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8 Best Intra-Workout Supplements in 2024

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Looking for high-quality supplements to drink during workouts to boost your performance?

These are called intra-workout supplements, and play a similar role to pre-workout in giving you a boost in energy and performance while you’re working out. In this article, we’ll be covering the best intra-workout supplements available today.

If you’re interested in using intra-workout drinks, keep reading to find out why these are the best products out there.

Our team of certified nutritionists, coaches, medical professionals, and pro athletes, has evaluated 30 intra-workout supplements and has comprised a list of the 8 best ones. The supplements went through a detailed analysis based on 5 key factors, with our team spending 8 weeks testing them. 

In addition to this rigorous testing, we’ve also combed through hundreds of online reviews. We constantly update our list, so we encourage you to leave feedback, share your stories, and join the discussion!

Best Intra-Workout Supplements

Top 8 Best Intra-Workout Supplements Reviewed

  1. INTRA by Transparent Labs – Top Pick
  2. In-Kaged® – Runner-Up
  3. Nutricost Intra-Workout – Best Value for Money
  4. Intra-Flight by BPN
  5. Nutrabio Intra Blast – Best Variety of Flavors
  6. Intrasurge by Jacked Factory
  7. EAA Surge by Jacked Factory – EEA Based
  8. XTEND Sport BCAA – Elecrolytes Based
ProductTotalIngredients
Breakdown
StimulationTaste/
Flavor
Nutrition Label
Transparency
Price/
Quality
Transparent Labs47.510810109.5
In-Kaged®479101099
Nutricost46.59999.510
Intra-Flight469810109
Nutrabio45981099
Jacked Factory
Intrasurge
44910889
Jacked Factory
EAA Surge
43.598998.5
XTEND43988810
TOP PICK

1. INTRA by Transparent Labs

Transparent Labs Intra
  • Form: Powder
  • Best for: High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Strawberry Lemonade, Blue Raspberry
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: Betaine, Citrulline Malate
  • Package Information: 1.24lbs
  • Serving: 18.7g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.47
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by AthletesHafthor BjornssonPaul SklarSean Harris

Starting off our list is Intra by Transparent Labs. Transparent Labs is frequently featured at the top of our protein and pre-workout lists for their unparalleled quality. Let’s see why their intra-workout supplement is no exception.

We’ll be going over 3 main factors in each of our intra-workout reviews: hydration, amino acid profile, and additional active ingredients. By having a solid combination of these 3 factors, you can be confident an intra-workout supplement will be genuinely effective.

For hydration, Transparent Labs has a solid amount of each essential electrolyte (magnesium, sodium, and potassium) to help keep a balanced hydration level during your workout. It also features 1g of coconut water powder in each serving to provide an extra boost of hydration.

Intra also has 6.7g of essential amino acids in each serving. This includes 5g of BCAAs, which is right around the recommended daily intake. One study demonstrated that an essential amino acid profile appears to improve exercise performance, specifically in regards to max aerobic capacity.

While athletes in this study didn’t consume the supplement during their workout, the results still show the benefits of consuming amino acids throughout the day.

Finally, in terms of other active ingredients, Transparent Labs features a 2g dose of citrulline malate, and a solid 1.25g dose of betaine.

Unfortunately, the dose of citrulline malate is likely too low to produce meaningful results, with the recommended dose being closer to 6-8g. However, the betaine dose is more solid, and may improve force production and endurance.

Intra does only come in 2 flavors, which is significantly less than some of the other products on our list. In terms of price, it’s also towards the higher end of our list at ~$1.47 per serving. Finally, one major pro for all of Transparent Labs products is that it’s made from all natural ingredients, featuring no artificial dyes, preservatives, or flavorings.

