How many times have you heard that carbohydrates are essential to optimal high intensity training and muscle growth? It’s a common misconception and one of the industry’s greatest myths. Luckily, we live in a world full of intelligent people to disprove these misunderstood theories.
John Meadows is one of these highly qualified individuals. His resume is bolstered by a degree in Health and Fitness Management from Capital University and reinforced with over thirty years of experience training and building nutrition programs for thousands of clients.
I recently explored Intra-MD, the Mountain Dog’s debut attempt at formulating supplements for Prime Nutrition. Prior to that, I ranked John’s Best Bar Ever, the number one protein bar on the market. I hope you haven’t gotten enough of the man known as the Mountain Dog, because this week we will be discussing his low-carb solution to intra-workout supplementation.
When I first heard Prime Nutrition would be releasing a carb-free version of Intra-MD, I was stumped. Carbohydrate is the primary ingredient in this drink and without it, Intra-MD is simply an amino acid supplement. That’s when I was introduced to HydroMax.
HydroMax is a highly concentrated form of powdered glycerol monostearate at its most stable incarnation. Upon the introduction of glycerol, fluid is efficiently distributed throughout the cells to improve recovery, reduce central nervous system trauma, and increase hydration. When cells experience this elevated level of hydration, benefits include increased stamina, cardiovascular endurance, intramuscular volume and adaptation to heightened periods of stress. In other words, HydroMax supplementation improves exercise efficiency and promotes muscle pumps despite the absence of carbohydrates.
These affects are sought after by athletes on low-carb diets, especially bodybuilders working in their final weeks prior to a contest.
Theacrine is another new component prevalent in Intra-MD EAA+ as TeaCrine. When depleted of carbohydrates, athletes not only experience a dip in strength, but a lack of focus. This unique amino acid acts as a neuro-active primer, improving cognitive function without the possibility of developing a tolerance like other stimulants (i.e. caffeine).
Another plus to Intra-MD EAA+ is the increased amino acid profile. EAA+ improves upon the original formula increasing 2.5g of L-Leucine to 3g, 2g of Citrulline Malate to 2.5g, and 14.5g of essential amino acids to 20g overall.
My first opportunity at supplementing with Intra-MD EAA+ came on low-carb day – my third that week. I started sipping on the intra-workout cocktail 10 minutes prior to my first set. By the time I had completed my warm-up routine, the tired, groggy feeling transformed into that of strength and power. Fullness returned to my muscles and I was able (to a degree) to replicate the same intensity as that of a high-carb day.
Quality of Ingredients: HydroMax is a relatively new supplement, breaking onto the market in early 2014. Sufficient studies, as well as my own personal testing, have been conducted declaring this a premium quality ingredient. Since the release of Intra-MD EAA+, more products have begun utilizing HydroMax to similar success. 9/10.
Safety of Product: Prime Nutrition elicits only two ingredients, HydroMax and amino acids, to bring a safe product to athletes in the throws of his/her diet. Neither of which are unsafe nor cause any potential harm to users. 9/10.
Effectiveness: The Mountain Dog’s sophomore effort at formulating products suffers no slump. He takes all of the great things about the original supplement, and makes them better. Even with the absence of carbohydrates, athletes are able to experience strong and healthy muscle pumps throughout the duration of the workout. 9/10.
Price: One 30-serving bottle of Intra-MD EAA+ can be purchased from Bodybuilding.com for $39.99 or directly from PrimeNutrition.com for $36 (with 10% off code CSMATT). Available flavors include the tried and true Orange Carnage and all-new Slaughtermelon. 10/10.
Overall: I have supplemented with both varieties of Intra-MD and while the new formula fills certain voids left by the original, I respond better to carbohydrates and prefer the former. Athletes looking for a carb-free alternative, however, stand to see nearly identical physical benefits, in addition to improved mental focus. 9/10.
What is your theory on intra-workout nutrition? As always, shoot me a tweet or drop me a post about any supplements YOU would like to see me review. My contact info is listed above!