You’ve heard of pre-workout supplements, designed to give you energy and mental focus before hitting a training session. You’ve heard of post-workout supplements, designed to provide your body with the necessary fuel it needs to recover and build muscle after a grueling workout. And you’ve also probably heard of intra workout supplements, designed to be taken during the workout itself.
But perhaps you’ve asked yourself this question: Is an intra workout supplement really worth my money?
In this article, we will go over what an intra workout supplement is designed to do, its typical ingredients, and what to look out for. Then we will give you our top three picks of the best intra workout supplements on the market today.
- 1 Who Can Benefit from an Intra Workout Supplement?
- 2 How Does an Intra workout Supplement Help?
- 3 Q&A
- 4 The Top 3 Best Intra Workout Supplements
- 5 #3 MusclePharm Amino 1
- 6 #2 Scivation Xtend
- 7 #1 Cellucor COR-Performance Beta-BCAA
- 8 Honorable Mention #1 Gaspari Nutrition SizeOn Maximum Performance
- 9 Honorable Mention #2 Controlled Lab’s Purple Wraath
- 10 Comparison Table
Who Can Benefit from an Intra Workout Supplement?
To be honest, everyone who works out can benefit from intra workout supplemention. However, if you are a hardcore exerciser, and are constantly pushing your limits during every workout, then you will definitely benefit more from taking an intra workout supplement.
We recommend intra workout supplements for the following three types of workouts:
1. Hard endurance sessions:
We’re not talking about a leisurely jog on the treadmill here. If you like doing any form of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) exercises, or just hard cardio sessions that really push your heart rate then you will really benefit from an intra workout supplement. Most intra workout supplements contain BCAAs which are proven to increase endurance and time to fatigue. So if you find yourself grinding out hard intervals on the Concept2 Rower, Airdyne, or Ski Erg, you should consider getting an intra workout supplement.
2. Metabolic conditioning sessions:
Metabolic conditioning, or ‘metcons’ as they’re colloquially known, are what most people think of as Crossfit-style workouts. Usually, they are a combination of high-rep weight lifting exercises, bodyweight exercises, plus some cardio. Designed to be not just physically challenging but mentally challenging as well, a good intra workout supplement might just make the difference between making the leaderboard at your Crossfit box and the dreaded ‘DNF’ (did not finish).
3. Sports Training Sessions:
If you are playing a physically intense sport such as wrestling, for example, you can benefit from an intra workouts supplement. Staying fresh for longer will make it easier for you to learn the skills necessary to be successful in your sport.
In our opinion, intra workout supplements are not that necessary for activities that tend towards pure strength training. This is because strength training is CNS-intensive, meaning that it taxes the central nervous system. It is challenging to be sure, but it is not something that intra workout supplements can really help with.
Most strength training protocols also call for long rest times between sets so you will not see much benefit from using intra workout supplements. On a side note, many lifters like to use chocolate milk as a source of proteins and carbohydrates during long lifting sessions.
How Does an Intra workout Supplement Help?
Now that you know which types of training sessions would be most helped by an intra workout supplement, you want to know how does the supplement actually help? What is its mechanism of action? The three main ways that intra workout supplements help are as follows:
#1: Improve Workout by Reducing Fatigue and Muscle Soreness
Most intra workout supplements contain BCAAs, which stand for Branch Chained Amino Acids. BCAAs are the essential amino acids that cannot be produced from other amino acids. Thus, you have to get them through foods or supplements. The three BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. As a side note, leucine is also considered to be the amino acid most responsible for muscle growth and muscle building.
Multiple studies have proven the effectiveness of BCAAs in increasing the time to fatigue and reducing muscle soreness during exercise. All of these mean increased exercise capacity, improved recovery time, and a better workout. The benefits of BCAAs are well-researched which is why BCAAs are considered one of staple and proven supplements in an often questionable industry.
