NutraBio Natural Series Intra Blast: The Best EAA Gets Better

In the latest addition to NutraBio’s Natural Series, Intra Blast is here for a ‘cleaner’ alternative… and the Sweet Tea flavor tasted better than the original!

NutraBio Natural Series Intra Blast

Besides this tasting better than the original sweet tea Intra Blast, we make an argument that it will perform better too! Keep reading!

For the athletic masses who enjoy intra workout supplements and sports drinks but prefer to avoid artificial sweeteners, fake colors, and artificial flavors — but still want it to taste good — NutraBio finally has you covered.

The value of a solid intra-workout supplement is difficult to question. First, we want to fuel the workout in order to push farther than we could have without it. Second, we want to get ready to do it all over again tomorrow, so we value the recovery it offers.

The taste of a first-class intra workout supplement… without the sucralose!

With the original NutraBio Intra Blast, you’ve always gotten both, but it was indeed sweetened with sucralose. Amino acid supplements are tough enough to flavor as it is, but when you add a full-spectrum blend of all essential amino acids, it gets even more difficult. But NutraBio has stepped up to the plate and hit a home run with their new Natural Series Intra Blast.

Intra Blast Natural gives us all of the endurance and recovery benefits of the original Intra Blast, but absent of the artificial sweeteners we have come to question. On top of it all, NutraBio gives us full label transparency, so we can see exactly how it’s done.

Let’s get into the specifics below, but first you can sign up for our NutraBio news alerts to get emailed when there’s a price drop, coupon, new flavor, or other news from NutraBio:

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Our Intra Blast Natural Review

Our tasting panel is now up on YouTube, and NutraBio definitely did it! See which flavor we liked best:

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In case you’re wondering how the new label will stack up against the old label, we’ve broken it down below. And as you can see, even if you don’t care about sucralose, there’s an argument to be made for the Natural Series one over the original one too!

Natural Series Intra Blast Ingredients

If you’ve ever looked at a NutraBio product label (or seen one of our other NutraBio news articles), you know you’re getting full label disclosure. A serving size of Intra Blast Natural is a single scoop, weighing in at 29.92g. That is a hefty scoop – larger than some protein powder scoops – and as you’ll see, this supplement can easily be run at half-dose, especially for smaller athletes!

  • Muscle Growth EAA / BCAA (10g)

    • BCAAs (7.4g)

      NutraBio Natural Series Intra Blast Ingredients

      It’s more loaded than the OG Intra Blast! Why? Note the 5g organic cane sugar! We get into this below, but the sweet tea taste is better because of this!

      This is an intra workout supplement, so we assume seeing a dose of BCAAs does not surprise you. Intra Blast Natural packs a heavy dosed 3.8g of leucine, with a proportional ratio to the other two BCAAs, with 1.8g of Isoleucine and 1.8g of Valine.

      Add these up and we get 7.4g of BCAAs that will help stimulate muscle protein synthesis, speed recovery, and delay or offset the impending soreness (DOMS).[1-4] Intra Blast Natural provides a heavier dose of BCAAs than most other intra-workout products, and definitely more than other naturally-sweetened products on the market!

      But BCAAs on their own can’t do it all – the latest rage has been adding all of the essential amino acids (EAAs) to BCAA supplements to trigger stronger results, and thankfully we have a very large blend coming up next.

      So MPS pathways be warned – this dose should definitely signal muscle protein synthesis and muscle building during your workout – especially with the large EAA blend following!

      From the start of our label analysis here, we’re off to a great start, with more BCAAs than average.

      Now for the 2.6g Essential Amino Acid (EAA) blend:

    • L-Lysine (850mg)

      An EAA (essential amino acid) L-Lysine’s primary function is to help regulate our bodies’ production of carnitine. In addition to lowering cholesterol, carnitine in turn aids to convert fatty acids into available energy. It also helps the body absorb calcium, recover from injuries or extensive exercise.[5,6]

      NutraBio Naturals

      Naturally sweetened is naturally beautiful to many in NutraBio Nation

      Interesting note: outside of leucine, this is the only other purely ketogenic amino acid. Intra Blast is most definitely not a supplement dedicated to keto dieters, but lysine is still an interesting EAA to research as it’s different than the others to follow.

    • L-Threonine (850mg)

      Threonine is a multifunctional amino acid that’s used in the body’s production of proteins. More specifically, it’s needed for the biosynthesis of glycine and serine to stimulate muscle protein synthesis in the body. It increases glycine levels in the central nervous system and can aid in recovering from a “burnt out” CNS.

    • L-Histidine (450mg)

      This amino acid gets lost in the fuss regarding Beta-Alanine. Beta-Alanine is regarded as an endurance aid but it has to bind to histidine in the muscle to raise carnosine levels in the muscle! If you are deficient in Histidine, then Beta-Alanine can’t bind and therefore won’t work as intended.

