You've pushed yourself to the limit in the gym or broken a new record on the track. Now it’s time for the most important part: Post Workout Recovery. Taking a recovery supplement is crucial to replenish muscle glycogen, support protein synthesis, and reduce recovery time between training. The first 45 minutes after a workout is the most critical period for refueling your muscles with the nutrients it needs to recover and grow, so it’s important you take your supplements as soon as possible after the workout. This short 45 minute window doesn’t refer to when you consume nutrients; it refers to when those nutrients get to your muscles. If you miss this window by not consuming what your muscles need, you’re compromising your ability to recover and make proper gains.
The best post-workout supplement
Scientific evidence has shown that proteins high in essential amino acids (EAA), branched chain amino acids (BCAA), and particularly leucine (Leu) are associated with increased muscle protein synthesis, weight loss, body fat loss, and decreased plasma insulin and triglyceride profile. Here’s a list with the best post-workout nutrients to get the most out of your efforts.
With only a short window to refill your protein needs, whey is the only protein that can be absorbed fast enough to gain full benefits of post-workout recovery. That’s one reason it’s always good to finish a workout with a whey shake.
Research shows that casein molecule forms a gel in the stomach, which makes it very efficient in nutrient supply. The clot is able to provide a sustained slow release of amino acids into the blood stream, sometimes lasting for several hours. While whey spikes muscle protein synthesis, adding casein keeps it going for longer and further enhances muscle growth. A good option is to look for a protein powder that already combines whey and casein.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—are the most critical aminos for muscle growth. Leucine is unique in its ability to stimulate skeletal muscle protein synthesis, having more impact on protein syntheses than any other amino.
Fast-digesting carbs can give you a much-needed energy boost and replace carbohydrate stores you may have burned through during your workout. Prefer refined grains and low fiber carbs for fast digestion, including white bread, potatoes and pasta. It is recommended to have 0.75g of simple carbohydrates per pound of body weight.
Creatine helps to supply energy to all cells in the body, primarily muscle, being commonly used for those seeking gain of muscle mass. After workouts is the best time to maximize creatine uptake, especially when it gets a boost from carbs.
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Want to know what are the best pre-workout supplements
? We covered that in another blog post.