Of course, since amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue and are responsible for muscle protein synthesis, supplementation with them may help increase your lean muscle mass as well. However, this benefit is not intra workout dependent and thus any muscle building goals should not be a main factor when considering intra workout supplements.
Nevertheless, they will definitely help with the muscle breakdown effects of a hard workout and improve the subsequent muscle recovery. Finally, while some studies have shown a small fat loss effect of BCAAs, just like muscle building, this should not be a primary factor in taking BCAAs.
In addition to BCAAs, some intra workout supplements also include ingredients such as citrulline malate or beta-alanine. These work well together with BCAAs. Citrulline malate has been shown to increase endurance and enhance BCAA effectiveness by promoting aerobic energy production. Similarly, studies have shown that beta-alanine can improve performance in exercises lasting from one to four minutes.
#2: Improve Hydration
While reducing fatigue and improving muscle recovery is the primary (and most well-researched) benefit in consuming intra workout supplements, there are two other secondary benefits. The first secondary benefit is to provide a better level of hydration during the workout. The most common ways that intra workout supplements do this are through the use of electrolytes and/or coconut water.
While we’re sure you’ve heard of electrolytes before, you may not be aware of what they consist of. To summarize, electrolytes are fluids that can conduct electricity. In our bodies, electrolytes play a vital role in maintaining the fluid balance between the inside and the outside of the cell. Improper electrolyte balance can lead to dehydration which might lead to muscle weakness or cramping.
The seven major electrolytes in the human body are sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonate. Some intra workout supplements include their own electrolyte blend while others opt to use coconut water.
Coconut water has been quite popular of late, and it contains both carbohydrates and electrolytes. The research behind coconut water has shown mixed results. Some studies show coconut water to be just as good as a commercial sports drink when it comes to rehydration. However, some other studies show no difference compared to water.
#3: Provide a Source of Intra Workout Nutrition
This is where many intra workout supplements differ. Many intra workout supplements contain a significant amount of calories, while many others are almost zero calories. In this case, it really depends on your goals. For instance, you might feel better having a source of fast-acting carbohydrates in your intra workout for extra energy (think of how long distance runners use those glucose gel packs). This is known as peri-workout nutrition.
On the other hand, you might be the sort of person that prefers your stomach to be as empty as possible during the workout. In that case, a low or zero calorie intra workout supplement would be more ideal for you.
In addition to your subjective feelings, it would also depend on your goals. If your goal is weight loss or cutting, then you might choose the low-calorie option. On the other hand, if you are bulking or prioritizing gaining muscle mass, then you might prefer the option with both carbohydrates and protein.
As mentioned above, this is a secondary benefit of intra workout supplements and it does not apply to all of them. You may not even want this benefit depending on your goals.
What is intra workout nutrition?
Intra-Workout Supplements are supplements taken during a workout. They provide a boost of energy, additional endurance and improved power while you are training. Supplements are also designed to improve protein sympathies and support recovery after a workout.
As the term “intra” suggests, these are supplements taken during a workout. They provide a boost of energy, additional endurance and improved power while you are training. They are also designed to improve protein sympathies and support recovery after a workout.
The Top 3 Best Intra Workout Supplements
Now that we’ve gone over who can benefit the most from intra workout supplements as well as how they can benefit your workout, it’s time to take a look at our picks for the best intra workout supplements. Our selections below are some of the highest-rated and best intra workout supplements on the market right now.
That said, the list here is presented in no particular order, and some people might prefer one over the other for various reasons explained in each individual review below. Read through each review carefully to determine which one would be best suited for your own individual needs.
#3 MusclePharm Amino 1
First up is a MusclePharm product, which will come as no surprise to most athletes. MusclePharm supplements were designed for athletes by athletes and have been endorsed by many authorities in the field. Athletes from bodybuilders to swimmers to MMA fighters and football players have all endorsed MusclePharm products.
