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Intra Workout Vs. Pre Workout Supplement - Which One Is Better for Muscle Growth?

At its core, a workout supplement is meant to boost your energy and performance during workouts. Depending on the specific purpose of the supplement, you can either choose, a pre-workout or intra-workout supplement.

Sandra Adams
Intra Workout Vs. Pre Workout Supplement - Which One Is Better for Muscle Growth?
Table Of Contents

In recent years, sports supplements have caught the eye of anyone and everyone, becoming the new trend amongst the fitness enthusiast's community. 

These supplements don't just come in various shapes and sizes, such as small capsules or powders, but are accessible in different flavors: chocolate, vanilla, honey, berries, etc.

Moreover, you can find a supplement for every moment of your workout, pre-workout, post-workout, and even intra-workout. They are known to provide the strength and energy to power through the fitness regimes, help you feel energetic, and provide your body with the supplements missed in your diet.

But the real question is, what is the difference between pre-workout and intra-workout supplements? Which workout supplements are important for growing muscles, and are they even worth your money and effort?

And before you start searching the various sites and links, we've compiled all the necessary information for you right here in this article.

What Are Pre-workout Supplements?

Let's talk about the pre-workout supplements first. As the name suggests, these supplements are taken before the training session. They are known to provide you with the energy, motivation, and mental focus vital for an effective workout.

Apart from this, various brands are out in the market selling all kinds of supplements, but make sure your pre-workout supplement contains these basic ingredients.

  • Caffeine for boosting energy levels and enhancing mental focus
  • L-Citrulline for enhancing blood flow and pumping it fluently
  • Beta-Alanine for improving your overall strength and enhancing your performance
  • Creatine Monohydrate for energy levels and muscle development.

What Are Intra-workout Supplements?

There is no need to worry if you start feeling low on the energy between your intense training sessions because this happens to the best of us. But what you do to regain your strength is what will set you and others apart.

Taking intra-work out supplements helps you to refuel and re energize your strength and supports muscle growth. The common ingredients in an intra-work out supplement are;

  • BCAA's, which are three amino acids; Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. These branched-chain amino acids help you repair the muscle tissues quickly, avoid fatigue and prevent your muscle mass from burning down while working out.
  • EAA's is 9 out of the 20 different types of amino acids you need in your intra-work supplement for providing your muscles with the required amount of proteins.
  • Simple carbs are one of the most important elements in this supplement, as they are the fastest known energy source. The ideal intra-work out supplement will contain around 19g of carbs per serving to supply the consumers with an instant energy boost for powering through the sessions.
  • Electrolytes are the minerals found in blood and help regulate and control the fluid balance in the body. When working out, the body tends to lose these electrolytes and other essential minerals in the form of sweat. The ideal supplement will contain approx. 500mg blend of different electrolytes per serving so your body can restore the healthy balance of fluids. 

Which One is the Best? 

Now that you know what a pre-workout and intra-work out supplement are and their benefits, let's understand the differences between them, so you can decide which supplements are better suited for you and your bodily needs.

1. Endurance

When discussing endurance, we are talking about the weight tolerance level in your muscles; how many times can you move weights without getting exhausted, so you can crunch in more reps and sets without getting injured.

Fortunately, muscular endurance is improved with caffeine, creatine, BCAAs, Citrulline, etc., which are readily found in sports supplements.

Although the pre-workout supplement contains Beta-alanine that helps clear out any lactate build-up in the muscles and increase endurance, the Intra-work supplements win the battle.

Intra-workout supplements are loaded with BCAAs in substantial amounts, proven to prevent any muscle protein from breaking down and help build muscle endurance. 

2. Strength

While muscle endurance is improved by the consumption of intra-work out supplements, the strength is best developed by consuming caffeine and Beta-alanine found in a pre-workout supplement.

The sufficient amounts of beta-alanine and caffeine found in pre-workout supplements ensure a strong and active connection between mind and muscle and help enhance the strength levels in individuals. 

3. Muscle Pump

Remember the feeling you get of the blood pumping right under your skin after an intensive workout? This increased rush of blood flow in the muscles is called a muscle pump.

When it comes to supplements, nothing comes near pre-workouts because the two main purposes of the pre-workout supplement are to stimulate the brain and widen the blood vessels for pumping more blood and water to your muscles. 

The L-arginine and L-citrulline are common ingredients in the pre-workout supplement and help widen the vessels so you can enjoy the sense of achievement with a better pumping feel.

4. Brain Stimulants

It is important to focus on the workout and the muscles involved to achieve a mind-muscle connection when exercising.

With a variety of ingredients found in various supplements, the pre-workout supplements have the perfect combination of all the ingredients that help stimulate your brain so that you can focus on the muscles for an effective workout.

5. Fat Burning

When working out, the main goal for anyone and everyone should be to lose fat and gain muscle mass, and I am sure the majority have this goal in their lives.

