Post Workout Supplements


Physician's CHOICE Collagen Peptides Powder

Post-workout supplements are specialized nutrition products designed to support and enhance the body’s recovery and adaptation processes following physical exercise. These supplements come in various forms, such as powders, shakes, bars, and capsules, and are typically consumed immediately or within a short time after completing a workout. The primary goal of post-workout supplements is to replenish depleted nutrients, facilitate muscle recovery, reduce muscle soreness, and accelerate the process of muscle repair and growth.

The top 8 Post Workout Supplements

Product name Image Rating Pros Cons Best Price More information

TOP PICK

Physician’s CHOICE Collagen Peptides Powder


Physician's CHOICE Collagen Peptides Powder
4 and a half star review
  • Benefit of this collagen powder is its ability to stimulate the growth of collagen in skin cells
  • The inclusion of DigeSEB, a blend of digestive enzymes, aids in the effective absorption of collagen peptides
  • The product is known for its high-quality, non-GMO, and 100% organic ingredients
  • Limited Effectiveness for Some Conditions
  • Some users may experience side effects such as stomach pain, headaches, dizziness, and a fast heartbeat
  • The collagen powder may not dissolve well in cold water
Coming Soon!

BUDGET PICK

NOW Sports Nutrition ZMA


NOW Sports Nutrition, ZMA
  • Derived from calcium carbonate which might not be as easily absorbed as other forms
  • Larger pill size
  • Some users experienced constipation
Coming Soon!

XTEND Original BCAA Powder


Garden of Life Raw Calcium Supplement
  • This product is known for its better-tasting electrolyte blend
  • Offers additional nutritional content, offering 7 grams of BCAAs per serving, with only 5 calories and no sugar.
  • Users have reported a perceived boost in performance and enhanced hydration
  • Contains sucralose and artificial sweeteners
  • Product also contains food dyes
  • Limited Benefits for Certain Activities
Coming Soon!

LEGION Recharge Post Workout Supplement


LEGION Recharge Post Workout Supplement
  • Contains L-carnitine l-tartrate, which may help reduce muscle soreness
  • Corosolic acid in the formula may improve post-workout nutrient absorption
  • Natural Ingredients and No Added Sugar
  • Relatively expensive compared to some other post-workout options
  • Produced in a facility that handles allergens, which could be an issue for individuals with specific allergies
  • Some users find the stevia flavor in the supplement too sweet
Coming Soon!

EFX Sports Karbolyn Fuel


EFX Sports Karbolyn Fuel
  • Clinically Studied Carbohydrate Source
  • Fast Absorption and Sustained Energy
  • Free from Common Allergens and Additives
  • The supplement is relatively expensive, costing more than $1 per serving
  • Some customers have reported that it upset their stomach
  • The taste of the product has received mixed reviews
Coming Soon!

MuscleTech Clear Muscle Post Workout Recovery


MuscleTech Clear Muscle Post Workout Recovery
  • Scientific ingredients that promote Enhanced Muscle Recovery and Growth
  • Faster Recovery Between Workouts
  • Clear Muscle can be stacked with other supplements without the need for cycling
  • It may not be suitable for individuals with certain medical conditions or allergies
  • Does Not Replace Protein or Build Muscle Alone
  • Supplement is in pill form and must be swallowed
Coming Soon!

Cheribundi SLEEP Tart Cherry Juice


Cheribundi SLEEP Tart Cherry Juice
  • Contains naturally occurring melatonin and is recommended for improving sleep quality and duration
  • Ease of Use
  • Sports Nutritionist and Dietitian Recommended
  • Individual Variability in Effectiveness
  • It may offer only temporary relief for sleep issues and not address underlying causes of sleep disturbances
  • Some users may not prefer the taste of tart cherry juice
Coming Soon!

LIFEAID FITAID GO!


LIFEAID FITAID GO!
  • Includes well-researched ingredients that are backed by scientific research
  • Considered a healthier alternative to traditional energy drinks
  • Contains a vitamin B complex that may boost mood
  • All-natural, vegan, kosher, and gluten-free,
  • Considered expensive compared to some other options in the market
  • Some users may not prefer the taste
  • The caffeine content in FITAID may be too low for some users
Coming Soon!

How do Post Workout Supplements work?

