Whether your goal is to lean out, gain muscle and/or get stronger, having an intra workout supplement or alternative is key. This helps avoid muscle breakdown and keeps your energy levels up so you can crush each and every workout. Here are a few intra workout options to help you get started:
This comes in a powder form, and you can get it at most supplement stores (I personally buy the NOW brand from bodybuilding.com). This is just a straight, quick form of carbohydrates that your body can absorb quickly and efficiently. This comes unflavoured so I would recommend mixing it with a yummy tasting BCAA powder, protein powder or just water flavor. These fast acting carbs will also give your muscles a very ‘full’ look, commonly known as a ‘great pump,’ as well as prevent muscle breakdown during those longer, heavier workouts.
BCAAs, which I mentioned above, are a great intra workout supplement that help with sustainability and muscle recovery. Every supplement store should sell them, and if you get a brand that has no added carbs, they are great to mix with Maltodextrin.
Gatorade contains carbohydrates (unless you get the zero cal option) and electrolytes (potassium especially) to keep your body energized, hydrated and muscle-cramp free. I often find I neglect to drink water during my workouts unless I have some great tasting alternative at hand.
I keep mentioning intra workout carbs are beneficial, and you know what is filled with fast acting carbs? Candy!! Fat free options such as skittles and sour patch kids are the most ideal as fats would slow down the time it takes the carbs to reach your hungry muscles.
With that being said, sometimes when we have a heavy lifting day we just need a caloric spike in general to not only physically give you the energy to lift a new PR weight sitting in front of you, but mentally as well (for me, anyway!). A donut tends to do the trick. Loaded with carbs as well as fats (some are lower in fat than others – such as the jelly filled kinds), a good donut will give you the mid workout energy boost you need. (And a pretty nice pump for the ego)
Bro Pro Tip: Protein Bars
Protein bars are another way to replenish your muscles and energy levels mid-workout. Most brands of protein bars contain a substantial amount of carbohydrates and added electrolytes as well.
Final tip: Keep at least one of the above mentioned intra workout supplements in your gym bag, so you’ll never find yourself hungry or energy deprived during a workout. Sometimes it’s the days you least expect you’ll need it that you actually do!
About the author
Maggie Morgan is a competitive powerlifter and bodybuilder, as well as a devoted macro-counter. She’s passionate about lifting and all things flexible dieting (mostly donuts). She is a nutrition coach at LiftHacks, and hopes to share her learned knowledge with as many people as possible.