Until now in my website posts, we have gone into great detail researching and reviewing both pre workout supplements and post workout supplements. Since we have the pre and post, we seem to be missing something in the middle. These are called the Intra workout Supplements, sometimes just referred to as BCAA’s. This supplement is filled with protein, carbohydrates, electrolytes and Amino Acids,
So now we have Pre Workout, Intra Workout (BCAA’s), and Post Workout Protein Powder to choose from, so I will do my best to simplify these products. An associate was just asking me in conversation what I knew about Intra workouts the other day. Sure, I use them, but what do I know about how they work and their numerous benefits. This got me thinking about doing some research and writing a post on this topic.
You may have seen some of the meat-heads at your local gym walking around with gallon jugs of blue, orange or other brightly colored water (if your are one of these guys please don’t hurt me). If you are a normal gym goer, you don’t have to go to this extreme. You can drink Intra workouts like a normal person, while still achieving the maximum results.
Intra workout supplements are not only for weightlifting, but used widely throughout the fitness world. Athletes performing any kind of endurance sport or high intensity sport will see better results from using these.
This includes anything from long distance running to basketball. In fact, the higher the endurance sport it is such as running marathons, the more benefits that you will get from your Intra workout supplements.
I’m going to answer the question, what is Intra workout, and if it will improve your exercise goals. This will help you decide if it is worth giving it a try. I’ll discuss the pros and cons of drinking Intra workout as well as the key active ingredients that make it work. Lastly, I will compare Intra workout to pre workout supplements and post workout supplements.
This post should help you decide it an Intra workout. Is it just a way for supplements manufacturers to make more money, or was it born with real scientific data that it can be highly beneficial to your exercise goals?
What is Intra Workout?
An Intra workout supplements or BCAA’s are supplements taken to support endurance, replenish essential nutrients and increase your muscle mass during and after your workout. Although drinking water alone is perfect for hydration, the water fountain can’t bring back the nutrients that you have lost. This is why nutritional scientists have developed these “Intra” supplements to take while you are exercising.
In the beginning sport scientists started testing carbohydrates and proteins in water. They found out that the ratio’s of the elements and the way they worked was much more complex. They eventually developed a combination of ingredients like Amino Acids, Peptides and whole proteins that would work the most efficiently for your body.
The most popular ingredients in all Intra workout supplements are Branch Chain Amino Acids along with some other ingredients to recharge and hydrate. We will talk more about this shortly.
Is Intra Workout Worth Taking?
Personally I only see people drinking Intra workout at the gym, but this workout supplement can be even more useful for other sports. They are especially good for endurance sports, since these require performance over a longer period of time.
Therefore, there are a lot more essential nutrients being used that need to be replaced to keep performing well. Anything that can boost your performance, whatever your exercise surely seems like the best choice.
Bodybuilding and strength training workouts only last between 45-60 minutes, so one would not lose nearly as many nutrients as say, a marathon runner. I know these two actives are the furthest apart possible, but there are many similarities and levels of sporting activities in between. For example, after my 1 hour of strength training, time permitting I will jump on the treadmill to run for an additional hour.
Halfway through this routine, my body will be screaming for some outside nutrients. This workout routine would be a great time to give my body the much need nutrients that an Intra workout supplement provides. After the first hour, the effects of my pre workout supplement are starting to wain, so my energy levels are going down and need to be recharged.
What it comes down to is that any sport, short or lengthy can always benefit from the boost that additional nutrients provide from an Intra Workout, However, the longer your training session or routine is, the more beneficial a Intra workout is because of your bodies increasing needs.
Pre Workout Supplements are also used for both the gym and for endurance exercises. If you would like to know more about this, you can check out my post on Pre Workout and Cardio here.
If you have any comments on whether or not Intra workout supplements are advantageous to your routine, please leave a message in the box at the bottom of this post.
This brings me to the question of how the body loses and then uses these nutrients, and how it all works.
Key Ingredients and How They Work.
Pre Workout Ingredients give you the Caffeine for energy as well as other performance enhancing products, and Post Workout Ingredients are mainly protein aimed at repairing and rebuilding your muscle.
That being said, the Intra workout in the middle is aimed at keeping you hydrated and recharged during the time you are exercising.
The ingredients in an Intra Workout supplement are a little more basic than those found in Pre and Post Workouts. There is an overlap in several of these ingredients, but which supplements to take and when is all about the timing.
