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Fact checked by Meghan Novoshielski, M.S Nutrition Sci. ,RDNFACT CHECKED
June 12, 2023
It shouldn't come as a surprise that what you put into your body before, during, and after your training sessions will have a significant impact on your performance. Most lifters know the importance of pre-workout and post-workout nutrition but don't think about what they should consume during the workout.
If you have felt light-headed or drained during an intense workout don't worry, intra-workout supplementation can help.
In this article, we have researched and created a list of the 9 best Intra-workout supplements on the market. All you need to do is scroll down and choose the one that best fits your training needs.
Selecting the best intra-workout supplements requires a comprehensive evaluation of several crucial factors.
By carefully weighing these factors, we confidently arrived at our 9 top intra-workout supplements that can optimize performance and support fitness goals effectively.
Intra Blast from NutraBio is an advanced intra-workout supplement formulated to improve performance, recovery, hydration, and muscle growth.
Each of the thirty scoops will provide you with high-quality, clinically dosed ingredients to support your body through tough workouts while having minimal flavoring components and absolutely zero fillers.
Intra Blast uses a 2:1:1 ratio to pack in 20 grams of instanitized and fermented amino acids into each scoop, which helps to support recovery and also delays the onset of muscle soreness.
With the addition of glutamine, taurine, and electrolytes, your muscles will benefit significantly from having balanced water levels and reducing the risk of cramping.
Intra Blast also combines TMG and OKG to help preserve muscle tissue, reduce the effects of fatigue, promote muscle recovery, and improve endurance.
NutraBio believes that you should know what you put into your body, so each tub has a transparent label showing the exact ingredients and dosages.
To ensure that their products are genuine and the dosages are honest, NutraBio has all of their products third-party tested.
Overall, Intra Blast is a fantastic supplement that can enhance performance and won't leave you wishing for more.
IN-KAGED from Kaged Muscle is another well-thought-out intra-workout supplement designed to boost athletic performance, energy levels, endurance, and recovery.
IN-KAGED features fermented BCAAs that were not taken from animal sources, making it an excellent choice for vegetarian and vegan lifters. The five grams of high-quality BCAAs follow the industry standard 2:1:1 ratio.
There are also three grams of fermented L-citrulline, 1.6 grams of CarnoSyn (beta-alanine), and 500 mg of coconut fruit water powder, resulting in an excellent formula combination for promoting solid pumps and improving athletic endurance.
Kaged Muscle takes pride in never hiding behind proprietary blends, instead opting for a transparent label that describes exactly how much of each clinically tested ingredient you're getting in each scoop.
Kaged Muscle is so confident in their product that they have it third-party tested and screened for all banned substances.
If you're looking for a solid intra-workout BCAA powder at a terrific value, then we can't recommend Kaged Muscle IN-KAGED enough.
The first half of an intense, high-volume workout can sap you of all your energy. Sipping on some Nutricost Intra can keep you properly hydrated, replenish your ATP reserves, and help promote healthy muscle growth. Which, as a result, can help you get the most out of your workouts and break personal records while saving some money.
You get five grams of branch chain amino acids in Intra and 3.5 grams of L-citrulline to enhance endurance during resistance exercise.
There is also one gram of L-Glutamine, along with two grams of Betaine Anhydrous and two grams of taurine, to promote proper hydration levels and keep your body feeling good for longer.
With 100 mg of natural caffeine, you will get a small burst of energy without having to worry about any jitters.
A good intra-workout supplement should make you feel almost as fresh during your last set as you did before you worked out. Nutricost Intra will do just that without costing an arm and a leg.
Not everyone has the same fitness goals, and they might need to take a unique approach to achieve them. If you are an athlete or someone who is following a high-intensity training regimen, Alpha Lion's Superhuman Intra supplement is a fantastic option for you.
Superhuman Intra comes with a potent blend of electrolytes and minerals that helps to delay the onset effects of fatigue and helps keep recovery time short.
Superhuman Intra also has a full spectrum fermented amino acid blend that covers all nine amino acids.
It contains 6 grams of BCAAs as InstAminos and 4 grams of EAAs to keep athletes pushing hard and seeing progress towards their goals.
