Most people have never heard of, let alone tried one of the best intra-workout supplements for themselves. We hope you’re not most people, which is why you’re here.
Intra-workouts are a modern trend of supplements that give you the fuel during your workout, as opposed to beforehand or post workouts. They can mean a difference between performing at your best and reaching a new personal record, and just another routine day at the gym.
Want to learn more? Jump to: Intra-Workout Supplement Guide
We ranked and reviewed the top intra-workouts for you:
We realize not everyone has the time to scour the web for these type of things. Which is why we dedicate a good amount of our resources to doing this for you. Below we’ve gone ahead and analyze the top ten rated intra-workouts in the industry. Check it out for yourself and let us know if we missed your favorite one.
Related: 10 Best Creatine Supplements & How to Use Them
This is our official list of the best intra workout supplements you can find on the market today.
- 10 Grams of Amino Acids Per Serving
- Electrolyte Hydration System with Coconut Water Concentrate
- Rebuilds Muscle While Increasing Endurance
- Decreases Recovery Time
- 5 Fruit-inspired Flavors Including Pineapple Mango and Cherry Limeade
MusclePharm is an industry leader that sells a wide-variety of supplements, and Amino 1 is designed to go above and beyond as a rejuvenating intra workout. Not only does it contain 10 grams of amino acids in every serving, but Amino 1 focuses on muscle building, re-hydration, and helping you to recover faster.
With five separate flavors ranging from Orange Mango to Lemon Lime, finding at least one that fits your tastes shouldn’t be an issue. It even uses coconut water as a source of hydration, which will be appealing to naturalists and vegetarians.
Who Makes It?
Few companies have as many products on the supplements shelf as MusclePharm. From post-workout to recovery, fat burning to creatine, MusclePharm has innovative products for all types of athletes. Completely up to date with the times, their website has connections for Twitter, Facebook, and even Instagram, as well as info for company events and affiliates. Check out their sales page to see which supplements are on special.
Amino 1 by MusclePharm is ahead of the power curve when it comes to intra workout supplements, because they not only cover the basics, but absorb fast and leave you more hydrated as well. Since most supplements dehydrate you, the extra electrolytes are a welcome bonus.
- Increases Protein Synthesis
- Enhances Muscle Volume
- Quickens Recovery due to Natural Anabolic Agents
- Contains Amino Acids including BCAA’s
- Two Flavors: Fruit Punch and Watermelon
With a proprietary blend that consists of six ingredients, Splyce is meant to give you and your muscles a mid-workout boost. It enhances muscle growth with amino acids ranging from Taurine to L-Valine, and contains anabolic agents that aid recovery.
Driven Sports went all in on fruity flavors, so hopefully you enjoy fruit punch or watermelon for your intra workout blend. Sample packs are available, and are an easy way to see if Splyce is right for you before investing in a full tub. The label for Splyce recommends taking it practically any time, including during and after workouts, or between meals to enhance muscle synthesis.
Who Makes It?
Spending the last few years recovering from their forced recall of Craze, Driven Sports remains a titan in the supplement industry, offering products ranging from Super Stim, long lasting energy booster, to Triazole, which halts the production of estrogen in the body with herbal ingredients.
Not only did they hang strong in the market with tough competitors, but Driven Sports even offers a second version of their infamous Craze product, this one presumably free of banned substances. Either way, the tenacity of Driven Sports to continue to thrive and innovate is impressive, and Splyce hits all the marks as an effective intra-workout supplement for muscle growth.
With a shotgun blast of potent amino acids, Splyce by Driven Sports has the essential components for improving muscle synthesis, and growing muscle a lot more rapidly than you would without it. Since samples are available, you can try Splyce for just $7.99-$34.99, so this is one of the most affordable solutions for anyone looking to build serious muscle.
- Promotes Muscle Repair
- Speeds Muscular Recovery
- Potent Ratio of BCAA’s like Leucine and Valine
- Electrolytes Help you Stay Hydrated
- Aminoshield Reduces Protein Breakdown
Aminolyte by Beast Sports Nutrition contains a potent list of amino acids, but the bigger difference lies in how they’re arranged. The 5:1:4 ratio touted by Aminolyte pertains to their ratio of leucine, valine, and isoleucine. The functions of each amino acid were analyzed and combined in such a way to facilitate the best possible rate of absorption for your muscles.
