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Intra-Workout Supplements: Fuel Your Workout From Start to Finish

Intra-Workout Supplements: Fuel Your Workout From Start to Finish

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Expert Review By: Steven Cleark&

This Guide Seeks to Answer The Following: 

  • What intra-workout supplements are 
  • Types of Intra-workout supplements 
  • How to maximize the benefits of intra-workout supplements
  • How to enhance performance with intra-workout supplements
  • How to choose the best intra-workout supplement

Have you ever heard of intra-workout supplements? Do you know how they can impact your body or workout performance? your destination for ultimate body, here covers what intra-workout supplements are, the different types, the benefits of intra-workout supplements, how to choose the right ones, how to maximize your workout performance with them, and how to pick the best ones. Let's get started. 

What are Intra-Workout Supplements?

Athletes and bodybuilders take intra-workout supplements to increase energy, promote recovery and improve hydration for better workout performance. They mostly come in powder form and have quick-absorbing ingredients, allowing you to experience faster effects. They can also speed up muscle synthesis, essential for improved muscle growth and strength. These supplements differ from pre- and post-workouts, which are taken before and after exercises since their timing is not restricted. 

Difference Between Pre, Post, and Intra-workout Supplements 

Pre, post, and intra-workout supplements are used by athletes, bodybuilders, and casual gym goers for better workout performance. Pre-workouts are loaded with ingredients such as caffeine to offer energy and focus during strenuous exercises. They are taken before the workout begins. Intra-workouts have ingredients such as carbs and electrolytes to  help with recovery and energy boost.  They are taken during the workout session. Lastly, post-workout supplements are taken after a workout session to help with faster recovery.  The main difference between these supplements lies in their intake timing. 

Types of Intra-Workout Supplements 

There are four main types of intra-workout supplements:

Electrolyte Supplements 

Electrolyte supplements are water-soluble minerals such as magnesium, sodium, and potassium. Even though we can meet the body's electrolyte needs through a balanced diet, supplementation can help with better nervous system function, maintaining an excellent body environment, and improved muscle health. Electrolyte imbalance caused by  dehydration, illness, and the excessive heat can show symptoms like diarrhea, fatigue, and cramps. Having your supplement when working out is important for better overall workout performance. 

Benefits of Electrolyte Supplements 

Electrolytes are needed to maintain the following vital body functions: 

  • Muscle Function: Calcium and magnesium, some of the most common electrolytes, help the muscles contract for optimal functioning. Calcium allows the shortening or contraction of the muscle fibers by allowing them to slide together and above each other, while magnesium supports the outward sliding and relaxation of the muscle fibers. 
  • Nervous System Function: Sodium, an electrolyte needed for optimal nervous system function, allows the brain to communicate with other cells by sending nervous impulses through the nerve cell. 
  • Hydration: Electrolytes such as sodium help the body maintain fluid balance via osmosis, allowing adequate water levels inside and outside the body cells. A suitable electrolyte balance allows the body to maintain excellent pH levels, which is required for a healthy body. 

2023 Popular Brands of Electrolyte Supplements

Popular electrolyte supplement brands include:

  1. Ruleone
  2. Gaspari Nutrition
  3. USP Labs
  4. Pro Supps

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) Supplements 

Branched-chain amino acids supplementation boosts the BCAAs level in the body. BCAAs are essential amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine required for muscle growth. You can obtain them from whole foods, such as meat and eggs, or different workout supplements, such as intra-workout supplements. 

Benefits of BCAA Supplements 

BCAA supplements are excellent sources of branched-chain amino acids, associated with the following benefits: 

  • Increased Muscle Growth: Leucine, one of the most common branched-chain amino acids, stimulates protein synthesis by activating the mTOR pathway, leading to muscle formation. A study among people who took 5.6 grams of BCAAs after their resistance workout found a 22% greater muscle protein synthesis increase than those on placebo drinks, which shows how powerful BCAAs are when building muscles. 
  • Reduction in Muscle Soreness: Muscle soreness is common among people starting their workout journey. It can be scientifically referred to as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which occurs between 12-24 hours and lasts up to 3 days. Studies have proven that consumption of BCAAs can lower the levels of creatine kinase (brought about by muscle damage), reducing muscle soreness. Supplementing BCAAs before strength training can also speed up the recovery time for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

  • Reduction in Exercise Fatigue: The muscles use branched-chain amino acids during exercise, causing the levels of tryptophan, an essential amino acid, to rise in the brain. After rising, tryptophan is converted to serotonin, the brain chemical believed to lead to exercise fatigue. Supplementing with BCAAs before working out can slow down the production of serotonin and  increase the levels of branched-chain amino acids in the blood leading to better athletic performance. BCAA intake can also help prevent muscle wasting or breakdown, which occurs when the speed of breakdown exceeds that of synthesis. Regular BCAA supplementation replaces the BCAAs lost during muscle wasting, slowing down the breakdown rate. 

