It’s no secret that what you put into your body before a workout can have an impact on your training performance. Most lifters, especially bodybuilders, know that post-workout nutrition is as important as the workout itself. However, not many people give a second thought to intra-workout nutrition.
If you’ve ever felt hungry or drained during a workout, it’s a sign that your pre and intra-workout diet is lagging. Apart from their recovery benefits, an intra-workout supplement can keep you energized and focused during a training session and enhance your muscle pumps.
In this article, we reveal the 10 best intra-workout supplements on the market right now —
Top 10 Intra Workout Supplements of 2002 Tested/Ranked:
- Best Intra-Workout Overall — Formula XII Intra & Post Workout Formula
- Best Intra-Workout for Endurance Athletes — Apollon Nutrition Enigma
- Best Intra-Workout for Recovery — Controlled Labs Purple Wraath
- Best Intra-Workout Creatine Blend — Gaspari Nutrition SizeOn
- Best Intra-Workout for Strength — NutraBio Intra Blast
- Best Intra-Workout for Focus — Jacked Factory IntraSurge
- Best Intra-Workout for Muscle Gain — Rich Piana 5% Nutrition – AllDayYouMay
- Best Intra-Workout for Advanced Lifters — Animal Juiced Aminos
- Best Intra-Workout for Sustained Energy — Kaged Muscle In-Kaged
- Best Intra-Workout for Weight Loss — Scivation Xtend Original BCAA
How Much Do Intra-Workout Supplements Cost?
The price of a supplement varies depending on the brand. Each company has a different manufacturing and marketing process that impacts the price. While some companies believe in transparency and put their ingredient list on the box, others like to keep their recipes a secret by hiding them behind a “proprietary blend” label.
The best intra-workout supplements on the market can cost anywhere between $23.99 to $64.95 ($0.79 to $2.5 per serving).
Notably, the price — low or high — of a supplement should not be used to assess its quality. You should ideally make your buying decision based on the ingredients in a product and after going through honest product reviews — like this one. You’re welcome!
Here’s a breakdown of the overall and per serving costs of our picks for the top 10 intra-workout supplements —
|Category||Product||Price||Per Serving Cost||Why We Love It|
|Best Intra-Workout Overall||Formula XII Intra & Post Workout Formula||$64.95||$2.16||Can be used as a pre, intra, or post-workout supplement.|
|Best Intra-Workout for Endurance Athletes||Enigma from Apollon Nutrition||$49.95||$2.50||Delivers 14.5-milligrams of EAAs and 10 grams of BCAAs.|
|Best Intra-Workout for Recovery||Controlled Labs Purple Wraath||$26.59||$0.88||Contains the recommended 2:1:1 BCAA dosage.|
|Best Intra-Workout Creatine Blend||Gaspari Nutrition Size On||$51.99||$2.16||Combines carbs, BCAAs, creatine, and carbs without causing bloating.|
|Best Intra-Workout for Strength||NutraBio Intra Blast||$44.99||$1.50||A three-in-one product that increases strength, improves recovery, and enhances hydration.|
|Best Intra-Workout for Focus||Jacked Factory Intrasurge||$25.19||$1.25||Helps keep you mentally focused on the workout.|
|Best Intra-Workout for Muscle Gain||Rich Piana 5% Nutrition AllDayYouMay||$46.54||$1.55||Aids in muscle recovery, hydration, and joint support.|
|Best Intra-Workout for Advanced Lifters||Animal Juiced Aminos||$29.94||$1.00||The caffeine-free formula is perfect for any time of the day or night.|
|Best Intra-Workout for Sustained Energy||Kaged Muscle: In-Kaged||$29.99||$1.50||Boosts mid-workout performance and endurance and enhances muscle pumps.|
|Best Intra-Workout for Weight Loss||Scivation Xtend Original BCAA||$23.99||$0.79||One of the most-trusted BCAA brands on the market.|
Best Intra-Workout Supplements for 2022
Best Intra-Workout Overall
The best intra-workout supplement overall category includes supplements that can be consumed by both beginners and pro-lifters. Our best overall intra-workout pick is Formula XII Intra & Post Workout Formula as it is a carb-based intra-workout that is packed with ingredients to help you crush every workout.
