Get More Out of your Workout with Intra Workout Supplements
Do you ever feel like you get halfway through your workout and then your energy level takes a major nose dive? This is when it’s time to call in the reinforcements. During workout supplements are specifically designed to take while you train to optimize your performance by allowing you to train with a greater intensity for a longer period of time.
What are the Main Ingredients in Intra Workout Supplements?
Most intra workout supplements include 3 main components: electrolytes, to help maintain hydration; carbohydrates, to help fuel training sessions; and amino acids (especially Branced Chain Amino Acids (BCAA’s), to prevent muscle breakdown and promote protein synthesis. It is also as good idea to look for a supplement that also provides a good supply of vitamins and minerals.
Products contain varying amounts of these ingredients and selections are made based on the type of athlete and activity being performed.
What do Intra Workout Supplements Do?
1. Work Fast: While intra workout supplements may differ in composition based on the type of athlete they are intended for, one thing remains the same across the board and that is their fast absorption rate. This makes it extremely valuable for consumption as soon as you feel fatigue creeping in.
2. Muscle Maintenance: Most intra workout supplements contain BCAA’s which work to help minimize the amount of muscle breakdown that occurs during a workout, by building and repairing the muscles during training.
3. Combat Cortisol: Cortisol is a hormone that is released during exercise that breaks down muscle tissue. During a workout, as glycogen levels go down, cortisol levels go up. This is the body’s response to ensuring itself that it has available fuel. The increase cortisol levels trigger a breakdown of protein (stored as muscle) to be converted into fuel. By supplying our body with a little something to replenish the stores during a workout, this process can be minimized.
4. Replenish Energy Stores: When training hard, especially during endurance workouts lasting longer than 1-2 hours, replenishing energy stores DURING training has been proven to improve endurance capacity, or in other words, extend performance before fatigue sets in.
5. Mental Toughness: Intra workout supplements can help promote mental clarity and focus and improve concentration during training, which becomes a critical factor when fatigue begins to take over and cloud all your good intentions and workout determination.
Strength/Bodybuilding Athletes: Athletes focusing on strength and power would likely focus on products that contain high amounts of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids), especially leucine, valine, and isoleucine, which will work to prevent muscle breakdown while promoting protein synthesis.
Best Intra Workout Supplements: IntraBolic by Athletic Edge Nutrition, Modern BCAA’s by USP Labs, Xtend by Scivation, and Purple Wraath by Controlled Labs.
Endurance Athletes: Long distance endurance athletes would likely focus on products that pack a big carbohydrate punch while minimizing intestinal distress. This can be done by ingesting gel packs, shots, or chews that use only complex carbs such as maltodextrins or glucose polymers, eliminating simple sugars. These are convenient as they can be ingested without even causing you to break your stride.
Best Intra Workout Supplements: Hammer Gel Packs, HEED (High Energy Electrolyte Drink), GU Energy Gel, CLIF Shot Blocks, and for extremely long workouts (>2 hours), Perpetuem or Sustained Energy by Hammer are a good choice.
Obviously just paying attention to your during workout supplements is not enough. Pre and post workout nutrition is important too, probably much more important than what you consume during your workout, however, by listening to your body and utilizing products that can facilitate greater gains by keeping you focused, rejuvenated, and recovered, you will be able to capitalize on your time spent in the gym and maximize your level of fitness.
Remember: Don’t fall victim to a mid-workout nose dive. Call in the reinforcements and they will keep you on top of your game!
Intra Workout Supplements. Retrieved on May 12, 2102 from http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/goalintraworkout.htm
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The Top 10 –The Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes Make. (Updated June 2011). Retrieved on May 12, 2012 from http://www.hammernutrition.com/hnt/1273/
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