They have a few options when it comes to intra workout supplements but one of their best intra workout supplements is the Amino 1 blend. As you can tell from the name, this is an amino acid focused product. Let’s break this product down.
One serving size of MusclePharm Amino 1 Powder, Hydration and Recovery, Fruit Punch, 30 Servings is 14.2g.
Each serving of MusclePharm Amino 1 contains:
• 3g of BCAAs: Comprising 1.5g of leucine, 1g of valine, and 0.5g of isoleucine. This is a 3:2:1 ratio which is a bit atypical. The typical BCAA ratio is 2:1:1, but this focus on leucine isn’t a bad thing. Do note that isoleucine, the lowest quantity in this BCAA mix is primarily responsible for glucose consumption and uptake. At 3g of BCAAs, the BCAA concentration would be about 21%.
• 7g of other (non-essential) amino acids: This comprises 1g each of glutamine, alanine, glycine, and taurine plus 3g of arginine AKG. Glutamine is the primary nitrogen transporter into the muscles and can improve muscle protein synthesis. Alanine, which is different from beta-alanine, helps with glucose production which may be important for energy levels during exercise.
Glycine may be able to improve cognition and sleep quality while taurine, a popular ingredient in energy drinks can improve blood flow. Similarly, Arginine AKG can increase nitric oxide levels which will improve blood flow; beneficial for your workout. However, this effect has been shown to be rather weak and a little unreliable.
• 410mg of electrolytes and 200mg of coconut water: The electrolytes in this blend are disodium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, and magnesium oxide.
• 300mg of Vitamin C and 30mg of Vitamin B6: Some minor vitamins although it should be noted that while both these amounts seem small, they actually far exceed the recommended daily requirements. Many workout supplements like to include vitamin B6 from the reasoning that we lose vitamin B6 during exercise. Further, some research has shown that it can increase post-workout growth hormone while reducing prolactin levels (prolactin is the female hormone that reduces testosterone levels).
Vitamin C is, of course, the most common vitamin supplement and a good anti-oxidant. However many people don’t know that research has shown that vitamin C may actually decrease muscle soreness.
Calorie Content / Macronutrient Breakdown
Each serving of MusclePharm Amino 1 contains only 5 calories. These calories appear to be entirely incidental and come as a result of the primary ingredients above. This product is not designed to give you any macronutrient derived energy during your workout.
MusclePharm Amino 1 is available in five flavors: Cherry Limeade, Glacier Breeze, Orange Mango, Lemon Lime, and Fruit Punch. Like so many other drink mixes by this company, the Amino 1 blend tastes quite good. The flavors are just sweet enough without being overpowering and the powder mixes very well into warm or cold water. For the best taste, it is best to mix this blend with cold water. However, we should not that a minority of users found the taste overbearingly sweet.
The sweetness is provided by sucralose (Splenda) and acesulfame potassium. While both these items have been rated safe for human consumption by the FDA, we are aware that some people prefer to avoid them. Sucralose has been linked to migraine headaches while acesulfame potassium breaks down into acetoacetamide, a substance that is toxic in large doses. Animal studies have shown it to be safe, however, human studies are rare.
Other than the two above, citric acid and malic acid are also used as flavor enhancers. These are a little different from sucralose and acesulfame potassium because they are not sweeteners per se but used to give a tart, sour taste.
Value for Money
MusclePharm Amino 1 comes in a 30 serving packaging size. Based on the price from the official MusclePharm website, each serving will cost you exactly $1.00. This is a decent price and good value for money for what you get.
MusclePharm Amino 1 is a high-quality amino acid and hydration supplement that will definitely give your workout a boost. We want to stress that this is more of an ‘amino acid supplement’ compared to a ‘BCAA supplement’. While the product is 70% amino acids, only 30% of those amino acids are BCAAs. So if you are looking for a pure BCAA supplement, then MusclePharm Amino 1 might not be the right choice for you. But if you want a more generalized amino acid blend, then this product is right up your alley.
