The Cave Intra Workout Rundown – what’s the deal, do I need an intra?Lloyd Siewert
Intra-Workout, whats the Deal? Do I need an intra or is that meme I saw about them being trash legit?
There are 3 or 4 major styles of intra workout products on the market, and as much as BCAA’s have been attacked lately, they remain one of the most researched and verified supplements next to Creatine. Lets take a look at the different product categories below:
- Increase Muscle Growth.
- Decrease Muscle Soreness. Some research suggests BCAAs can help decrease muscle soreness after a workout.
- Reduce Exercise Fatigue
- Prevent Muscle Wasting
BCAA’s are a highly effective intra workout despite what you may have heard recently with the rise of the EAA’s (which are also excellent). BCAA’s essentialy are giving you the most stripped back formula needed for muscle sparing and reduced soreness with a notable rise in endurance, this is primarily because the Leucine content is most important for this process regardless or the supporting cast around it.
The benefit for a BCAA formula is usually that the price is a little cheaper, or alternatively that the formula allows room for other ingredients like electrolytes & pump without increasing the price. Lastly BCAA’s are easier to flavour then EAA’s which results in a reliably tasty drink that is nice and thin in texture so it feels like refreshing water with added benefits. My current fave is the Green Apple Iron Brothers Recharged BCAA, it’s delicious.
- Increase Muscle Growth.
- Decrease Muscle Soreness.
- Reduce Exercise Fatigue
- Prevent Muscle Wasting.
- Can act as a protein source.
EAA’s are essentially a more complete set of amino acids containing all 9 that we need to receive from foods (body can’t manufacture then form other food sources). There is also some evidence to suggest that EAA’s have a increased effect on the above bullet points – meaning you get an even more pronounced reduction in muscle soreness and you also experience further benefit to your endurance during a weights or cardio session.
In short BCAA’s are good but EAA’s are a little better. Of course they cost a little more and are slightly harder to flavour but Sparta Nutrition have done a great job of both of these with a very simple formula (compound solutions Amino 9 and nuttin else), go for the Mango Flavour! However my current fave EAA products is ESSENTIAL AF which has an added 600mg of VASO 6 for pump and nutrient delivery not to mention a further entrance boost from increased blood oxygen, on top of that this formula has added electrolytes which are missing from the well priced Sparta EAA’s.
- Boost Your Performance.
- Reduce Mental Fatigue.
- Reverse Catabolic Processes.
- Enhance Body Composition.
When you train at a high intensity, fatigue sets in as you use up the stored carbs (glycogen) in your muscles and your circulating blood glucose. If you begin a workout with a depleted tank, or one that’s just partially full, you’ll hit the wall even earlier in your training session.
Once you’ve expended a certain amount of muscle glycogen, your body stops trying to free energy from glycogen and circulate glucose and focuses on conserving energy. The result? Increased fatigue, as well as decreased focus, power, and strength. Remember we are talking high intensity here, not a bro chat session in between a few barbell curls.
By adding carbs during a long or arduous training session, you can shift your body’s focus back to using energy rather than conserving it. Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if your goal is to build muscle or lose body fat. Either way, you can boost your exercise performance by refuelling rather than trying to tough it out.
During a workout, you actually want liquid carbohydrates so that digestion is easy. Keep it simple with dextrose or your favourite sports-drink powder, Im currently using CHEMIX Intra because it provides the carbs but also has the next two intra workout performance enhancers in there as well.
Creatine & Ribose:
- Increase endurance.
- Increase energy levels.
- Heart protective.
- Increase strength.
- Boost protein synthesis (long term).
Both Creatine and D-Ribose have several functions and benefits in the body, but for this article let’s focus on the benefits associated with intra workout supplementation. Creatine and D-Ribose work well hand in hand to create more ATP, ATP is the cellular energy currency in the body, essentially food provides ATP which out cells need to do everything they do, from feeling muscles to lift weights, to muscle growth and all the day to day functions. Its primary manufactured from glucose however within that process Creatine and Ribose act like turbocharger on a petrol engine to more efficiently and abundantly provide working muscles with ATP.
D-ribose is critical for ATP re-synthesis, as it is the limiting-reagent for ATP synthesis. D-ribose is also responsible for making the enzyme cofactors NAD+ and FADH2+. Studies have shown that supplementing with D-ribose can replenish ATP levels to levels pre-exercising, as well as increase muscular strength and total work output.
Creatine supplements increase your muscles’ phosphocreatine stores. Phosphocreatine helps with the formation of new ATP, the key molecule your cells use for energy and all basic functions of life. During exercise, ATP is broken down to produce energy.
The rate of ATP re-synthesis limits your ability to continually perform at maximum intensity as you use ATP faster than you reproduce it.
Creatine supplements increase your phosphocreatine stores, allowing you to produce more ATP energy to fuel your muscles during high-intensity exercise.
This is the primary mechanism behind creatine’s performance-enhancing effects. Many people don’t take creatine every day to saturate their muscles, but I highly recommend 2.5 – 5g a day of high quality Creatine Monohydrate (small granular size so its easy on the stomach) at the cave we only sell high quality creatine products so we won’t lead you astray with some sand like powder at the back of your throat after workouts.
Hopefully this is helpful and helps give you some direction on our intra workout supplementation, in short you will be able to workout longer and recover faster which is nothing to sneeze at particularly as your workouts continue to progress, because remember progressive overload is key to progress!