One of the key components in many post-workout supplements is protein, often in the form of whey or plant-based alternatives, which aids in muscle repair and growth. Amino acids, particularly branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), are also common in these supplements and are crucial for muscle recovery and reducing the effects of muscle fatigue. Creatine is another popular ingredient known for its ability to enhance strength and improve muscle recovery.

In addition to these, post-workout supplements often contain carbohydrates to replenish glycogen stores that are typically depleted during exercise. This is essential for restoring energy levels and aiding in the recovery process. Some formulations also include electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and magnesium to replace what is lost through sweat and to maintain fluid balance in the body.

Post-workout supplements cater to a wide range of fitness enthusiasts, from professional athletes to casual gym-goers, and can be particularly beneficial for those engaged in intense physical activities that require strength, endurance, and rapid recovery. They play a pivotal role in aiding muscle recovery, reducing the risk of injury, and preparing the body for subsequent workouts, thereby contributing to long-term fitness and health goals.

The History of Post Workout Supplements

The roots of post-workout supplementation can be traced back to the early 20th century, around the time when vitamins and minerals were being discovered and their importance for human health was becoming understood. This period marked the beginning of using nutritional science to enhance athletic performance, although the concept of a post-workout supplement as we know it today was not yet in existence.

In the 1930s and 1940s, the focus was more on basic nutrition and ensuring that athletes had enough calories and nutrients to support their training. Protein was recognized as a key nutrient for muscle repair and growth. However, the specific idea of a “post-workout” supplement hadn’t yet emerged. Athletes were advised to consume balanced meals with a focus on natural, whole-food sources of protein and carbohydrates.

The 1950s and 1960s witnessed a surge in interest in bodybuilding and physical fitness, thanks in part to figures like Jack LaLanne and later Arnold Schwarzenegger. This era saw the emergence of protein powders, initially derived from sources like milk and eggs. These were some of the earliest forms of concentrated post-workout nutrition, although they were still primitive compared to today’s standards.

The 1970s and 1980s brought a more scientific approach to supplementation. This period saw the introduction of amino acid supplements, which allowed for more targeted support for muscle recovery. The importance of carbohydrates for replenishing glycogen stores was also increasingly recognized, leading to the development of recovery formulas that included both proteins and carbs.

In the 1990s and 2000s, the post-workout supplement industry exploded. Advances in food technology and nutrition science led to the creation of more sophisticated products. Whey protein, a by-product of cheese production, became highly popular due to its high quality and rapid absorption, making it ideal for post-workout recovery. The concept of the “anabolic window” – a short period after exercise where the body is believed to be more efficient at absorbing nutrients – became a key marketing tool for these supplements.

The late 2000s and 2010s saw a trend towards natural and clean label supplements, driven by a growing consumer preference for natural ingredients and transparency in labeling. Plant-based proteins gained popularity, catering to vegans and those with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. The focus also expanded beyond just protein to include other ingredients like antioxidants, electrolytes, and anti-inflammatory compounds to support overall recovery and health.

Today, the post-workout supplement industry continues to evolve with ongoing research. Personalization and customization of supplements have become more prevalent, with products tailored to individual needs, preferences, and health conditions. The industry has also seen a greater emphasis on scientific validation and the effectiveness of various ingredients and formulas.

Ingredients of Post Workout Supplements

The ingredients in post-workout supplements can vary widely depending on the product and its intended purpose. However, there are several common ingredients that are frequently found in these supplements. Each ingredient plays a specific role in recovery and muscle building:

  • Protein: This is perhaps the most critical component. Protein aids in muscle repair and growth. Common sources include whey, casein, soy, and pea protein. Whey protein is particularly popular due to its fast absorption rate and high concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
  • Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): These include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs are essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. They are crucial for muscle protein synthesis and recovery.
  • Creatine: Often included for its role in increasing muscle strength and energy during high-intensity activities. It helps regenerate the body’s main energy source, ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
  • Carbohydrates: Carbs are important for replenishing glycogen stores that are depleted during exercise. Fast-absorbing carbs like dextrose are commonly used.
  • Electrolytes: These include sodium, potassium, and magnesium. Intense exercise can lead to the loss of electrolytes through sweat, and replenishing them is important for maintaining hydration and muscle function.
  • L-Glutamine: An amino acid that aids in muscle recovery and immune system support, especially important during periods of intense training.
  • Beta-Alanine: This amino acid can help buffer muscle acidity during high-intensity exercise, potentially improving endurance and performance.
  • Antioxidants: Ingredients like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and certain plant extracts are included for their ability to combat oxidative stress and support overall recovery.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Often added for their anti-inflammatory properties and benefits to joint and heart health.
  • Tart Cherry Extract: Known for its anti-inflammatory effects and ability to reduce muscle soreness.
  • Caffeine: Sometimes included for its ability to enhance focus, energy, and fat oxidation.
  • L-Carnitine: Involved in fat metabolism and may aid in recovery and muscle soreness.

