Hours of Research
When you are trying to train longer or add more weights to your workout regime, intra-workouts help. They significantly affect workout performances by boosting energy levels, increasing muscle strength, reducing stress, and improving mental focus.
Intra-workout supplements are those supplements which are taken working out. We as fitness enthusiast take intra workout supplements to keep body fuelled and even hydrated during a workout session and to reduce exhaustion.
Not all intra works have same ingredients, which for many of consumers make it difficult to choose.
Me and my team had been using intra workout for a very long period of time to provide extra energy boost and hydration.
We considered more than 24 best intra workouts and based on our experience we were able to report as follows :
So, if you are curious to know more about them, keep reading this article till the end!
7 Best Intra-Workout Supplements:
Now that you know all about intra-workouts, you might also be looking to buy one. And with the thousands of choices available in the market, we get your confusion.
Hence to make this task easier for you, we have compiled a list of the best intra-workout supplements. All of these supplements are the top-selling ones and have the best formulas.
1. Best Overall Intra Workout : INTRA - Transparent Labs
2. Best Runner Up Intra Workout: Kaged's In Kaged
3. Best Intra Workout with BCAA & Caffeine: Intra Surge by Jacked Factory
4. Best Intra Workout for Muscle Gain: Formula XII - Huge Supplements
5. Best Intra Workout for EAA & BCAA: Superhuman Intra by Alpha Lion
7. Best Intra workout for Hydration: Kaged Hydra Charge
Here is our list of best intra workout supplements available:
Ingredient Quality: 5/5
This intra workout is gluten-free and has no GMO or artificial ingredients. This supplement provides your body with everything it needs to exercise with full energy and stamina. It contains all the essentials that improve hydration and works effectively for muscle protein synthesis and muscle tissue catabolism.
Intra has electrolytes to give your body all the hydration it needs after a sweaty, intense workout session. It also contains coconut water powder for additional hydration and overall body health. With essentials like citrulline malate, taurine, and L-tyrosine, intra helps you gain muscle mass, maintain blood pressure, and enhance exercise performance.
Amount Per Serving
L- Lysine HCI
Citrus Malate 2:1
Coconut Water Powder
This workout powder reduces muscle fatigue by citrulline malate. Therefore, you feel less exhausted after a workout session. It is free of any artificial ingredients and is sweetened with stevia. Unlike other workout powders, this one also tastes pretty good because it contains natural fruit extracts.
No artificial ingredients
No cons available
Ingredient Quality: 5/5
Kaged Muscle's In Kaged contains citrulline and BCAAs for an energy boost and muscle pump. It also lets your body exercise to its full potential without feeling tired by the use of organic coffee. The BCAAs work effectively toward improving muscle retention, mental focus, alertness, and muscle endurance. They also contribute to reducing muscle breakdown and increasing muscle protein synthesis.
This intra workout is an all-rounder because it contains citrulline as well, which is a key ingredient for improving muscle endurance and strength. It is very effective in making your muscles strong for those long, hard training sessions. Another key ingredient is beta alanine which helps the muscle do that one more rep without getting strained.
Amount Per Serving
The coconut water powder assists in hydrating the body and improving the body’s health. L-tyrosine works as a stimulant for caffeine and helps in maintaining mental focus. It uses fruit powders and extracts for the flavor. In short, it is the perfect intra workout for that extra kick and boost during a workout.
No artificial ingredients or sweeteners
May cause jitters or crashes
Ingredient Quality: 4.7/5
IntraSurge from the Jacked factory is another great intra workout powder. It promotes fat loss and increase endurance and muscle recovery by using clinically-proven safe ingredients. IntraSurge also reduces muscle breakdown and provides the body with high energy levels.
IntraSurge keeps you hydrated throughout those intense workout sessions. It contains caffeine to boost energy levels and enhance overall physical performance. In addition to this, l-tyrosine improves mental focus and alertness.
Amount Per Serving
Overall, this is a great choice for all athletes, professional fitness trainers, bodybuilders, and powerlifters out there, as it checks every box. It is a favorite among gym-goers because it contains all the essential ingredients, tastes amazing, and dissolves completely in liquids. It has no additives, artificial ingredients, or sweeteners that may hinder muscle growth.
Caffeine dosage is low
Users can feel heart palpitations and headaches due to stimulatory ingredients.
Ingredient Quality: 4.9/5
The Formula XII workout powder has a variety of carbohydrates like oats, ModCarb, quinoa, D-Ribose, amaranth, buckwheat, chia, and millet for organic and natural energy level boosts. It is one of the best gluten-free, vegan intra workouts currently. It contains various essential ingredients, which are very beneficial for mental and physical performance.
