat of a bogeyman to today’s anti-carb health enthusiasts, carbohydrates are incredibly important to exercise performance and muscle growth—and KarboLyn® Carbohydrates are the best sports carbs in the game.
But why are carbohydrates so important? Likewise, why is KarboLyn® the best?
Respectively, here’s why:
Carbohydrates prime glycogen muscle fuel reserves, which the body uses for ATP energy production during conditions of intense exercise and activity, after which the body begins to deteriorate muscle tissue as an energy substitute.
KarboLyn® uses a bioengineered carb delivery system that’s neither too simple nor too complex for rapid, yet sustained carbohydrate absorption, hitting a happy Goldilocks medium for 2+ hours of enhanced muscle energy.
The problem with simple carbs: the muscle energy spike is too quick and may follow with a net muscle energy crash. Yet, the problem with complex carbs: the rate of absorption takes a long time (sometimes 24 hours) and often comes with bloating side effects.
Taken both pre-, intra-, and post-workout, KarboLyn® supplies both quick and slow absorbing carbohydrates for fast-acting, ongoing muscle energy enhancement, resulting in greater muscle growth and minimal protein breakdown.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Of all the amino acids, only three are classified as branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), an essential class of aminos that are most sought for intra-workout muscle replenishment.
Apart from being essential components of the diet, as opposed to non-essential amino acids that are created in the body, BCAAs are broken down in muscle tissue, rather than the liver. Because of this, BCAAs seem to uniquely play a role in muscle energy metabolism during exercise, likely due to BCAAs preservation effect on muscular glycogen stores, which fuel muscular energy and minimize protein breakdown.
Compromising roughly 35% of the body’s essential amino acid content, BCAAs include the following three aminos: L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine. While leucine seems to possess greater anabolic, muscle-building advantages, isoleucine and valine are very important to energy production and blood sugar regulation.
Supplementing intra-workout BCAAs is a smarty way to maintain positive muscular endurance, energy, and growth.
CAFFEINE AND GREEN TEA EXTRACT
Caffeine and green tea extract are both stimulants that are commonly used in workout supplements. These ingredients help to raise energy levels and increase alertness. This can be highly beneficial in regard to maintaining workout intensity or keeping motivation levels high.
These two stimulants also play major roles in regulating the metabolism, especially fat metabolism. This can stimulate fat loss, which is another common goal for individuals who go to the gym often.
Taurine is an amino acid that can be made by the body, and it has important role when it comes to creating new proteins and tissues. The majority of the taurine in the body is stored in platelets in the blood, but other stores can be found in the brain, heart, and eyes. Taking a supplement is a good way to ensure that you have enough taurine in the body for proper functioning.
Some studies have shown that taurine can help to reduce blood pressure levels and improve the body’s ability to deal with stressful situations. It also shows potential for improving physical performance, especially for endurance exercises.
There are a few main electrolytes found in the body, and two of the most important are sodium and potassium. These two elements play critical roles in cells throughout the body, especially when it comes to cellular communication and muscle contraction and relaxation.
Electrolytes also play a role in how much water is held in the body, how acidic your blood is, and more. These elements are easily lost when the body sweats and when you go to the bathroom, so it is necessary to restore these levels so that body functioning can continue at a high level.
When Do You Need an Intra-Workout Supplement?
In other words, if you’re already taking a pre-workout and post-workout supplement—and maybe even a protein shake, too—could you also benefit from taking an intra-workout supplement?
Likewise, is an intra-workout only necessary at a high degree of exercise intensity? Odds are gym noobs and lightweight exercisers don’t need an intra-workout, right?
As far as answering the first question, that comes down to your personal fitness goals. Usually, the reason to take an intra-workout supplement is to sustain energy and intensity through long workouts, such as long-distance running, hiking, or long weight-training sessions.
For awhile we thought Clif Bars do a well-enough job at this, until we realized that Clif Bars, and other similar “carb replenishment” snack bars, are essentially candy bars.
An effective intra-workout stack rapidly loads stamina-depleted muscle with healthy, stim-free carb energy, keeping the train rolling, so to speak, without loads of gunky, artificial sugar.
With that in mind, yes, only high-intensity training exercisers will find value in an intra-workout supplement.
The idea is optimized performance here. And if you’re not putting out your best effort, there’s not much an intra-workout—or really any workout—supplement will do for you.
Intra-workout supplements also work fast and are easily digested and absorbed by the body. They also fight cortisol, which is a hormone that is released during exercise that can break down the muscle tissues and during workouts, when glycogen levels go down, the cortisol levels go up. Taking these supplements can reduce the effects of this process.
Again, fitness isn’t easy and anything that is easily done or had can also be taken away just as easily and you can feel and look worse than you were before your workout failed. If you are to undergo serious bodybuilding, it is best to do it right and to do it right, make sure you have the best pre, intra and post workout supplements at hand. Do research on your own and check your own body as well to make sure you can take these supplements safely so that you can use them effectively.