      To keep carnosine levels high, your best bet is to cover your bases with both amino acids. Intra Blast here has you on the L-Histidine, while Natural Series Pre has you covered on the beta alanine!

    • DL-Phenylalanine (300mg)

      When we ingest DL-Phenylalanine (DLPA) it converts into Tyrosine (another one of our favorite amino acids to take pre workout, of which NutraBio sells 3rd-party tested raw!) and then later converts into epinephrine, norepinephrine, and L-Dopa down the line.

      NutraBio Naturals Expo West

      NutraBio officially launched the Naturals Series Pre Workout and Intra Blast at the 2018 Expo West, but we got to taste them a week before that and they’re fantastic!

      So, what the heck are these? They’re neurotransmitters and can help improve a user’s energy, mood, and sense of well-being. If that doesn’t sound great halfway through your leg day, then maybe you are addicted to pain![7]

    • DL-Methionine (100mg)

      Methionine as a very strong antioxidant. During a workout, it should easy to see how this would benefit a user during an intense training session. DL-Methionine aids in spreading free radicals and the oxidative stress that is incurred in the body by intense training.

      Note that this is the ingredient that destroys the flavor of many competing EAA supplements, and is why you’ll see it ‘microdosed’ in them, or ignored completely! 100mg is far more than we’ve seen lately, and lower down we talk about how NutraBio’s team worked to mask it rather than ignore it.

    • L-Tryptophan (55mg)

      At first glance, you might question why tryptophan is in something designed to aid your workout. Although it acts as a relaxing agent, all that turkey talk is overhyped and it’s incredibly unlikely that users experience that side effect due to the low dosage in Intra Blast Natural.

      Tryptophan is an interesting amino acid. Imagine something that can potentially raise your pain threshold. How many reps have you left in the gym because you couldn’t blast through the muscle pain? Using tryptophan can improve your stamina and endurance, because if you don’t know that something hurts, then you are likely to keep going![8]

  • Muscle Recovery Accelerator (5g)

    The “glutamine section” comes next:

    • L-Glutamine (5g)

      NutraBio Natural Series Intra Blast

      It’s true – the Natural Series sweet tea tastes better than the original!

      Glutamine is arguably the most well-known amino acid. Ask the average gym goer and they will tell you that Glutamine is for recovery and promotes muscle recovery and growth.[9]

      Generally, intense training in the gym, on the court or on the field can lead to rapid depletion of glutamine stores. In those moments, users may benefit from glutamine supplementation by replenishing those stores.

      Intra Blast is covering all bases for a quick recovery with a whopping 5g of glutamine. This will definitely aid in preventing soreness and recovery. 5g is a massive dose compared to other intra workout products and glutamine fans can rest easy knowing they are getting adequate amino acids for recovery with Intra Blast Natural.

      And, let’s be honest. This stuff tastes pretty good and helps the product dissolve better in water, which helps with the palatability.

  • Strength & Performance Matrix (3g)

    Now for a couple ‘bonus’ ingredients we normally only see in pre-workouts… but not for this behemoth!

    • Betaine Anhydrous (2g)

      Betaine Metabolic Pathway

      Metabolic pathways for choline and betaine. Phosphocholine (PCho), phosphatidylcholine (PtdCho), glycerophosphocholine (GPCho), and sphingomyelin (SM) are formed from choline (Cho) and can be hydrolyzed to form Cho. The formation of betaine (Bet) from Cho is irreversible. Betaine can donate a methyl group to homocysteine (Hcy) to form methionine (Met). Met is converted to S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), which is an important methyl donor. PtdCho can be formed from SAM and phosphatidylethanolamine (PtdEtn). Folate and Cho metabolism intersect because methyltetrahydrofolate (Methyl-THF), a product of folate metabolism, can also donate a methyl group for the formation of Met from Hcy.[1]

      Betaine has been trending upwards as a popular addition to many pre-workout supplements, including NutraBio’s Pre. It was a bit strange to see it in the original Intra Blast formula, but now we understand the reasoning behind it, as it improves endurance and power when enough is taken.

      More importantly, Betaine boosts muscle protein synthesis and reduces soreness, which makes this ideal to add in conjunction with a recovery supplement.[10-12]

      Like we previously covered in the original Intra Blast article, Intra Blast Natural provides 2g of Betaine Anhydrous, which is lower than the clinically studied 2.5g (although ‘close enough’ for some of us). However, NutraBio strategically dosed it so that if you take NutraBio Natural Series PRE (or the original NutraBio PRE or PRE Extreme) with any Intra Blast product, you will get 4g total and your bases are well-covered.