Popular Brands of BCAA Supplements

Popular brands of BCAA supplements include:

  1. Chain'd Out
  2. USP Labs
  3. Xtend
  4. Pro Supps
  5. Get Nude

Carbohydrates Supplements 

Carbohydrates are also needed for optimal body functioning, just like proteins. Most carbs are broken down into glucose, used to produce adenosine triphosphate through cellular respiration. The produced ATP is then used to create energy for different metabolic tasks. 

Benefits of Carbohydrate Supplements 

Several studies have proven that consuming carbohydrate supplements during workout sessions maintains glucose levels in the body for improved exercise performance. The body doesn't have to resort to its endogenous glycogen stores. 

Popular Brands of Carbohydrate Supplements 

Popular brands of carbohydrate supplements include:

  1. Condemned Laboratoriez 
  2. Gen One, Mutant

Creatine Supplements 

These are natural supplements used by athletes and bodybuilders worldwide to improve athletic performance. 

Benefits of Creatine Supplements 

The main benefits of creatine supplements include the following: 

  • Aiding in Energy Production: Creatine intake boosts phosphocreatine levels in the body, a substance needed to form adenosine triphosphate, a molecule used by the cell for energy and essential life functions. Creatine supplementation increases ATP energy production, allowing you to train for longer durations. 
  • Better Workout Performance: Creatine supports ATP production, which fuels the muscles for better high-intensity exercise performance. Areas that creatine intake targets are sprint ability, strength, recovery, ballistic power, brain performance, fatigue resistance, and muscle mass, all needed for better workout performance.
  • Other potential benefits of creatine supplements include speeding muscle growth. 

Popular Brands of Creatine Supplements

Popular brands of creatine supplements include: 

  1. Ruleone, 
  2. MHP
  3. BSN
  4. MRM Nutrition
  5. Ryse. 


Citrulline is a common inclusion in supplements. It is found in the urea cycle alongside L-ornithine and L-arginine. Regular intake of this dietary amino acid increases arginine plasma levels and promotes the recycling of ammonia and the breakdown of nitric oxide. 

Benefits of Citrulline Supplements 

Even though there is limited evidence that citrulline supplementation can help with exercise performance, regular users have reported a decrease in muscle soreness and perceived exertion and an increase in strength and total repetitions during resistance training. 

Popular Citrulline Supplements 

Here are a few citrulline supplements you can get for better workout performance: 

  1. BSN: Aminox Strawberry Orange 70 Servings 
  2. Das Labs: Bucked Up Pump- Ocalypse Blue Razz 30 Servings 
  3. Universal: Atomic 7 Groovy Grape 74 Servings 


Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that aids in producing carnosine, a compound that helps in muscle endurance during strenuous exercises. 

Benefits of Beta-alanine

Even though studies on the benefits of Beta-alanine are few  and inconclusive, it is commonly used for sports performance enhancement and endurance increase. It boosts the production of carnosine, a compound that helps regulate muscle acid buildup, decreasing muscle fatigue. Some of the foods that contain high levels of beta-alanine include poultry, fish, and meat. 

Popular Beta-alanine Supplements

  1. Nutrakey: Beta Alanine 100 Servings 
  2. On: Beta Alanine Powder Unflavored 37 Servings 
  3. On: Essential Amino.O. Energy Strawberry Like 30 Servings 


Caffeine is one of the most common natural stimulants found in a number of foods, such as coffee, tea, and cacao plants. It helps users stay alert and energetic by stimulating the central nervous system and the brain. It is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, after which it travels to the liver where it is broken down into different potent compounds. 

Benefits of Caffeine During a Workout 

Caffeine generally enhances exercise performance  by increasing fat consumption.  As a result, the glucose found in the muscles lasts for a longer duration, reducing muscle exhaustion for better workout performance. 