At only 5 calories per serving, consuming this product even on a daily basis won’t have any effect on your diet. That said, if your goal is bulking, then you may prefer a product which can give you more calories.
|Very high amount of amino acids||Relatively low BCAA content|
|Contains additional vitamins||Flavor might be overly sweet|
|Has electrolytes and coconut water|
#2 Scivation Xtend
Scivation was made famous by their supplement Xtend. This drink mix has been around for a decade now and continues to be one of the top choices as an intra workout drink. This brand is well-known for being one of the best when it comes to BCAA drinks and only uses quality ingredients. Every casual fitness enthusiast has most likely heard of Scivation Xtend.
Since the product has been around for so long, the product has gone through quite a number of different ingredients. However, while the packaging and flavors might have changed, the primary ingredients have remained essentially unchanged throughout the years. There are also a few different variants of Xtend, for this review we will be focusing on the flagship product which is also in our view, the best one.
Each serving size of Scivation Xtend is 15g.
Each serving of Scivation Xtend contains:
• 7g of BCAAs: Comprising 3.5g of leucine and 1,750mg each of valine and isoleucine. This is a 2:1:1 ratio which is the normal ratio found in most BCAA supplements. With 7g of BCAAs per serving, Scivation Xtend has a BCAA concentration level of about 47%.
• 2.5g of Glutamine: A common addition to BCAA supplements as glutamine is cheap and plentiful. It is also the most common amino acid (61% of amino acids in your muscle tissue are glutamine). While it does have some benefits, it would not benefit your workouts as much as BCAAs. Further, you probably already get enough glutamine from other sources. In addition to food, glutamine is also a common addition to whey protein supplements.
• 1g of citrulline malate: The research behind citrulline malate is almost as robust as that behind BCAAs. Its effects are well-proven and not in dispute. Scivation Xtend is one of the few BCAA supplements that use citrulline malate, and its addition is a large reason that the product is so popular in the first place.
• 1,190mg of electrolytes: The electrolytes used are trisodium citrate dehydrate, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride. This is quite a substantial amount of electrolytes and is another testament to the product’s quality.
• 640mcg of Vitamin B6: As mentioned above, a common addition to workout supplements. This is quite standard although the amount is far less compared to that in MusclePharm Amino 1. However we should note that the amount of Vitamin B6 contained in MusclePharm Amino 1 is 15x your daily requirements! So the amount of Vitamin B6 in Scivation Xtend, while far lesser, is quite adequate.
Calorie Content / Macronutrient Breakdown
Scivation Xtend is a zero calorie product with zero macronutrients.
Scivation Xtend is available in an astounding 15 different flavors. Talk about variety! Here are the flavors listed out: Pink Lemonade, Grape, Watermelon, Lemon Lime, Blood Orange, Pineapple, Fruit Punch, Blue Raspberry, Strawberry Kiwi, Green Apple, Mango, Tangerine, Margarita, Pina Colada, and unflavored. With such a wide variety, you’ll eventually find one that you like. But as the product has been around for so long, lots of user reviews are out there and many seem to enjoy Grape, Green Apple, and Watermelon the most.
The flavoring ingredients used in Scivation Xtend is exactly the same as those used in MusclePharm Amino 1: sucralose, acesulfame potassium, citric acid, and malic acid.
Value for Money
XTEND Original BCAA Powder Knockout Fruit Punch | Sugar Free Post Workout Muscle Recovery Drink with Amino Acids | 7g BCAAs for Men & Women | 30 Servings is available in packaging sizes of 30 servings or 90 servings. Using prices from the official Scivation website, the price per serving for a 30 serving package would be $1.13 and $0.78 for a 90 serving package. While the 30 serving package is a little expensive, the 90 serving package is fantastic value for money.