    • OKG (1g)

      Lost on many, L-Ornithine Alpha Ketoglutarate (OKG) is a salt formed from ornithine and one alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) molecule. When combined, these two create OKG, which acts as harbinger of arginine and nitric oxide.[13]

      Sure we know the benefits of more nitric oxide during a workout. If we produce more of it, we generally get greater blood flow in the body. Not only does this make us look swole, but it helps supply muscle tissue with a fresh dose of oxygen and nutrients. The increased supply of both will result in higher quality workout via increased endurance. Underrated ingredient here.

  • Electrolyte & Hydration Optimizer (2.8g)

    The electrolyte blend in Natural Series Intra Blast is almost identical to the natural Series PRE. Intra Blast comes in at 2.8g and contains Di-Magnesium Malate, while PRE contains 2.71g and does not have Di-Magnesium Malate.

    • Taurine (2g)

      NutraBio Taurine

      For pure, 3rd-party lab-tested taurine, look no further than NutraBio Taurine

      A common pre-workout addition, taurine has multiple benefits across the body. It is an osmolyte and aids with cellular hydration, which directly enhances endurance.[8] Another benefit of taurine, is that it works synergistically with caffeine to improve focus and mental performance.[8] NutraBio’s PRE has an equal 2g dose of Taurine.

      Recently, we featured a new meta analysis showing that taurine helps with endurance — and that’s after a single use. So if you’re on an extreme budget, you can just grab the NutraBio Taurine on that page and still get a small boost.

    • Calci-K (525mg)

      Acting as vital electrolytes for gym performance and function, Calci-K is a patented form of calcium and potassium. These are great additions to any pre-workout or intra-workout supplement. The additions of these minerals will help users ensure they keep necessary electrolytes replenished before they even start lifting.

      We’ll take potassium nearly anytime we can get it, since a K-deficiency is extremely hazardous (this is a good reason to track your diet with a tracker). But it’s best to keep it in balance with sodium:

    • Sodium Phosphate (157mg)

      The NutraBio Story

      New to NutraBio? Read The NutraBio Story!

      Arguably the most important mineral and electrolyte for performance, Sodium reigns supreme. Vital for hydration, performance, and overall function, sodium is not the enemy that people make it out to be. Sodium promotes hydration, fullness and pumps – all vital elements of a great workout! PricePlow is as pro-sodium as we are pro-potassium – athletes need both!

    • Di-Magnesium Malate (140mg)

      Di-Magnesium Malate is simply a combination of magnesium and malic acid. Used for pain relief, fatigue, constipation, and a variety of muscular and metabolic conditions, Di-Magnesium Malate is also used for soothing muscles and faster recovery.

      In addition to the other electrolytes in Intra Blast Natural, magnesium is necessary for critical processes in the body, such as muscle protein synthesis, quality muscle contractions, energy production, and glucose control.[14-16]

That’s a ton of stuff – and that’s why it’s nearly a 30g scoop!

Overall, Intra Blast Natural covers an athlete’s recovery and endurance needs nearly ten-fold! One of the most robust and quality intra-workout supplements available (and in fact our top-rated BCAA), NutraBio’s Natural Intra Blast will be incredibly popular among those trying to avoid artificial flavors, or sweeteners.

Even if you don’t care about how your supplements are sweetened, you will still get the incredible workout benefits from this version… and in fact, we make the case for better results below!

NutraBio Natural Series Intra Blast - Deals and Price Drop Alerts

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Posts are sponsored in part by the retailers and/or brands listed on this page.

So What Makes The Natural Version Different?

When we wrote about the Natural Series PRE earlier this month, we specifically looked at the sweetening mechanisms used for the product. Intra Blast Natural will have the same stevia treatment, but you need a bit more help to topple the essential amino acid beast inside this one. So when NutraBio dropped the sucralose, they sweetened Intra Blast Natural with stevia and 5g of raw organic cane sugar.

The organic cane sugar makes it a better supplement!

Organic Cane Sugar

Yes, 5g of organic cane sugar has been added here. And it works – both for taste and a dash of performance!

With the addition of some simple carbohydrates, we could make an argument that this is a better performance enhancing supplement than the original! (But truth be told, there’s no study done on just 5g carbs – typically carbohydrate performance enhancement research uses much more.)

This means that Intra Blast Natural officially has “20 calories” per serving, with all of those coming from carbohydrates in the form of 5g that organic cane sugar. Now, some may argue the caloric value of BCAAs and EAAs — and they would be correct — but per the FDA, the label must state 20 calories. Stay tuned though, because this leads us to an entirely separate conversation about NutraBio’s upcoming True Facts campaign.