Cluster Dextrin is best for improving muscle endurance and boosting overall physical performance. Another key ingredient is the creatine monohydrate which works effectively in increasing post-workout muscle recovery.
Formula XII helps in boosting the muscles’ performance capacity as well as reducing muscle soreness and fatigue. It is also a great immune-boosting ingredient. With essential ingredients like betaine anhydrous, d-ribose, and l-ornithine, this intra workout helps replenish ATP levels and provides fuel to your body for those long training sessions. It is also recommended for people who prefer working out while fasting.
Long term benefits
No cons available
Ingredient Quality: 4.6/5
The Superhuman intra contains almost 10 grams of amino acids, which helps in improving muscle protein synthesis and reduces muscle breakdown. This one is highly recommended for people who prefer tasty workout powders as it is available in different flavorings like grapes, watermelons, lime, and pineapple.
The BCAAs in its formula are beneficial in muscle recovery and decrease the rate of muscle breakdown. It perfectly hydrates your body and maintains the heart’s health with an adequate amount of coconut water powder in its formula. It also contains electrolytes to maintain the water level of your body, which are essential after a long and sweaty training session.
This intra workout is also a favorite among gym enthusiasts because it is as tasty as it is effective! It comes in different flavors and contains no artificial sweeteners or additives.
Promotes muscle recovery
No artificial ingredients or sweeteners
No cons available
Ingredient Quality: 4.1/5
This intra workout contains dextrose, best for providing the body with rapid energy boosts. Chemix intra workout contains all the key ingredients within their allowable dosage limits. This workout powder also promotes cell hydration because it contains electrolytes. With the perfect of all essentials, it helps increase muscle endurance and strength.
With ingredients like creatine monohydrate, it increases muscle growth and lean mass building. It contains a decent amount of electrolytes which keeps the body hydrated after training sessions. L-tyrosine is also one of the key ingredients, which is great for mental focus and reduces muscle stress.
Hydrates the body with electrolytes
Mood elevating and mental focus ingredients are in lesser quantity
7. Kaged Re Hydrate
Ingredient Quality: 4.3/5
Kaged Hydra Charge works perfect if you feel exhausted and super thirty during your workout or cardio.
If you are like me who uses pre workout loaded with ingredients than you can always stack this Hydra Charge for your intra workout to avoid exhaustion and needing to feel thirsty inspite of consumption water.
It comes in four flavors out of which fruit punch is my favorite.
Its ingredients are something which is heavy towards keeping you hydrated during day as well as during workout.
1 g Taurine: Its a amino acid which is also found in energy drinks. It helps in increasing athletic performance. (13)
500mg Coconut Water Powder: It helps in maintaining the hydration in your body.
Can be stacked up with pre workout
Coconut is know for its hydration benefits
It lacks lots of ingredients of other intra workouts
The Two Types Of Intra-Workouts
Before jumping into the ingredients and the benefits, let us discuss the types of intra-workouts. There are primarily two types.
These types of intra-workouts contain a significant amount of carbohydrates in them. These carbs are the primary source of giving their users energy boosts throughout their training sessions (1). Ingredients like cluster dextrin are one of the main ingredients of carbs-based intra-workouts.
Amino-Acid Based Intra-workout
These kinds of intra-workouts are best to be taken if you are more focused on improving muscle protein synthesis and reducing muscle breakdown. The primary ingredients of an amino-acid based intra-workout are usually Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), leucine, threonine, valine, lysine, isoleucine, and histidine.
These amino acids are essential building blocks because they can not be taken on their own. That’s why supplements like intra-workouts incorporate them in their formulas. These supplements provide many benefits related to muscle strength (2) and recovery. Still, they might not be as efficient in increasing energy levels as the carb-based ones.
What Are The Ingredients Of An Intra-Workout Supplement?
The effectiveness and benefits of an intra-workout supplement depend upon its ingredients. Ingredients like the nine essential amino acids and carbohydrates are included in an intra-workout supplement to improve physical and mental performances.
Read below to know all about its ingredients.
Leucine is one of the essential amino acids your body requires for excellent muscle performance. Leucine increases muscle strength and lean muscle mass by allowing you to train harder. (3)
This amino acid reduces fatigue, exhaustion, and mental stress while increasing the endurance and strength of your muscles. This ultimately results in a better workout, with a lot more reps than usual.
Cluster Dextrin is excellent for providing your muscles with the quick boosts of energy they need for lengthy and hard training sessions. It is also suitable for muscle pumps and increasing the absorption of amino acids and carbs during the workouts for energy (4). However, excessive intake of cluster dextrin can cause weight gain in some people.
Betaine anhydrous helps significantly enhance the workout experience by improving muscle strength, endurance, and body composition.