Formula XII Intra & Post Workout Formula
The XII in the name refers to the dozen ingredients that go into its formula. Huge Nutrition’s Formula XII Intra & Post Workout Formula can be used as a pre, intra, or post-workout shake, though it is mostly used in the gym during training.
Here’s a rundown of the ingredients and their dosages —
- Cluster Dextrin – 10,000 mg
- Creatine Monohydrate – 5,000 mg
- Organic ModCarb – 5,000 mg
- Beta-Alanine – 3,200 mg
- Betaine Anhydrous – 3,000 mg
- L-Ornithine HCL – 2,000 mg
- D-Ribose – 1,000 mg
- Potassium Citrate – 150mg
- Grape Seed Extract – 125 mg
- Alpha Lipoic Acid – 100 mg
- Magnesium Citrate – 40 mg
- Bioperine – 5 mg
There are two sources of fast-acting carbs in the supplement. It also contains five grams of creatine to replenish your ATP levels mid-workout. Huge Nutrition guarantees that the ingredients in the product have been provided in the right doses to help you get the results you want.
At $64.95 for a 30-serving tube, this is a pretty expensive supplement, breaking it down to $2.16 per serve.
Who Should Take Formula XII Intra & Post Workout Formula?
- Serious lifters who want to quickly replenish their ATP levels mid-workout.
- People who want to take creatine during the workout.
Who Should Not Take Formula XII Intra & Post Workout Formula?
- Individuals on a tight budget looking for a cost-effective intra-workout supplement.
Best Intra-Workout For Endurance Athletes
Different people have different fitness goals, and they might take unique approaches to get there. If you are an endurance athlete or following a high-intensity training regimen, Apollon Nutrition’s Enigma is the perfect supp for you. It comes with a potent electrolyte blend that delays the onset of fatigue and helps you make the most of your workouts.
Apollon Nutrition Enigma
Enigma delivers a massive 14.5-milligram of essential amino acids and includes an equally impressive 10 grams of BCAAs. You also get five grams of L-Glutamine and electrolyte blend to replace the nutrients that are lost through sweat during your workout.
There are also five grams of glutamine, with two grams of betaine and taurine. This is a reformulated version of this Apollon Nutrition product, with the key change being the ramped dosage of amino acids. This new version retains the old price of $49.95 but, unfortunately, you now only get 20 servings per tub. That brings the per-dose price to $2.50, making it the most pricey intra-workout supplement on the list.
Who Should Take Enigma?
- Anyone who wants a huge amino acid infusion to push them into an anabolic state during their workout.
Who Should Not Take Enigma?
- People who are looking for a budget-friendly intra-workout.
Best Intra-Workout for Recovery
Contrary to what most people think, you don’t have to wait until after your workout to refeed your muscles. You are actively breaking down muscle tissue during your workout, and an intra-workout supplement can help kick-start your recovery process.
Controlled Labs Purple Wraath
Controlled Labs Purple Wraath provides you with BCAAs in the recommended 2:1:1 dosage. You get the following BCAA dose: L-Leucine: 2300mg + L-Valine: 1700mg + L-Isoleucine: 900mg. That’s a total BCAA content of just under five grams.
You also get 1.2 grams of beta-alanine to boost anaerobic endurance and one gram of citrulline malate to decrease muscle fatigue and increase the pump effect. It’s a little underdosed but will work well for people wanting a mild workout boost.
At $37.99 for a 45-dose container, Purple Wraath represents good value for money, costing you 84 cents per serving.
Who Should Take Controlled Labs Purple Wraath?
- Folks following a high-intensity training program who want to delay the onset of fatigue.