Superhuman Intra has some unique flavor options, with Grapermelon being the most interesting on the list. It is a combination of candy grape and sweet watermelon, resulting in a taste profile that you will have no problem sipping on throughout your workout.
Between the high amounts of amino acids and premium electrolyte blend, this would be a beneficial product for endurance athletes and lifters alike.
Formula XII from Huge Supplements was designed as an intra-workout and post-workout formula to help lifters and athletes restore glycogen levels, promote muscle synthesis, improve recovery, and see huge gains in lean muscle mass.
Formula XII includes 12 ingredients at doses clinically shown to be effective at helping maximize performance without using any filler.
Providing 5g of Creatine Monohydrate, 10g of cluster dextrin which is a patented form of highly branched cyclic dextrin, an easily absorbable carb that helps increase energy during and after a workout. Plus you get 5g of organic ModCarbs, Formula XII is a great supplement to take not only in the middle of your workout but also directly after to begin the recovery process faster and increase your muscle building potential.
Huge Nutrition's Formula XII also includes electrolytes and hydration for your muscles, resulting in a better lifting performance, faster recovery between sets, and overall improved training session.
A more interesting ingredient that is not very common in intra-workout supplements is Orinthine HCL. Ornithine HCL is one of the chain amino acids that helps the body to dispose of ammonia through the urea cycle, which can help the body not feel the effects of fatigue while working out.
They don't have a large selection of flavors to choose from, but the ones they do are delicious, smooth, and easy to mix in water.
The candy apple flavor is delicious, with a nice mix between sweet and tangy, making it a perfect option to sip on during a sweaty workout session.
Formula XII is a premium intra-workout supplement with a price tag to match it. Still, in our opinion, it is an excellent option for individuals trying to gain some muscle mass.
INTRASURGE is an intra-workout made by Jacked Factory that was designed to promote muscle development, increase strength, maintain pumps and endurance, and improve recovery.
The INTRASURGE formula is only seven ingredients, with a significant focus on them being amino acids.
Each tub of this amino acid supplement has 20 servings of a clinically dosed formula, which provides you with six grams of BCAAs, four grams of citrulline malate, one gram of Tyrosine, 500 mg of coconut water powder, and 125 mg of natural caffeine.
According to Jacked Factory, INTRASURGE can be used before, during, and after a workout.
INTRASURGE is manufactured in the USA in a cGMP-compliant facility and only contains bioavailable and proven ingredients that are free from artificial fillers.
INTRASURGE is a great BCAA-focused intra-workout that comes at a great value, so if you're looking to improve your workout quality, give it a shot.
DEMODAY from Axe & Sledge Supplements is an amazing intra-workout carbohydrate powder for enhancing lifting performance and getting great pumps.
Each scoop contains 25 grams of high-quality carbohydrates and only two grams coming from sugar.
The carbohydrate sources also have a fast gastric emptying rate, so they shouldn't cause gastrointestinal distress like many of the other carbohydrate powders on the market. All of the carbohydrate sources in this product are low-glycemic as well, so they won't drastically spike your insulin levels.
Each serving has a combination of 15 grams of Carb10 and 11 grams of highly branched cyclic dextrin to boost endurance, decrease fatigue, replenish the muscles of ATP, and increase recovery between sets.
DEMODAY includes additional ingredients like Glycerol and Taurine to aid athletes in hydration, better pumps, and water retention to keep you going at 100% for longer.
DEMODAY can be used as a pre, intra, and post-workout supplement, so you aren't restricted to taking it at a particular time of the day. It only has one flavored option, which tastes incredible and mixes easily.
What is unique is that Axe & Sledge Supplements offers an unflavored option so that you can mix it into anything you want. We think that is a great idea and a concept that more supplement companies should embrace.
BPN INTRA-FLIGHT is a BCAA supplement formulated to increase performance, support post-workout recovery, and improve athletic endurance.
BPN recommends you drink Intra Flight during training sessions to get the most out of your muscle building efforts.
It contains eight grams of instantized BCAA, three grams each of taurine and citrulline malate, and two grams of Carnitine Tartrate, which reduces muscle damage and soreness caused by intense training sessions.
BPN is a standup company that wants athletes to be able to take their supplements without having to worry about failing a drug test due to banned substances. So they have every one of their products tested and certified by Informed Sport.