Also notable is that Aminolyte is designed not to cause bloating, because it contains enough electrolytes to keep your hydration at healthy levels, although replenishing fluids is recommended after each workout. Their Aminoshield blend is made to keep you from losing proteins that are vital to muscle growth.
Who Makes It?
Beast is a maker of premium supplements of all types, and they’re much more known for award-winning, top-quality products rather than affordability. A quick glance at the price will confirm that Beast is more expensive than most, but a quick glance at most of their labels will display the awards they’ve won, which in the case of Aminolytes, is a 2014 Nomination for Supplement of the Year by Bodybuilding.com. Fortunately, Beast offers free samples of their popular supplements directly from their official site.
Beast is a well-established brand that has multiple supplements which have been nominated for awards from other websites. Their intra-workout blend, Aminolyte is among them, and has the potent amino acids, electrolytes, and recovery agents necessary to take your workout to the next level.
- Caffeine-free Intra-workout Supplement
- 9 Different BCAA’s
- Citruline Malate to boost energy and reduce lactic acid
- Free of Dextrose and Malodextrin
- Stimulates Metabolism without Caffeine
Aside from a few vitamins, including 500% of your daily dose of B6, the power of Purple Wraath is in its two proprietary blends. The first of these proprietary blends is the PurplEAA Complex, which is the muscle building portion of Purple Wraath, because it includes a whopping 7,000 mg total of nine different amino acids.
While that would be sufficient for an intra-workout supplement in itself, Purple Wraath also uses a PurplEndurance Complex which contains 2,700 mg worth of five ingredients that boost endurance. Arguably the most important ingredient in the second blend is CarnoSyn Beta-Alanine, which is a highly-effective form of an amino acid that helps muscles last longer.
Who Makes It?
Controlled Labs is a company that manufactures a wide range of supplements and apparel for serious athletes. Their site provides tons of information on their fitness advice, products, and policies, and even has an elaborate chart for those who prefer to use stacking to optimize multiple supplements.
As an intra-workout that increases muscle growth and replenishes electrolytes, Purple Wraath by Controlled Labs is a phenomenal supplement. With 7,000 mg and nine amino acids in their first blend, and a second blend that’s loaded with useful ingredients as well, there are a lot of strong reasons to take a chance on Purple Wraath, especially for those who prefer a caffeine-free supplement.
- Vitamin B6 Plus BioPerine
- Increases Muscle Recovery
- Assists in Fat Burning
- Citruline Malate and Norvalene Improve Blood Flow
- Designed for Quick Solubility
RSP Nutrition ReGen sets itself apart from the other intra-workouts because it contains ingredients that specifically focus on absorption, such as BioPerine. Regarding the muscle building amino acids, ReGen focuses on the trifecta of Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine.
ReGen also has the hydration aspects covered with plenty of electrolytes, so while competent in each of the crucial aspects of a good intra-workout blend, it really excels in bioavailability.
Who Makes It?
From proteins and creatine, to pre-workouts and post-workouts, RSP Nutrition has you covered for all things nutrition. If you think you’ve got the goods, you can try to be part of their Team RSP Elite section, which is loaded with photo profiles of insanely fit people.
While often overlooked, bioavailability is an important part of an effective fat burner, because it ensures that the important ingredients hit you hard and fast, rather than being left behind among a slew of others.
This focus on absorption, combined with a solid dose of critical amino acids, makes ReGen by RSP Nutrition one of the most unique and effective intra-workout supplements on the market. Also notable is that along with flavors like pomegranate and lemon-lime, unflavored is also an option, which means ReGen blends easily with your favorite beverages.
- Micronized BCAA’s Absorb Quickly
- Halts Muscle Breakdown
- Improves Recovery Time
- Includes HICA, the Anabolic Catalyst
- Available in 9 Flavors
A very straight-forward supplement with lots of amino acids and no proprietary blends, Anabolic State is a muscle enhancing product from Nutrabolics. A few aspects make this product unique compared to other intra-workout supplements, most notably, the addition of HICA.