- People wanting a mild anabolic training effect
Who Should Not Take Controlled Labs Purple Wraath?
- Lifters who want a high-dose BCAA and citrulline-dosed product.
Best Intra-Workout with Creatine Blend
Creatine is one of the most well-studied and proven natural and safe supplements for promoting muscle growth, strength gains, and all-around performance. If you’re not already using a creatine supplement, adding the Gaspari Nutrition Size On to your fitness regimen can be a game-changer. 
Gaspari Nutrition SizeOn
Gaspari Nutrition SizeOn combines carbs, BCAAs, creatine, and other ingredients that help boost protein synthesis, regenerate ATP levels, and replaces lost electrolytes.
The carbohydrate mix contains Trehalose, a sugar that contains two molecules of glucose, along with Dextrose and Cyclic Dextrin, which acts very quickly and does not cause any bloating or stomach upset.
To create an anabolic environment while you are training, SizeOn includes BCAAs, along with whey protein hydrolysate. It also contains three versions of creatine — creatine monohydrate, creatine MagnaPower, and disodium creatine phosphate. A serving of SizeOn consists of 40 grams of carbs to boost endurance levels and delay fatigue.
SizeOn mixes well and comes in a tasty grape flavor. Gaspari Nutrition recommends mixing a scoop with 25 oz of water and sipping between sets of your workout.
Who Should Take Gaspari Nutrition Size On?
- Serious lifters looking for a solid punch of carbs and creatine during their workout.
Who Should Not Take Gaspari Nutrition Size On?
- Beginners or people who are on a weight-loss program.
Best Intra-Workout For Strength
The first couple of sets of intense, high-volume workouts can sap all your energy. Sipping on NutraBio Intra Blast intra-workout supplement can keep you hydrated and replenish your ATP reserves quickly, which in turn can help you get the most out of your workouts.
NutraBio Intra Blast
NutraBio Intra Blast is promoted as a three-in-one product that does the following —
- Increases training strength and power
- Improves recovery
- Enhances hydration
You get 20 grams of amino acids in Intra Blast, which includes 10 grams of EAAs and 7.4 grams of BCAAs. There are also five grams of L-Glutamine, along with two grams of Betaine Anhydrous, and two grams of Taurine to promote hydration.
Nutra Bio Intra Blast will mix easily in a blender bottle. The taste gets almost universally positive reviews.
A 30-serving tub of Nutra Bio Intra Blast will cost you $44.99, for a per-serving cost of $1.50.
Who Should Take Nutra Bio Intra Blast?
- Lifters who want a huge amino acid infusion to maintain an anabolic straining state.
- People who want an intra-workout supp they can mix up in the gym.
Who Should Not Take Nutra Bio Intra Blast?
- Anyone wanting a creatine-infused intra-workout.
Best Intra-Workout For Focus
Working out can be boring, especially if you train alone. Instasurge by Jacked Factory promotes focus, strength, endurance, pumps, and recovery. Besides, Intrasurge can be used intra, pre, or post-workout with hard-hitting doses of proven 2:1:1 branched-chain amino acids, citrulline malate, all-natural caffeine, and l-tyrosine.
Jacked Factory Intrasurge
Jacked Factory Intra Surge is built around BCAAs designed to increase energy and decrease training fatigue. There are five grams of fermented BCAAs in the ideal 2:1:1 leucine: isoleucine: valine ratio. It also contains 125 mg of caffeine, along with L-Citrulline, L-Tyrosine, and Astragin, which enhance ATP production and increase amino acid absorption into muscle cells.
The tyrosine in Intrasurge will help keep you mentally zoned into the workout, while the caffeine will deliver a slight energy kick. Citrulline reduces muscle soreness and promotes nitric oxide production to provide an enhanced pump effect in the working muscle.
A 20-serving tub of Intrasurge will cost you $27.99, for a per-serving cost of $1.40.
Who Should Take Jacked Factory Intra Surge?
- Anyone who wants a caffeine-enhanced intra-workout supplement.