Informed Sport is a global independent supplement testing and certification program designed to test supplements for elite athletes and strict drug-tested personnel. It is the only global certification program that tests every single batch of a product before it's released to the public market.
If you're a collegiate or professional athlete and want to take supplements, BPN has a great line of supplements for you.
GENIUS BCAA from The Genius Brand is a versatile, all-natural intra-workout supplement that will upgrade your daily amino energy consumption, nourish your mental functions, and improve your lean muscle mass.
This BCAA powder has you covered with proper doses of vegan branched chain amino acids, L-Tyrosine and L-Citrulline Malate, Taurine, and Cognizen Citicoline.
Most lower-quality BCAA supplements derive their amino acids from duck feathers or human hair. The Genius Brand sources its vegan amino acids from high-quality InstAminos developed through fermentation.
Genius BCAA does not contain any fillers or artificial ingredients, instead opting for carefully selected clinical ingredients. It is even sweetened naturally with organic stevia, monk fruit, and other natural flavors.
Unlike many intra-workout supplements, Genius BCAA incorporates natural nootropics like Rhodiola Rosea, Taurine, and Cognizin Citicoline to help improve focus, reduce stress, and optimize your mind for high-mental performance.
It also offers a small dose of stimulants in the form of caffeine to provide a quick spike of energy in the middle of your workout.
The Genius Brand states that its products are flexible and are even better when paired together. So if you're already taking their supplements, Genius BCAA can be a great addition.
Intra-workouts offer some tremendous benefits from reducing muscle fatigue, restoring muscle glycogen stores, boosting endurance to speeding up the muscle recovery process. Below we cover some of the benefits you should expect to get from an intra-workout.
Having enough energy when working out is crucial for seeing long-term results. To be able to push yourself to the limit, sometimes you need a little boost in the right direction.
Intra-workout supplements often contain fast-absorbing carbohydrates or stimulants that can give your body a much-needed energy boost. This is great for individuals who train for long periods of time or athletes who partake in multi-hour events.
Some intra-workouts can also benefit individuals who are on low-carb diets or train fasted since they tend to be more prone to fatigue in the middle of a workout.
When you train intensively and sweat, your body will work through your supply of electrolytes.
When the body is deficient in electrolytes, it can begin to cramp, which can ruin workouts. To combat this, many intra-workout supplements include electrolytes and minerals in their formulas, which the body requires to maintain proper hydration levels.
Intra-workouts containing electrolytes such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, and sodium can help your body retain fluids while you train, fighting dehydration.
Intra-workout supplementation can help with muscle protein synthesis, the body's process to repair muscle damage, and build muscle with protein.
ATP is an important molecule that is found in all living organisms. ATP is the primary molecule that stores and transfers energy in cells and for many biochemical processes like muscle contractions, protein synthesis, and nerve transmissions.
When you work out hard, you begin to stress your muscles, eventually switching your body from an anabolic state into a catabolic one. By restoring ATP levels, you can keep your body in an anabolic state and build muscle.
The longer you work out, the more your body will break down muscles for amino acids. By supplementing with intra-workout supplements high in amino acids, you can reduce the risk of this happening and prevent your body from breaking down.
Intra-workouts can helpful to prevent muscle breakdown and can be useful for individuals who don't eat higher quantities of food with amino acids.
Another essential benefit of intra-workout supplements is that they can be beneficial in the recovery process. By deciding to take a recovery supplement in the middle of your workout, you're getting ahead of the recovery process by using amino acids and carbs to support your body during and after a workout.
You'll see many popular intra-workout supplements contain ingredients that lead to bigger pumps. L-citrulline is a common nitric oxide booster you'll see in formulations to boost blood flow which can increase the size muscle fibers. The pump can act as a motivation to go harder plus it can lead to more muscle gains. Another common ingredient used to create bigger pumps is glycerol powder. This helps hydrate the muscle cells which results in bigger pumps
Intra-workouts tend to have a combination of ingredients that can vary brand to brand but we cover some of the most common ingredients you're likely to see.
A branched-Chain Amino Acid is a group of three amino acids that are the building blocks of protein. They are typically used in supplements to boost the production of lean body mass, speed up muscle recovery, and reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.