47.5 EXPERT SCORE

Intra by Transparent Labs, a brand known for quality supplements, offers a comprehensive intra-workout solution with a focus on hydration, essential amino acids, and additional active ingredients, though its citrulline malate dosage might be suboptimal.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Stimulation:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Solid amount of EAAs
  • Good hydration blend of electrolytes and coconut water
  • Made with all natural ingredients

Could be better:

  • Other active ingredients (betaine & citrulline malate) could be dosed higher
  • Relatively expensive
RUNNER-UP

2. In-Kaged®

In-Kaged®
  • Form: Powder
  • Best for: Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavor: Blue Raspberry, Cherry Lemonade, Watermelon
  • Caffeine: 124mg
  • Special Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine
  • Package Information: 310mg
  • Serving: 15.5g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.50
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by AthletesAndrea SomerColt NicholsKris Gethin

Next on our list of mid-workout supplements is Kaged’s intra-workout, In-Kaged. One of the newer supplement companies on our list, let’s see how Kaged is able to compare to Transparent Labs product.

In terms of hydration, Kaged certainly comes up short compared to Transparent Labs. The only electrolyte it contains is sodium, omitting magnesium and potassium. While this supplement also contains coconut water powder, it is in a much smaller dose of only 0.5g.

For amino acids, Kaged also has a less complete profile than Transparent Labs. While it has the same 5g dose of BCAAs, it doesn’t contain the additional essential amino acid complex found in Transparent Labs.

Where Kaged does make up some ground is with its list of active ingredients. Kaged contains a much more substantial dose of L-Citrulline with 3g, and a solid dose of beta-alanine at 1.6g grams.

In-Kaged® instagram
Photo by @wittigworks

It’s worth noting that while L-Citrulline and Citrulline Malate have the same effects, L-Citrulline is more potent. Citrulline malate is L-Citrulline bonded with malic acid, usually in a 2:1 ratio, meaning a 3g serving of L-Citrulline is equivalent to 4.5g of Citrulline Malate. This is also the first supplement on our list to feature a dose of caffeine with a solid 124mg per serving.

We’ve given this inta-workout supplement the distinction of having the best flavor based on reviews that rave about its taste. There are 3 unique flavors to choose from, with Blue Raspberry specifically getting lots of love from customers in the reviews.

Keep in mind this is a slightly more expensive intra-workout powder at around $1.50 per serving. It’s also formulated with some artificial ingredients, so be aware of this if you prefer all-natural supplement formulas.

47 EXPERT SCORE

In-Kaged provides higher L-Citrulline and beta-alanine doses, caffeine, and appealing flavors, but fewer electrolytes and essential amino acids compared to Transparent Labs, with a slightly higher cost per serving and artificial ingredients.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Stimulation:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Great doses of its active ingredients
  • Solid amount of BCAAs
  • Great taste

Could be better:

  • Fairly expensive
  • Could benefit from a better hydration blend
BEST VALUE FOR MONEY

3. Nutricost Intra-Workout

Nutricost Intra-Workout
  • Form: Powder
  • Best for: High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect,, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavor: Blue Raspberry, Peach Mango, Pink Lemonade
  • Caffeine: 100mg
  • Special Ingredients: Betaine, L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine
  • Package Information: 1.4lbs
  • Serving: 22g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$0.83
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by AthletesPaul MaileMax TooleyAmari Whiting

Next on our list we have Nutricost’s Intra-Workout supplement. While Nutricost is better known for their range of Vitamins, let’s see how their Intra-Workout supplement compares to the rest of the products on our list.

While Nutricost doesn’t contain any additional hydrating ingredients like coconut water, it does have a great electrolyte profile featuring high doses of sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

It also features a good amount of BCAAs with 5g per serving – the same amount as Transparent Labs and Kaged. While it doesn’t contain any additional EAAs like Transparent Labs, this is still a solid dose of BCAAs.

Its additional ingredients are where Nutricost’s product truly shines. This supplement has 3.5g of L-Citrulline, 2g of Betaine, and 1.2g of Beta-Alanine. On top of these solid doses, it also contains a good mild dose of 100mg of caffeine for a boost of energy during your workout.

This product comes in 3 different flavors, offering a good amount of variety. One of the main advantages of this product comes in its price, being one of the cheapest options on our list at well under a dollar per serving.

This makes it our top pick for providing great value for money. Just keep in mind that like the previous few entries on our list, it does contain several artificial ingredients.

