Supplement scientists (that is sarcastic, just in case you are wondering what even that is) have manufactured products that are becoming an essential part of training for athletes all around the world. The variety is bamboozling, mildly put. There are pre-workout formulas, post-workout formulas, stuff that you can take before you hit the bed for increasing your endurance, and so on. Today, however, we focus on intra-workouts, something that isn’t talked about as enthusiastically as the aforementioned supplements. This isn’t going to be your average article though! Not only do we properly introduce the term, but we also explain to you, the critical factors which govern the purchasing of an intra-workout supplement. Then we weigh the pros and cons, answer some FAQs and give our final verdict on intra-workouts. Grab your snacks and sit back as you read through this discussion is our suggestion!
But all of this in a hierarchal manner. So first let us have a look at what intra-workout supplements are!
Intra workout Supplements
A TOBLERONE bar for you if you have guessed the nature of intra-workout supplements from the intro. In case you haven’t, let us explain it to you. The name itself is suggestive that these are the workout formulas that you can gobble up during a workout session. Typically, the characteristic features of an intra-workout supplement are instant energy and great recovery post-session. We will talk about these two traits later in this discussion. For now, let us focus on the nature of these workout supplements. You are most likely to find an intra-workout supplement in a powder form. You can gulp the mixture after adding this powder to a specific amount of water. But that is not necessarily the case every time. Sometimes, you will find an intra-workout supplement in a premixed or solution form. Don’t rule out the possibility of capsules either. Personally speaking, big fan of capsules here since all that you have to do is pop the tablet and wash it down with some water.
Factors to consider while purchasing an intra-workout
What makes your intra-workout a great supplement? What are the factors that you must look for in your formula? This is exactly what we are going to talk about in the next few lines. There are five important elements to be considered here, let us talk about these, one by one.
1- Is it Instantaneous?
The idea behind guzzling down an intra-workout supplement is to obtain energy from a source in such a quantity and fashion that you can power through your workout session a little longer and recover a little earlier. If your intra-workout isn’t doing that for you, you might as well gulp down some fresh juice since both are useless for your cause. An important thing to be considered in this regard is that your intra-workout supplement must be enriched with carbohydrates that are absorbed fairly quickly in your system. Oh, and please do we need to say it out loud? Go for sugarless stuff!
Your endurance and recovery, both of these factors depend upon the electrolyte balance of your body. So, it follows naturally that the intra-workout you are gulping must have enough of the essential electrolytes. Which ones are those? Potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium to name a few. The formula must reflect homogeneity, which is very important.
You don’t want to be guzzling a protein less workout formula, post- pre- or intra-workout whatever. Hence look for an intra-workout that has a protein content at least above 50 percent and that is minimal.
Which amino acids are critical for protein synthesis? Please note that we are talking about the human body here only. Well, the answer may differ but in our point of view, you should look for an intra-workout that is enriched with amino acids like leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
Your intra-workout supplement must increase your mental sharpness and endow you with clarity of focus. If you feel that isn’t happening for you, you might as well ditch the product you are using.
Pros on offer
Now, let us take this discussion to the next level by balancing the pros and cons of intra-workout supplements. Detailed research would yield a never-ending list but for the sake of convenience, we are going to keep things as brief and interesting as possible. First, the good things, so let us start with the pros.
1- A boost in endurance
This is the most obvious bit about intra-workout supplements. We weren’t even sure if we should place this fact under benefits, that’s what they are supposed to do! Nevertheless, it is worth reiterating a fact. It will also serve as a reminder to you whenever you try a new intra-workout supplement. If it doesn’t hit you and boost up your energy, then it is not the most suitable product that you have purchased from the market.
2- Say goodbye to fatigue
Individuals that are prone to fatigue can finally relax, we have some good news for them. Intra workout supplements are super useful for you guys. And included in the term guys are folks who are not having more than one meal a day (dieting), low carb-conscious ones as well those who have to work out in fasting state for some reason. If you belong to this tribe of people and want to hit the gym longer, just like everyone, intra-workout supplements should be lined up neatly on your shelf.
3- Upgraded Hydration
As we mentioned earlier, the electrolyte balance is extremely important for your body. The elements that we mentioned earlier are extremely important for keeping the human body hydrated at a decent level. When you consume a supplement such as one that is the subject matter of this discussion, you are automatically boosting up your hydration levels. We must mention the Branched Chain Amino Acids in this context. These are a type of intra-workout supplement that can replace the electrolytes you lose as a result of profuse sweating because of extreme physical activity during a workout session.