One side-effect is that it can cause some people to smell, feel nauseous, and have stomach problems like diarrhea and pain. (5)
Electrolytes are essential in intra-workouts because the body perspires a lot during training sessions. This can lead to extreme dehydration and exhaustion. The two most important electrolytes are sodium and potassium.
Electrolytes help in maintaining the fluid levels and pH levels of the body. This is the ideal ingredient to replenish and restore all the water lost during a workout session from your body because of sweating.
Taking additional electrolytes can cause cramps, diarrhea, low blood pressure, and mental problems like depression.
Branched Chain Amino Acids, also known as BCAAs, are essential for all fitness enthusiasts or gym-goers. Without them, you miss out on giving your muscle that extra kick and boost for a superior workout experience. They also play a significant role in helping the body utilize more sugars and carbohydrates for extra energy. (9)
BCAAs help to improve muscle recovery and increase muscle growth. They also reduce muscle stress, fatigue, and exhaustion.
Extra intake of BCAAs can cause nausea, bloating, diarrhea, and other digestive problems.
One of the best ingredients included in an intra-workout is creatine monohydrate. Although our body naturally produces it, it is still popularly taken as an additional supplement due to its mean benefits.
Creatine monohydrate helps increase muscle strength, growth, recovery, and endurance. (6)
Additional intake can cause bloating and water retention in some people.
Beta-Alanine allows your muscles to work at their full capacity. It also helps a lot in reducing muscle stress and fatigue.
Because of its immediate effects, it causes uncomfortable tingling sensations in the hands and feet of some people.
What Are The Benefits Of Intra-Workouts?
Higher Energy Levels
You do not need to push yourself too much because you can easily exercise to your desired limits by taking intra-workouts. By giving you energy boosts and muscle strength, intra-workouts help enhance your workout performance.
These intra-workouts provide you with rapid energy by utilizing all the amino acids and the complex carbohydrates without affecting your blood sugar. These supplements are better than pre and post-workout supplements because they get digested quickly and give you immediate results.
With intra-workouts, you can exercise hard for a much more extended period than usual because they maximize your energy levels.
Better Workout Performance
Key ingredients of intra-workouts like betaine anhydrous and creatine monohydrate are excellent in enhancing your workout performance by improving muscle endurance. They provide your muscles with the additional strength and power required to do those 5 more reps you can not normally do.
These supplements also contain ingredients that help reduce fatigue and stress, hence guaranteeing you a great training session every time.
During a workout session, the body loses water, electrolytes, and fluid due to sweating. These three things are essential for a healthy body and better physical performance, especially electrolytes. They help your muscles function well, and the electrolytes help you overcome this deficiency. (10)
Better Muscle Protein Synthesis
It is crucial that your body has easy access to amino acids to build muscle mass, and these supplements provide just that. Your body does not need to break down the muscle tissues first to get all that protein for muscle growth.
Intra-workouts contain a good amount of essential amino acids. Hence they are the best when using protein for muscle damage repair and muscle protein synthesis. These proteins play a crucial role in muscle growth and strength. (11)
How To Get The Best Results From An Intra-Workout?
Make A Routine
Every medicine and supplements requires you to take them in a routine. If you do not follow a schedule of taking your supplements, their effects might decrease, and you will not see any changes in your workout performances.
Hence, we highly recommend that you form a routine and stick with it to make it easier for the supplements to do their job in a better way.
Don’t Be Lazy
It is very common for people to miss their intra-workouts. This is because while working out, people get exhausted and become too lazy to scoop out the supplement powder and make their intra-workout drink.
Hence, to be consistent for the best results, we suggest keeping your drinks ready or preparing them beforehand. So that it does not feel like a big task to take your intra-workout anymore.
Choose Good Supplements
Make sure you buy the supplements from authentic sources with a proprietary blend of ingredients. Most of the time, cheap intra-workouts show that their formulas contain many BCAAs and complex carbohydrates. However, they do not.
Hence, it is vital to carefully read reviews, labels, and ingredients before buying to check for any side effects or misinformation. We recommend testing them out a little before adding them to your final routine.
Pre Workouts Or Intra-Workouts - The Better Choice?
While pre-workouts are more inclined towards providing your body with high energy levels and pumps, intra-workouts focus more on reenergizing your body and strengthening your muscles. (7)
It depends on the person whether they require more energy or more muscle recovery and strength and choose the supplement accordingly.
We have compared pre-workout supplements and intra-workouts based on eight crucial factors discussed below to clarify all your doubts regarding this topic.
Our Verdict - Intra-Workouts
Muscle endurance refers to the amount of weight your muscles can take without getting exhausted. Obviously, your body requires some help for this purpose. Ingredients like creatine monohydrate, citrulline, and BCAAs, are excellent in maximizing your muscle strength without getting injured.
