Incorporating physical activity into one’s lifestyle is critical for overall well-being, yet it is not the sole factor necessary for obtaining desired results. Easy-to-consume convenience options range far and wide in today’s marketplace and making the best post-workout choices ensure you take the best supplements possible.
This blog post will discuss the five best post-workout supplements available today.
What Are the Essential Post-Workout Activities?
Ensuring adequate electrolyte intake is of utmost importance. Sodium, potassium, and magnesium all play crucial roles in supporting muscle function and hydration. Consuming sports drinks or coconut water can be beneficial for replenishing electrolytes.
In addition, it is vital to consume a source of protein within 30 minutes after completing a workout. Supplying the body with a reliable source of protein facilitates the muscle-building process. A whey protein shake is a convenient and efficient way to obtain adequate protein.
Replenish fluids lost during exercise with water. Consuming adequate daily water is necessary for optimum health, especially following physical activity.
Depending on your diet protocol consuming complex carbohydrates after exercise can help maintain energy levels, promote muscle pumping, and replenish glycogen stores. A banana or sweet potatoes are excellent choices to fill energy levels and power up the rest of the day.
Replenishing your electrolytes, consuming protein, rehydrating with water, and consuming complex carbs post-workout are essential for proper recovery.
While post-workout supplements are an excellent resource, consider the simple steps outlined above to help get the job done. Any or all of these steps help ensure your body is ready for the next workout.
What Type of Protein Is Essential to Post-Workout?
Post-workout protein intake is critical for maintaining peak physical condition, and several options are available. Whey protein is a widely accepted and easily digestible choice, providing a quick and convenient source of protein. Other potential sources of post-workout protein include casein, soy, and egg whites.
The type of protein essential for post-workout depends on several factors, including your dietary needs, preferences, and fitness goals. However, fast-absorbing protein sources such as whey are recommended for post-workout recovery.
Whey protein is a complete source containing all the essential amino acids needed for muscle repair and growth. It is also a fast-digesting protein, meaning that it is quickly absorbed by the body and can help to stimulate muscle protein synthesis (the process by which the body builds and repairs muscle tissue).
Other fast-absorbing protein sources suitable for post-workout recovery include egg, pea, or soy protein. Plant-based proteins are also a good option for those who avoid animal products or have dietary restrictions, as they can be just as effective as whey protein for muscle recovery and growth.
Ultimately, the type of protein best for post-workout recovery depends on your needs and preferences. Consulting with a registered dietitian can help you determine the ideal protein source and amount for your post-workout nutrition plan based on your needs and goals.
Whey protein is a popular form of protein derived from milk. It is quickly and easily digested, making it an ideal choice for after-workout nutrition. Additionally, whey protein is a comprehensive source of protein, containing all the essential amino acids necessary to promote muscle growth and recovery.
Casein protein is an excellent choice for those looking for a slow-digesting protein source. Unlike whey protein, which is quickly absorbed by the body, casein takes several hours to digest fully. Therefore, casein protein is an ideal post-workout nutrition option if you cannot get a meal within an hour or two of your workout.
Soy protein is a plant-based source of protein derived from soybeans. It provides a complete source of essential amino acids required for muscle development and recovery while being low in calories and fat, making it a viable option for vegan weight-loss programs.
Egg whites are a source of complete, high-quality protein, containing all the essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth and repair. Additionally, they are low in calories and fat, making them an ideal choice for reducing their caloric intake.
How Much Water Should You Drink Post-Workout?
Consuming half of one’s body weight in ounces of water is recommended throughout the day, emphasizing rehydrating after physical activity. For example, a 150-pound individual should strive to drink approximately 75 ounces of water daily.
Now that we understand the various options let’s discuss five post-workout supplements.
