You probably already know about the benefits of pre- and post-workout supplementation. You can probably rattle off your go-to products in a heartbeat. But what about the time when the muscle stress is occurring: during your workout?
In general your nutrition before, during, and after your workout is critical, regardless of your goal.
Dialing in this aspect of your nutrition can help you…
All to say, this time is crucial, yet we often neglect to consider what nutrients we need while we train.
- Feel energized and focused during your training.
- Improve everything from your endurance, to your between-set recovery.
- Give you the fuel to maintain your energy throughout long training sessions.
- Reduce muscle breakdown during training.
- Jump start recovery to help reduce soreness.
Why Should We Take Intra-Workout Supplements?
Of course, we don’t want to eat whole food around our training. We need quick, easily digestible forms of important ingredients that can help reduce muscle breakdown and keep us training hard.
By adding some key supplements to this time frame, you can support your body with the nutrients it needs to train longer, harder, and even start the recovery process while you’re still lifting.
With that said, intra-workout supplements are especially important during your toughest training sessions. You might not need all of them during a 45 minute arm workout, but your two-hour leg training will benefit from the extra fuel.
If you’re ready to maintain your energy and performance during intense training, here are the five most important intra-workout supplements.
Over the last few years, the importance of hydration has finally gotten the recognition it deserves. You already know the importance of staying hydrated, and you probably already sip on your water bottle while you train.
Why You Need It:
However, water is not the only piece of the hydration puzzle. When we sweat, we lose crucial electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium, and more.
No matter how much water we drink, during intense sessions we won’t be optimally hydrated without replenishing these electrolytes.
In fact, electrolytes plus water (like Hydra-Charge) has been shown to improve hydration better than water alone.
Lack of electrolytes and improper dehydration can result in muscle cramps, spasms, and weakness and even dizziness. Obviously, we want to avoid this during our long training sessions.
Kaged Hydra-Charge contains 5 key electrolytes along with taurine, Spectra™ antioxidants, and coconut water powder. It also has less than 1g of sugar. Consuming one scoop will deliver an effective dose of these nutrients to keep your electrolytes in balance.
Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid that plays a role in hydration and physical functions.
Why You Need It:
As it relates to your workout performance, taurine improves your endurance.* This means whether you’re doing an extra set or more cardio, it can support your stamina and help you crush through your training.
It also supports our hydration. This hydration support is why we include it in our Hydra-Charge formula
Additionally, taurine can assist with muscular contraction and has also been linked to balance.
Improve Your Endurance:
Including Pre-Kaged on your way to the gym and Hydra-Charge or In-Kaged intra-workout will supply you with a total of 3 grams of taurine, which can help boost endurance performance and regulate hydration and electrolyte balance in your muscle.
3) Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Why You Need It:
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Three of these amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine, can’t be made by our bodies and account for more than 30% of muscle tissue.
When we train, we break down muscle tissue. This is where BCAAs come in.
The optimal breakdown of BCAAs is a 2:1:1 ratio, meaning there are two parts leucine for each part of isoleucine and valine.
BCAAs also act as an energy source during long training. Our body can absorb the BCAAs and use it immediately as fuel to support our training.
Kaged BCAA is unflavored and mixes easily, so it’s perfect to add to your intra-workout stack.
Our BCAAs come from plant-based sources and are 98% pure.
Just add a scoop of Kaged BCAA to your Hydra-Charge, or In-Kaged.
Why You Need It:
Citrulline is one of the most popular supplement ingredients to improve muscle pumps, which can in turn support strength, recovery, and strengthen your mind-muscle connection.* This makes it one of the most potent and popular pre and intra workout supplements. In fact, we have it in our line of award-winning pre-workouts, Pre-Kaged®.
It also promotes blood flow during training which supports recovery and nutrient delivery.* This combination of benefits makes it an ideal intra-workout ingredient.
Citrulline improves blood flow and muscle pumps by increasing nitric oxide synthesis. Healthy blood flow during training means our body can flush out waste and give our blood new nutrients and oxygen effectively.
Improve Your Muscle Pumps:
Add 1-2 scoops of Kaged L-Citrulline powder to your shaker. Again, it’s unflavored, so you can add it to your Hydra-Charge and it mixes easily.
This will deliver 2-4 grams of L-Citrulline through your body to boost blood flow and help you power through those last tough reps.