Research has shown that those who took alpha hydroxyisocaprioc acid (HICA) instead of a placebo experienced triple the muscle growth, so it’s clearly a powerful component for an intra-workout supplement. Another aspect that sets Anabolic State apart from others on the shelf is the large variety of flavors.
Not only are there nine different flavor options, but they include interesting creations like Peach Mango and Pink Lemonade.
Who Makes It?
Nutrabolics is a Canadian company that takes pride in innovation, and in 14 years in the supplement industry, their products are available internationally in over 50 countries. While all supplement companies must commit to innovation to stay relevant, Nutrabolics has a cutting edge perspective that shows that they prioritize research, top-notch ingredients, and the needs of the new generation.
From 10 grams of premium amino acids, to bold choices like the inclusion of HICA, Anabolic State is an innovative blend from industry leaders in Canada, Nutrabolics. Anabolic State is also available in more flavors than most, and the labeling is honest, with nothing hidden in proprietary blends.
- COPMAX Pushes Muscles to the Max
- Micro-dried Blueberry Powder Absorbs Free Radicals
- CARNOSYN Encourages Endurance
- Coconut Water Enhances Hydration
- Five Flavors Including Blue Raspberry and Mango Pineapple
Rich Paina 5% Nutrition ALLDAYYOUMAY packs a massive list of ingredients into an astonishing six proprietary blends in every serving. These proprietary blends include a BCAA Blend, Essential Amino Acid Blend, and even a Joint Support Blend, and each blend lists the multiple ingredients that comprise it.
This product contains many uncommon ingredients such as micro-dried blueberry powder, which serves to absorb free radicals to help protect muscular tissue while assisting in recovery, as well as vitamin C which is not only an immune system booster, but is also a powerful anti-oxidant.
Even more interesting is that ALLDAYYOUMAY contains COPMAX (Creatinol-O-Phosphate), an ingredient that keeps your pH levels from dropping, thereby helping your muscles to last longer.
Who Makes It?
With catchy product names and a beastly figurehead that looks like he’s worked out since weights were invented, Rich Piana approaches the supplement industry with a bold proclamation: Supplements should never take the place of a meal. With that philosophy in mind, Rich Piana 5% Nutrition produces a variety of fitness products, ranging from apparel to organ defenders.
If your fitness ambitions are noteworthy, Piana invites you to peruse profiles of the Sponsored 5% Team, and even offers a guide of how you can end up sponsored by Rich Piana 5% Nutrition.
Rick Piana’s 5% ALLDAYYOUMAY is stacked with more ingredients than just about anything else out there. Six proprietary blends that are loaded with potent ingredients, including at least ten amino acids, means ALLDAYYOUMAY packs a real punch, and stands a legitimate chance of being the most effective intra-workout available in 2017.
- Beta-alanine to Improve Performance
- HICA is an Amino Acid that Builds Lean Mass
- Four Heavily-dosed Ingredients
- Produces Notable Tingling Sensation
- Three Flavors: Tropical Punch, Watermelon, Lemon Lime
The most immediate things that set Cellucor COR-Performance Beta-BCAA apart are the facts that it is stimulant free and only consists of four active ingredients. While other intra-workouts try to accomplish a lot of different functions with a wide range of ingredients, this product goes all in on four potent amino acids.
With so few ingredients, the doses are strong, so much so that it’s common to feel a tingling feeling after ingesting Cellucor COR-Performance Beta-BCAA.
Who Makes It?
Cellucor offers supplements for every occasion, from when you need a testosterone boost to pre and post workout. Additionally, their site offers various tools and media to inspire people into fitness. Among the most notable of these articles is one by Army Green Beret and Seattle Seahawk, Nate Boyer, in which he shares his experience of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
If your primary strategy is muscle growth and you prefer it without stimulants, then this simple supplement with four, heavily dosed amino acids is an ideal option. Since it focuses on just those four ingredients, COR-Performance is also highly-stackable, so consider mixing it with other supplements for optimal effect.