Physician’s Choice Collagen Peptides Powder is a supplement containing hydrolyzed collagen, a type of protein broken down into smaller peptides for easy digestion and absorption. Collagen is the main structural protein found in the body, and it plays a crucial role in supporting connective tissue, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
While collagen peptides are not typically marketed as a post-workout supplement, some people use them to support muscle recovery and joint health after exercise. Here are some potential benefits of collagen peptides for post-workout recovery:
- Muscle recovery: Collagen peptides contain amino acids such as glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline, essential for muscle repair and growth. Studies have shown that supplementing with collagen peptides may help to improve muscle mass, strength, and recovery after exercise.
- Joint health: Collagen is an essential component of joint tissue, and supplementing with collagen peptides may help to reduce joint pain and inflammation after exercise.
- Skin health: Collagen is also essential for skin health, and supplementing with collagen peptides may help to improve skin elasticity and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
It’s worth noting that more research is needed to fully understand the effects of collagen peptides on muscle recovery and joint health. Additionally, the FDA has not approved collagen peptides for any specific medical condition, including post-workout recovery. As with any supplement, it’s essential to talk to a healthcare professional before using Physician’s Choice Collagen Peptides Powder or any other supplement, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications.
Growth Surge is the perfect supplement for building muscle and burning fat. It contains three key components to help you gain strength and shed fat throughout the day. Growth Surge should be consumed after a workout for optimal recovery and within your anabolic window to ensure you can bounce back quickly and continue training at an optimum level. Growth Surge aids in muscle recovery, growth, and pain reduction, giving you the energy and strength to power through your next workout with endless endurance and improved intensity.
Jacked Factory Growth Surge contains a combination of several ingredients that are commonly used in post-workout supplements, including:
- Five grams of creatine monohydrate: Creatine is a popular supplement to enhance muscle performance and growth. It increases the body’s ability to produce energy during high-intensity exercise.
- Three grams of l-leucine: L-leucine is an essential amino acid for muscle growth and repair. It may also help to reduce muscle soreness after a workout.
- Two grams of betaine anhydrous: Betaine is a compound that increases power output and muscle endurance during exercise. It may also help to reduce muscle fatigue.
- Two grams of taurine: Taurine is an amino acid thought to have antioxidant properties, which can help reduce oxidative stress in the body. It may also help to reduce muscle damage and inflammation after exercise.
In addition to these ingredients, Jacked Factory Growth Surge also contains several essential vitamins and minerals for muscle and overall health, including vitamin D, magnesium, and zinc.
Here are some potential benefits of creatine monohydrate for post-workout recovery:
- Muscle recovery: Creatine has been shown to help reduce muscle damage and inflammation after exercise, which may help to speed up recovery time.
- Muscle growth: Creatine may help increase muscle size and strength, improving the body’s ability to produce energy during high-intensity exercise.
- Athletic performance: Creatine may also help to improve athletic performance, as it can increase power output, endurance, and overall exercise capacity.
In addition to creatine monohydrate, Jacked Factory Growth Surge Creatine Post Workout contains other ingredients that may be beneficial for muscle recovery and growth, including leucine, betaine, and taurine.
As with any supplement, talking to a healthcare professional before using Jacked Factory Growth Surge is essential, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications.
Eagleshine Vitamins Ultra Strength HMB Supplements are dietary supplements that contain beta-hydroxy beta-methyl butyrate (HMB), which is a metabolite of the amino acid leucine. HMB is marketed as a supplement for muscle recovery and growth, as it is thought to help reduce muscle damage and support protein synthesis after exercise. Here are some potential benefits of HMB for post-workout recovery:
- Muscle recovery: HMB has been shown to help reduce muscle damage and inflammation after exercise, which may help to speed up recovery time.
- Muscle growth: HMB may help to increase muscle size and strength, as it can improve the body’s ability to produce and use protein for muscle growth.
- Athletic performance: HMB may also help to improve athletic performance, as it can increase power output and endurance during high-intensity exercise.
