5 Top-rated Intra-Workout Supplements Deemed Effective
As the name implies, “Intra-Workout Supplement” (IWS) are taken during training as rehydrating and energizing beverage. Unlike pre-workout supplements (PWS) that are likewise available in pill form, IWS’s are almost exclusively in powder form and therefore water-soluble.
Since they are taken in between exercise sets or during a break from an ongoing game or sports activity, IWS products are essentially formulated with easily absorbable and fast-acting ingredients. Each component is supposedly meant to perform one or several of the following purposes in an instant or at least, in a matter of minutes:
- Increase your body’s natural capacity to build muscle and burn fat in adipose tissues.
- Delay onset muscle fatigue and suppress muscle cells break down.
- Rehydrate your system to increase and sustain your mental focus and physical endurance.
- Replenish your energy level in order to prolong and intensify your training.
- Aid your body in the recovery phase.
What are the Most Common Components of Intra-workout Supplement Formulas?
- Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) – Most IWS formulas are built around this trio of essential amino acids (leucine, isoleucine & valine) because of its immediate and potent effect.
Pure BCAAs can actually bypass our entire digestive system including the liver, and go directly to our bloodstream. In effect, it can immediately do its role in protein synthesis in our skeletal muscles, thus causing its fibers and tissues to grow in size and strength within its absolute limit.
- L-citrulline – This amino acid’s main function is enhancing our blood circulation through vasodilation of arteries and increased production of nitric oxide cells that help carry protein to our muscles.
Moreover, it helps regulate blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol, promote cardiovascular health, and remedy mild to moderate erectile dysfunction (ED). L-citrulline’s role in blood flow increase also helps intensify the effect of BCAA.
- Beta-alanine – Much of its role is centered in the production of a dipeptide (fusion of two amino acids) called carnosine, which concentrates inside muscles and organs at work including the heart and the brain.
Said dipeptide also helps in slowing down aging, repairing organ, nerve and tissue damages, and preventing complications from various diseases. In effect, beta-alanine aid in increasing our aerobic and muscular anaerobic endurance.
- Electrolyte Replenishing Compounds – Basically a quick rehydrating agent. It may be made from processed organic compounds such as coconut water or a combination of various substances that make up a rehydration salt compound.
A Closer Look at the Top-Rating Intra-workout Supplements in the Market:
1. Scivation Xtend BCAAs
Not only that this product is a consistent top-rater in various consumers’ reviews, it also earned various accolades through the years including being named “Best Intra-Workout Supplement of the Year” and “Best Recovery Supplement of the Year” by Bodyduilding.com in 2012, besting several competitors in said categories.
Moreover, it is manufactured in an NSF and GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) compliant US-based facility.
- Each scoop of Scivation Xtend is said to contain approximately 7 grams of BCAA in the optimum 2:1:1 ratio. That is 3.5 grams of Leucine and 1.75 grams each of Isoleucine and Valine. This is within the suggested amount needed to increase and sustain one’s energy level during high-intensity resistance and endurance training.
- Each serving scoop also contains 2.5 grams of L-glutamine, an essential amino acid that is said to help boost one’s athletic performance and muscle growth.
- Available in 9 different flavors including two new ones called Mango Nectar and Strawberry Kiwi. Other taste variants include Grape Escape, Green Apple, Lemon Lime Sour, Orange Dream, Pink Lemonade, Raspberry Blue and Watermelon Madness.
- Numerous users have vouched that it does help in building strength, endurance, and muscle mass and in shedding unwanted pounds. There were even several professional and collegiate athletes that attest to the product’s effectiveness.
- It is available in 30-servings and 90-servings tubs and in 5-scoop Trial Pack. Said rates are base prices and may be subject to changes, volume discounts or surcharges so it’s better to check all details at the retail site prior to purchase.