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Scivation Xtend might be the most popular BCAA intra workout supplement in the world, and it’s well deserved. This is quite simply put, one of the best if not the best BCAA supplement out there. You can use it pre-workout or intra workout. It has a high BCAA concentration, and the addition of citrulline malate is a bonus that makes a significant difference to your workout. Finally, the high amounts of electrolytes will also ensure optimal hydration throughout your workout.
And while effectiveness it what we are going after here, taste is also important. While taste isn’t everything, no one wants to suffer through a nasty tasting drink if they can help it. The huge range of Xtend flavors is excellent but what’s even more impressive is how each flavor seems to taste amazing. While some may find certain flavors to be a little too sweet or others have a tinge of a chemical taste, with so many flavors out there, you’ll find one you click with.
This powder is also easy to mix with cold water and is known for being gentle on the stomach. If BCAA supplements tend to cause you bloating or cramps, then Scivation Xtend is a great solution.
To conclude, this drink has really been around for a long time and continues to be popular amongst athletes of all types. It tastes amazing, is reasonably priced and actually does what it says it will, which is level up your workout, keep you in the gym longer, and help your body recover faster. We fully expect that Scivation Xtend will continue to be the standard that all other intra workout BCAA supplements are compared to for many years to come.
|High amount of BCAAs||Does not contain a broad range of amino acids|
|Contains citrulline malate|
|Good amount of electrolytes|
|Excellent value for money|
#1 Cellucor COR-Performance Beta-BCAA
Cellucor is an extremely well-respected brand, having earned awards such as Inc. 5000 Fasting Growing Private Companies, Bodybuilding.com‘s Award of Excellence and GNC’s Sports Nutrition Vendor of the Year. They are an innovative company that has produced some incredible supplements for athletes.
One of their most impressive intra workout supplements is their COR-Performance Beta-BCAA blend. This blend has been highly rated in many places on the web, and in our review below you will see why that is. While it is marketed as a pre-workout supplement, it works fantastic as an intra workout as well.
One serving of Cellucor, Beta BCAA, Endurance BCAAs, Watermelon, 30 Servings is 11.6g.
Each serving of Cellucor, Beta BCAA, Endurance BCAAs, Watermelon, 30 Servings contains:
• 5g of BCAAs: Comprising 2.5g of leucine and 1.25g each of valine and isoleucine. Again, this matches the typical 2:1:1 BCAA ratio. The BCAA concentration ratio for this product is 43%.
• 1.6g of Beta-Alanine: Beta-alanine is a common ingredient in pre-workout supplements, but it’s great for intra workout use as well. It’s a modified version of the amino acid alanine and its benefits are well proven by research. Beta-alanine has been shown to improve exercise performance, body composition, aerobic power, lactate thresholds, and reduces fatigue. However, you should be aware that beta-alanine has a minor side effect of paresthesia, which is a harmless tingling feeling.
• 3g of citrulline malate: As mentioned, citrulline malate is a well-proven and effective supplement. At 3g per serving, this is one of the highest amounts in any supplement we’ve seen, and this will make a huge boost to your workout.
• 44mg of electrolytes: Consisting of sodium chloride, sodium citrate, and potassium. At such a miniscule amount, it is clear that electrolytes are not the focus of this product.
Calorie Content / Macronutrient Breakdown
This product has zero calories and zero macronutrients.
Cellucor Beta-BCAA has three flavors: Cellucor, Beta BCAA, Endurance BCAAs, Tropical Splash, 30 Servings, Cellucor, Beta BCAA, Endurance BCAAs, Watermelon, 30 Servings, and Cellucor COR Performance BCAA Powder, Branched Chain Amino Acids with Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine, Cherry Limeade, 30 Servings. While flavor is always subjective, the flavor for this product is average at best. While the Tropical Splash and Watermelon flavor are ok, many users seem to dislike the Limeade flavor. Similar to Scivation Xtend and MusclePharm Amino 1, sucralose and acesulfame potassium are used as artificial sweeteners.