BCAAs are also considered essential due to the body's inability to make them, so a person must get them through supplements or a proper diet.
The three amino acids that are found in BCAAs are:
An effective dosage of BCAAs is typically in the five to ten-gram range.
Essential amino acids are BCAAs plus six additional amino acids, which the body is not able to produce on its own. So they must be taken through food or supplementation.
So what separates them from BCAAs? EAAs contain all nine amino acids that are found in whole protein sources. Meanwhile, BCAAs are a subset of three amino acids that are more focused on anabolic signaling.
For BCAAs to be truly effective, a complete set of essential amino acids is required and while these can come from other sources, like your diet or cells within the body, supplementing them directly with an intra-workout is another option.
To expand further, muscle protein synthesis can be sustained for a longer time with EAAs compared to BCAAs. So if you're taking BCAAs regularly, you may benefit more by switching to EAAs.
The six other amino acids, excluding BCAAs, that are categorized as EAAs are:
Intra-workout supplements typically contain carbohydrates to help boost energy levels and improve pumps. Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of fuel. So it makes sense that many high-quality intra-workout supplements contain them.
Usually, these carb sources come from quickly digesting options like highly branched cyclic dextrin, D-ribose, or dextrose. These options are easy to mix, have minimal effects on blood sugar levels, and hit the bloodstream quickly.
Intra-workout supplements typically contain caffeine and pumping ingredients that have been found to improve strength, power, and anaerobic performance. By increasing muscle activation and neuromuscular transmission, an intra-workout can help the body produce better pumps throughout the entire workout.
The most common pumping ingredients that you will find in intra-workout supplements are L-citrulline, OKG, Glycerol powder, and Nitrosigine.
Probably the most common focus ingredient you'll find in intra-workout supplements is Tyrosine, which is an amino acid that is important in the production of several necessary brain chemicals that help with mood, stress levels, and focus.
You will also sometimes see caffeine, taurine, theanine, and Acetyl L-carnitine used as focus-based ingredients in intra-workout supplements.
To improve athletic performance, strength, and muscle size, you want to make sure your body has proper blood flow. As you work out, your nitric oxide production tends to dip, resulting in a poor pump and less intense muscle contractions.
Betaine Anhydrous and L-glutamine are two common ingredients used in intra-workout supplements to boost exercise performance and power.
Whenever we sweat, breathe, pee, etc., our body loses essential hydration and electrolytes. Hydration is so important because even a water loss as small as 1-2% of your body weight can result in gradual decreases in focus, strength, and endurance.
Electrolytes are typically included in intra-workout supplements because they are chemicals that form ions in the body's fluids to help make sure that certain functions are performing at the proper levels.
Electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium can also help your cells retain optimal water levels and fight off dehydration while you work out.
When looking at the intra-workout nutrition options online there are a few key points to be aware of that we cover below.
Intra-workout supplements can take your intense workouts to the next level, as they can energize your body, boost overall health, and increase endurance so that you can go 100% the entire workout. However, using a poorly formulated supplement can be frustrating, produce no noticeable results, and can be unsafe, as it can have unhealthy fillers that have adverse effects on your body.
The intra-workouts that you should be looking at are the brands that are made with only clinically tested ingredients, no fillers, and have accurate clinically proven doses.
As a consumer, you deserve to know exactly what is in every product that you buy. This is especially true when it comes to supplements that are going into your body to improve health.
That's why we usually prefer brands and manufacturers who do not use proprietary blends that hide the dosage of the individual ingredients. Labels should be clear and contain specific names, no proprietary blends, bro-science or slang terms.
New supplement companies are constantly emerging, trying to take a portion of the multi-billion dollar fitness industry. Often times they come out with cheap, poorly made supplements that aren't worth checking out.
These companies make it very important to research intra-workout supplements before buying. We recommend that you focus on reputable brands that have been around for a while. As they typically have their products third-party tested.
The testing and certifications of a company's supplements should be two of the most important factors when choosing a pre-workout. These third-party tests and certifications indicate that the products are high quality and guarantee their actual dosages, usefulness, and quality levels.
The market is full of intra-workout supplements that tend to range in price from $25 to over $50. When it comes to intra-workout products, there is a common misconception that the more expensive options are the better choice.