- Accelerates Protein Synthesis and Muscle Recovery
- Pterostilbene Assists in Bulking Up
- Begins Muscle Recovery During Training
- Four Unique Flavors
- 180 Calories per Scoop
Gaspari Nutrition SizeOn Maximum Performance has a few distinguishing traits. The three biggest differences are that it’s absolutely packed with ingredients, much more expensive than other intra-workouts, and contains a patent-pending insulin-related ingredient called Pterostilbene.
The sheer amount of ingredients in SizeOn is astounding, with large amounts of most vitamins and minerals, in addition to five highly-potent proprietary blends that each have a different focus. In addition to the typical benefits you’d expect from an intra-workout supplement, you can expect a whole lot more from SizeOn, including some aspects you won’t find anywhere else.
For example, the Insulinotropic power of Pterostilbene, and the inclusion of LOLA which cuts down on ammonia, are but two of the revolutionary features of Gaspari Nutrition SizeOn Maximum Performance.
Who Makes It?
Gaspari Nutrition was named for its founder, experienced bodybuilder, Rich Gaspari. With over 30 years in the bodybuilding industry, Rich Gaspari founded the company in 1998 with purity, quality, and potency as primary guidelines. Anybody who is active duty or retired military will get to order from their Military Depot for a hefty discount.
The price tag is notably higher for SizeOn by Gaspari Nutrition, but make no mistake: There are no other products that can do what SizeOn can do. From the use of LOLA to optimize ammonium levels, to the vast array of amino acids included in each scoop, SizeOn is a highly-innovative intra-workout supplement that is genuinely different than any other. To those who are dedicated to hardcore muscle growth, the $3 per serving price they ask may be worthwhile.
- 7 grams of BCAAs
- Improves Recovery Time
- Boosts Intensity and Endurance
- Endurance Sustaining Carbohydrates
- Three Flavors Including Green Apple Explosion
Xtend Endurance was specifically created by Scivation with endurance athletes in mind. Combining BCAAs for muscles, glutamine for recovery, electrolytes for hydration, and an innovative blend that aids recovery, Xtend Endurance does a lot to boost your performance.
One refreshing note is that the amino acids are listed directly, and the only proprietary blend is an electrolyte blend, consisting of three ingredients meant to replenish vital fluids. Otherwise, seven grams worth of BCAAs ranging from L-Leucine to L-Valine, are included to give your muscles a no-nonsense boost causing them to last longer.
Who Makes It?
Scivation’s tagline is “Better bodies through science and innovation”, and they have the products to back it up. Their “About Us” statement is probably the most thoroughly written one in the industry, and shows that they are thoroughly dedicated to backing their supplements up through science and valid research.
Xtend Endurance includes generous doses of the key amino acids found in most intra-workout supplements, and combines them with an electrolyte blend that ensures you stay well-hydrated. Then a Triplex Carb Blend adds an innovative twist, producing a 100 calorie intra-workout scoop that hits harder than most others. With so many great products on the list, it’s hard to beat Scivation if you prioritize innovative, scientifically-backed ingredients.
Back to Top
Much like pre-workouts and fat burners, intra-workout supplements contain a massive variety of ingredients that focus on improving performance. This means that products can be highly-effective, but for different people, or that they might accomplish a similar goal through different approaches.
Ultimately, the keys to a typical intra-workout will include a protein boost, increase in energy, and something to help recovery. Within those general guidelines for an intra-workout, products will vary greatly in price, labeling, ingredients, and key advantages.
Many of them pack a serious punch, and use ingredients that are scientifically proven to make a real impact on your muscle growth and recovery. While perusing the many high-quality intra-workout supplements on the list, keeping your own athletic goals in mind will make it easier to find a blend that’s optimal for you.
What Are Intra-Workout Supplements?
Although supplements like fat burners and creatine boosters may be more popular overall, intra-workout supplements are designed to give your muscles a significant advantage, during or after your workouts.
Exactly what that advantage is will vary from product to product, but the most typical benefits of an intra-workout include muscle endurance, hydration, recovery, and lots of amino acids. Branched chain amino acids are a key part of just about all intra-workout supplements, and it’s fairly common for intra-workout supplements to contain 7-10 grams of BCAAs.
What Do They Do?