- One scoop serving only contains a gram of citrulline malate, which is a great vasodilator and enlarging muscle pumps. It seems that it was just added for the sole purpose of intensifying the effects of BCAA in the body, thus the relatively low dosage.
- Its electrolyte blend (trisodium citrate dihydrate, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride) is basically a run-of-the-mill rehydration salt. Although that is not exactly bad in a controlled amount.
- Some of the listed flavor options are not always available. Many also find some variants unpleasant to the palate.
- Some of their claims seem to be not amply backed by unbiased and extensive clinical studies.
- It is not recommended for athletes below 18 years of age and for those who don’t actually engage in a strenuous workout.
2. In-Kaged Intra-Workout Fuel
In-Kaged Intra-Workout Fuel is produced and distributed by Kaged Muscles, the company helmed by former Bodybuilding.com Editor-In-Chief Kris Gethin, who is widely known in the bodybuilding circuit as the founder of DTP (Dramatic Training Principle).
He is also a renowned fitness trainer to celebrities and an accomplished author with 6 published books to his name so far.
Perhaps, it merely piggybacked on Kris’s reputation as a respected authority on fitness, or a lot of users just find it effective, the product was instantly well received when it debuted in the market. In fact, it consistently rates well in consumer reviews.
- Each serving scoop contains an ample amount (5 grams) of BCAA in the recommended 2:1:1 ratio. One of the main claims of the company that produces this product is that they exclusively use fermented BCAA from vegetables to warrant maximum solubility and optimum absorption.
- A scoop of this product also contains 3 grams of L-citrulline and 1.6 grams of Carnosyn® Beta-alanine. L-citrulline is known to enlarge muscle pumps by increasing the rate of vasodilation and delivery of nitric oxide to muscle cells, while beta-alanine causes the production and concentration of carnosine in muscle fibers, which fosters growth and endurance.
- Its other active ingredients include coconut water powder, a natural electrolyte replacer, as well as L-tyrosine, taurine and green coffee bean extract. The last three was purposely added to supposedly promote and maintain physical strength, fervor, and mental acuity during training.
- In-Kaged Intra-Workout Fuel is a consistent top-rater in consumers’ satisfaction review. It seems to keep up with its promises in keeping the user hydrated, focused and energized to train longer and harder.
- One tub is equivalent to 20 servings, which is enough to last you a full month if you train 5 days a week.
- Not everybody is satisfied with the taste. Some find it a bit bitter perhaps because of the fermented vegetable extracts included in the mix. There are also those that find it too acrid, but this issue can easily be solved by adding in more water than what is recommended on the packaging.
3. INTRABUILD Premium BCAA Intra-Workout Supplement
This product is touted as a BCAA supplement clinically dosed with L-Citrulline, Betaine, Beta-alanine, and other great stuff. It is scientifically designed to enlarge muscle pumps, reduce fatigue, prevent muscle breakdown, burn body fat, and keep the user fully hydrated during a workout session.
Those are some of the matter-of-fact claims of the manufacturer, who produce their products in a duly cGMP and NSF certified US facility for sports dietary supplements.
- INTRABUILD Premium BCAA Intra-Workout supplement contains 6 grams of BCAA in the best 2:1:1 ratio per serving scoop. That is 3 grams of Leucine, and 1.5 grams each of Isoleucine and Valine. This is within the suggested amount to take during high-intensity training for individuals who weigh 180 pounds or lower.
- Besides having 3 grams of L-citrulline and 1.6 grams of beta-alanine per serving scoop, it also has 1.25 grams of betaine anhydrous in the blend. The ascribed benefits of the first two ingredients mentioned were earlier discussed in this article.
- On the other hand, the right amount of Betaine anhydrous, which can also be found in spinach, beets and fermented fruits, is said to slow down the proliferation of homocysteine in our bloodstream. High level of said waste body chemical is associated with heart disease, bones weakness, liver problem, depression, and obesity.
- This product also unfailingly fares well when it comes to consumers’ satisfaction. It likewise consistently gets high passing grades from independent reviewers.