So how can you achieve more muscle and still lose fat? Which supplement is the best for it? You don't have to choose between the two intra-work out and pre-workout supplements for this particular point. Both supplements have their ways and ingredients that help you lose fat and build more muscles.

While the pre-workout supplements improve your energy levels and boost metabolism rates allowing you to burn down the fat, the intra-work out supplements with BCAAs have proven to help burn down the fat amongst the wrestlers.

6. Fatigue

Fatigue is the feeling of tiredness when you over-exert pressure on your body, and this is one of the major enemies for anyone trying to achieve their ideal body.

When it comes to the supplements and their benefits, the pre-workout supplements help you clear up any lactic acid building up, so you can enjoy a boost of energy throughout your body, allowing your brain to stay alert and focused during the training session.

On the other hand, the intra-work out supplements have amino acids such as L-leucine, L-isoleucine, etc. According to the studies, they effectively reduce fatigue and pump your muscles with energy during workout sessions.


DOMS is an abbreviation for delayed onset of muscle soreness for the first two to three days after a new workout.

If you're one of the gym freaks who hate having to deal with these sore muscles, then intra-work out supplements are going to become your new best friend. According to various studies, the BCAAs combination found in intra-work out supplements has proven to help reduce the sore muscles up to 33%.

8. Fueling

Fueling up on energy and feeling active and powerful enough to get in extra reps and sets is what we all wish for. 

While the pre-workouts give your mind the alertness to focus and work out effectively, the BCAAs in intra-work out supplements directly affect the muscle tissues regulating the amino acid balance and fueling.

Can I Take Both of Them Together?

Consuming both the supplements together is like getting the best of both worlds. Who wouldn't want to enjoy the energizing feel of the pre-workout while boosting their muscle growth with intra-workouts? 

Taking both the pre-workout and intra-work out supplements together will not harm your body but give you all the more benefits, allowing the supplements to cover up the missing elements and benefits.

When it comes down to promoting muscle growth, the intra-work out supplement wins the competition. Intra-workout supplements have the BCAA that repairs the muscle tissues, allowing them to recover quickly. The nine essential amino acids provide sufficient protein to your muscles for better development. 

The intra-work out supplements help you re energize and restrengthen your body while doing an intensive workout and promote muscular growth.


So, there you have it, everything you need to know about the pre-workout and intra-work out supplements with their benefits.

All the supplements have been formulated to cater to various needs of the body to achieve your ideal body quickly. The pre-workout supplements help you focus on the workouts and pump up the energy levels before your training sessions, and intra-work out supplements help you gain muscle mass and reenergize during the training. 

Now, it's time for you to decide what you want to focus on! More energy or more muscles? 

Article Sources

  • Blomstrand, Eva. ‘A Role for Branched-Chain Amino Acids in Reducing Central Fatigue’. The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 136, no. 2, Feb. 2006, pp. 544S-547S. PubMed,
  • Howatson, Glyn, et al. ‘Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage Is Reduced in Resistance-Trained Males by Branched Chain Amino Acids: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo Controlled Study’. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 9, 2012, p. 20. PubMed,
  • LayneNorton. ‘The Benefits Of Amino Acids: Why We Take BCAAs’. Bodybuilding.Com, 10 Sept. 2014,
  • Mourier, A., et al. ‘Combined Effects of Caloric Restriction and Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation on Body Composition and Exercise Performance in Elite Wrestlers’. International Journal of Sports Medicine, vol. 18, no. 1, Jan. 1997, pp. 47–55. PubMed,
  • Nutrition, Modern Sports. ‘Why Is Supplementing with Amino Acids so Beneficial During Workouts?’ Modern Sports Nutrition, . Accessed 24 Oct. 2021. 
  • Shimomura, Yoshiharu, Asami Inaguma, et al. ‘Branched-Chain Amino Acid Supplementation before Squat Exercise and Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness’. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, vol. 20, no. 3, June 2010, pp. 236–44. PubMed,
  • Shimomura, Yoshiharu, Yuko Yamamoto, et al. ‘Nutraceutical Effects of Branched-Chain Amino Acids on Skeletal Muscle’. The Journal of Nutrition, vol. 136, no. 2, Feb. 2006, pp. 529S-532S. PubMed,
  • Stoppani, Jim, et al. ‘Consuming a Supplement Containing Branched-Chain Amino Acids during a Resistance-Training Program Increases Lean Mass, Muscle Strength and Fat Loss’. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 6, no. Suppl 1, July 2009, p. P1. PubMed Central,
  • Volpi, Elena, et al. ‘Essential Amino Acids Are Primarily Responsible for the Amino Acid Stimulation of Muscle Protein Anabolism in Healthy Elderly Adults’. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 78, no. 2, Aug. 2003, pp. 250–58. Silverchair,
  • Platell, Cameron, et al. ‘Branched-Chain Amino Acids’. Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, vol. 15, no. 7, 2000, pp. 706–17. Wiley Online Library,

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Sandra Adams

Sandra is a versatile and patient personal trainer with over five years of experience tailoring goals to client needs and guiding them with the best workout routines.

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