Pre-workouts contain beta-alanine, which helps in removing the excess lactic acid. However, intra-workouts have large amounts of BCAAs. These essential amino acids make your muscles stronger and healthier to build mass and endure a lot more strain than usual without any muscle breakdown.
Our Verdict - Pre Workouts
It is essential that the supplements you take help in improving both physical and mental performances. A pre-workout supplement is made to wake your mind and prepare it for the workout session ahead.
Hence, they win this one because they have the perfect blend of ingredients for achieving mental focus to perform great in your workouts.
Our Verdict - Intra-Workouts and Pre Workouts
The main goal of working out for many people is to reduce fat and build muscle mass. Both of these supplements are good for fat loss, and for us, both of them win in this case.
Pre-workouts have ingredients like beta-alanine and caffeine (12), which immediately boosts energy levels, increasing the rate of metabolism. In comparison, intra-workouts are loaded with BCAAs, popular among athletes and powerlifters for burning fat.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
Our Verdict - Intra-Workouts
Delayed Onset Muscle soreness greatly hinders long workouts and multiple training sessions. Any gym enthusiast knows that performing well with sore muscles and fatigue is tough. (8)
Hence, for this purpose, intra-workouts are the best choice. They have essential amino acids, which are very useful in reducing muscle stress, fatigue, and soreness.
Our Verdict - Pre Workouts And Intra-Workouts
You can not exercise well if you are feeling low on energy. It is crucial that the supplements you take fuel your body for an energetic workout session.
The primary purpose of pre-workouts is to wake you up and alert your mind and body for the workout sessions. With ingredients like caffeine, creatine monohydrate, and beta-alanine, they provide the body with adequate energy levels.
In contrast, an intra-workout supplementation contains BCAAs and carbohydrates. These ingredients play a significant role in re-energizing your body throughout the training sessions by directly being in contact with the muscle tissues.
Can You Take Pre Workout And Intra-Workout Together?
Many people wonder if it is okay to take pre workouts and intra-workout together or not. And the answer to this question is simply that this practice is not harmful. Instead, it's excellent for providing your body with the maximum energy it requires for an enhanced workout experience.
Both of these supplements will work together to give your body the nutrients missing in the other, combining the benefits.
However, if you want to choose one, we recommend intra-workouts. The reason is that to provide high energy levels during workout sessions, these supplements include the necessary ingredients.
These ingredients take care of everything from muscle growth to body hydration to energy boosts. The essential amino acids in intra-workouts provide proteins that help repair muscle tissues for faster muscle recovery and reduce stress and fatigue.
Both are best to energize your body for intense training sessions ahead, but intra-workouts win because of a better blend of ingredients.
In conclusion, intra-workout supplements are effective for positively affecting your workout performance.
Intra-workouts are designed to have immediate effects on your body, like increasing energy levels, hydration, strength, and muscle recovery. Intra-workout supplements help people in exercising to their maximum capacity. In short, they are the kind of supplements that will surely make you reach your workout and fitness goals!
You should consider taking these supplements if you are an athlete, a powerlifter, or a bodybuilder. Intra-workouts are best for increasing muscle endurance levels, muscle mass, body hydration, and muscle recovery.
Intra-workout also helps individuals focus more on their workouts by reducing muscle fatigue and stress. Ensure the intra-workout you buy has all the key ingredients in the proper dosages.
We wish you the best of luck on your fitness journey!
Aditya Sahu ‧ CPT & Head Coach
Aditya is an ACSM certified personal trainer with more than 7 years training various people and transforming people's lives. He has written various publications for various sports and fitness magazines.
- Sabido, R., et al. "Effects of High Intra-Workout Variability during Strength Training." Complex Systems in Sport, International Congress Linking Theory and Practice.
- Intra-Workout, C. H. O., and Peri-Workout Supp Update. "Pre-Workout Nutrition & Supplementation for Athletes–What Works, What Doesn’t Work| Perfect Timing, Fast or Slow Carbs, Glucose & Fructose, Fats, Protein & More."
- Cheung, Karoline, Patria A. Hume, and Linda Maxwell. "Delayed onset muscle soreness." Sports medicine 33.2 (2003): 145-164.
- Team, G. I. "Best BCAA For Bodybuilding Health & Performance Goals."
- FELDMAN, STANLEY A. "Effect of changes in electrolytes, hydration and pH upon the reactions to muscle relaxants." British Journal of Anaesthesia 35.9 (1963): 546-551.
- Atherton, Phil J., and Ken Smith. "Muscle protein synthesis in response to nutrition and exercise." The Journal of physiology 590.5 (2012): 1049-1057.
- Icken, Dina, et al. "Caffeine intake is related to successful weight loss maintenance." European journal of clinical nutrition 70.4 (2016): 532-534.