Stevia needs help in conquering the methionine

Stevia is of course a natural sweetener up to 200 times sweeter than table sugar, but also has a bittersweetness element. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that they don’t have a miniscule or non-existent dose of methionine like some competitors use. Methionine, discussed above, is an EAA that has the rotten smell of sulfur, and it’s quite a bear to mask.

Yet NutraBio and the team have done it, with help in part by the aforementioned cane sugar, as our initial taste tests on the PricePlow Podcast at the 2018 Arnold have proven:

Team PricePlow tastes the Sweet Tea Natural Intra Blast

See what we thought below (the video is long so we’ve pointed it to the right part, around 5:50):

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Intra Blast Natural Series Flavors

Intra Blast Natural will drop in two distinct flavors. With Natural PRE set to release in Sweet Tea and Green Apple, NutraBio decided to add some diversity with Intra Blast Natural’s flavor options:

  • Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Intra Blast

    Times certainly have changed. We used to fight over a watermelon BCAA. Now we’re flavoring our EAA supplements with summer sweet tea! (Shown: original Intra Blast tub. Natural Series will be white tubs)

    Much to the enjoyment of fans, Intra Blast Natural will drop in a user favorite flavor, and one of the newest from the sucralose-sweetened Sweet Tea. In our taste-test above, dare we say that this tasted better than the original – likely thanks to the organic cane sugar and NutraBio’s ever-improving flavorist really hitting his stride!

  • Kiwi Strawberry

    Sweet Tea isn’t for everyone, so the fruit flavor option is for the rest.

As most supplements go, if there is serious success, you can expect more flavors to come out over time. Intra Blast has very flavorful Orange Mango and Passion Fruit flavors that would translate well to the natural crowd too!

Final Thoughts: We’re in for this one

Packing every bit of the quality ingredients and dosing contained in the original Intra Blast, we fully expect this product to carry us through our most grueling training sessions, without the concern of rather large amounts of artificial sweeteners.

NutraBio Logo

NutraBio is the industry leader in quality and transparency, and has been for quite some time. This Natural Series pushes the envelope further

This is the type of label that puts competitors on notice. It’s amazing that in light of NutraBio’s push towards full label transparency, few others have followed suit. Given the success NutraBio has seen over the last couple of years, other supplement companies might not have a choice but to play “follow the leader.”

Before companies like NutraBio, consumers had no other choice than to “trust” the companies they bought from. Before you had to trust, now you can trust and verify.

NutraBio on a roll

Mark Glazier NutraBio

Mark Glazier-led NutraBio was firing on all cylinders before this Natural Series… now it goes to another level!

NutraBio is smashing it lately with the release of its Natural Series PRE and the anticipated arrival of “True Facts” which will give consumers even more insight into everything that NutraBio is putting into its products.

We have said it before and we will say it again, NutraBio is playing this game to win. The company continues to drop products that the people want. Not only is there a demand for supplements free of artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors, and dyes, NutraBio gives consumers the perfect blend of ingredients at the right dose.

Even better, we get the assurance of quality and dosing because NutraBio tells you exactly what you are getting on the label!

The Natural Series line is a great addition to a company who sits atop the market and we can’t wait to see what NutraBio comes up with next!

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References

  1. Kim, D; Effect of BCAA intake during endurance exercises on fatigue substances, muscle damage substances, and energy metabolism substances; Department of Physical Education, Chonnam National University; 2013; Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4241904/
  2. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R; Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S
  3. Howatson G, Hoad M, Goodall S, Tallent J, Bell PG, French DN. Exercise-induced muscle damage is reduced in resistance-trained males by branched chain amino acids: a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Jul 12;9:20.
  4. Sharp CP, Pearson DR. Amino acid supplements and recovery from high-intensity resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):1125-30
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24124612
  6. https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/lysine
  7. http://www.med.nyu.edu/content?ChunkIID=21664#P4
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3246461
  9. Bowtell JL, et al. Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise. J Appl Physiol. (1999)
  10. Lee EC, et al. Ergogenic effects of betaine supplementation on strength and power performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. (2010).
  11. del Favero S, et al Creatine but not betaine supplementation increases muscle phosphorylcreatine content and strength performance . Amino Acids. (2012)
  12. holewa, J; Effects of betaine on body composition, performance, and homocysteine thiolactone.; Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, Coastal Carolina University; 2013
  13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15465801
  14. Institute of Medicine (IOM). Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997.
  15. Rude RK. Magnesium. In: Coates PM, Betz JM, Blackman MR, Cragg GM, Levine M, Moss J, White JD, eds.Encyclopedia of Dietary Supplements. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Informa Healthcare; 2010:527-37.
  16. Stephenson EW, Podolsky RJ; Regulation by magnesium of intracellular calcium movement in skinned muscle fibers . J Gen Physiol. (1977)
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