Who Should Not Take Jacked Factory Intra Surge?
- People who like stim-free supplements.
Best Intra-Workout For Muscle Gain
For an intra-workout to be effective, it has to maintain an anabolic environment and promote muscle recovery, and AllDayYouMay by 5% Nutrition does just that. Plus, the supplement is sugar, carb, and calorie-free.
Rich Piana 5% Nutrition AllDayYouMay
AllDayYouMay From Rich Piana 5% Nutrition is a BCAA-based intra workout designed to support muscle growth. Each 15.5-gram serving contains six grams of BCAAs in the ideal 2:1:1 blend, along with 155 mg of EAAs and 2,800 mg of conditionally essential amino acids.
AllDayYouMay comes in a range of favors, each of which gets good taste marks from online reviewers. They include —
- Blue Raspberry
- Fruit Punch
- Lemon Lime
- Mango Pineapple
It is another powder that mixes very well so you don’t have to put up with a gritty mess at the bottom of your shaker bottle. Unfortunately, 5% Nutrition uses proprietary blends so you don’t know the exact dosages of some of the lesser ingredients in this product.
Who Should Take Rich Piana 5% Nutrition – AllDayYouMay?
- Lifters who want a BCAA-based intra workout.
- People who want a great tasting intra workout.
Who Should Not Take Rich Piana 5% Nutrition – AllDayYouMay?
- Anyone who is not keen on proprietary blends
Best Intra-Workout For Advanced Lifters
The needs of seasoned lifters vary greatly from that of a newbie. Animal Juiced Aminos is one of the more advanced intra-workout supplements present on the market. It includes four patented versions of amino acids that help in the recovery progress.
Animal Juiced Aminos
Animal Juiced Aminos from Universal Nutrition is another BCAA-based intra-workout, with six grams of BCAAs in every 12-gram serving. There are also four patented versions of amino acids in this product:
These are types of agmatine, sustamine, and carnitine. The amino acids in this formula are all instantized for better mixability. The balance of the ingredients is flavor enhancers, including acesulfame potassium, which is an artificial sweetener.
A 30-serving tub of Animal Juiced Aminos will cost you $25 for a per-serving cost of 83 cents.
Who Should Take Animal Juiced Aminos?
- A lifter whose main goal is muscle-building.
- People who are after a strong amino acid dosage.
Who Should Not Take Animal Juiced Aminos?
- Individuals who do not want artificial sweeteners in their intra-workout supp.
Best Intra-Workout For Sustained Energy
A good intra-workout supplement can make you feel as fresh during your last set as you did during your warm-up before a workout. The Kaged Muscle In-Kaged is designed to boost performance and endurance during your training session.
Kaged Muscle In-Kaged
Kaged Muscle In-Kaged features fermented BCAAs that are not taken from animal sources, making this an ideal product for vegetarian lifters. You get five grams of BCAAs in the 2:1:1 ratio. There are also three grams of fermented citrulline, 1.6 grams of beta-alanine, and one gram of taurine.
Kaged Muscle includes caffeine derived from green coffee beans, dosed at 124 mg. There are several flavoring ingredients, including sucralose, an artificial sweetener. The product comes in a range of flavors, most of which are pleasant.
You will pay $26 for a 20-serving tub of In-Kaged. That breaks down to $1.30 per serving.
Who Should Take Kaged Muscle: In-Kaged?
- Lifters who want a vegetarian intra-workout product.
- Individuals who only trust third-party tested supplements.
Who Should Not Take Kaged Muscle: In-Kaged?
- People who do not want to take a product containing artificial sweeteners.
Best Intra-Workout For Weight Loss
Some intra-workout supplements on the market contain a high dosage of carbs to keep you energized for your workouts. However, prolonged usage of these supplements can cause weight gain. Scivation Xtend Original BCAA takes the cake in this regard as it contains zero calories, sugar, and carbs and is one of the most budget-friendly intra-workout supplements.