Research also shows that consuming caffeine an hour before exercise may increase endurance performance by up to 5%. Additionally, it's been proven that caffeine supplementation can reduce perceived exertion by up to 5.6% during workouts, helping improve workout performance.

Popular Caffeine Supplements 

Here are some of the most popular caffeine supplements: 

  1. Nutrex Research: Caffeine 200 Energy & Alertness 60 Capsules 
  2. Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals: Off The Chain Aminos Green Apple Candy 30 Servings

Maximizing the Benefits of Intra-Workout Supplements 

Here is how to maximize your intra-workout supplementation:

  • Developing a Personalized Workout and Supplements Plan: Keep in mind that whatever works for others may not work for you. It is crucial to come up with personalized plans for the best results.

  • Setting Goals and Objectives: When setting goals and objectives, ensure they are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. This is generally referred to as SMART goal-setting, an effective and intentional strategy to develop reasonable and easy-to-attain goals in all spheres of life. 

  • Planning Workout Regimens and Supplement Schedules: Consider your fitness goals,  recovery time, and relevant activities when choosing a workout regimen. You should remember to include high-interval intensity training, start slowly and progress over time, and fix a few physical activities into your daily routine. On the supplement schedule, let your fitness goals guide you on when to take supplements. For example, schedule intake after a workout for faster recovery or for increased strength and endurance before working out. 

  • Tracking Progress and Making Adjustments: Tracking your workout progress and making adjustments help you avoid plateaus when your body adjusts to your workout routine demands. Adjustments also spice things up, keeping you motivated for a longer duration. 

Tips to Motivate Yourself to Workout 

Some of the tips that can help you stay motivated include: 

  • Rewarding yourself 
  • Setting goals 
  • Varying your workout routine 
  • Including physical activity in your daily routine 
  • Finding good workout partners 
  • Being flexible 

Incorporating Other Elements of a Healthy Lifestyle 

Here are a few things you should not ignore when boosting  your exercise routine with intra-workout supplements: 

  • Eating a Balanced and Nutritious Diet: A diet filled with healthy carbs, fats, and vitamins boosts your workout performance and allows you to recover faster from grueling sessions. Additionally, remember that intra-workout supplements are not meal replacements, and you still have to eat well.
  • Staying Hydrated Before, During, and After Workouts: Hydration is vital for optimal workout performance as it replaces the fluids lost during sweating, a common body activity during workouts. Proper hydration also helps maintain normal body function and performance levels and reduces the risk of heat stress.
  • Getting Adequate Sleep and Rest: Getting adequate sleep and rest allows your body to recover from intense workout sessions. It's also a good and healthy way to avoid fatigue and exercise-related injuries. Note that lack of enough sleep and rest can hinder your workout performance. 

Understanding the Proper Dosage and Timing of Intra-Workout Supplements 

Here is how to ensure proper usage of intra-workout supplements: 

  • Following Instructions and Recommendations on Supplement Labels: You should thoroughly read a supplement's product label before usage to identify and understand the relevant instructions and recommendations, which will help you avoid any use-related accidents or side effects. 
  • Taking Supplements at Optimal Times During Workouts: Intra-workout supplements generally come in powder form or ready-to-drink formulas that can be consumed during your workout. You can also combine them with pre and post-workouts for better results. 
  • Avoiding Overdosing or Taking Supplements at Unnecessary Times: Even though supplements such as intra-workouts are generally safe for consumption, overdose can lead to side effects such as diarrhea and nausea. 

Integrating Intra-Workout Supplements into Your Routine 

Finding the right supplements for your workout needs is crucial when you decide to take your training routine to the next level. Here are a few tips to help you out: 

  • Try Different Supplements and Brands: Trying different supplements and brands in controlled quantities can help you know what works for you. However, note that this may be an expensive strategy. 
  • Asking for Recommendations from Trusted Sources: You can also seek information about various brands and supplements from trusted sources such as Alternatively, consult with fitness professionals or healthcare providers who can help you identify what works for you. 

