So, you want in on the carbohydrate game, eh? You’re tired of seeing everyone else get their bread and now you want some bread of you own, ehh??
Well, let’s get this bread, baby!
Except not literally that bread, as in that carb-heavy stuff that many of us are actually trying to remove from our diets for a healthier lifestyle.
We’re talking metaphorical “bread,” the success that comes with the daily rise and grind. The disciplined suffering in the workplace, the library, the gym that makes each of us a little less insufferably miserable in the future.
But while we’re removing bread from our diets for that lifestyle, we actually still need some carb source to fuel our rise-and-grind passions. This is where intra-workout carbohydrate supplements come into play.
By providing on-the-spot muscle fuel and energy, carb supplements allow us to retain the full exercise advantages of carbohydrates while lowering our total net carb intake daily.
But what are those advantages, and, more importantly, what’s the Best Intra-Workout Supplement for us bread-getting go-getters?
You’ll need to read our Best 5 Intra-Workout Carb Guide to find out!
Table of Contents
The Intra-Workout Carb Guide
Throughout the past couple decades, we’ve seen carbohydrates go from being the foundation of our diets to a mere supplement to our daily nutritional profile.
Quite literally, carbohydrates formed the foundation, or base, of that BS “Healthy Eating” food pyramid published in the 1970’s that wrongfully declared carbs as the most important food group.
Simply put, this pyramid was promoted not for healthier living but to promote more people buying more carb-based foods. Thankfully, the public attitude has shifted to a more reasonable, responsible outlook on carb intake, elevating veggies and proteins to a status of greater nutritional importance.
Even so, many of us still struggle with our carb intake, thus begging the question:
Why Do You Need a Carb Supplement?
You need a carb supplement because your muscles need carbs.
While, yes, most of us are consuming waaaayyy too many carbs in our diet, the answer to a healthier lifestyle isn’t only to reduce our carb intake. Rather we need to reduce but also choose our carbs wisely—meaning that we still need some carbs, especially if we’re committed to a consistent, intense exercise routine.
Because the fact remains that your muscles need carbs to stay energized. Especially if you’re lifting big weights, running long distances, or… whacking a lot of tennis balls, or whatever it is that you do.
Under conditions of excess blood glucose levels, our bodies naturally store carbohydrates as glycogen, which is a compactable polysaccharide storage unit of glucose. Glucose is directly involved in the creation of ATP energy, the energy used for general body activity, maintenance, repair, as well as high-intensity activities like exercise.
Again, the problem we’re facing today is that we’re eating too many carbohydrates. Yet, cutting out carbs brings up a new problem for exercisers: our muscles need carb energy to stay active!
This is where intra-workout carbohydrate supplements come into play.
Taking a carb supplement while exercising encourages your body to use that carb energy to nourish your hard-working muscles. Rather than store those carbs for later, making your body all jiggly and bleck.
Reducing the amount of carbs in your diet doesn’t have to come at the cost of low-energy workouts, thanks to carb supplements. When you’re working hard, you’re burning through glycogen.
Taking an intra-workout carb helps keep your muscles fueled and well-nourished to go harder for longer during training and competition. So long as you’re taking the best intra-workout carbohydrate and not some cheap-O crap.
BCAA vs. Carbs: Which is Better?
You’re midway through your workout and you’re starting to hit a wall. What should you take: a Branched-Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) stack or a carbohydrate supplement?
Well, frankly, both are great intra-workout supplements and enhance your exercise performance in different ways.
Roughly speaking, these differences are:
- BCAA: while you’re tearing apart your muscle tissue, these aminos directly promote and protect the anabolic protein synthesis processes involved in building and maintaining lean muscle growth.
- Carbs: whereas BCAAs are the aminos that comprise a significant portion of muscle tissue proteins (~30%), carbohydrates provide the glucose fuel for ATP energy synthesis that allows exercise to happen at all.
In other words, there really isn’t a better intra-workout option here, given that these supplements enhance muscle performance from different angles.
If you have the opportunity, especially if you’re a bodybuilder, taking both a BCAA stack and a carbohydrate supplement can go a long way; it can improve your exercise performance and lean muscle growth.
Buuut… like I mentioned earlier, if you’re smartly committed to intermittent fasting—or at least fasted training—taking a smart carb supplement may MASSIVELY improve your workout endurance, energy, and, frankly, your mood.
Because, let’s face it, you’re not too fun to be around when you’re all hangry at the gym.
