Monster Guide: 5 Things To Add To Your Water Bottle


With increasing research proving that intra workout supplementation is vital for growth, recovery and performance, I have compiled a list of five things you may want to add to that shaker bottle to ensure your workouts and rest periods are optimal.


Electrolytes are salts and minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. It is important that they stay balanced to allow all cells in the body to function normally.


Our main concern with electrolytes is they allow cells to generate energy. They are important for muscle contractions and also moving water and fluids within the body. When we train for a long period, we can deplete certain electrolytes, which can cause muscle weakness and severe muscle contraction. The longer we train, the more depleted we become. If your sessions are short, perhaps 20-30 minutes, then an electrolyte drink after exercise will be fine. However, sessions of an hour or more would warrant the need for electrolytes to be taken on board during the session to prevent fatigue.

As well as an electrolyte drink, I also add pink Himalayan salt to most meals pre and post workout to ensure I’m getting sodium in before the workout and replenishing it afterwards.

Amino acids

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein that help grow and repair our muscles. There are 20 amino acids in total. Eight are essential, as the body cannot make them and they have to be supplied by an outside source, two are semi-essential and 10 are non-essential. For muscle growth, we are mostly concerned with the amino acid leucine, which is shown to have the largest effect and protein synthesis by activating the mTor pathway.


For workout performance, citrulline malate and beta alanine are best used. Citrulline malate taken at a dose of around 6g will significantly improve strength and endurance while increasing the muscle pump like you wouldn’t believe. Beta alanine acts as a buffer and helps prevent the lactic acid build up in the muscle. This increases muscular endurance aiding in potential muscle growth. When looking for an intra workout amino acid supplement, a BCAA or EAA containing a good dose of these three amino acids is what I would recommend if you want the most from your workouts.


Carbs for me are a must intra workout. They only come out completely during the last stages of prep when were really trying to drive calories low and deplete the muscle. I use highly branched cyclic dextrin, as it has a low osmolarity and the fastest gastric clearance of all carbs sources and I don’t experience any bloat. As we all know, carbs are key for a good muscle pump and, as insulin is released, this is the perfect supplement to combine with your amino acids.

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The insulin that is released will drive the aminos straight to the muscle where they can begin the growth and repair process. Away from intra workout supplementation, another healthy choice of carb is from fruit. Add fresh lemon and lime juice to a glass of warm water on a morning. This will aid in cleansing the liver of toxins and help digestion.


HICA, also known as leucic acid, is a metabolite of leucine thought to have anabolic properties. Further research is required to determine how effective HICA actually is as opposed to HMB or leucine, but from the one study that was conducted, an increase in lean mass was evident over the placebo group.




Creatine monohydrate is another staple in my intra workout supplementation for many reasons. It’s the most intensively researched supplement available to us today, which is proven to actually work, and it’s so cheap. Without diving too much into the science behind energy systems, creatine works by quickly replenishing the phosphate molecule of ATP once it’s used up. This means that we recover quicker during sets enabling us to push harder through workouts.


About the Author

Since the age of 7 when I first stepped foot on a rugby pitch, sport and fitness has been a major part of my life. I went on to play a decent standard of ruby which entailed a lot of different styles of training, on and off the pitch. The importance of fitness was further distilled in me when I joined the Army at the age of 16. The Army’s way of physically training it’s soldiers is very different from civilian PT, you are taught to dig deep and find the courage to never give up no matter how hard the exercise, and you must be seen to be giving 100% effort at all times. I loved the Army’s mentality towards training so I became an Army Physical Training Instructor (PTI). I was fortunate enough to be posted into the gym and my main focus was on preparing soldier’s physically for over sea’s operations. I have lifted weights now for around 8 years, I would say I have been seriously bodybuilding for maybe 2 years. When I left the army and started training at Maxxmuscle gym, home of IFBB Pro Anth Bailes, is when I started bodybuilding. Just talking to the guy makes you want to get on stage and he is defiantly a great ambassador for the sport. The army has always taught me that, to progress you need to have short and long term goals, discipline, and a passion for something. My passion is now the health, fitness and anything associated with them. I love training every single day, I love keeping track of my nutrition every single day, and I love helping people out with less knowledge than myself because I was once in their shoes. After competing in 2014 I became part of the monster supplements team. I consider this a massive privilege to have their backing during my 2015 offseason and further competitions to come.
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