Enhancing Workout Performance With Intra-Workout Supplements 

Here are some of the ways intra-workout supplements enhance your workout performance: 

Improving Endurance and Stamina 

Some of the ways intra-workout supplements help improve endurance and stamina include: 

  • Maintaining Energy and Hydration Levels: Intra-workout supplement formulas have electrolytes such as potassium and magnesium that promote adequate and efficient hydration for prolonged endurance activity, faster recovery, and improved workout volume. Other formulas also have coconut water which boosts the body's potassium, magnesium, and calcium levels for better hydration. 
  • Delaying Muscle Fatigue: Using potassium and magnesium supplements can delay fatigue by strengthening crucial electrical signals. Carbohydrate supplement consumption can also improve the potassium level in muscle stores leading to delayed fatigue. Lastly, intra-workout supplements are generally rich in antioxidants such as N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), known to potentially delay fatigue in the limbs during prolonged exercise by improving potassium regulation
  • Supporting Muscle Recovery and Growth: Even though high-intensity exercise is encouraged for bodybuilders and gym goers, it leads to muscle mass breakdown due to prolonged muscle contraction. Most intra-workout supplements contain a range of amino acids that allows you to maintain a favorable amino acid balance while training to slow down protein catabolism known to cause muscle protein breakdown. Inhibiting muscle protein breakdown leads to faster muscle recovery. BCAA supplements also contain high doses of amino acids such as leucine, stimulating protein synthesis and increasing muscle growth. 
  • Reducing Muscle Soreness and Inflammation: Intra-workout supplements have high amounts of the three branched-chain amino acids, valine, leucine, and isoleucine, known to promote routine muscle damage repair through protein synthesis. Improved muscle repair also reduces delayed onset muscle soreness, known as DOMS. Some intra-workout supplement formulas also have omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce inflammation and muscle soreness. 
  • Improving Joint Health and Mobility: Most intra-workout supplements have branched-chain amino acids known to affect protein anabolism when combined with exercise, improving lower limb muscle strength for joint health and mobility. 

    How to Choose the Right Intra-Workout Supplement 

    Factors to Consider When Choosing an Intra-workout Supplement:

    Your Fitness Goals

    Getting an intra-workout supplement that matches your fitness goals is essential. For example, settle for BCAA intra-workout supplements to build muscles and electrolytes supplements for improved hydration. On the other hand, creatine supplements are suited for those who want to increase energy or improve performance. 

    Your Body Type and Fitness Level 

    Find an intra-workout supplement that caters to different factors that determine your body type, such as your bone structure, body shape, weight, ability to build muscle, height, and body fat loss ability for better results. Some options are also best suited for beginners. 

    Ingredients in the Supplement 

    The ingredients found in the intra-workout supplement will determine its effects. For example, consider an intra-workout supplement with ingredients such as sodium or magnesium for improved hydration. 

    Other elements worth looking out for include amino acids such as Beta-Alanine. Also, remember to settle for products with natural ingredients and avoid those with fillers or synthetic sweeteners. Research any ingredients you don't understand to avoid getting something that may harm you in the long run. 

    Price and Budget 

    Strive to get an intra-workout that fits your budget and offers you value for money. Feel free to compare different brands until you identify one manageable for your budget. It's also important to get a price you can afford for an extended period. However, be careful not to trade quality for cost. Remember, there is no need to get a cheap but poor-quality supplement that can't help you achieve your workout goals. 

    Recommended Intra-Workout Supplement for 2023 

    We recommend if you have been thinking of getting your supplements online. Here are some of the best supplements you can get for your workout needs: 

    Best Electrolyte Supplements - Ruleone: Train BCAAs + Electrolytes 

    This fantastic product by Ruleone has BCAAs and electrolytes that may improve workout performance. Included ingredients such as leucine, valine, isoleucine, and citrulline malate fuel muscle energy and endurance, while coconut water, taurine, and electrolytes offer added hydration. The formula also comprises L-Glutamine, which aids in recovery. Some of the available flavors are peach mango and golden gummy. 

    Best BCAA Supplement- Chain'd Out BCAA Supplement- 1.7 Lbs

    Chain'd Out BCAA supplement is made by ALR industries. It comes with a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, the three essential amino acids needed for muscle growth. According to the product label, its unique formula may increase absorption by up to 60%, furnishing the body with adequate BCAAs for lean muscle mass development, increased energy levels, and faster recovery. 

