The Importance Of Intra-Workout Carbs

Often times when we’re learning about how to set up our nutrition to best fit our training plan and maximize muscle, the talk is centered around pre-workout meals, post-workout shakes, and post-workout meals. Well, what about nutrition DURING our training session? Is there anything we can have during our session that will help with our performance in the gym? Absolutely.

1. Carbohydrates

Carbs are essential for our performance. They break breakdown into glucose to be transported through our blood and are stored in the muscle as muscle glycogen. Glycogen and blood glucose are the 2 energy substrates that contribute the most to our muscle's performance in the gym, to fuel our training sessions. Having some carbohydrates during the workout window helps us keep glucose in our bloodstream for muscles to uptake, and slows the breakdown of muscle glycogen to keep our muscle stores topped off. Not only that but having ample glucose still circulating in our bloodstream by the time we finish our training session may help stave off catabolism and kick start anabolic recovery. 

2. Essential Amino Acids

Essential amino acids (EEA’s) are a combination of 9 different amino acids, that our body cannot produce on its own. EAAs are not to be confused for their counterpart, branched amino acids (BCAA’s) which may not be as effective in our intra-workout shake. Some studies suggest that having a shake with carbohydrates, and 10 grams of EAA’s during the workout window leads to better hypertrophy when compared to carbohydrates, EAA’s, or water alone.

3. Taurine

Taurine is an organic acid found in various types of meat and fish but also can be purchased as a powder on its own. Taurine is a regulator of cellular hydration, meaning that taurine is responsible for hydrating muscle cells with ample amounts of fluid for optimal function. 


A good way to try these ingredients is with a shake. Start with 25g of carbs coming from powdered carbs like dextrose, maltodextrin, or highly branched cyclic dextrin if you have a sensitive stomach. Add to that 10g of amino acids, and 2g of taurine to sip on during you training session. You’ll likely find that your sweet training shake not only tastes great, but provides you with enhanced performance! 

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.