The Top 6 Benefits of Intra-Workout Supplementation

We are all familiar with pre and post workout supplementation. As the names imply, these are supplements (pre-workouts and protein powders for example) we can take before or after exercise that can enhance performance, build muscle, and promote recovery.  While it is a good idea to maximize pre and post workout nutrition an often overlooked period where proper supplementation may be critical is during your workout…often referred to as intra-workout. Compared to pre and post workout supplementation, intra-workout supplementation is the new kid on the block.  You may have heard people talking about it at the gym or seen your local fitness buff sipping a brightly colored liquid from a shaker cup while they train. So what exactly is an intra-workout supplement and why do people take it? This article will cover the basics of intra-workout supplementation and help you decide if NutraBio Intra Blast would make a good addition to your current supplement stack.

What is an Intra-Workout Supplement?

An intra-workout supplement is usually a drink you consume while performing a workout to sustain performance, hydrate, and start the recovery process. Compared to a pre or post workout supplement, an intra-workout is not chugged down all at once.  Instead, it is sipped over the course of the training session to keep the body fueled with certain nutrients. If you are already taking a pre and post workout supplement, adding an intra-workout supplement like NutraBio Intra Blast may be another piece of the puzzle to help take your training to the next level.

What Ingredients are Found in Intra-Workout Supplements?

Typically, intra-workouts are a combination of essential amino acids (including BCAAs), electrolytes, performance enhancing compounds such as betaine, and in some cases carbohydrates.  These ingredients can help mitigate muscle damage, hydrate, improve strength and endurance, increase blood flow, support energy production, and accelerate recovery.

NutraBio Intra Blast Ingredient Profile:


Is an Intra-Workout Supplement Really Necessary?

Intra-workout supplementation is a hotly debated topic in the health and fitness world.  Some will argue it is not needed if daily protein requirements are being met or if a high protein meal, shake, or pre-workout containing BCAAs is taken before exercise. Others insist intra-workout supplementation is just as, if not more important than pre and post workout nutrition and is vital to getting the most out of your training.  While both sides present valid arguments (with some points I agree with), it would be premature to dismiss intra-workout supplementation as a useless practice and waste of money. I believe an intra-workout supplement like NutraBio Intra Blast has a place in a structured exercise program for the following reasons.

NutraBio Intra Blast Can:

Stimulate/Sustain Muscle Protein Synthesis

Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) levels and the available amino acid pool can decline during prolonged exercise, leading to a catabolic bodily environment. This is especially true if exercising on an empty stomach, if you do not take a pre-workout containing BCAAs (the primary drivers of muscle protein synthesis) or if your training sessions are long in duration.  Intra-workout supplementation can help keep MPS elevated while also mitigating muscle protein breakdown by providing the necessary BCAAs and other essential amino acids. Based on the literature it appears 10 grams of essential amino acids (the amount found in Intra Blast) may be required to maximally stimulate MPS [1].

Lead to Less Soreness & Quicker Recovery Times

Being sore after an intense workout is a sign you pushed yourself to the max, but it can limit your performance in subsequent workouts.  Minimizing soreness and proper recovery are essential for muscle repair and growth. The essential amino acids and glutamine found in Intra Blast can reduce DOMS [2] and help start the recovery process while working out, so less time is spent on the couch after leg day, and you can return to the gym sooner to hit it hard again.

Blunt Fatigue

As we exercise, there is a decline in circulating amino acid levels that lead to an increase in tryptophan/serotonin concentrations in the brain. This is thought to contribute to fatigue during exercise [3]. Since valine (an ingredient found in Intra Blast) competes with tryptophan for entry into the brain and prevails, less serotonin gets to the brain, which ultimately combats fatigue and helps you train stronger for longer.

Contribute to Energy Production & Extend Performance

During exercise, the BCAAs found in Intra Blast can be broken down and used as an energy source [4].  This is especially beneficial if you follow a low-carb diet or train in a fasted state. Additionally, BCAAs intra-workout may enhance fat utilization for energy during exercise when glycogen levels are low and lead to extended performance[5].

Improve Strength/Endurance

Betaine anhydrous and OKG are the two ingredients in Intra Blast that can help improve exercise performance. Research suggests that 2000mg of betaine/daily may increase muscular strength, power, and total training volume [6-8]. OKG, on the other hand, helps reduce ammonia concentrations in the blood which leads to extended endurance [9-12].  OKG may also play a role in nitric oxide production.

Hydrate

Compared to water or sugar laden sports beverages, intra-workout supplements (like Intra Blast) that contain amino acids and electrolytes may enhance cellular rehydration rates to a greater extent [13]. This is important because even a 2% reduction in body weight due to water loss can significantly impact performance [14-16]. Additionally, some may find a flavored intra-workout drink to be more palatable compared to water.

Take Home Message on Intra-Workout Supplements & NutraBio Intra Blast

Intra-workout supplements can help stimulate/sustain MPS, reduce muscle soreness and help speed up the recovery process after an intense workout. They may also reduce fatigue and improve both mental and physical performance, especially if you train in a fasted state.

