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Fact checked by Meghan Novoshielski, M.S Nutrition Sci. ,RDNFACT CHECKED
August 30, 2022
Don't let your hard work go to waste. A common mistake people make when exercising is not refueling the body after a tough workout. Post-workout recovery is essential if you want to maximize your gains.
With the endless options on the market, we decided to narrow them down to the 9 best post-workout supplements so you can build muscle mass, repair muscle tissue and get ready for your next training session.
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NutraBio Reload makes it to the top of our list of the best post workout supplements thanks to its well rounded formulation.
Although they aren't the biggest name in the supplement game, NutraBio always comes correct with premium products (they also made our list of best pre-workout supplements).
Starting with a full 8-gram dosage of branched-chain amino acids followed by a stacked muscle recovery matrix this is a great post-workout supplement that will help you recover faster and fuel that lean muscle growth that you're after.
After an intense workout, this offering supplies your body with a healthy amount of electrolytes plus 3 grams of creatine MagnaPower.
The label is fully transparent which highlights all the active AND inactive ingredients used.
With a serving size of over 28 grams, this is one of the post-workout recovery supplements you shouldn't miss.
Post Jym is our second choice for the best post workout supplements available today.
The Jym brand is often regarded as one of the most trusted in the industry for good reason, they continually release well-thought-out products.
With each 20 gram serving you get 6 grams of BCAAs, 2 grams of creatine HCl and 2 grams of beta-alanine to assist muscle protein synthesis post workout.
Along with the BCAAs you get the benefits of 8 scientifically studied ingredients including Glutamine, taurine, L-tartrate, and L-carnitine to help with efficient muscle repair.
Jym recommends users to pair this post-workout with his pre-workout and protein blend for a full three-part system in maximizing their workouts.
What you'll find on the supplement panel are no proprietary blends, just ingredients that help your body recover.
Growth Surge from Jacked Factory is a simple yet effective post-workout at an affordable price.
With Growth Surge you get a straightforward formulation of four main ingredients that result in an 8 gram dose.
Starting with 3 grams of creatine monohydrate followed by a full dose of betaine anhydrous with 2.5 grams.
This supplement is geared toward lean muscle growth and aiding the recovery process.
All of Jacked Factory's supplements are manufactured in a cGMP certified facility so you don't have to worry about getting a product with shady ingredients.
Re-Kaged is a combination of a post-workout plus some nice weight loss components.
This product features a healthy 28-gram serving of whey protein isolate plus 3 grams of L-glutamine making it an excellent post-workout supplement.
They also included 280mg of digestive enzymes to help your body quickly digest and absorb the protein. Those who have issues with lactose should seriously consider adding this supplement to your post workout nutrition.
Last but not least, Kaged added 1.5 grams of Creatine HCl plus 1.5 grams of betaine anhydrous to aid in your recovery after a brutal resistance training session.
Coming in three unique flavors this 20 serving protein powder is perfect for all your protein synthesis needs.
Athletes, women and everyone else would be served well by this premium formulated whey protein isolate.
Old School Labs' Vintage Build offers a delicious option for your post workout needs.
This formulation includes the patented InstAminos Vegan BCAAs, L-glutamine and flavored creatine to boost your muscle-building ability.
You get 5 grams of BCAAs with each serving plus 3 grams of creatine monohydrate and2 grams of L-glutamine which makes it an awesome choice to recover, build muscle and improve protein metabolism.
With 3 fruity flavors to pick from you're sure to enjoy this one plus they use only natural sweeteners so those who want to steer clear of anything artificial should think about picking some Vintage Build up.
It's also important to note that Old School Labs is a brand that stands by its products with a money-back guarantee if you're not satisfied with their products.
Legion Recharge is our pick for the best natural post-workout as you'll find no artificial sweeteners or flavoring.
This is a bare-bones post-workout that only contains 3 ingredients; creatine, L-carnitine L-tartrate and corosolic acid.
You get the full recommended dosage of creatine of 5 grams and 2.1 grams of the amino acids L-carnitine L-tartrate.