Value for Money
Cellucor Beta-BCAA is only available in a 30 serving packaging size. Based on prices from the official Cellucor website, each serving will cost you $1.00. For a combination of BCAAs, citrulline malate, and beta-alanine, this is in our view, great value for money.
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Cellucor Beta-BCAA is a potent intra workout supplement that goes just beyond basic BCAAs and amino acids. With a large amount of citrulline malate and beta-alanine, this product is really ideal for the fitness junkie always looking for that ‘something extra’. That said, while some people might enjoy this, some won’t. There are some people who don’t like citrulline malate or beta-alanine; in which case this product is not for them.
But if you are someone that really goes for short but brutal workouts and needs something that can keep up, COR-Performance Beta-BCAA is one to check out. All the ingredients in this product have proven exercise benefits; the company doesn’t bother adding in ingredients that may or may not help. That said, we note that there is a distinct lack of electrolytes in this blend, which may be a negative for some. This is most likely because this product is mostly marketed as a pre-workout supplement.
Overall, this is a potent intra workout supplement that is almost guaranteed to give you that extra boost you are looking for in your workout. Its effects are strong, so if that’s what you’re looking for, that’s what you’ll get.
|Will give a strong boost to your workout||Might be too potent for some|
|Contains both citrulline malate and beta-alanine||Lack of electrolytes|
|Great value for money|
While we are strong of the view that the three products above are the best intra workout supplements, the truth is that choosing them was a difficult choice. So we feel obligated to include two other honorable mentions to round out our list. Here they are.
Honorable Mention #1 Gaspari Nutrition SizeOn Maximum Performance
This is an interesting intra workout supplement that contains a blend of amino acids, creatine, protein, and carbs. As you can tell by the name of the product, if your goal is fat loss, this might not be the ideal intra workout supplement for you. But if muscle growth or muscle building is your goal, then you are who this product was designed for.
Gaspari Nutrition has been in the supplements industry for a long time now. Founded by ex-bodybuilding champion Rich Gaspari, the company is probably best known for their MyoFusion whey protein.
One serving of Gaspari Nutrition SizeOn Maximum Performance is a massive 68g. This is a very large amount and is about equivalent to two standard scoops of whey protein.
Unfortunately, Gaspari Nutrition does not break down the individual amounts of their ingredients at all. As such we cannot tell you how much of each ingredient (except for broad macronutrients) goes into each serving. This is a huge negative in our view and this lack of transparency is the main reason that this product did not make it into our top three list.
• Whey Protein and BCAAs: This consists of whey protein hydrolysate and BCAAs. The leucine content is 4g per serving; the only individual break down that Gaspari Nutrition provides. Whey protein hydrolysate is the purest form of whey protein, even above isolate, and is supposed to be more digestible and bioavailable. Based on the label, each serving has 7g of whey protein; not a very high amount.
Assuming the company follows the standard 2:1:1 BCAA ratio, this would amount of 2g of isoleucine and valine each, resulting in a total 8g of BCAAs. This is a decent amount, but again this is just speculation as the company did not provide a breakdown.
• Other Amino Acids: Comprises taurine, alanylglutamine, and magnesium glycyl glutamine. Taurine is a common ingredient in energy drinks that can improve blood flow. Alanylglutamine, is similar to glutamine and may have fatigue reduction effects. Magnesium glycyl glutamine is a stabilized form of glutamine, a common amino acid.
• 40g of Carbohydrates: Comprises four different carbohydrates: trehalose, dextrose, cyclic dextrin, and pterostilbene. Trehalose breaks down into simple glucose in the body while dextrose is a corn-based simple sugar that is chemically identical to glucose.
Cyclic dextrin is another quick acting carb that has been quite the rage in the supplement world today. Research has shown that it may reduce the rate of perceived exertion during exercise as well as the stress hormone response. It is also said to have better digestibility. Pterostilbene is sometimes referred to as a ‘better resveratrol’ (the beneficial compound found in red wine). It is said to aid in glucose metabolism but the research has shown the link to be weak at best.