46.5 EXPERT SCORE

Nutricost's Intra-Workout supplement boasts a strong electrolyte profile, solid BCAAs, and notable additional ingredients like L-Citrulline, Betaine, and Beta-Alanine, all at an affordable price per serving, though it contains artificial ingredients.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Stimulation:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Excellent active ingredients list
  • Solid blend of electrolytes for hydration
  • Great value for money

Could be better:

  • Some people may be looking for a decaffeinated intra-workout supplement
  • No additional essential amino acids

4. Intra-Flight by BPN

Intra-Flight by BPN
  • Form: Powder
  • Best for: Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Blackberry Lime, Lemonade, Watermelon
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: Citrulline-Malate
  • Package Information: 609g
  • Serving: 18.8g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.33
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by AthletesJessica LynneKatrin TanjaDaniela Mondragon

Next on our list of intra-workout products is Intra Flight from Bare Performance Nutrition. Coming from one of the lesser known companies on our list, let’s see if BPN’s product is able to compare to the top spots on our list.

For its hydration formula, BPN is noticeably less in-depth than the previous 2 entries on our list. It does contain a good amount of sodium, but there is no magnesium or potassium in the formula. There’s also no additional hydrating ingredients like coconut water powder either.

Its amino acid profile is a little more robust, featuring a solid 8g of BCAAs in every serving. This is nearly double the amunt found in the last 2 supplements we’ve covered! However, similar to Kaged, there are no additional EAAs found in the formula.

In terms of active ingredients, the only beneficial additional ingredient is Citrulline Malate at a fairly low dose of 3g. While this isn’t too low, the supplement would be more complete with either a higher dose of the ingredient, or something like betaine or beta-alanine to back it up.

BPN’s product comes in a solid variety of 3 different flavors. It is also the cheapest option we’ve covered so far, even if it’s still relatively expensive at around $1.33 per serving. Also, similar to Kaged, this product does feature several artificial ingredients in its formula.

46 EXPERT SCORE

Bare Performance Nutrition's Intra Flight provides significant BCAA content, limited hydration support, and basic active ingredients, making it an affordable option with various flavors, though it contains artificial ingredients.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Stimulation:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Some of the highest BCAA content on our list
  • Decent amount of L-Citrulline
  • Fair price for the product

Could be better:

  • Could use more electrolytes for hydration
  • Could use some additional active ingredients to strengthen the formula
BEST VARIETY OF FLAVORS

5. Nutrabio Intra Blast

Nutrabio Intra Blast
  • Form: Powder
  • Best for: High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Blueberry Lemonade, Dragon Fruit Candy, Grape Berry Crush, Orange Mango, Passion Fruit, Strawberry Lemon Bomb, Sweet Tea, Tropical Fruit Punch
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: Betaine
  • Package Information: 1.6lb
  • Serving: 23.93g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.50
  • Company Founded: 1996
  • Recommended by AthletesJennifer RabbittNaima Body SculptLiana Martinez

Next up on our list is NutraBio’s Intra Blast. While they may not be as big of a player in the supplement industry as some of the other companies on our list, let’s see if NutraBio’s Intra-Workout supplement is able to compete.

This product has a solid blend of electrolytes similar to Transparent Labs and Nutricost featuring magnesium, sodium, and potassium. This is solid, especially compared to some supplements on our list that only feature sodium.

For amino acids, this is the third supplement on our list with a solid EAA content. It features 9.8g total of amino acids, with 7.4 coming in the form of BCAAs, and the remaining 2.4g being EAAs.

Nutrabio Intra Blast instagram
Photo by @nutrabio

In terms of its active ingredients, Nutrabio is a little less strong, featuring 2g of betaine as its main performance booster.

While this isn’t bad, some beta-alanine, or l-citrulline would have made this a much more complete supplement. This is also one of many decaf supplements, so it won’t be ideal for those looking for a hit of stimulation in their intra-workout drink.

One of the highlights of this product is its flavor variety, having significantly more options than any other product on our list at 8 unique choices. Its price is fairly high, falling around the top of our list at around $1.50 per serving. It’s also worth being aware that this product does contain several artificial ingredients if you prefer to avoid these.