Remember, the specific formulation of a post-workout supplement can vary greatly from one brand to another. Some focus primarily on protein, while others may incorporate a wider range of ingredients to support various aspects of recovery and performance.

Who should use Post Workout Supplements

Post-workout supplements can be beneficial for various groups of individuals, depending on their fitness goals, dietary needs, and the intensity of their exercise routines. Here’s a summary of who might consider using them:

  • Athletes and Serious Fitness Enthusiasts: Those engaged in high-intensity training, endurance sports, or competitive athletics may find post-workout supplements particularly useful. These individuals often require rapid muscle recovery and replenishment of nutrients to maintain performance levels and support muscle growth.
  • Bodybuilders and Strength Trainers: For those focusing on muscle gain, supplements high in protein and amino acids can be crucial. They aid in muscle repair, growth, and recovery, which are essential for this group.
  • Individuals with Limited Time or Dietary Restrictions: People who have a tight schedule or difficulty consuming a balanced meal immediately after workouts may find these supplements a convenient way to quickly ingest necessary nutrients. Additionally, those with specific dietary restrictions (like vegans) might use supplements to meet their protein and amino acid needs.
  • Endurance Athletes: Runners, cyclists, and other endurance athletes can benefit from post-workout supplements that replenish glycogen stores and electrolytes lost during prolonged activities.
  • People Looking to Lose Weight or Tone Up: Supplements that include a mix of protein and carbohydrates can help in muscle toning and recovery, while aiding in the feeling of fullness, which can be beneficial for those managing their weight.
  • Individuals New to Exercise or Returning After a Break: These supplements can help ease muscle soreness and speed up recovery for beginners or those getting back into a fitness routine, making the transition to regular exercise more comfortable.
  • Older Adults Engaging in Physical Activity: As muscle recovery can slow with age, older adults engaging in regular exercise might find post-workout supplements helpful in reducing muscle soreness and aiding recovery.

It’s important to note that while post-workout supplements can be beneficial, they are not essential for everyone. Nutritional needs can often be met through a balanced diet. Supplements should not replace whole foods but can be used to supplement a diet where necessary.

Who should NOT use Post Workout Supplements

While post-workout supplements can be beneficial for many, there are certain individuals who should be cautious or avoid them altogether:

  • People with Kidney Disorders: High protein intake, especially from supplements, can be strenuous on the kidneys. Those with pre-existing kidney conditions should be particularly cautious.
  • Individuals with Allergies or Intolerances: Those allergic to ingredients commonly found in supplements, such as dairy (in whey or casein protein), soy, gluten, or certain additives, should avoid products containing these allergens.
  • People with Certain Medical Conditions: Individuals with liver disease, heart conditions, or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult a healthcare provider before using post-workout supplements. Some ingredients may not be safe in these conditions.
  • Children and Teenagers: Younger individuals, whose bodies are still developing, typically do not need extra supplementation and should focus on obtaining nutrients from a well-rounded diet.
  • Those Taking Certain Medications: Some ingredients in post-workout supplements can interact with medications. For example, caffeine and creatine may interact with certain prescription drugs. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any supplement if you’re on medication.
  • Individuals Sensitive to Caffeine or Stimulants: Those who are sensitive to caffeine or other stimulants should avoid supplements containing these ingredients, especially if they exercise in the evening, as they can interfere with sleep.

