What Are Intra-Workout Supplements?
Intra-workout supplements exist to provide athletes with that extra kick that is mostly needed during an intense workout. This allows users to up the ante in the midst of a given training session for greater power, focus, and a significant boost in motivation. In combination with other supplements such as pre-workouts and post-workout blends – intra-workout products target that mid-workout section where exercise timing is of the utmost importance. But, how do intra-workout supplements help you in reality, and do you really need to include them into your diet?
The short answer is yes, and here’s why as explained in the long one.
Intra-Workout Supplements Benefits
Intra-workouts are an excellent investment that will pay dividends over the long haul. If your goals include building your body with less effort and in shorter amounts of time – then taking intra-workouts is the proven way to go. Some of the benefits of including these products into your regimen are:
Intra-workouts help to cut down weight
If you’re serious in your goals to cut that extra flab – then intra-workout supplements are a must. These products will provide you with all the necessary ingredients to prevent muscle breakdown and use fat for energy instead of carbs. Intra-workouts contain BCAAs and other amino acids which, if they happen to be missing during your cutting phase – can prove devastating for your long-term fitness goals. The amino acids leucine and glutamine are one of the key ingredients for maintaining proper weight balance, and most high-quality intra-workout products will have them included in their formulas.
Intra-workout supplements aid during fasted training
If you’re doing your exercise while fasting – then supplementing with intra-workouts is almost crucial for achieving top results. Additionally, the body enters a fasted state six hours after you’ve had your last meal. During which, all the essential nutrients get absorbed in all the key areas in the body (organs, muscles, heart) and your insulin levels slowly return to normal.
When you reach for weights during a fasted state, your body starts experiencing weight-loss at a rapid rate, which immensely helps with getting that beach body as seen in commercials worldwide. However, doing exercise on an empty stomach can be also detrimental to your muscles, since this type of exercise significantly slows down potential muscle growth. Taking intra-workout supplements helps with nurturing your body without the stresses of experiencing bloating, cramps, indigestion – or other symptoms of a full belly.
And Cardio Workouts
The truth is, you will most likely avoid drinking protein shakes during high intensity cardio workouts since they will make you bloated and unable to perform at your peak levels. On the other hand, adding an intra-workout supplement in the mix can significantly increase your chances of skipping on tiredness the day after. For optimal results during a cardio workout, opt for intra-workouts that contain BCAAs and beta-alanine in their formulas.
Intra-Workouts will help you build mass
If you’re looking to improve your weight, muscle, and bulking mass – look no further than picking a high-quality intra-workout to assist you in this job for you. When trying to build mass, look for intra-workouts that include citrulline, dextrose, and the branched-chain amino acids trifecta (Leucine, Isoleucine, Valine) and try to skip on ingredients such as glutamine.
OK, now that we’ve seen all the benefits that intra-workout supplements can provide – let’s look at the most common ingredients that these products include.
List of Intra-Workout Supplements Ingredients
BCAAs are comprised of three essential amino acids:
Each of these amino acids are crucial for kick-starting protein synthesis, which is one of the most important processes for building and maintaining strength, power, and lean muscle mass. In addition, BCAAs also help to:
- Eliminate fatigue during workout
- Improve the immune system for greater resistance to various ailments
- Reduce the muscle damage caused by intense training
- Increase muscle growth at an exponential rate
…and tons more. When looking for an intra-workout blend, make sure your product contains leucine. When it comes to protein synthesis, Leucine is the most potent of the three branched-chain amino acids. Due to his powerful supplemental nature, leucine is most often found in other formulations, such as protein shakes or post-workout blends. If you’re using any of the two, or a combination of both, then try skipping on leucine in your intra-workout mix.
Dextrose is a very important ingredient that most quality intra-workout brands will include it one way or the other. This compound is especially effective as a supplement during a bulking phase, because it gives you a quick and easy access to fast-burning sugars. On the other hand, if your fitness goals include cutting – then you should opt for another ingredient into your intra-workout mix.
As opposed to dextrose, glutamine is quite effective during a cutting phase. This ingredient makes two main things happen: it stays in its anabolic state during workout, and it provides a boost to your immune system. So, regardless of the duration of your exercise, glutamine will keep you up and running for a long, long time.
This ingredient is the building block of another important compound – namely carnosine. Carnosine is the main factor when it comes to several major processes in the body, including:
- Buffering acid in the muscle tissue
- Providing an increase to short-intensity physical performance
- Aiding in mass gains
- Playing a crucial role in the anti-aging processes in the body
On top of that, carnosine is also known as a compound with antioxidant properties, which makes its building block – beta-alanine – an important ingredient to be had in most proven intra-workout products.
Electrolytes are minerals that are carried around in the bloodstream, and some of them include chloride, calcium, magnesium, and more. They are especially important for active athletes, since they maintain the PH levels in the blood, prevent muscle cramps, and maintain the integrity of the cell wall. If you’re the type of individual who trains long and hard, an intra-workout supplement packing enough electrolytes would be your perfect weapon of choice.
Are Intra-Workout Supplements Worth It?
Yes. When you perform strenuous exercise such as weight-lifting or sprints, your body will quickly get tired and will lose precious nutrients that will stop you from continuing at your normal pace. In this case, pre-workouts are just not going to cut it, but a combination of intra-workout supplements plus the former will give you all the needed nutrients for prolonged and intense training sessions.