45 EXPERT SCORE

NutraBio's Intra offers a comprehensive blend of electrolytes and amino acids, though its active ingredient profile is relatively modest, and it provides multiple flavor choices at a slightly higher price point with the inclusion of artificial ingredients.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Stimulation:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Great amino acid profile
  • Solid mix of all 3 main electrolytes
  • Best flavor variety

Could be better:

  • Fairly expensive
  • Could use more active ingredients

6. Intrasurge by Jacked Factory

Intrasurge by Jacked Factory
  • Form: Powder
  • Best for: Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Reducing Fatigue
  • Flavor: Fruit Punch, Blue Raspberry
  • Caffeine: 125mg
  • Special Ingredients: L-Citrulline
  • Package Information: 312g
  • Serving: 12.5g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.50
  • Company Founded: 2006
  • Recommended by AthletesMorgan MacMike OliverBhuwan Chauhan

Up next is the first of 2 Jacked Factory supplements we’ll be covering on our list, Intrasurge. Let’s see if this supplement is on par with the rest of the best intra-workout supplements we’ve covered so far.

For hydrating ingredients, Intrasurge is one of the weakest products on our list. On the nutritional label there’s no indication of whether it contains any electrolytes, so it’s best to assume it contains none. It also does not have any additional hydrating ingredients like coconut water powder.

It’s amino acid profile, on the other hand, is decent. It contains 5g of BCAAs in each serving, albeit with no additional EAAs. This is fairly standard, being the same amount as many products already covered.

For additional ingredients, there’s a solid 3g dose of L-Citrulline, and a decent mild amount of caffeine at 125mg per serving. This is one of the better doses of L-Citrulline on our list, making it a great choice for someone looking to prioritize this ingredient.

Intrasurge does only come in 2 different flavors which is fairly low compared to other products. It’s also on the higher end of intra-workout price points at ~$1.50 per serving. Finally, like many other products on our list, this is flavored with several artificial ingredients.

44 EXPERT SCORE

Intrasurge by Jacked Factory offers a decent amino acid profile and key ingredients like L-Citrulline, though its hydration formula is lacking and it features a relatively higher price point and artificial ingredients.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Stimulation:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • High dose of l-citrulline
  • Good amount of BCAAs
  • Solid dose of caffeine for those who want a caffeinated supplement

Could be better:

  • Poor electrolyte profile
  • Fairly expensive
EEA BASED

7. EAA Surge by Jacked Factory

EAA Surge by Jacked Factory
  • Form: Powder
  • Best for: Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Peach Mango, Blue Raspberry, Pineapple, Strawberry Limeade, Cucumber Lime
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: Citrulline-Malate
  • Package Information: 284g
  • Serving: 14.2g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.65
  • Company Founded: 2006
  • Recommended by AthletesMorgan MacMike OliverBhuwan Chauhan

The second Jacked Factory product we’ll be covering is their specific essential amino acid supplement. While it’s not marketed as an intra-workout powder, it will still be great for that purpose. Let’s see how it compares to Intrasurge as well as the rest of our list.

Its hydrating ingredients are quite a bit better than Intrasurge. While it also doesn’t have the main electrolytes you’re looking for, it does have a decent 0.5g of coconut water powder in each serving.

Of course, because this is an amino acid supplement, it has a solid dose of EAAs as you’d expect. It has 6.7g total of amino acids, although it’s unclear how this is split between BCAAs and the other 6 EAAs.

For active ingredients, there’s a fairly low dose of citrulline malate at 2g. Similar to Transparent Labs, this is likely too low of a dose to produce many meaningful results.

This product does have some of the best variety in terms of flavors with 5 different options. It is one of the most expensive options on our list as well at around $1.65 per serving. Also, similar to Jacked Factory’s other intra-workout supplement, this does contain several artificial ingredients.

43.5 EXPERT SCORE

Jacked Factory's EAA supplement provides a solid dose of essential amino acids and some hydrating elements, but falls short with lower citrulline malate content and a relatively higher price, accompanied by artificial ingredients.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Stimulation:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Great amino acid complex
  • Solid amount of coconut water powder
  • Good amount of flavors to choose from

Could be better:

  • One of the most expensive products on our list
  • Not too many active ingredients
ELECTROLYTES BASED

8. XTEND Sport BCAA

XTEND Sport BCAA
  • Form: Powder
  • Best for: High-Intensity Exercise Performance, Training Volume, Enhanced “Pumping” Effect
  • Flavor: Strawberry Kiwi Splash, Blue Raspberry Ice
  • Caffeine: 0mg
  • Special Ingredients: Betaine
  • Package Information: 345g
  • Serving: 11.5g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$0.73
  • Company Founded: 2018
  • Recommended by AthletesCorey BrooksPaula LeyesTrevor Bell

Closing off our list is Xtend’s sport BCAA supplement. While this is specifically a BCAA supplement, the inclusion of electrolytes make this a great intra-workout supplement as well.