- It contains an organic electrolyte replacer in the form of coconut water complex powder.
- It seems to be available only in cherry lime flavor, which has been getting mixed reaction from consumers.
- Its beta-alanine content may cause a caffeine-like effect in some people such as a mild jittery feeling.
4. BSN AMINO X Endurance and Recovery Powder
Like, every product on our list, this one is also manufactured by one of the most reputable companies in the sports nutrition industry. BSN AMINO X Endurance and Recovery Powder is likewise multi-awarded including being adjudged as the “2014 BCAA Supplement of the Year” by Bodybuilding.com.
Among the product’s conceived objectives are optimizing muscle protein synthesis, speeding up muscle recovery, and improving athletic endurance and overall performance.
- Each scoop serving has 10 grams of amino acids, the building blocks of muscle proteins. Besides BCAA (leucine, isoleucine & valine), it also includes in this proprietary blend other essential amino acids such as L-Citrulline, L-Alanine, and Taurine.
- It also delivers 500 IU of Vitamin D per serving, which is essential for improving our body’s calcium absorption and preventing our bones and teeth from getting brittle. Its other health benefits include helping regulate insulin in our body and thwarting or managing diabetes, preventing cancers, and supporting cardiovascular and respiratory health.
- It constantly scores high in both critics’ reviews and consumers’ satisfaction index. It apparently lives up to its claims and promises.
- Available in 9 flavor variants, namely Fruit Punch, Tropical Pineapple, Green Apple, Grape, Blue Raz, Strawberry-Dragonfruit, Strawberry-Orange, and Watermelon. A lot of people swore that most of the said flavors taste good.
- Although it offers one of the heftiest serving of amino acids in a supplement, the amount of each listed substance is not properly specified. Some people cannot help to wonder how much BCAA they are actually getting, and if it is within the recommended 2:1:1 matrix.
- At face value, it is one of the lowest priced Intra-Workout supplements in the market, however, their recommended dosage is 2 servings a day.
5. KEEP-UP Best Natural Intra-Workout Supplement
Banking on all natural ingredients, this product has been giving many of its competitors in the intra-workout supplements market a run for their money.
KEEP-UP boasts of providing ample dose of amino acids to promote muscle growth and fat reduction sans any artificial components including in the areas of flavoring, coloring and fervor stimulation.
Its manufacturer seemingly sticks to extensively studied ingredients rather than experimenting with trendy but scarcely proven substances.
- It contains a substantial dose of BCAA (7 grams) per 2-scoop serving in the established 2:1:1 ratio. Dissolved in 12 ounces of water, this is considered enough to hydrate and energize you for the whole duration of an intense workout session.
- It also has 3 grams of L-glutamine and a gram each of beta-alanine and taurine. These amino acids help improve athletic performance, increase production of muscle-building carnosine and enhance mental focus and vitality during exercise, respectively.
- Extremely low calories and carb content. No artificial sweetener, coloring, and rehydrating agent (1-gram coconut juice powder/serving).
- Steadily scores well in customers’ satisfaction department in terms of efficacy.
- Some consumers don’t care too much for just stevia flavoring and want a little fruity flavor
Intra-workout supplements are obviously advantageous in reaching your fitness goals. Heeding your body’s signal to repeatedly rehydrate while completing your workout program or finishing a physically taxing game is always a wise move.
Don’t miss a window wherein you can re-energize and re-focus with a few sips of amino acids enriched beverage every now and then.
In choosing the right intra-workout supplement always go for products that contain rapidly soluble and easily absorbable natural substances. BCAA’s perfectly fills the bill as it can go directly to your bloodstream and into your skeletal muscles.
It should also contain other essential amino acids that can improve blood circulation by relaxing your arteries, enlarge your muscle pumps and generally improve your body’s fat burning capability.
Thanks for reading and we hope that you find the information provided here truly helpful.