Intra-Workout Supplementation: Everything You Need To Know

December 5, 2018 Published by

As you get geared up for your big workout, ask yourself this: what you are doing during the workout to ensure it’s a good one? If you’re like many people, the answer is not enough.

It’s great to ensure that you get a pre-workout meal in before you hit the gym – a necessity even. But when you’re actually in the gym grinding it out, it pays if you can go that extra mile and do a few other things to help make absolutely sure you’re on track to making maximal progress.

The answer? Intra-workout supplementation.

So what should you be looking for in an intra-workout supplement and what will they help you do? Let’s go over these important details.

The Benefits Of Intra-Workout Supplements

First let’s talk benefits so you know what it is you are trying to accomplish here. The right intra-workout supplement is going to do a few things to boost your performance.

Decreased catabolism

The first and real benefit you’ll see from using intra-workout supplementation is a decreased level of catabolism. Every time you’re in the gym, you’re breaking muscle tissues down, causing them to become weaker and weaker.

After you step out of the gym, you’ll need to spend time building those muscles back up again so you are stronger than you were before.

If you aren’t able to build the muscles back up fully before you hit the gym again, this is what leads to a degradation in performance and even injury.

By using intra-workout supplementation, you help prevent the body from becoming so catabolic, helping it stay anabolic as long as you can [1]. This will be a huge benefit if your goal is to build muscle, or maintain muscle while dieting.

Maintenance of important electrolytes

Another big benefit that you’ll see from intra-workout supplementation is that it helps you improve your electrolyte status. When you’re in the gym working hard, you’re sweating and losing electrolytes [2]. If you lose enough of them, this can cause you to become lethargic, dizzy, and very weak.

Sodium and potassium are two key electrolytes that must be replaced and an intra-workout solution can help you do this. For those doing longer workouts or workouts that involve high heat training, this is an absolute must.

Hydration

Which brings us to our next point, hydration. Hydration is critical to sustaining optimal performance so something you simply can’t sacrifice. Good hydration takes place all day long, but during your workout it’s especially important.

Some people are not in the habit of drinking as much as they should during the workout session, despite the fact their body is crying for water.

The good news is because intra-workout supplements taste great, when you have one sitting there by your side, you’ll be that much more likely to reach for it, thus sustaining your hydration needs.

Even mild dehydration can significantly reduce strength output levels and endurance, so it’s not something you want to compromise3.

Energy enhancement

Did you know that certain amino acids can provide a boost in energy? That’s right. Branched chain amino acids, which are the primary ingredient in intra-workout supplements are special amino acids that go right into the muscle tissue where they then get to work and can be used as muscular fuel.

Most amino acids that you consume (from protein sources) do not do this and instead, have to move through the stomach and kidney’s for processing. But these particular amino acids can bypass this and hit the muscle tissues almost instantly. So you may just find that by using your intra-workout supplement, you can do more each session because you have that higher performance level.

Faster recovery between workout sessions

Because of the great benefits noted above, you’ll also see faster recovery between your workout sessions when you use an intra-workout supplement. By providing your body with the branched chain amino acids, you are doing what you need to in order to kick-start the repair process so you can begin rebuilding muscle tissues the moment you step out of the gym.

The more often you can complete your workout sessions, the faster you are going to see results because you are simply doing more work over time.

Improved performance

Finally, a good intra-workout supplement will also help you feel stronger during your workout session. The best intra-workout supplements contain added ingredients that will help you enhance blood flow to the muscle tissues, improving your muscle pump and increasing your ability to tolerate fatigue.

They also contain stimulatory ingredients to help boost your energy and strength, enabling superior performance.

So while a pre-workout supplement is good to use, don’t overlook the benefits from an intra-workout supplement.

One of the best on the market today is Jacked Factory Intrasurge, BCAA + Energy. This product not only gives you the branched chain amino acids you need to complete the roles noted above, but it also provides L-Citrulline, L-Tyrosine, caffeine, and AstraGin, all of which help you go that extra mile.

While many intra-workout supplements just provide BCAA’s, this one goes over and beyond to help you deliver performance when it really counts.

Using Your Intra-Workout Supplement

So how do you get started with your intra workout supplement? You’ll want to sip it during the workout session itself, starting the moment you step foot in the gym.

Some people also like serving these slightly prior to their workout as well and you can definitely do that. Likewise, some choose to use them on off days as well to help further recovery.

Just do be aware that if yours does contain caffeine, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t overdoing it from caffeine in other sources as well. Balance is key.

So there you have the facts you should know about intra-workout supplementation. It’s a great idea to get this on your side.

References:

  1. Shimomura, Yoshiharu, et al. “Exercise promotes BCAA catabolism: effects of BCAA supplementation on skeletal muscle during exercise.” The Journal of nutrition 134.6 (2004): 1583S-1587S
  2. Coyle, Edward F. “Fluid and fuel intake during exercise.” Journal of sports sciences 22.1 (2004): 39-5
  3. Goulet, Eric DB. “Effect of exercise-induced dehydration on endurance performance: evaluating the impact of exercise protocols on outcomes using a meta-analytic procedure.” Br J Sports Med 47.11 (2013): 679-686

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About the author

Shannon Clark

Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 12 years now, helping others lose weight, build muscle, and improve their athletic performance. She’s worked with people of all ages and helped them find the right fitness path for themselves.She is a regular contributor to Bodybuilding.com and has also contributed well over 400 articles to a variety of different websites dedicated towards muscle building and athletic performance. For more about her, find her at ShannonClarkFitness.com.

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