Scivation Xtend Original BCAA
Scivation Xtend provides seven grams of BCAAs per serving in a 2:1:1 ratio. You also get 2.5 grams of L-Glutamine, along with a 1,140-milligram blend of sodium citrate, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride. Sodium and potassium are also included at 220 mg and 170 mg, respectively.
Besides the powder version, Scivation Xtend is also available in a ready-to-drink can. The ingredients are essentially the same, except that the can has 30 extra mg of sodium and carbonated water.
A 30-serving tub of Scivation sells for $23.99, which works out to 80 cents per serving. Naturally, the ready-to-drink can is more expensive, selling for about $25 for a 12-pack, which breaks down to around $2 per serving.
Who Should Take Scivation Xtend?
- Anyone who wants a high electrolyte dose.
- People who want a ready-to-drink option.
Who Should Not Take Scivation Xtend?
- Lifters who want a stimulant containing intra-workout.
What to Look For in an Intra-Workout Supplement
There are a lot of intra-workouts supplements that proliferate the marketplace. Sorting out the best from the rest can be pretty confusing. Here’s a quick overview of what to look for to make that job easier —
The best ingredients to look for in an intra-workout depend on the main objective of your training – fat loss or muscle gain. If its muscle gain, look for a product that contains the following:
- Essential Amino Acids
- Branch Chain Amino Acids
- Fast-Acting Carbohydrates
When it comes to carbs, three forms are preferred —
- Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD) — HBCD is a type of dextrin that is very quickly absorbed into the cell. It will, therefore, go straight to the muscle and won’t cause any bloating or other gastric issues.
- Dextrose — Dextrose is chemically simulated glucose. It will quickly replenish ATP levels but is not as long-lasting as HBCD.
- D-Ribose — D-Ribose plays a key role in the formation of ATP. The body produces it, but supplementing with it will restore your energy levels much faster.
You can have a product that contains all of the ingredients mentioned above, but if they aren’t dosed adequately, you will still be wasting your money. When it comes to BCAAs, look for an intra workout that delivers at least six grams per dose. You should be getting around 30 grams of carbs per serve.
3. 3rd Party Testing
Whether or not you’re a competitive athlete, you need to have confidence that what you are putting into your body is free of unwanted ingredients, including banned substances, and that it contains what it claims to in the doses on the label. Independent testing will give you that assurance. That’s why we always prefer products that are third-party tested.
How We Decided Our Picks
In narrowing it down to our top 10 intra-workout supps, we looked at almost every product on the market. In making our selections, we took the following factors into account:
1. Value for Money
You work too hard for your money to waste it on a brand name or inflated prices due to over-the-top marketing campaigns. We weeded out products that are overly expensive and focused on those that provide true value for money.
You deserve to know exactly what is in anything you buy. That is especially the case when it comes to supplements that are going into your body. That’s why we usually prefer manufacturers who do not use proprietary blends that hide the dosage of the individual ingredients.
Dosages are key to an effective intra-workout supplement. To make our top ten list, a product had to be within the ideal dosage range for each ingredient as identified by peer-reviewed studies.
What are the Benefits of Intra-Workout Supplements?
When you begin working out with weights, you begin to put stress on your muscles. As a result, you quickly switch from an anabolic into a catabolic state. Intra-workouts are designed to provide the nutritional armor to get you back to a muscle-building anabolic state.
Intra-workout supplements help restore your ATP levels. ATP is the main source of energy for your workouts. But your body can only store it in small amounts. ATP is replenished by glycogen which is then broken down to form carbs in the body.
However, your body can also only store small amounts of glycogen. It gets quickly depleted when you train with weights. For example, three sets of squats will reduce your glycogen levels by 40 percent.
An intra-workout that includes a carb source to deliver glycogen to the muscle will help preserve your training energy. Insulin is also very important to your training goals. Insulin is a transport hormone — when it is low, the protein and carbs you consumed in your pre-workout won’t be able to get into your muscle cells. When you consume carbs as part of your intra-workout, you will boost your insulin levels.