What is in Intra Workouts? The key ingredient are BCAA’s or Branched Chain Amino Acids. These are chains of Aminos which are the building blocks for proteins that your body’s cells make. BCAA’s are produced naturally in your body. These Amino Acids stimulate protein synthesis, which in return will assist in building and repairing muscles.
Intra workouts also contain electrolytes and carbohydrates to keep you hydrated and add the minerals your body needs. Without these extras, you could end up feeling weak or shaky before your workout is over.
When you exercise, your body increases blood flow to your muscles by 500 percent, skyrocketing the amounts of Amino Acids needed. This means that this is the peak time that your body needs to absorb more nutrients.
The proteins, Amino Acids, electrolytes and carbohydrates in Intra workouts work by keeping your muscles adequately filled with these nutrients keeping your energy levels high to get that additional performance. Intra Workouts will keep your body functioning as peak capacity as your pre workout energy supplement starts to dwindle.
The most beneficial effect would be the increase in physical performance along with muscular endurance. Intra workouts also jump start muscle protein synthesis and increase your muscles recovery time.
Intra Workouts can be beneficial for weightlifting, aerobics, running, swimming, team sports, HIIT (high intensity interval training), Zumba, strength circuit training and the list goes on. Keep in mind that the more endurance based the sport, the more advantageous this supplement.
Easy to mix and take. Just requires some water in a shaker bottle. I have several friends that keep their Intra Workouts or BCAA’s as well as an empty shaker with them in their car just in case they wind up at the gym sometime during the day, always being prepared.
Intra workouts are reasonably affordable, with a price tag of usually $25-$35 for a 30 day supply. If you get a good workout in every other day, of course it will last you up to 2 months.
There are no known side effects with taking Intra Workout supplements.
Some say that taking pre workout supplements and Intra workout supplements in series is repetitive since they both have Amino Acids. Of course, it is fine to take one without the other, and you have most likely already been doing this. But if I had to choose between the two, it would be the pre workout supplement since I really need that energy supplied by the Caffeine.
Many of these supplements will have have artificial colors and sugars, but nothing that is bad for your body. Personally, I don’t worry about a scoop of something that I just take on occasion. Use everything in moderation of course.
My Personal Experience with Intra Workouts
Most of the time, I will take my Intra workouts during my weightlifting and stairmaster sessions. 5K’s are about the longest endurance activity that I will do, and this is also an ideal time to be drinking my pre workout before the race, and the Intra Workout during the run.
During the run my body will go through a good deal of nutrients within the first mile or two, so this is the peak absorption time that your body wants to intake additional nutrients to recharge. The only recharging that runners would ordinary get is that warm cup of water usually handed out at the mile markers.
In general, I like the feeling and the performance boost from this supplement. It’s easy to mix and easy to drink. I prefer mine on “the rocks”, in an insulated sport bottle. I’m bad about remembering to use my BCAA’ sometimes, especially when I take my bike to the gym.
On the right is a picture of the one I mixed for today's workout ------>
The Intra Conclusion
Now that you have the answer for, “what are Intra workout supplements” you can make a better choice on if we need them to be a part of out workout routine.
Keep in mind while shopping for these that Intra workouts are sometimes referred to as BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acid). Well rounded BCAA’s will also include other Aminos, electrolytes and carbohydrates in their contents.
Scientific data shows the maximum absorption time for Aminos Acids or when your body needs it the most, occurs during exercise. Feeding your body during this keys absorption period results in improved performance and hydration needed to achieve your goals. Intra workout Supplements along with pre and post workout supplements promote muscle growth, endurance and muscle recovery.
Pre workout supplements give the energy and strength to start your workout strong, Intra workout to hydrate the body and go the extra mile, and Post Workout to finish out the muscle recovery to enhance muscle growth. If you would like to learn more, here more info in my post regrding Pre vs Post Workouts Supplements.
Intra workout supplements work well with any aerobic (endurance) or anaerobic (high intensity) exercise program. This includes anything from long distance running, to weightlifting, to team sports.
Although drinking plenty of water during a workout is one of the healthiest things you can do, Intra workouts step it up a notch by adding the essential carbohydrates and electrolytes your body needs.
For those of you that thought that Intra workout is an unnecessary or a advertising scam, there is scientific research to back up and a strong track record for success.
Although Intra workout is far from mandatory in an exercise program, it definitely comes with numerous advantages for performance and endurance that you really should give a try.
Keep in mind that most online and retail stores have 30 satisfaction guarantee on supplements. If you don’t like it for any reason just take it back, even if its been used.
If you have any comments, tips or suggestions on anything regarding Intra Workout Supplements, please leave a comment in the box below and I will respond.