• Creatine: Creatine is one of the most well-studied supplements out there and its benefits are scientifically proven. It will increase your power output and help your athletic performance. If you are doing any kind of strength training at all, creatine will help you. The most common form is creatine monohydrate.
This product contains three different types of creatine: creatine monohydrate, magnesium creatine chelate, and disodium creatine phosphate. There is no real evidence to show any benefits of the other forms of creatine over creatine monohydrate, although it may result in lower water weight gain.
While creatine is a great supplement, you should know that there is no benefit to taking it as an intra-workout supplement. It takes time to build up creatine in your muscles; so while there is no downside to having it in an intra workout supplement, it’s not specifically ‘intra-workout’ either. Further, we have no idea exactly how much creatine is in one serving of SizeOn.
• Electrolytes: Consisting of sodium glycerophosphate, calcium glycerophosphate, and potassium glycerophosphate.
Calorie Content / Macronutrient Breakdown
This product has 190 calories with 7g of protein, 40g of carbohydrates, and zero fat per serving.
SizeOn is available in four flavors: Arctic Lemon Ice, Grape Cooler, Orange Cooler, Wild Berry Punch. The consensus is that the flavors are all generally quite tasty, but Arctic Lemon Ice seems to be the best loved. Just like the rest of the products, the sweetness and flavors are provided by sucralose, acesulfame potassium, citric acid, and malic acid.
Value for Money
SizeOn only comes in one packaging size: 24 servings. Using prices from their official website, each serving will cost you $3.33. This is of course, very expensive; more than triple the other products on this list.
This will be a barrier for many people, however, keep in mind that SizeOn is more than a simple intra-workout supplement, it covers peri-workout nutrition, plus additional benefits such as creatine. However, because Gaspari Nutrition does not provide the breakdown of ingredients, it’s hard to determine its value for money.
Gaspari Nutrition - SizeOn - The Ultimate Hybrid Intra-Workout Amino Acid & Creatine Formula, Increased Muscle Volume & Muscle Recovery - 3.59 Pound (Lemon Ice) is a beast of a supplement. More than just a simple intra-workout nutrition, Gaspari Nutrition gives you the standard BCAAs and amino acids but also throws in protein, carbohydrates, and creatine to boot.
Whether or not you feel this product is worth your money would likely depend on your goals. If you are looking to put on some muscle size, i.e. bulking, then this product may be worth its premium. With such a high amount of carbohydrates per serving, those who have fat loss goals would be better off not using this product. If you aren’t that concerned about your weight but you have seriously long and tough training sessions, then this product may also give you the intra-workout nutrition that you need.
We again have to highlight how much we dislike that Gaspari Nutrition for not providing the detailed breakdown of the amount of each ingredient. They don’t even provide the amounts of each individual blend! In our view this is a huge negative and in the modern era of transparency, almost inexcusable. That said, most users of this product, while not too happy about its high price point, report that the product delivers on its promises of better workout performance while adding size and strength.
|More than just an intra-workout supplement||Very expensive|
|Good peri-workout nutrition||Does not provide individual breakdown of ingredients|
|Will help with those looking to gain size|
Honorable Mention #2 Controlled Lab’s Purple Wraath
Purple Wraath by Controlled Labs, BCAA and EAA Amino Acid Supplement, 45 or 90 Servings with Endurance Blend Intra Workout Powder, Optimal Endurance, Focus, and Stamina (Lemonade, 90 Servings) is another very popular choice for intra workout supplements. It’s been around for quite a number of years now and is consistently rated as one of the best intra workout supplements around. This is an endurance-focused product; as you will see by its ingredients, if your training sessions have a strong endurance component, then Purple Wraath may be what you are looking for.
Each serving of Purple Wraath is 12.8g.