What's more is that Legion guarantees results or you get your money back. They offer a no hassle refund on your purchase if you're not satisfied with their products.
FoxyFit Protein powder powder is our choice for the females out there who are looking for a great post-workout supplement.
This product provides 20 grams of whey protein with each serving plus vitamins, minerals, CLA and biotin.
Whey protein contains all the important essential amino acids that will promote muscle recovery allowing you to get ready for your next workout in a shorter amount of time.
A nice added touch of this product is the 200mcg of biotin and CLA that helps support healthy hair, nails, and skin.
All of Foxy Fit's products are made at a cGMO facility to ensure quality and safety.
For the ladies out there who want extra protection for skin hair and nails while getting in the necessary protein for muscle building might want to give this one a try.
Serious Mass from Optimum Nutrition is the perfect post-workout for people who are trying to put on some serious size.
This dietary protein powder is loaded with over 25 vitamins plus 3 grams of creatine monohydrate and 500mg of L-glutamine.
If one of your fitness goals is to put on weight then look no further as each serving packs a punch with 50 grams of protein and a whopping total 1250 calorie count.
This protein supplement is almost guaranteed to increase your body weight if you consistently make your post-workout shake with Serious Mass.
NutraBio makes our list again but this time with their post-workout carb supplement Super Carb.
Unlike many other carb-centric supplements that use the cheapest ingredients, NutraBio uses highly branched cyclic dextrin which is an advanced complex carbohydrate. Cyclic dextrin has a low glycemic index that provides longer-lasting energy without spiking blood sugar or digestive issues.
Aside from the cluster dextrin used they included an electrolyte blend that takes it a step further than your average post-workout.
All of NutraBio's supplements showcase transparent labeling so you know exactly what you get in every serving plus every product is third-party tested.
There are numerous benefits of using post-workouts that range from muscle repair to boosting physical performance.
One of the most sought-after benefits of taking a post-workout is that they help support faster muscle recovery while reducing muscle soreness. One common ingredient you'll see popping up in post-workouts is L-glutamine which is an essential amino acid that helps repair your muscles after resistance training workouts. It also helps mitigate muscle mass breakdown while boosting protein metabolism. The faster you repair your muscles the faster you can get back in the gym and hit those weights.
Many post-workout supplements will have muscle-building ingredients. For example, protein powder contains all 9 essential amino acids that are responsible for bolstering the process of muscle protein synthesis.
Post-workouts can push you closer to your goals faster. By helping you recover faster and building muscle mass you will see gains in a shorter period of time.
Post-workout supplementation can include a number of potential products including protein powders, BCAA's, creatine, and more. Below we cover some of the most common you'll see in post-workout nutrition options.
These days there is a lot of controversy surrounding whether or not you should be taking a BCAA supplement and if you do, when to take BCAAs. On one hand, some people believe that consuming BCAAs will help them with their fitness goals while on the other the research hasn't definitively concluded that BCAA supplements are necessary.
What we do know is that BCAAs are the same as proteins. Protein consists of 20 amino acids including the three branched-chain amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. Therefore supplementing with extra BCAAs might not be necessary as long as you're getting your protein intake. That said, if you don't have a post-workout protein supplement or natural whole food then a BCAA supplement will come in handy.
When working out your body uses your glycogen stores to produce the energy needed complete physical tasks. As your glycogen stores are reduced the muscles start sending glucose to the muscle cells which leads to a drop in blood glucose levels. Carbing up after a tough work out replenishes the glycogen in your body to get back to normal levels.
Creatine is a vital non-protgenic amino acid that supports healthy bodily functioning. Creatine is one of the most studied supplements that has been proven time and again to be perhaps the best supplement you can consume. It's naturally found in the body and is also gained when consuming certain meat and fish.
Creatine acts on the ATP-CP metabolic system to replenish ATP that's lost during intense exercise like lifting weights. ATP is a high-energy phosphate that provides our bodies with energy. It is essential in helping you to contract your muscles during an intense training session.