Eagleshine Vitamins Ultra Strength HMB Supplements are marketed as an ultra-strength option, with each serving containing 1000mg of HMB. The capsules are also vegetarian-friendly, as they are made from plant-based materials.
It’s important to note that while HMB may be beneficial for muscle recovery and growth, the effectiveness of post-workout supplements can vary depending on factors such as diet, exercise habits, and individual differences in metabolism and response to supplements. As with any supplement, it’s essential to talk to a healthcare professional before using Eagleshine Vitamins Ultra Strength HMB Supplements, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications.
Key Nutrients Electrolytes Powder is a supplement that contains a blend of electrolytes and minerals essential for proper hydration and muscle function. The Fresh Pink Lemonade Electrolyte Drink Mix is a flavored powder that can be added to water or other liquids to provide a refreshing and hydrating post-workout drink. Here are some potential benefits of electrolytes for post-workout recovery:
- Hydration: Electrolytes are essential for maintaining proper hydration levels in the body, as they help to regulate fluid balance and prevent dehydration.
- Muscle function: Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium are essential for muscle function, as they help to regulate muscle contractions and prevent muscle cramps and spasms.
- Energy production: Electrolytes are also involved in energy production, as they help to regulate the body’s use of carbohydrates and other nutrients for fuel.
In addition to electrolytes, Key Nutrients Electrolytes Powder also contains vitamin C and zinc, which may help to support immune system function and reduce inflammation after exercise.
It’s worth noting that while electrolyte supplements may be beneficial for post-workout recovery, they are not typically explicitly marketed for muscle recovery and growth. However, proper hydration and electrolyte balance are essential for overall health and exercise performance, and supplementing with electrolytes may help to support these goals. As with any supplement, it’s necessary to talk to a healthcare professional before using Key Nutrients Electrolytes Powder or any other supplement, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications.
EFX Sports Karbolyn Fuel is a carbohydrate supplement powder marketed as a pre, intra, and post-workout supplement for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. It is made from a patented blend of complex carbohydrates designed to be rapidly absorbed and utilized by the body. It provides a sustained energy source during exercise and supports muscle recovery and growth after exercise. Here are some potential benefits of EFX Sports Karbolyn Fuel for post-workout recovery:
- Carbohydrate replenishment: EFX Sports Karbolyn Fuel is designed to provide a quick and sustained source of carbohydrates, which can help to replenish glycogen stores in the muscles after exercise and support muscle recovery.
- Energy production: Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source during exercise. Supplementing with a carbohydrate powder like EFX Sports Karbolyn Fuel may help increase energy levels and improve exercise performance.
- Muscle growth: Carbohydrates are also crucial for supporting muscle growth and repair, as they provide the energy and nutrients needed for protein synthesis and muscle tissue growth.
EFX Sports Karbolyn Fuel is available in various flavors and can be mixed with water or other liquids. It is also gluten-free and suitable for athletes who follow a low glycemic or ketogenic diet.
It’s worth noting that while carbohydrate supplements like EFX Sports Karbolyn Fuel may be beneficial for post-workout recovery, their effectiveness can vary depending on individual factors such as diet, exercise habits, and metabolism. As with any supplement, it’s essential to talk to a healthcare professional before using EFX Sports Karbolyn Fuel or any other supplement, especially if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medications.
Bonus: Here are five popular post-workout drink mix supplements that have received positive reviews in the past:
- Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein Powder: This protein powder is a popular choice for post-workout recovery. It contains fast-absorbing whey protein and is available in various flavors.
- BSN Syntha-6 Protein Powder: This protein powder contains a blend of different protein sources, including whey, casein, and egg protein, which may provide a sustained amino acid release for muscle recovery.
- Vega Sport Protein Powder: This plant-based protein powder is made from pea protein and contains added amino acids to support muscle recovery and growth.
- XTEND Original BCAA Powder: This drink mix contains BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) essential for muscle recovery, and growth and electrolytes to support hydration.