Its hydration blend is on par with the best products on our list featuring solid amounts of magnesium, sodium, and potassium. There’s also coconut water powder in the formula, although it’s unclear how much it actually contains.

For amino acids, this product does only contain BCAAs, albeit at a solid dose of 7g total. However, there aren’t any additional EAAs.

XTEND Sport BCAA instagram
Photo by @mandyj_87

Finally, its active ingredients are certainly Xtend’s weakest point. While it does contain betaine, it is unclear how much is in each serving. Betaine’s included alongside several other ingredients in the “Electrolye blend”, so it’s impossible to say exactly how much it contains.

Like several other products on our list, Xtend only has 2 flavors to choose from, so there’s not much variety on offer here. This is one of the cheaper products on our list, at only ~$0.73 per serving. Finally, also like many products on our list, Xtend is formulated with several artificial sweeteners and dyes.

43 EXPERT SCORE

Xtend's Sport BCAA supplement provides hydration, solid BCAA content, and affordability, but lacks additional EAAs, precise active ingredient quantities, flavor variety, and contains artificial additives.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
Stimulation:0
Taste/Flavor:0
Nutrition Label Transparency:0
Value for Money:0

Positives:

  • Solid amount of BCAAs
  • Great hydration/electrolyte blend
  • Good price point

Could be better:

  • Unclear what the doses of betaine and coconut water powder are
  • Not too many active ingredients or EAAs

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What Is Intra-Workout and How Is It Different From Pre-workout?

If you’re familiar with pre-workout formulas, you may have noticed the products on our list are fairly similar to most pre-workouts. However, the two supplements differ in a few key areas. Here they are covered in more detail.

First, as the name implies, intra-workout supplements are meant to be taken during a workout, instead of before. They are primarily meant to give you a boost of hydration and energy to carry you through your workout.

While pre-workouts have a similar purpose, more emphasis is put on the energy/stimulation they give you instead of their hydrating properties. This means pre-workouts tend to be heavier on caffeine than intra-workout supplements.

However, some intra-workout supplements will contain some caffeine, although usually in much milder doses than pre-workout.

Through a combination of electrolytes, amino acids, and active ingredients (betaine, beta-alanine, l-citrulline, etc.) intra-workout supplements can help you maintain more energy and achieve a higher level of performance in the gym.

The main electrolytes the body needs are potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Pre-workouts typically will not put an emphasis on electrolytes, although there are some that contain a decent hydration blend.

If you want to focus on hydration with your intra-workout supplement, we recommend choosing a supplement with all 3 main electrolytes.

weightlifting training

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and although there are 20 in total, there are 9 the body can’t produce on its own. These need to be found through your diet, and are called essential amino acids (EAAs). Out of these 9, 3 are called Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs).

Vegans and vegetarians especially may struggle to get enough amino acids in their diet, so an intra-workout supplement can be a convenient way to get more in.

Being deficient in amino acids can seriously affect workout performance, so an amino acid rich intra-workout supplement may greatly benefit deficient athletes. While some pre-workouts are rich in BCAAs and EAAs, they are not as common as they are in intra-workout drinks.

Finally, additional active ingredients are things like beta-alaninel-citrulline, and betaine, which are all scientifically proven to improve exercise performance in one way or another. These are all some of the most common ingredients found in pre-workouts as well as intra-workout supplements.

Ultimately, pre-workouts and intra-workouts are very similar supplements. The main differences are when they are taken, their level of stimulation, and the core purpose of their formulas.

resistance bands workout

In What Situations Can Intra-Workouts Be Useful?

While intra-workouts may not be beneficial to everybody, there are certain situations where they can be especially useful. Here they are covered in more detail.

1. Long Workouts

Intra-workout supplements are likely best suited to especially long workouts. If someone’s in the gym or on the trail for more than 1 or 2 hours, an intra-workout supplement will likely make a huge difference. In these cases, it’s especially important to keep the body hydrated with plenty of electrolytes.

