Intraworkout Shakes: What Are They and Why You Should Drink Them

Home / Nutrition & Recipes / Intraworkout Shakes: What Are They and Why You Should Drink Them

Written by Coach Lisa

Do you often feel as though you fatigue quickly during workouts? Do you feel like your mind is foggy or you easily lose focus? Are you always super sore after workouts even though you’re pretty consistent with exercise?

If you answered yes, an intraworkout shake could be your saving grace!

What are intraworkout shakes?

An intraworkout shake is a mixture of protein and simple carbohydrates that you drink during your workout, as opposed to after a workout – like many people do with protein-only shakes.

In the case of these shakes, the simple carbohydrates used are sugar. Yes, sugar! Why sugar? Sugar is rapidly digested and during exercise it helps provide fuel to your muscles. Many endurance athletes have workout carbs during training or competition such as gatorade, goo packets, energy chews, but everyone who exercises can benefit from a well-rounded shake!

SFH Protein Samples

Benefits of Intraworkout Shakes During Exercise

Energy that is Readily Available – Workout carbs are quickly digested and sent into your bloodstream. This will become your primary source of energy instead of your body having to tap into stored energy. Because you have a readily available source of fuel, you will be able to maintain a higher level or performance during workouts.

Improved Focus – Carbohydrates break down into glucose, which is the main source of fuel for brain function. In addition to providing energy to your muscles, a readily available fuel source will help prevent mental fatigue as well! Keeping your brain sharp during a workout is important for both focus and safety. It’s hard to do a squat, jump on a box, or perform a technical lift if your mind is foggy.

Decreased Muscle Breakdown – The carbs and protein in your workout shake will drastically reduce the muscle breakdown that occurs with exercise. This will help with recovery (aka soreness), and allow you to train at a higher level more frequently.

Okay, so you agree you should probably be drinking an intraworkout shake, but you don’t know what to drink. Drinking a bottle of gatorade, plus a separate protein shake, and then extra water is a LOT of volume to consume in a short period of time. Instead, it is recommended you combine both your workout carbs and protein into one drink. Whatever workout carb you choose, you should absolutely buy the powdered version to save money and be able to control how much you use.

Check out the below table for combinations that taste great!

Whey Protein Workout Carb
Vanilla Fruit Punch, Orange, or Blue Gatorade
Vanilla Cherry, Strawberry, or Grape Kool-Aid
Vanilla Country Time Lemonade
Chocolate Fruit Punch or Orange Gatorade
Tropical Fruit Punch, Orange, or Blue Gatorade
Tropical Any Fruit Flavor Kool-Aid
Coconut Pineapple or Mango Tang
Lisa's Favorite Shake Combo


  • The above recommendations for shake combinations definitely should not make you feel sick during a workout because ingredients are quickly and easily digested. However, drinking a shake during DT, Cindy or any other WOD probably isn’t a great idea… Instead, start sipping your shake right before you begin your workout, continue to sip through the Oly/strength portion of class, and then save the rest for immediately after you finish the WOD.
  • You need to make sure you are using the correct amount of water for your shake to allow the mixture to completely blend together. If you’re not sure – ask!
  • If you take a pre-workout, such as SFH Push, take that prior to your shake. Don’t try to combine all 3 ingredients into 1 shake. First, pre-workout should be consumed 20-30 minutes before your workout, and second… I’ve tried it and it was gross.
  • We recommend getting a few samples of different proteins and workout carb flavors to find one or two combinations you like best before you purchase in bulk!

And, lastly:

SUGAR WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT… if consumed at the appropriate time in the appropriate amount for your body.

Bad time: having brownies/cookies/ice cream after dinner

Good time: having Gatorade during an intense workout


If you like the idea of incorporating an intraworkout shake into your training, but you’re not sure where to start, reach out and book a nutrition consultation with Coach Lisa! Fill out our contact form here.

Related Posts