- Scivation XTEND Elite BCAA Powder: Similar to the XTEND Original BCAA Powder, this drink mix contains BCAAs and electrolytes but includes additional ingredients such as citrulline and PeakO2 to support performance and endurance during exercise.
How to Create the Ideal post-workout recovery shake?
Creating the ideal post-workout recovery shake involves incorporating ingredients that provide the body with the nutrients it needs to recover and repair muscles after exercise. Here’s a guide to creating the perfect post-workout shake:
- Protein: The most critical ingredient in a post-workout shake is protein. Protein plays a vital role in facilitating muscle recovery and development. Consuming a shake that contains roughly 20-30 grams of protein is notably conducive to achieving optimal outcomes. Whey protein powder is popular, but plant-based options such as pea, soy, or hemp protein can also work well.
- Carbohydrates: After exercise, the body needs carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores, which are depleted during exercise. Including 20-30 grams of carbohydrates in your shake can help to restore energy levels and aid in recovery. Good sources of carbohydrates include fruit, oats, and honey.
- Healthy fats: Adding healthy fats to your shake can help to reduce inflammation and aid in nutrient absorption. Good sources of healthy fats include avocado, nut butter, or chia seeds.
- Electrolytes: During physical activity, essential electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium are eliminated from the body through sweat. Including electrolytes in your post-workout shake can help to replenish these minerals and prevent dehydration. Good sources of electrolytes include coconut water or sports drinks.
- Optional ingredients: Add elements to your post-workout shake depending on your preferences. For example, adding frozen berries can provide antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, while adding spinach or kale can provide additional nutrients.
Here’s a sample recipe for a post-workout recovery shake:
- One scoop of whey protein powder
- One banana
- One tablespoon of almond butter
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1/4 cup of frozen berries
- One handful of spinach
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth, and enjoy!
How Can I Calculate Macronutrients That Are Specific to My Needs?
Calculating macronutrients for a post-workout recovery shake involves determining your needs based on your body weight, activity level, and fitness goals. Here are some general guidelines for calculating macronutrients for a post-workout shake:
- Protein: As a general guideline, it is recommended to aim for a protein intake of 0.15-0.25 grams per pound of body weight following physical activity. To illustrate, assuming one’s body weight to be 150 pounds, consuming 22.5-37.5 grams of protein in their post-exercise shake is optimal.
- Carbohydrates: The amount of carbohydrates you need in your post-workout shake depends on your activity level and goals. A recommended intake of 0.5-0.7 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight is advised to promote muscle hypertrophy. For optimal weight management, it is recommended to target a daily carbohydrate intake of 0.25-0.5 grams per pound of body weight. This range is suggested for individuals seeking to achieve or sustain their weight.
- Fat: While fat is not as important as protein and carbohydrates for post-workout recovery, adding a small number of healthy fats to your shake can help to reduce inflammation and aid in nutrient absorption. Aim for 5-10 grams of fat in your post-workout shake.
An Illustration of Determining Macronutrient Proportions for a Post-exercise Shake.
- Protein: If you weigh 150 pounds, aim for 22.5-37.5 grams of protein in your post-workout shake. One scoop typically contains around 20 grams of protein if you use whey protein powder.
- Carbohydrates: If you are trying to gain muscle mass, aim for 75-105 grams of carbohydrates (0.5-0.7 grams per pound of body weight). Aim for 37.5-75 grams of carbohydrates (0.25-0.5 grams per pound) if you want to lose or maintain weight. For example, include a banana (25 grams of carbohydrates) and 1/2 cup of oats (27 grams) in your post-workout shake.
- Fat: Aim for 5-10 grams in your post-workout shake. You could include one tablespoon of almond butter (9 grams of fat) in your shake.
It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and your individual macronutrient needs may vary based on factors such as your activity level, fitness goals, and overall diet. Collaborating with a licensed dietitian can assist in identifying the most suitable macronutrient distribution for your after-workout beverage, considering your specific requirements.