What to Look for in an Intra-Workout Carb Supplement
By far the best intra-workout carbohydrate available is KarboLyn®, an advanced carb bio-engineered to employ the muscle-fueling advantages of both simple and complex carbs, without each respective carb type’s disadvantages.
These traditional carb sources do help load muscle tissue with ATP-producing fuel, but they have their drawbacks.
For each, the pros and cons include:
- Simple Carbs: fast-acting energy spike (pro) followed by a quick energy drop-off that may result in a net muscle energy crash (con).
- Complex Carbs: long-lasting sustained energy for greater endurance and anabolic growth (pro), yet it takes too long to work and may cause GI discomfort (con).
Ideally, for intra-workout performance enhancement, you want a carb source that’s both fast-acting and long-lasting. One that works immediately but doesn’t work all at once, thereby contributing to a quick energy drop-off that, ultimately, leaves you feeling more fatigued and spent than before.
Fasting-acting and long-lasting best describe KarboLyn®, which is why it is the ideal intra-workout carb to look for when buying an intra-workout carb supplement. Through a multi-stage enzymatic process, this carb source supplies the pros of simple and complex carbohydrates without their cons.
Even so, that’s not all you should look for in a carb stack. There are other criteria to consider when choosing the best intra-workout carb supplement, such as:
Best 5 Supplement’s Criteria for the Best Intra-Workout Carb Supplement
In addition to a fast-acting, long-lasting carbohydrate source, the best intra-workout carb supplement should also include:
In small portions, certain trace minerals—i.e., electrolytes—may go a long way in enhancing the efficacy of a carb supplement by enhancing carbohydrate transport into muscle tissue. Additionally, these electrolytes possess their own intra-workout advantages by warding off dehydration, which is a major barrier to anabolic muscle gains and clean cardio health.
All-Natural and Stim-Free
Many intra-workout carb supplements add stimulants, such as caffeine, for an additional boost on mid-exercise energy and endurance. While this isn’t a huge deal and makes a lot of sense for certain types of exercise, it’s not always necessary and may impair circulation, due to, for example, caffeine’s vasoconstrictive effects. Likewise, supplements that use a bunch of junk additives and artificial flavors may also impair the absorption and, thus, efficacy of their formula. For these reasons, an all-natural, stim-free formula design is very important to a carb stack’s overall value.
Best Intra-Workout Carb Supplement:
Performance Lab Carb
With all that in mind, easily the best intra-workout carb supplement that money can buy is Performance Lab Carb. A fast-acting, long-lasting carbohydrate supplement designed to support exercise performance and anabolic muscle gains.
The highlights of this stack:
- KarboLyn®: 40g of the best carb source for fueling intra-workout muscle activity, providing 2+ hours of stim-free muscle energy;
- Electrolytes: via a few natural sources, Performance Lab augments its carb source with trace minerals that enhance carbohydrate transport;
- All-Natural: no synthetic ingredients or junky additives listed in the “Other Ingredients”; only all-natural, vegan-friendly, eco-friendly stuff here that also tastes
This is a carb supplement for all types of athletes and exercisers. Performance Lab Carb is the universal carbohydrate stack, regardless of one’s fitness goals.
And it’s an especially smart, effective carb supplement for those looking to reduce their dietary carb intake while reserving what carbs they do eat as part of a smart, healthy sports nutrition regimen.
Naturally flavored, sweetened, and thickened, Performance Lab Carb is a truly healthy health supplement that mixes instantly and absorbs quickly for quick, mid-exercise results.
Here’s a closer look at what’s in those scoops:
Performance Lab Carb Ingredients
KarboLyn®: Performance Lab supplies 40g of this patented simple + complex hybrid carbohydrate, a molecularly unique carb source that’s both quickly absorbed and sustained over time, providing 2+ hours of enhanced muscle energy.
Himalayan Pink Salt: bringing more than good vibes, Himalayan pink salt also supplies a mix of electrolytes that are great for sustaining water levels, warding off dehydration, while also enhancing carb transport into muscle tissue.
Organic Coconut Sugar: another awesome source of electrolyte minerals, coconut sugar not only further improves the carb-loading effects of this formula but tastes great, too, giving this formula a natural flavor with genuine athletic health benefits.
Why Performance Lab Carb is the Best
For several reasons, Performance Lab Carb is easily the superior intra-workout carb supplement, even when compared to other KarboLyn®-carrying supplements.
With the mix of carbohydrates and electrolytes, this intra-workout provides quick, synergistic, on-the-spot water and energy balance, without also resorting to stimulants to cheaply provide the illusion of increasing muscle energy.