This is not always true. Some supplements are more costly because of their process of production, marketing, and other factors not directly connected to the quality of the pre-workout.
We recommend that instead of just focusing on the price when shopping for an intra-workout supplement, you focus more on the ingredients, quality, and dosages when trying to find the value of a product.
When buying any intra-workout supplement, we recommend that you check out the reviews.
Most lower-quality supplement brands tend to fluff up their products and make them sound way better than they actually are.
The last thing you want is to test out a product and realize it doesn't work well for you. One way to keep this from happening is by checking out the review section of a supplement. We recommend checking out review pages (like ours), Amazon, social media, and Google to find more reviews of the supplement you're looking at buying.
Keep a close eye on reviews; some companies are starting to use bots and pay people to leave positive reviews of their products.
If you pick an option that compliments your lifestyle, then an intra-workout supplement can definitely be worth it. By helping your body maintain muscle performance, stay hydrated, and improve endurance, an excellent intra-workout supplement can help you to push through just about any grueling workout.
Most people can see benefits from using these types of supplements during their workouts. Especially if you are an individual who trains several times per day, does intense HIIT style workouts, works out fasted, or struggles with consuming enough protein throughout the day.
If you want to get through even the most intense workouts without having to worry about any unwanted side effects, then we recommend NutraBio Intra Blast. Intra Blast, in our opinion, is a no-brainer due to NutraBio using premium ingredients, clinically proven dosages, electrolyte blend, and natural sweeteners and flavors, all while being a great value.
It is the intra-workout supplement option that we believe would work for the vast majority of lifters. So if you want to improve your performance, reduce fatigue, extend muscle pumps, and stay hydrated, then we recommend trying out Intra Blast.
Typically the best time to drink an intra-workout supplement would be after roughly an hour of exercise, which is typically when individuals start to see drops in strength and recovery. We also recommend that you sip on it instead of chugging it to see the best results from your intra-workout supplementation.
Sports drinks, like Gatorade, are a great option whenever there aren't any other intra-workout supplement choices available. Gatorade was created to help replace the electrolytes, carbohydrates, and minerals that we lose during longer durations of activities.
Outside of these benefits, Gatorade doesn't have much to offer compared to an intra-workout supplement that can help with muscle synthesis, recovery, energy levels, muscle pump, and hydration. Plus, when you break down the cost of a serving of each, they end up being roughly the same.
You should check the label to see how many added grams of sugar it contains before you make a purchase. Gatorade isn't necessarily a bad choice, but it shouldn't be your first one.
The deeper you get into an intense workout, the harder your body has to work to recover between each set. Eventually, your strength and energy will start to drop off, which is the last thing you want when you're only halfway through a workout.
When this drop in performance happens, your ability to see gains drops significantly. To help prevent this from happening, you can eat or drink a carbohydrate source. By taking in carbs during your workout, you are providing your body with its primary source of energy and improving energy levels.
BCAA supplements can be consumed before, during, and after exercise. BCAA's help with increasing muscle growth, decreasing muscle soreness, reducing fatigue, and slowing muscle breakdown.
By themselves, BCAAs are pretty beneficial to the body and are a great option to take during your workout. However, if you want to get the most out of your intra-workout supplementation, we recommend that you include a source of carbohydrates to fuel your muscles and electrolytes to reduce the risk of cramping.
There are plenty of articles out there that explain the importance of pre and post-workout supplements. Recently we have started to see a rise in awareness of the significance of intra-workout supplementation.
Intra-workout supplements can boost your body's hydration, increase endurance, enhance workout performance, preserve muscle glycogen stores, mitigate muscle breakdown, and support muscle recovery.
Each of the best intra-workout supplements on our list is great in its own way, and how well they work for you depends on your training and lifestyle choices. Our favorite intra-workout hails from NutraBio thanks to the stacked formulation.
Remember that supplements are meant to enhance the good decisions that you make every day, so they aren't a shortcut or magic product. The harder you work on improving your sleep and nutrition plays a more prominent role than supplements.
Recap of our 9 Best Intra Workout Supps:
Now you know our favorite intra-workout supplements, make sure to check out our post that covers the Best Post Workout Supplements on the market.
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September 21, 2023
September 21, 2023
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