Since intra-workout supplements can contain dozens of ingredients that each serve a purpose, functions of the finished blends can vary greatly. That said, there is definitely a set of common standards among high-quality intra-workout products, and while not every intra-workout blend will contain all of these advantages, most of them will. As you read through these common functions of a typical intra-workout supplement, each of the functions will be recognizable among the top ten products.
If muscle building is a priority for you, then BCAAs are very likely the answer. Branched-chain amino acids are a hot topic among athletes around the world, and the vast majority of intra-workout blends contain them, often in large quantities.
The most popular trifecta you’ll see is Leucine, Isoleucine, and valine, and if you want to get deeper into the topic of BCAAs, you’ll find that different brands present those in different ratios. Whether you choose to explore the chemistry of BCAAs or not, it’s important to know that they are used by the world’s most active athletes to improve muscle growth and performance.
Another key job of just about every intra-workout blend is to assist in the recovery process. This is done by including substances like glutamine which are proven to help muscles repair more quickly, and endure longer before fatigue. While the BCAAs also contribute heavily to muscle repair and recovery, different brands present unique blends and approaches that promote quicker recovery.
The intra-workouts on this list are exclusively in powder form, and some contain electrolytes to aid hydration. Any athlete knows that staying well hydrated can mean the difference between success and failure, so finding an intra-workout that focuses on keeping your fluids working in your favor can be a huge advantage. For example, MusclePharm Amino 1 uses coconut water to maintain hydration, while other products have slightly differing approaches.
Who Can Benefit from Intra-Workouts?
The number one function of intra-workout supplements is muscle boosting, and this is evidenced by the BCAAs that most intra-workout blends are packed with. This means that athletes who are actively trying to grow their muscles will get the most value from an intra-workout product, because many intra-workout supplements have as many as ten grams of amino acids per scoop.
The secondary group who will get the most value from intra-workouts are endurance athletes. Aside from muscle growth, the other major functions of intra-workout blends all pertain to resisting fatigue, lasting longer, and keeping hydrated. These are immensely beneficial for all types of endurance athletes, including runners, rowers, and those who endure long days of training or competition.
Finally, less hardcore athletes can also see significant benefits from the right intra-workout supplement, because it helps with mandatory, healthy processes like hydration and recovery, while also increasing the gains earned from your workout.
Knowing Your Own Fitness Priorities
The only way to find products that can help you accomplish your fitness goals is to know exactly what those goals are first. Even if a product is highly rated, has won prestigious awards, or is available for a good price, if it does not align with your personal fitness goals, then it’s not going to have value for you.
For instance, if general weight loss and cardio are your highest priorities, then an intra-workout with tons of amino acids is not the ideal supplement for you. In such a case, a fat burner like Jet Fuel or Instant Knockout may be a better fit for your personal needs.
The main thing to take away from this is that the supplement world is not simply black or white, with one product being superior to the others, but rather there are many high-quality ingredients that can help you to varying degrees. Research can narrow down the search to products that are most likely helpful, but only through seeing their effects on your body first hand can you find the optimal supplement.
Unique Extras That Set Products Apart
Although the many intra-workouts on the shelf share the general goal of enhancing muscles and recovery, there are an ever-increasing number of approaches to making it happen.
Differentiation is a major strategy in business, and it’s alive and well in the supplements industry, where various brands will strive to get the hottest new ingredient or the rarest substances that no one else has. Following are a few of the most notable or innovative ingredients that set apart some of the intra-workouts.
Although HICA is seen in very few substances among the top ten, it is proven by research to increase lean muscle mass. As detailed in this article from Iron Man magazine, HICA showed significant improvements versus a placebo when given to soccer players. If you’re taking this form of HICA, you’re one of the few athletes in the world to be reaping the benefits of this form of the substance. One example of an intra-workout supplement that utilizes HICA is one called Anabolic State by the Canadian company, Nutrabolics.
An amino acid that occurs in foods like watermelon, citruline malate is used in some intra-workout supplements, and with good reason. Even WebMD gives it credit for helping prevent muscle fatigue and improving performance, among numerous other medical benefits. One example of an intra-workout blend that makes use of citruline malate is Purple Wraath by Controlled Labs.