While Purple Wraath does provide a broad breakdown of the quantity of each of the ingredients that go into each serving, it is not very specific. Again, this hampers the effectiveness of such reviews and is also a big reason why we have put it in the honorable mention category instead of our top three list.
• 7g of BCAAs and amino acids: In addition to the three BCAAs, Purple Wraath also contains lysine, arginine, histidine, threonine, methionine, and phenylalanine. While lysine is an essential amino acid, it does not seem to have much usefulness as a supplement. Arginine is useful because it boosts the production of nitric oxide which can improve blood flow. Histidine is metabolized into histamine, an important neurotransmitter which can protect against exercise-induced exhaustion.
Threonine is a common amino acid found in eggs and milk although little research has been conducted surrounding its benefits as a supplement. Similarly, both methionine and phenylalanine, while beneficial in general have not been backed up by research as endurance-boosting supplements.
• 2.7g of an endurance complex: The endurance complex in Purple Wraath comprises beta-alanine, citrulline malate, betaine anhydrous, ginger root powder, and norvaline. We’ve already gone over the benefits of the first two, and these are great ingredients. Betaine anhydrous, also known as trimethylglycine, is a component of beetroot, however, the research has not shown any significant endurance-boosting effects.
Ginger is a very beneficial ingredient, but in terms of improving your workout, the only benefit may be nausea reduction. Finally, norvaline is a derivative of the amino acid valine, but in addition to the usual benefits of valine, may also increase nitric oxide production.
• 67mg of electrolytes: A very minor amount, consisting solely of potassium citrate.
Calorie Content / Macronutrient Breakdown
Purple Wraath is a zero calories supplement and hence has zero macronutrients.
Purple Wraath is currently available in three flavors: Purple Wraath, Juicy Grape, 2.39 lbs (1084 g) by Controlled Labs, Purple Wraath by Controlled Labs, BCAA and EAA Amino Acid Supplement, 45 or 90 Servings with Endurance Blend Intra Workout Powder, Optimal Endurance, Focus, and Stamina (Lemonade, 90 Servings), and Controlled Labs Purple Wraath, Cotton Candy, 534 Gram. The flavors are rated as overall ok; nothing bad but nothing to shout about either. The most liked flavor is Grape, which is also the original flavor and fits well with the name of the product.
Similar to all the products on this list, Purple Wraath uses sucralose, acesulfame potassium, and malic acid for flavoring. In addition, it also uses bilberry fruit extract which is said to have some positive benefits for eyesight.
Value for Money
Purple Wraath comes in packaging sizes of 45 or 90 servings. Using prices from its official website, each serving of Purple Wraath will cost you either $1.16 or $1.56 depending on the packaging size. While this is not expensive, it is also pricier compared to our top three list; another reason why Purple Wraath didn’t make the cut.
Purple Wraath by Controlled Labs, BCAA and EAA Amino Acid Supplement, 45 or 90 Servings with Endurance Blend Intra Workout Powder, Optimal Endurance, Focus, and Stamina (Lemonade, 90 Servings) is a great intra workout supplement for those looking for that extra endurance boost in their training sessions. It contains all the main ingredients necessary for this: BCAAs, beta-alanine, and citrulline malate. However, because the manufacturer does not provide the exact breakdown of how much of each ingredient goes into the product, it is hard for us to give a full accounting of its efficacy.
That said, while many of the ingredients are great, there are also quite a few that while beneficial for overall health, do little to improve a workout. But we do like that a few of the ingredients are known for boosting nitric oxide, which when combined with the beta-alanine, will probably result in a good energy booster without the stimulatory effects of caffeine.
|Strong endurance-boosting effects||A bit pricey|
|Nitric oxide increase can have a non-stimulant energy increase||Does not provide a detailed breakdown of ingredients|
Health enthusiast, runner, protein nut. Owen likes to write about protein, particularly alternatve supplementation and supplement comparisons.