4- Decline in muscle break down
When you are working out hard, you want to push the limits. Don’t shake your head, we all want to do that! But your body still needs a reservoir of energy to keep you going, right? That is where the problem of muscle break down begins to come into play. Your body mercilessly breaks down its muscle and fat to provide the required energy for your extra yard. However, if you opt for an intra-workout supplement, we can guarantee you that your body will not break your muscles. Why would a car consume the break oil if it has petrol in the engine?
5- Improved recovery
You must remember that there are two important traits of a great intra-workout supplement. Enhanced endurance and remarkable recovery. People often pay great attention to the first part but neglect the second bit when looking for a product in the market. The benefit associated with intra-workout supplements in this regard is that you don’t need to wait till the end of your workout session to supplement your body with the nutrients it is thirsty for. You are one step ahead of the scheme of things when you guzzle down a supplement during a workout session!
Cons associated with intra-workout
Call them cons, call them side effects but we have to discuss the downside of using too many intra-workout supplements here as well. Notice the stress on too much here? That is the key point. Cliché incoming but too much of nothing is good and intra-workouts are not exempted from this universal truth. OK, so what are the troubles that you can expect with an intra-workout? Well, it depends a lot on the type of intra-workout you are consuming in the first place. If it is the BCAA you are using, then you can expect a few gastric issues. Don’t worry, anything more than diarrhea, and professional athletes have faced much worse than diarrhea. The same goes for the whey protein intra-workout supplements as well. Oh, and please check the ingredients on the label in case you are allergic to something. People with renal turbulence must refrain from using an intra-workout formula that is too high on electrolytes.
Considerations sound a bit formal, so we will use the word tips here. Follow the following tips when you use an intra-workout supplement. These wise words will help you a lot, oh little one!
1- Since there are many types of sub supplements, the best thing to do would be to stick to one kind of intra-workout supplement. Say you chose a BCAA supplement for some reason. Now, you must be consistent in your approach. Don’t mess up things by switching in between supplements.
2- Mums used to get ready our lunch boxes at the crack of the dawn, why can’t you whip up your drink before you hit the gym? Your body will be quite warm and ready to guzzle down anything by the time you are ready to drink something during the workout session. We say it is best if you mix up your drink before you hit the gym.
3- This isn’t a criticism but many people make the most horrendous choices when it comes to intra-workout supplements. Folks, you must do your research properly. If you have spent an hour reading this discussion, why can’t you spend another one reading about the top intra-workout products that currently dominate the market? It is just mad, some of the choices that people make! We urge you to be meticulous and precise in your research before you scratch your credit card for a product of this nature.
At this point in the discussion, your mind must be abuzz with a lot of queries about the intra-workout supplements. It is natural and we get you. But we can’t reach out to all of you individually in real-time, right? So what we have done is that we have compiled a list of most frequently asked questions about the topic of this discussion. See if you can find your query enlisted in there somewhere!
1- Which amino acids are commonly found in the amino acid intra-workout supplements?
When talking about BCAA, the three important amino acids that are a must in every intra-workout are leucine, isoleucine, and valine.
2- What are the benefits of using a BCAA intra-workout supplement?
A BCAA formula helps the human body to utilize compounds like sugar and certain amino acids.
3- What is carb transport?
This is a type of intra-workout supplement that you can use to raise your body’s insulin level.
4- Can I use an intra-workout supplement even if I am not consuming enough protein?
We say you should use an intra-workout supplement if you are lagging behind others with regards to protein intake.
5- I train multiple times a day, will intra-workout supplements help me?
We cannot imagine why they wouldn’t, especially since they are designed to power you through hard, long training sessions.
The final verdict
It is time to answer the question asked at the very start. Do you need an intra-workout supplement? If you are someone who wants to increase his or her endurance, recover quickly after a long session, and don’t want to drink a post-workout to replenish the body with electrolytes, then yes. But if you are happy with your pre-workout and post-workout intake, we would suggest you stick with that. There is no need to mess up a perfectly balanced training program by adding a supplement that can be avoided. We wish we could discuss a few more points, the topic is quite a diverse one. Sadly, the limitations of time and space force us to wrap up this discussion here. So we bid you farewell on an optimistic note that you learned something, if not everything, about intra-workout supplements!