When you’re low in insulin, the body produces glucagon, which is its antagonist. Glucagon is a catabolic hormone that steals amino acids from your muscles. It also stimulates the release of two other catabolic hormones — epinephrine and cortisol. A carb-infused intra-workout will prevent this from happening.
There has been some interesting research regarding intra-workout supps. In one 2005 study, the effects of combining carbohydrates with EAAs during the workout were looked into. The study involved 32 untrained men who were given eight exercises. They were instructed to use 70 percent of their one-rep max and perform three sets of 10 reps on each exercise. They were then separated into four groups; 
- A placebo group
- A group that just used essential amino acids
- A group that just carbohydrates
- A group that used amino acids and carbohydrates
The results were analyzed immediately after the eight-week training period and for the next 12 weeks. The groups who took carbs showed increased insulin levels. The carb and the carb plus amino acid groups’ averaged cortisol levels were 27 percent lower after their workouts than the placebo group, which saw an increase in cortisol levels by 100 percent.
The lower levels of cortisol meant that the carb and carb plus amino acid groups had much lower levels of muscle breakdown. The researchers also measured pre-methyl histidine, which is a marker for muscle breakdown. The placebo and amino acid-only groups had far higher levels than the other two groups.
Twelve weeks after the conclusion of the study, the researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the trained muscles of the study participants. The EAA and carb plus amino acid groups had the greatest muscle increase, averaging just over four kilograms of muscle gain, compared to two kilograms for the placebo group.
Those are some pretty amazing benefits of taking an intra-workout supplement.
What are intra-workout supplements?
Intra-workout supplements are designed to boost training energy, replace electrolytes, top-up glycogen levels and make you feel stronger during a workout. They are available in powdered, liquid, and capsule forms.
Do you need an intra-workout supplement?
No, you do not need to take intra-workout supplements. However, taking them will help you stay in an anabolic state throughout a workout. It will help replenish your ATP levels so that you can train harder for longer. An intra-workout will also keep your insulin levels high, another key to staying anabolic.
What Intra-workout ingredients are best for fat loss?
When your goal is fat loss, you want to keep your insulin and carbohydrate levels low. You also want to deplete your body of glycogen to force it to rely on stored body fat for energy. You should take essential amino acids as the main ingredient of your intra-workout, including six grams of BCAAs. Include citrulline malate and glutamine to restore ATP levels and remove lactate from the muscle cell.
What Intra-workout ingredients are best for muscle gain?
To build muscle mass, intra-workout supplements should elevate insulin levels, restore ATP and reduce the catabolic effect of training. A combination of fast-acting carbs and amino acids will achieve those goals. Look for an intra-workout supplement that combines six grams of BCAAs with about 30 grams of fast-digesting carbs. Other handy ingredients for muscle gain in an intra workout are beta-alanine, l-citrulline, glutamine, and glycine.
The Bottom Line
Taking an intra-workout supplement will make your workouts more productive, offset training fatigue and help with your post-workout recovery. If you’re used to just sipping water during the workout, why not test out what switching to an intra-workout supplement for six weeks can do for you? Rest assured, you’ll be surprised with your progress.
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- Bird SP, Tarpenning KM, Marino FE. Liquid carbohydrate/essential amino acid ingestion during a short-term bout of resistance exercise suppresses myofibrillar protein degradation. Metabolism. 2006 May;55(5):570-7. doi:10.1016/j.metabol.2005.11.011. PMID: 16631431.
- Buford TW, Kreider RB, Stout JR, et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007;4:6. Published 2007 Aug 30. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-4-6.
- Bird SP, Tarpenning KM, Marino FE. Liquid carbohydrate/essential amino acid ingestion during a short-term bout of resistance exercise suppresses myofibrillar protein degradation. Metabolism. 2006 May;55(5):570-7. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2005.11.011. PMID: 16631431.