We use l-citrulline and NOT citrulline malate because you get more citrulline by weight. For more on these differences, you can read this article on L-Citrulline vs Citrulline Malate
While you may be taking some caffeine pre-workout to kick-start your session, adding some caffeine intra-workout can help prolong this energy.
As you know, caffeine enhances your energy. However, it can also increase your endurance and strength, helping you squeeze out a few more reps.
You don’t need caffeine during all of your workouts. If we take caffeine consistently, we build a tolerance which blunts some of its effects over time. With this in mind save intra-workout caffeine for your longest, most intense training sessions.
Grab Your Mid-Training Pick-me-up:
Kaged Organic Caffeine capsules are a convenient way to reap the benefits of caffeine.
Each capsule contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is about 1 ½ cups of coffee. Stimulants impact everyone differently. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may feel your heart racing and some jitters. Be aware of other caffeine sources you take throughout the day such as coffee, tea, soda, and even chocolate. It can all add up.
We use PurCaf® caffeine, which is an organic form from green coffee beans, for smooth, clean energy.
In-Kaged: Caffeine + BCAAs + Taurine + L-Citrulline
If you want to keep your intra-workout concoction simple, look no further than In-Kaged. This intra-workout supplement contains the majority of these important ingredients in one simple scoop.
This product is designed to help you improve your energy, endurance, and muscle pumps, while helping you recover all in one simple scoop.
Each scoop includes BCAAs in the recommended 2:1:1 ratio, a vasodilating matrix with L-Citrulline, a dose of taurine, and caffeine.
Simply adding Hydra-Charge, in addition to In-Kaged, will cover all your bases.
Keep Digestion and Absorption In Mind
Finally, don’t forget about digestion. While training, your blood flows to your muscles, and diverts it away from your gut.
If you take too many supplements during your training, you may feel some nausea nad bloating. With Kaged products, we use clean formulas and pure ingredients that keep this mind.
Still, make sure that you’re using lots of water with your supplements so that they can mix thoroughly.
Now you know how intra-workout supplementation can improve your training. This is another piece to the puzzle to ensure you’re providing your body with the nutrients it needs to perform optimally.
For more on your nutrition around the workout, you can check out this article on Peri-Workout Nutrition, which covers what you need to know for pre-workout and post-workout nutrition.
Intra-Workout Supplementation Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the benefits of taking supplements during a workout?
Of course it depends on what you take. In general, the goal of taking intra-workouts supplements to help you train longer and harder, while jumpstarting recovery.
When is the best time to take my during-workout supplements?
The best time to take an intra-workout supplement is, as the name suggests, during your workout. However, the exact timing can depend on the length and intensity of your workout.
While it varies by ingredient, most amino acids take around 30 minutes to make it to your bloodstream. Keep this in mind when choosing when to sip on your during-workout supplement stack.
Are there any side effects of taking supplements during a workout?
If you’re not used to taking supplements you may experience some nausea and bloating. We recommend starting with a smaller stack, and then building up depending on your goals. Also keep in mind that caffeine, when taken in high doses late in the day, can disrupt your sleep.
Can I take during-workout supplements on non-training days?
On non-training days, you typically won’t need all of these supplements. However, many of these supplements listed provide benefits any day. For example, Hydra-Charge provides electrolytes any time you need them.
How do during-workout supplements differ from pre-workout and post-workout supplements?
Pre-workout, during workout, and post-workout supplements each serve unique purposes. Pre-workout supplements are designed to give you energy, focus, and endurance for your workout. During workout supplements aim to sustain your energy levels and performance. Post-workout supplements are designed to aid in recovery after your workout.
Naturally, there’s some overlap.
Are during-workout supplements suitable for all types of workouts?
They’re most beneficial for longer, intense workouts. For shorter, less intense workouts, they may not be necessary.
Can I combine different intra-workout supplements?
Yes. In fact, we encourage you to make your own custom stack. However, be aware of the doses and what you’re combining. For example, if you take In-Kaged, you won’t need to take caffeine or extra BCAAs, because In-Kaged has each of those ingredients.
How long does it take to see results from using during-workout supplements?
You may notice improved endurance and reduced muscle fatigue during their workouts almost immediately. Over the long haul, intra-workout supplements gain their benefits because they allow you to train harder and longer. This in turn can help you reach your training and physique goals. This takes weeks, months, or years, as there’s no substitute for hard, effective training.