The benefits of pre- and post-workout supplements are well-known and you can probably rattle off your go-to products in a heartbeat. But what about the time when the damage is occurring: intra-workout?
Focusing on the way you fuel your body before and after your workout is critical, as it impacts your body’s ability to lose fat or gain muscle. The same can be said about what you take during your session. Many people may not even realize how they could benefit by taking the right supplements while exercising. Consider the fact that training is taxing your body, draining your energy stores and causing damage to your muscle fibers. 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.
If you’re ready to make the most of each workout and maximize your results, here are the five most important intra-workout supplements you should be including to optimally fuel your workout.
The building blocks of protein, amino acids are essential for our bodies. Of key interest to athletes, leucine, isoleucine, and valine has been found to account for more than 30% of muscle tissue. Intense training sessions break down muscle tissue and we repair this damage with proper nutrition. However, the ability to kick-start this process during the workout, keeping the body more anabolic during training, is a major advantage for those looking to add muscle to their frame. Additionally, for those looking to lose fat, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) can help you maintain lean mass as you enter a dieting phase.
The optimal breakdown of BCAAs is a 2:1:1 ratio, meaning there is two parts leucine for each part isoleucine and valine. Leucine is a key player in muscle protein synthesis, making it your best friend when building muscle is your goal. Isoleucine supports glucose uptake while valine supports protein synthesis, glucose transport, and even central nervous system stimulus.
While the amount of BCAAs you need varies from person to person based on lean muscle mass and physique goal, a standard dosage is 5 grams. Add 1 scoop of Kaged Muscle's BCAA to your water to stay anabolic as you train.
This naturally occurring amino acid plays a role in neurological and physical functions. It’s important for nutrient regulation, specifically water and salt—which are both lost at high levels as you sweat during training. If you’ve ever experienced a muscle cramp while training or soon after, it was likely due to an imbalance of these two factors. Additionally, taurine can assist with muscular contraction, helping you maximize the stress you put on your muscles during training.
Taurine has also been linked to improved mental focus. When taken during a workout, taurine can help give you a mental edge, allowing you to focus on the task at hand and delaying the psychological fatigue and stress that often comes with an intense gym session.
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 regulate nutrient levels in your muscles and keep your energy stable.
This non-essential amino acid helps increase blood and oxygen flow to working muscle tissue by boosting nitric oxide (NO) production. With more blood and oxygen flow, you’ll experience a greater pump due to the level of nutrients flooding the muscle. Citrulline has also been shown to increase the time to exhaustion by decreasing exercise fatigue and clears away the lactic acid that builds up in your muscle during training.
Add 1-2 scoops of Kaged Muscle’s Citrulline powder to your shaker. 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.
As your workout progresses, you’ll start sweating heavily which can lead to a fluid imbalance and the loss of vital nutrients from the body. Your sweat is comprised of many electrolytes including, but not limited to, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and taurine. The depletion of these nutrients can result in muscle cramps, spasms, and weakness and even dizziness. Maintaining the ideal balance of these nutrients throughout your workout means that you’ll be able to keep exercising longer and harder without negative side effects.
Kaged Muscle's Hydra-Charge contains key electrolytes and taurine. Consuming one scoop will deliver a healthy dose of these nutrients to keep your electrolytes in balance.
While you may be taking some caffeine pre-workout to kick-start your session, adding some caffeine intra-workout can help prolong this energy. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system which can result in an endurance boost to help you squeeze out a few more reps. Caffeine has been found to be most beneficial in large muscle groups with more motor units, such as quads or back. Its performance benefits are highest for endurance activities, or those long, intense training sessions.
Kaged Muscle’s Caffeine tabs are a convenient way to reap the benefits of caffeine. Each tab contains 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is a safe and effective dosage. Be aware that stimulants impact everyone differently; some may be highly sensitive to caffeine and experience jitters and an elevated heart rate. Be aware of other caffeine sources you take throughout the day such as coffee, tea, soda, and even chocolate.
If you want to keep your intra-workout concoction simple, consider using Kaged Muscle’s In-Kaged. This intra-workout supplement contains the majority of these important ingredients in one simple scoop.
This product is designed to help take your workouts to the next level and should be used by anyone who is serious about getting results from their training. 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.
A final factor to think about when approaching your intra-workout nutrition is digestion. While training, your blood is flowing to the muscle group being worked, meaning it’s diverted away from your gut. Including supplements during this time can possibly lead to feeling nauseous or bloated as your body is focused on the muscles rather than processing nutrients. Kaged Muscle relies on the purest forms of nutrients to allow for the easiest digestion. Also, make sure that you’re using ample water to mix your products thoroughly, as this can aid in how your body processes nutrients.
Now you know how intra-workout supplementation can benefit your training and help you reach your physique goals. This is another piece to the puzzle to ensure you’re providing your body with the nutrients it needs to perform optimally.