When selecting an intra-workout, it is imperative to choose one with research-validated ingredients dosed in effective amounts. NutraBio Intra Blast is an essential amino acid (EAA) powerhouse that delivers critical nutrients needed to fuel performance, blunt fatigue, and accelerate recovery during your workout. Unlike other intra- workouts that contain only branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), Intra Blast contains over 10,000 mg of all 9 essential amino acids, including BCAAs, clinically dosed to work synergistically in order to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, promote muscle growth, enhance recovery, and decrease muscle soreness from the most intense training sessions. NutraBio took Intra Blast’s formula one step further by adding other ingredients, such as glutamine and betaine, that have been scientifically proven to accelerate recovery, replenish energy stores, improve strength, and keep you hydrated during your workouts. Intra Blast is without question the most advanced intra-workout amino acid product ever created.


References:

  1. Cuthbertson, D., Smith, K., Babraj, J., Leese, G., Waddell, T., Atherton, P., … & Rennie, M. J. (2005). Anabolic signaling deficits underlie amino acid resistance of wasting, aging muscle.The FASEB Journal, 19(3), 422-424.
  2. Shimomura, Y., Inaguma, A., Watanabe, S., Yamamoto, Y., Muramatsu, Y., Bajotto, G., … & Mawatari, K. (2010). Branched-chain amino acid supplementation before squat exercise and delayed-onset muscle soreness.International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 20(3), 236-244.
  3. Newsholme, E. A., Acworth, I. N., & Blomstrand, E. (1987). Amino acids, brain neurotransmitters and a functional link between muscle and brain that is important in sustained exercise. Advances in Myochemistry, 1, 127-133.
  4. Shimomura, Y., Murakami, T., Nakai, N., Nagasaki, M., & Harris, R. A. (2004). Exercise promotes BCAA catabolism: effects of BCAA supplementation on skeletal muscle during exercise.The Journal of nutrition, 134(6), 1583S-1587S.
  5. Gualano, A. B., Bozza, T., Lopes, D. C. P., Roschel, H., Dos Santos, C. A., Luiz, M. M., … & Herbert, L. J. A. (2011). Branched-chain amino acids supplementation enhances exercise capacity and lipid oxidation during endurance exercise after muscle glycogen depletion.The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness, 51(1), 82-88.
  6. Trepanowski, J. F., Farney, T. M., Mccarthy, C. G., Schilling, B. K., Craig, S. A., & Bloomer, R. J. (2011). The effects of chronic betaine supplementation on exercise performance, skeletal muscle oxygen saturation and associated biochemical parameters in resistance trained men. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research,25(12), 3461-3471.
  7. Lee, E. C., Maresh, C. M., Kraemer, W. J., Yamamoto, L. M., Hatfield, D. L., Bailey, B. L., … & Craig, S. A. (2010). Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance.J Int Soc Sports Nutr,7(1), 27.
  8. Hoffman, J. R., Ratamess, N. A., Kang, J., Gonzalez, A. M., Beller, N. A., & Craig, S. A. (2011). Effect of 15 days of betaine ingestion on concentric and eccentric force outputs during isokinetic exercise.The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 25(8), 2235-2241.
  9. Sugino, T., Shirai, T., Kajimoto, Y., & Kajimoto, O. (2008). L-ornithine supplementation attenuates physical fatigue in healthy volunteers by modulating lipid and amino acid metabolism.Nutrition research, 28(11), 738-743.
  10. Demura, S., Yamada, T., Yamaji, S., Komatsu, M., & Morishita, K. (2010). The effect of L-ornithine hydrochloride ingestion on performance during incremental exhaustive ergometer bicycle exercise and ammonia metabolism during and after exercise.European journal of clinical nutrition,64(10), 1166-1171.
  11. Cynober, L., Vaubourdolle, M., Dore, A., & Giboudeau, J. (1984). Kinetics and metabolic effects of orally administered ornithine alpha-ketoglutarate in healthy subjects fed with a standardized regimen.The American journal of clinical nutrition, 39(4), 514-519.
  12. Jeevanandam, M., & Petersen, S. R. (1999). Substrate fuel kinetics in enterally fed traumapatients supplemented with ornithine alpha ketoglutarate.Clinical Nutrition,18(4), 209-217.
  13. Tai, C. Y., Joy, J. M., Falcone, P. H., Carson, L. R., Mosman, M. M., Straight, J. L., … & Moon, J. R. (2014). An amino acid-electrolyte beverage may increase cellular rehydration relative to carbohydrate-electrolyte and flavored water beverages.Nutrition journal, 13(1), 47.
  14. Bijlani, R. L., & Sharma, K. N. (1979). Effect of dehydration and a few regimes of rehydration on human performance.Indian journal of physiology and pharmacology, 24(4), 255-266.
  15. Armstrong, L. E., Costill, D. L., & Fink, W. J. (1985). Influence of diuretic-induced dehydration on competitive running performance.Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 17(4), 456-461.
  16. Sawka, M. N., & Pandolf, K. B. (1990). Effects of body water loss on physiological function and exercise performance.Perspectives in exercise science and sports medicine, 3, 1-38.

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