Workout regimes for sports persons and bodybuilders can be divided into pre, intra and post-workout sessions. The pre-workout session is a preparatory phase, where the athlete prepares physically and mentally in the training program without any inhibition. During the intra-workout phase there are several windows of opportunities which can be utilized to take supplements to energize the body, improve real time absorption of nutrients as well as speed up recovery phase. In this article we shall discuss about some of the popular intra-workout supplements.
Though there are no evidence of scientifically conducted research to support the fact that intra-workout supplements can enhance the achievements of a sportsperson, a properly formulated intra-workout supplement designed for specific cases have shown to reap benefits.
Historically the intra-workout supplements used to be sips of drinking water. This helped the athletes stay hydrated. The importance of staying hydrated can not be undermined, however, there has been progresses in sports nutrition as a branch of applied science. Sports scientists conducted various research and experimented with supplementing various carbohydrates along with water during the intra-workout phase. However, simply relying on carbohydrates during the exercises was proven to be oversimplified because the metabolic processes during exercising are more complex than it is comprehended here. During the course of research several other questions such as the role of protein as supplements also popped up and eventually it was found that intra-workout supplements can be a protein blend of more than one type of supplements.
A few important aspects of intra workout supplements
- It is important to stay hydrated during the workout sessions. Losing as little as 2 % of water content of the body can severely impair the ability to perform.
- Amino acids required for muscle building, are absorbed faster during the exercises. As an individual exercises, the blood flow to the working muscles increase significantly and subsequently sensitivity of muscles to absorb nutrients also go up by 650 percent. Hence the importance of amino acid supplements during the intra workout sessions can not be undermined.
- There could be instances where EAA advocators clash with BCAA advocators. But everyone has a different kind of body and depending on the type of activity one engages in, metabolism can be different. Hence a protein blend of multiple protein supplement sources could be more beneficial than just one type of protein supplement.
- The protein type consumed could be hydrolyzed amino acids for better absorption. Free form amino acids for natural or bioavailable sources which spike the amino acid level in the body immediately after consumption or intact protein sources.
Intra-workout supplements can help in improved focus, muscle gain, increase endurance, enhance speed and power, facilitate and early recovery.