Supplementing your post-workout with creatine helps your body get closer to full amounts which enables you to produce more powerful muscle contractions thus enabling you to lift more weight and/or squeeze out more reps. This extra work can result in more strength and hypertrophy gains.
Note: It's generally advised to have 5 grams of creatine daily. This is why we often recommend taking a creatine supplement as you generally won't be taking your post workout everyday.
After a high-intensity resistance training session, it's important to refuel your body with electrolytes after you sweated so much. Rehydrating your body with electrolytes can help with reducing potential muscle cramping and lessening muscle fatigue.
Protein supplements are top-selling products in the fitness industry because they assist with the muscle recovery process, boost muscle gain potential, and can even help you lose weight.
Post-workout optimum nutrition intake is important if you want to make the most of your training sessions. By supplying your body with the nine essential amino acids that are found in whey protein you get to support muscle recovery and aid the process of muscle protein synthesis to boost muscle performance. Protein powder comes in four main forms including:
If possible we usually advise people to look for protein powders that are comprised of isolate for a great post-workout shake.
Note: People who have a tough time digesting whey protein should opt for products that contain digestive enzymes in order to reduce bloating, gassiness or other negative side effects.
There are several factors to consider when buying a post-workout that we cover below.
The first thing you should think about before purchasing a post-workout is your desired end goal. All post-workout supplements should help your body, some options will be better than others when it comes to recovery and muscle growth.
If your focus is on building muscle then a post-workout protein powder should be a great option to promote muscle protein synthesis. However, those who want a more well-rounded post-workout might want to think about a supplement that includes ingredients to help reduce muscle fatigue, lessen muscle breakdown and replenish lost electrolytes.
We always believe that supplements should have clear breakdowns of what ingredients are used and how much of each is in one serving. This way you always know exactly what you're getting with each serving. If you see a supplement that uses a proprietary blend then the chances are that you're not getting the full picture of what you're ingesting.
Serving size isn't always the most important feature but it is an indicator of what to expect from any given product. A well-formulated post-workout will have a decent amount of active ingredients. You can take our pick NutraBio Reload as an example of a substantial dosage size of over 28 grams per serving.
As with any supplement, you take you should be confident that the manufacturer is indeed using pure and clean ingredients that are on the supplement fact panel. Products that have been third-party tested should help put your mind at ease that you're not consuming something that may be unsafe. And as always you should check with your healthcare provider before starting any new supplementation.
Buying supplements can take a toll on your wallet so before you part with your cash look at the product you're buying to see how much you're spending per serving. Most post-workout supplements will fall within a price range of mid $30 to well over $60.
Make sure to spend 10-20 minutes looking at reviews of verified buyers to see what their experience was like with the product. You can also check YouTube, Reddit and other forums to see if the product suits your needs.
We chose NutraBio Reload for the top pick but the best post workout supplements are generally related to your fitness goals. You should just make sure you get in some protein or BCAAs after your workout.
Post-workout drinks aren't necessary if you're able to get all your nutrition in after a workout but they do make it much more convenient. These supplements provide you a way to easily get the elements in your system that will help you restore muscle glycogen, mitigate muscle breakdown, boost muscle growth, and speed up muscle recovery so that you're ready to conquer your next workout in a shorter time period.
In order to get the most out of the majority of post-workout supplements you should consume them within half an hour after your training session to ensure your body gets the nourishment it needs.
Yes, BCAAs are great after a tough workout to help with muscle repair, decrease muscle fatigue, and help build muscle. However, if you're already having a protein shake or other protein-rich foods after your workout then added BCAAs are redundant.
Dietary supplements aren't magic pills that will transform your body but they can add fuel to the fire. Nothing replaces a balanced diet that is full of healthy whole foods and protein food sources.
Our favorite post workout supplement comes form NutraBio because its stacked formulation, transparency and value for the money.
Grab yourself a post-workout to get the most out of your time in the gym if you're looking for convenience and efficiency. We hope you found this post useful in finding the best post-workout supplements that will help to reduce muscle fatigue, aid in faster recovery, and build more muscle.
Looking for something to fire you up mid-workout? Check out our post that covers the Best Intra-Workouts on the market.
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