Carnosyn is useful because it provides a sustained-release form of beta-alanine. Carnosyn has been researched in 55 different studies, and its athletic benefits have been used by rowers, bodybuilders, and athletes of all kinds. Among the advantages of Carnosyn are increased muscle strength and endurance, so if you see Carnosyn in your intra-workout, know that it’s a powerful ingredient in its own right.
How to Pick a Good One
Due to the wide range of functions done by intra-workouts, and the versatility regarding when you can take them, intra-workouts have a lot of value compared to other categories of supplements.
For example, it would be expensive to buy individual supplements that are loaded with BCAAs, rehydrate you with electrolytes, provide an energy boost via stimulants, and also help you to recover faster, but many intra-workout supplements do all of these things in each scoop.
Considering that a lot of brands can be purchased for around $1 per dose, those who are serious about enhancing their muscle and fitness levels can benefit greatly from the right intra-workout supplement.
Qualities to Look for in the Best Intra-Workouts
The most common thing you’ll see on this list of the top ten intra-workouts is a lot of amino acids, especially the often included combo of leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Other commonalities seen on most labels in this list are hydrating elements, recovery agents, and stimulants like caffeine or taurine.
Also notable is that all of these supplements are in powder form, and will offer a variety of 3-9 fruit inspired flavors. With few exceptions, price is fairly similar among the top intra-workout blends, and only certain brands will be noticeably more expensive.
Finally, dosing instructions are, for the most part, very similar among these intra-workouts, with most of them recommending one scoop mixed with water during or after your workout.
Differences in Our Top Ten Intra-Workout Supplements
Although each product on this list is categorized as an intra-workout supplement, you’ll find serious differences in their functions, claims, and methods. While the above commonalities are true, the ingredients and science used to achieve those goals is wildly different among different products.
This difference is compounded by the fact that each of the brands want to set themselves apart, so there is serious value in being different. For example, Cellucor COR Performance Beta is a simple blend that focuses exclusively on heavy doses of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). On the other hand, Rich Piana 5% Nutrition ALLDAYYOUMAY is a beast of an intra-workout supplement that contains six blends and 18 active ingredients.
The vast differences between products can almost justify another category, but the fact that they all give significant boosts to muscle, hydration, and recovery is what makes them intra-workout supplements. Therefore, the best way to view the list of the top intra-workout supplements of 2017 is by noticing the commonalities and differences, and applying each to your own personal fitness goals.
Here are some helpful sources for picking a good intra workout supplement.
Bodybuilding.com – Best Intra Workouts
Top10supplements.com – 10 Best Intra Workout Supplements
Examine.com – Supplements examined
Difference Between Pre and Intra-Workouts
Although pre-workout and post-workout supplements also provide advantages to muscles and recovery, intra-workouts have a notably different function. Ultimately, each category of supplements has their own core objectives, and each have separate ways that they affect you.
In the case of pre-workouts, more emphasis is placed on a powerful energy boost, since athletes are depending on those supplements to carry them through an intense workout. In the case of post-workout supplements, recovery is a huge factor, so ingredients like glutamine are popular because they speed up recover.
With intra-workout supplements, we get a blend of muscle boosters and electrolytes for hydration as they help you endure through a challenging workout and experience a speedy recovery.
Ready to see the best one? Jump to: #1 Intra-Workout Supplement
Wrapping Things Up
Finding the best intra-workout that gets you closer to your fitness goals depends partially on choosing a quality product, but also on knowing what your goals are. This means that muscle builders might prefer a blend with heavy doses of BCAAs and not much more, whereas endurance athletes will appreciate the anti-fatigue and hydrating elements. While each intra-workout supplement on this list is of high-quality, the one that’s optimal for your specific body and fitness needs will vary.
Ultimately, when innovative blends and newly tested ingredients are used in the latest supplements, it’s up to your own experimentation to see which product gives your body type the advantage your muscles need.
While all of our top ten intra workout supplements may help boost you into your next level of fitness training, each are uniquely formulated with ingredients to push your training routine further, harder, and longer.
Take time to review the individual notes in regard to each product to enable you to accurately choose the right supplement for you.
What to read next: 10 Best Protein Powders & How to Use Them