Also, during longer workouts, the body will have more time to maximize the use of ingredients like caffeine, l-citrulline, and betaine, which all take 15 minutes to an hour to have noticeable effects. Essentially, the longer a workout is, the more useful an intra-workout supplement will be.

2. Vegans/Vegetarians

The reason intra-workout supplements may especially benefit vegans and vegetarians is because of all the amino acids they contain. It is much easier to get BCAAs and other EAAs in through diet with animal products than plant-based foods. This means vegans and vegetarians are significantly more likely to be deficient in these nutrients.

If someone is deficient in amino acids, it can drastically affect performance in the gym. Therefore vegans and vegetarians who may be deficient in amino acids may seriously benefit from taking an intra-workout supplement rich in amino acids.

3. Fasted Workouts

Another reason somebody may be interested in taking an intra-workout supplement is if they workout fasted. Most intra-workout supplements on our list are under 10 calories, so they are suitable for most people on a fast.

People who participate in intermittent fasting may be at risk of developing an electrolyte deficiency, so taking an intra-workout supplement is a great way to prevent this. Also, the satisfaction of having a sweet, flavored beverage may help keep you feeling fuller for longer.

man dumbbells training

How to Choose the Best Intra-Workout Supplements?

There are several main factors you’ll want to consider before making a decision on what intra-workout supplement to buy. These include hydration/electrolytes, amino acids, and other additional ingredients. 

1. Hydration/Electrolytes

The first factor that goes into a good intra-workout supplement is how well it’s able to hydrate you during your workout. This primarily comes down to what its electrolyte content looks like. Ideally, an intra-workout supplement should contain the electrolytes sodium, magnesium, and potassium to maximize hydration.

Additional ingredients like coconut water powder contain high amounts of electrolytes, so they can be a great natural addition to maximize hydration as well.

2. Amino Acids

The second factor that goes into a great intra-workout is its amino acid content. This includes BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) as well as the 6 other EAAs (Essential Amino Acids). While many intra-workout supplements only contain BCAAs, there are plenty that include solid doses of the other 6 EAAs as well.

While amino acids can be found in many foods, it’s common for vegans and vegetarians to be deficient, so these ingredients may especially benefit those on plant-based diets. Vegans and vegetarians considering intra-workout supplements will likely want to prioritize a high amino acid content.

3. Additional Ingredients (Betaine, Beta-Alanine, L-Citrulline, Caffeine)

Finally, the last factor that goes into making a solid intra-workout formula is its additional active ingredients. The main ingredients you’ll want to look for here are betaine, beta-alanine, and l-citrulline. These are all scientifically-backed ingredients that should genuinely help your performance in the gym.

Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention caffeine here. With many of the intra-workout supplements on our list featuring mild doses of caffeine, the stimulant may provide you with the boost of energy you need to get through an especially challenging workout.

Whether or not you want caffeine in your intra-workout is ultimately a matter of personal preference.

athle training with hammer

What to Consider Before Buying Intra-Workout?

Before buying an intra-workout, there’s several factors you’ll want to consider, especially when comparing products. These include the value for your money, the taste of the drink, and the stimulation. 

1. Value for Money

One of the main things you’ll want to consider before buying a pre-workout is the value you’ll be getting for your money. This goes beyond simply comparing the price per serving of different products, but also considering what exactly you’re getting in each serving.

Consider how many electrolytes, amino acids, and active ingredients you’re getting for the price to determine whether or not it's worth the cost. By doing this, you can ensure you’re making an informed decision when you do buy a product. 

2. Taste/Flavor

With every product having its own unique taste, and each supplement having a long list of flavors to choose from, it can be difficult to make a decision based on taste alone. To see which products generally taste the best, we recommend taking a look at customer reviews to see what people are saying about the flavor.

While variety in flavors can be nice, it’s not always indicative of a high-quality or delicious supplement. Because taste comes down to a matter of personal preference, it may take some trial and error before you find a supplement you really love the taste of!