Likewise, all the ingredients are natural, even the “Other Ingredients,” which include only all-natural, vegan-friendly cocoa, vanilla, and Ceylon cinnamon flavors.
*To Buy, Visit: www.performancelab.com/products/carb
How to Take Performance Lab SPORT Carb
While we’re primarily reviewing Performance Lab SPORT Carb as an intra-workout supplement, you can take this supplement before, during, and after working out. In fact, the Performance Lab website offers more goal-oriented directions for this supplement, as per the following goals:
- Strength: 2-3 hours before training or competition
- Endurance: sip during training or extended exertion
- Recovery: within 30 minutes post-workout
- Goal: rest day
Really, if you training—and training hard—there’s not a bad time to take Performance Lab SPORT Carb. Especially if you’re committed to a fasted training or intermittent fasting program that involves low intake of dietary carbohydrates, as is.
Strategically taking Performance Lab SPORT Carb as part of an intense workout regimen can make a huge difference in your exercise performance and results.
Where to Buy It
You can buy Performance Lab SPORT Carb—and all other Performance Lab supplements—at the Performance Lab website: performancelab.com. For all Performance Lab supplements, there’s a savings system wherein each bottle added to the order reduces the price of that supp by an additional 5%. So, for this carbohydrate stack, the pricing looks like:
- One Bottle: $50 for 40 scoops
- Two Bottles: $95 for 80 scoops (5% saving)
- Three Bottles: $135 for 120 scoops (10% saving)
Because Performance Lab exclusively sells their supplements, you won’t find any of them listed on Amazon or GNC, or any other third-party retailer. But this comes with the upside of their website operating not only as a seller but an incredibly informational source of …well, info on how their supplements work, where the ingredients come from, and all that interesting jazz.
*To Buy, Visit: www.performancelab.com/products/carb
The idea is to mix-and-match a stack of supplements that meet your personal fitness and health goals. For other awesome P-Lab supplements to stack with their intra-workout carb supplement, consider the following:
The Best Intra-Workout Supplement Stacks
Carb + BCAA
Carbohydrates fuel muscle endurance and energy. BCAAs provide the aminos themselves required for protein synthesis and lean muscle growth, while also promoting intra-workout performance enhancement. Together, Performance Lab SPORT Carb and Performance Lab SPORT BCAA work incredibly well together at taking your workout to the next level, giving you that competitive “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” vitality without any post-workout crash or disruptive soreness to ruin the rest of your day.
To learn more about Performance Lab SPORT BCAA, click here.
Carb + Protein
Exceptionally large muscle mass requires exceptionally large protein intake. While carbohydrates and BCAAs may help you get the most out of your workout to ensure greater muscle gains in the long-term, you’ll still need an effective and clean protein source to keep up with your muscle’s anabolic protein demands, and Performance Lab SPORT Protein fits that bill. With its revolutionary Oryzatein® organic brown rice protein, the only rice protein clinically shown to build muscle mass as effectively as whey protein, Performance Lab SPORT Protein meets the same clean, green standards of Performance Lab’s carb stack. Effective and easy-to-absorb protein for those big boi gainz, baby.
To learn more about Performance Lab SPORT Protein, click here.
Carb + Stim
You don’t need any stimulants to have a good workout… except that sometimes you totally do. While it’s great that Performance Lab’s intra-workout stacks, as well as all their other stacks, don’t rely on stimulants, such as caffeine, to achieve their performance enhancement effects, it’s also great that they offer a stim stack for optional, as-need stimulation. Performance Lab Stim delivers motivational stimulation via a modest amount of caffeine augmented by a nootropic, brain healthy mix of L-theanine, L-tyrosine, and B vitamins that further enhance the focus-sharpening effects of caffeine while mitigating its “jittery” side effects. An awesome, simple stim stack for a more feel-good dose of mid-workout energy.
To learn more about Performance Lab Stim, click here.
It’s weird to think of certain foods as “outdated” or too “old school” for modern exercise and athletic activity, but that’s certainly the case with traditional carbohydrates and carbohydrate supplements. This is what makes Performance Lab SPORT Carb both an ultramodern intra-workout stack that’s, if anything, ahead of its time.
Following the deceptively orchestrated explosion of carbohydrates in the modern diet, today’s total rejection of carbs is the pendulum perhaps swinging too far in the other direction. Thankfully, with carb stacks like Performance Lab SPORT Carb, we may enjoy the health benefits of a carb-reduced diet while also enjoying the sports nutritional advantages of an advanced carbohydrate source. Totally guilt-free, baby.