Where pre-workout supplements seek to boost your workout, post-workout supplements address the vital matters of muscle building and recovery; as well as general body recovery and well-being.
It’s an important phase of supplementation to get right- known as the anabolic window- so here’s some tips to keep you working at your best
What is a post-workout supplement?
The post-workout supplement is aimed at aiding recovery after a tough session. They may aid in keeping Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness at bay, and they get you ready for the next workout.
It’s a market that is absolutely saturated at the moment, so it is imperative to choose a supplement that suits you and your goals as well as your budget.
Not only can a holistic post-workout supplement make the training process more comfortable, it can also considerably boost your gains and help you make the most of your body and the hours of hard work you’re putting into it.
Be sure to choose a blend that works with your goals and as with most supplements, look for high quality ingredients and minimize your exposure to artificial sweeteners, chemicals, dyes and cheap filler.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with blending with your favorite protein sources either- your post-workout shake is there to support you.
What should I look for in a post-workout supplement?
- Protein is essential after a workout. Muscle repair will be taking place, and the body will require its amino acids to rebuild them better and stronger.
- It needs to be a quickly digestible protein for that reason, to boost immediate repair work. A slower digesting protein in addition will help keep the process going. Whey is one of the best fast-digesting protein sources you can consider. Make sure it’s a whole protein, not an isolate, as there are far more nutritive benefits to the whole protein.
- Whey will also assist with fat loss, boosts the immune system and much more- but make sure that there isn’t nasty sugars or artificial sweeteners added to your Whey. A rough guideline is 0.5 g of Whey protein for every kg of bodyweight.
- Carbs will help you replenish your muscle glycogen stores. Replenishing this quickly is vital, as a slowdown here could affect your next workout. If you’re workout wasn’t quite rough enough to tap into glycogen stores, carbs are less essential- concentrate then on the protein.
- BCAAs, Branch Chain Amino Acids, consist of the main groups of amino acids used for muscle growth, help control insulin levels and in turn flatten the cortisol response that may hinder your recovery time.
- Creatine is usually added, as the 45 minutes after a workout is the optimal time for nutrient uptake, and casein can assist both in lean muscle gain and boost strength. It may also assist with reducing inflammation, assist with fat loss and assist with boosting energy, although its not directly responsible for muscle recovery
And don’t forget the most important nutrient of all- the one that won’t come in your supplement! Water is absolutely essential, and you must restore your hydration levels as soon after a workout as is sensible.
So tell me about a great post-workout product?
As we mentioned earlier, the post-workout supplement market is absolutely saturated in offerings. Many athletes get fabulous results from building their own ‘stack’ [or nutrient base] with ingredients such as Whey protein and the supplements we analysed above.
That’s a great option for you if you have the time and are particularly dedicated to achieving certain balances of each ingredient- it allows you full room to tailor your recovery supplement to your exact specifications.
But not everyone has the time, knowledge or urge to do that, so we’ve lined up 3 post-workout supplements that consistently get excellent ratings for users below:
- Optimum Nutrition 2:1:1 Recovery
- LEGION Recharge
- Muscle Pharm Re-Con Advanced Recovery Supplement
Optimum Nutrition are a trusted name in the supplement industry. And the offerings in this particular supplement are all GMO free, to help you keep your diet clean as well as beneficial.
It blends casein, whey and egg albumen with fast-acting carbs in a 2:1:1 ratio for optimal recovery, and is fortified with additional BCAAs leucine, isoleucine and valine in the same ratio. It aims for maximum protein and sustained delivery.
Customer do occasionally have issues mixing this shake, but generally love the taste. Its a great budget buy to refuel anyone’s workout and customers consistently rank it high in the budget-friendly category.
Legion is going to be the recovery drink of choice for you if you’re particularly worried about eating clean. It’s naturally sweetened with no filler, dye or other chemicals. It delivers a whacking boost of Glutamine to help your body deal with exercise stress and recover from fatigue.
L-cartanine helps with inflammation and repair. Paired with a high quality Whey of your choice, this one will have you on your feet and back in the gym in no time.
User’s love the taste and find it a versatile product and deeply appreciate both the personal hand of the owner behind this line of products and the lack of ‘proprietary blend’ obfuscation. It’s a product with a 5 star Amazon rating, which is hard to argue with.
Muscle Pharm are another deeply trusted brand and this product will help you maximize your anabolic window period to ensure the best gains from your workout. It provides BCAAs as well as Essential Amino Acids to assist with muscle repair and growth, as well as ingredients to maximize glycogen recovery and detoxify the muscles.
Reviewers call the results ‘incredible’, and also suggest that the product is effective on half the recommended dose when exercising at all but the most maximum intensities- always good news for the budget! Users consistently report feeling less sore then usual after use.
With the best post-workout blend for your body, you will be empowered to make the most of your hard-earned gains at the gym and will be able to do so with a minimized recovery time. Make a high-quality post-workout supplement part of your arsenal of workout weapons today, and you’ll love the results you see.