Training dumbbells squatting

3. Stimulation

Finally, one major factor you’ll want to consider is how much stimulation you want in your intra-workout supplement. Once again, this completely comes down to a matter of personal preference – some people will want a completely non-stim intra-workout, while others will want a good amount of stimulation.

Keep in mind that the caffeinated products on our list are all relatively mild, having just over 100mg of caffeine each. If you want more stimulation you may be better off opting for a pre-workout supplement instead, as they will tend to have more caffeine per serving.

FAQ

Are Intra-Workout Supplements Worth It?

It depends! The people who will likely benefit most from intra-workout supplements are those who have especially long workouts, vegans/vegetarians, and those who workout fasted. With that being said, anybody may experience benefits from intra-workout use because of boosted hydration, and science-backed active ingredients.

Is BCAA an Intra-Workout?

You can absolutely use a pure BCAA supplement as an intra-workout, just keep in mind you won’t be getting the benefits of added electrolytes or other active ingredients. With every product on our list featuring at least some BCAAs, you may be better off just buying a full intra-workout supplement over BCAAs for intra-workout use.

Is Apple Juice a Good Intra-Workout?

While the sugars in apple juice will likely give you a decent boost of energy, it lacks many of the advantages that an intra-workout supplement does. If you want a hit of intra-workout carbs during your workout, you could absolutely try mixing an intra-workout powder with juice to get the best of both worlds!

Conclusion

Intra-workout supplements are a great way to stay hydrated and maximize your performance in the gym. The main things you’ll want to look out for when making a decision are a product’s electrolyte content, amino acid content, and what active ingredients it contains.

If a product has solid amounts of these 3 things, it will likely make a major difference in your training. If you’re looking to try an intra-workout supplement, we recommend INTRA by Transparent Labs, but all the products on our list have their own advantages as well.

Let us know if you decide to try any of the products on our list. We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  1. Klaudia Szych "Effects of High Concentration Vivissential Amino Acids Sports Drink Ingestion on Performance in Trained Athletes" International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 2: Iss. 11, Article 98.
  2. Joaquín Pérez-Guisado "Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness" 2010 May; 24(5):1215-22
  3. Jenna Mae Apicella "The Effect of Betaine Supplementation on Performance and Muscle Mechanisms" University of Connecticut https://opencommons.uconn.edu /cgi/viewcontent.cgi ?article=1078& context=gs_theses
  4. Judy Germany "Essential Electrolytes" https://www.rush.edu/news/essential-electrolytes (accessed August 10, 2023)
  5. AIS "BRANCHED-CHAIN AMINO ACIDS (BCAA)"  https://www.ais.gov.au/ __data/assets/pdf_file/0013 /1000417/36182 _Supplements-fact-sheets_BCAA-v4.pdf
  6. Eric T Trexler "International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine" J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Jul 15;12:30
  7. Adam M Gonzalez "Effects of Citrulline Supplementation on Exercise Performance in Humans: A Review of the Current Literature" J Strength Cond Res. 2020 May;34(5):1480-1495
  8. Jay R Hoffman "Effect of betaine supplementation on power performance and fatigue" J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009; 6: 7.
  9. Nanci S Guest "International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance" J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2021 Jan 2;18(1):1
  10. Dr. Rachel Scherr "Nutrition & Health Info Sheets for Health Professionals - Intermittent Fasting" https://nutrition.ucdavis.edu /outreach/nutr-health-info-sheets/pro-intermittent-fasting (accessed August 10, 2023)
  11. Kacie Vavrek, MS, RD, CSSD "Is coconut water healthy?" https://wexnermedical.osu.edu /blog/is-coconut-water-healthy (accessed August 10, 2023)
  12. Monica Kinney "How does caffeine intake impact exercise?" https://chhs.source.colostate.edu /how-does-caffeine-intake-impact-exercise/  (accessed August 10, 2023)

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here

Oleksandr Maksymenko

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko
Certified Sports Nutritionist,
MSc Sports Dietetics

Experience: 7 years
Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist certified by the Fitness Professional Association (FPA). He follows the principles of evidence-based dietetics and fosters a healthy relationship with food in his clients, ensuring there are no strict prohibitions on their favorite foods or frequent lapses. His primary goal is not only to achieve results for you but also to sustain them over the long term, all while enjoying tasty and delicious food.

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