    Best Carbohydrates Supplement- Condemned Laboratoriez: C-Block 10 Performance Carbohydrate Supplement Fruit Punch 

    The C-Block 10 Performance Carbohydrate Supplement has 35 servings, each delivering 25g of Carb 10. Carb 10 is a carbohydrate derived from pea starch that is revered for its high molecular weight and low osmolality. The label suggests that the supplement doesn't cause any stomach upset or a sluggish feeling and only leaves those who ingest it with less fatigue and more stamina.

    Best Creatine Supplements - Ruleone: Creatine Unflavored

    This micronized creatine monohydrate powder from Ruleone targets people aiming to develop lean mass and maximize their training capacity. 

    How to Use Intra-Workout Supplements 

    Here are a few things to consider when using intra-workout supplements: 

    Dosage and Timing 

    25-50g of intra-workout supplements consumed independently or combined with other workout supplements should serve whatever purpose you need. Any additional servings should be measured with a scoop. If you choose to supplement with carbs, consider the volume of your workout. 

    For protein intra-workout supplementation, consider your ability to recover. Intra-workout supplements should be steadily consumed throughout the workout session or combined with a pre-workout for added advantages such as increased muscle growth stimulation. They can also be used with post-workouts for improved and faster recovery. 

    Precautions and Safety Considerations 

    • See a doctor if you have any heart or kidney problems before using an intra-workout supplement. 
    • Only settle for supplements whose ingredients are third-party tested. 
    • Remember to read the product label for instructions and suggestions. 
    • Observe the proper dosage at all times. 
    • Consider your sensitivities and allergies when settling for intra-workout supplements 
    • Discontinue usage and seek the services of a healthcare professional if you notice prolonged side effects. 
    • Store your intra-workout in a cool and dry place. 
    • Keep the intra-workout supplement airtight to prevent moisture and the lid closed at all times to avoid contaminants. 

      Possible Side Effects of Intra-workout Supplements 

      Even though intra-workouts are generally safe to consume, some of the possible side effects to look out for include the following: 

      BCAA Supplements Side Effects 

      Side effects associated with BCAA supplements intake include: bloating, nausea, diarrhea, stomach upsets, fatigue, and possible loss of coordination. 

      Electrolyte Supplements Side Effects 

      Watch out for diarrhea, cramps, respiratory depression, sweating, consciousness alteration, significant blood pressure decrease, and flushing when supplementing with electrolyte supplements. 

      Carbohydrates Supplements Side Effects 

      Unregulated carbohydrates supplements consumption may lead to health risks. Observing the recommended dosage and discontinuing usage immediately is crucial if you witness any of these side effects. 

      Interactions With Other Medications 

      BCAA intra-workout supplements may cause an excessive drop in blood sugar levels upon interaction with antidiabetic medicines, making it essential to monitor your blood sugar closely. Potassium supplements can also interact with inhibitors such as selected ace inhibitors, leading to serious health risks. It's critical to consult with a medical professional before using such supplements when medicating. 

      Allergies and Sensitivities 

      Ensure that you settle for a product devoid of ingredients that can trigger your allergies or sensitivities. Some of the common signs of allergies are hives and rashes. Remember to discontinue using the particular product and see a doctor as first as possible if the reaction gets out of hand. 


      Intra-workout supplements may help boost your workout performance just like pre- and post-workouts when correctly used. Some associated benefits include improved endurance, stamina, and mental and physical focus. Remember to pick a quality supplement devoid of allergens and use it correctly to see a positive change in your workout.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      • How Do I Use an Intra-Workout Supplement?

        These supplements either come in powder or ready-to-drink forms. Mix powdery options with water according to the product's instructions and ingest and directly consume the ready-to-drink options, provided that you stick to the proper dosage.

      • Do I Need a Prescription to Buy Intra-Workout Supplements?

        Intra-workout supplements can be bought directly from your favorite health n/utrition/ fitness store or website. However, consult your physician if you have heart or kidney issues. People on medication should also seek the opinion of a certified healthcare professional.

      • Are Intra-Workout Supplements Suitable for Athletes and Bodybuilders?

        Intra-workout supplements are suitable for athletes and bodybuilders as both categories need improved endurance, stamina, and mental and physical focus.

      • Can Intra-Workout Supplements Be Used as Meal Replacement Options?

        No. You still have to take your meals, particularly a balanced diet, since intra-workout supplements may not offer the full nutrients required for optimal body functioning

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