Pros and Cons of Post Workout Supplements

Pros

  • Enhanced Muscle Recovery: Supplements high in protein and amino acids can speed up muscle recovery after intense workouts, reducing soreness and improving muscle growth.
  • Convenience: They offer a quick and convenient way to ingest essential nutrients when a full meal is not practical immediately after exercise.
  • Targeted Nutrition: Post-workout supplements can be formulated to target specific needs such as muscle repair, energy replenishment, and electrolyte balance.
  • Enhanced Performance: Ingredients like creatine and BCAAs can potentially enhance athletic performance and endurance, making workouts more effective.
  • Supports Weight Management: Protein-rich supplements can promote satiety and help in managing weight by curbing hunger post-exercise.
  • Improved Muscle Protein Synthesis: Supplements can provide essential amino acids that are critical for muscle protein synthesis and repair.
  • Replenishment of Nutrients and Electrolytes: Essential for restoring electrolyte balance and nutrients lost during intense physical activity.
  • Customizable Formulas: Allows individuals to choose supplements based on their specific fitness goals and nutritional requirements.
  • Potential for Improved Immune Function: Some supplements contain ingredients that support immune health, important for those engaging in intense training.

Cons

  • Potential Over-Reliance: There’s a risk of relying too heavily on supplements and neglecting whole foods, which can lead to an unbalanced diet.
  • Cost: High-quality supplements can be expensive, and the cost may not always justify the benefits, especially for casual exercisers.
  • Possible Adverse Effects: Some ingredients can cause side effects like gastrointestinal distress, allergic reactions, or interact with medications.
  • Quality and Purity Concerns: The supplement industry is not as tightly regulated as pharmaceuticals, leading to potential issues with product purity and label accuracy.
  • Not Suitable for Everyone: Individuals with certain health conditions, allergies, or those on specific medications might need to avoid these supplements.
  • Environmental Impact: The production and packaging of supplements can have environmental impacts, including resource use and waste.
  • Psychological Dependence: There’s a potential for psychological dependence, where users feel they cannot perform without supplements.
  • Nutrient Imbalance: Excessive intake of certain nutrients can lead to imbalances and hinder absorption of other essential nutrients.
  • Not a Complete Solution: Supplements should complement a diet, not replace it. They don’t provide all the benefits of whole foods, like fiber and various phytonutrients.
  • Risk of Contamination: There’s a risk of contamination with substances that might not be declared on the label, which can be a concern for athletes in drug-tested sports.

Studies regarding the benefits of Post Workout Supplements

1. Title: The Ergogenic Effects of Whey Protein in Athletes: A Review and Meta-Analysis

Summary: This analysis looked at numerous studies on whey protein supplements and athletes. It found that whey protein can potentially improve muscle mass and strength gains, especially when combined with resistance training.
 
2. Title: Effects of Creatine Supplementation on Performance and Training Adaptations in Strength Athletes

Summary: This study focused on creatine, another popular supplement. It showed that creatine supplementation may enhance strength and performance in athletes undergoing high-intensity training.

 

3. Title: Beta-Alanine Supplementation for Improving Exercise Performance: A Review of the Current Literature

Summary: This review examined beta-alanine, a supplement that can help buffer lactic acid buildup. The research suggests beta-alanine might improve exercise performance, particularly in high-intensity activities.

 

4. Title: Branched-Chain Amino Acids and Exercise: Impact on Muscle Protein Synthesis and Workout Recovery

Summary: This study explored Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs), which are thought to aid muscle recovery. While the results were somewhat mixed, it suggests BCAAs might have some benefit, especially for endurance athletes.

 

5. Title: Nutritional Strategies to Augment Post-Exercise Recovery

Summary: This broader review looked at various post-workout strategies, including supplements. It highlights the importance of a well-rounded diet alongside strategic supplement use for optimal recovery.

 

6. Title: The Role of Protein Supplementation in Muscle Mass Gain

Summary: This study focused on protein intake in general, including supplementation, for muscle growth. It emphasizes the importance of consuming enough total protein to support muscle protein synthesis.

 

7. Title: International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Protein and Exercise

Summary: This position stand by the International Society of Sports Nutrition offers a consensus view on protein intake and exercise. It provides recommendations on protein needs for various training goals.

 

8. Title: Micronutrient Supplementation for Exercise Performance and Recovery

Summary: This review explores how deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can hinder performance. It highlights the importance of a balanced diet to ensure micronutrient needs are met, with targeted supplementation only if deficiencies are present.

 

9. Title: Timing and Dosage of Post-Exercise Protein for Enhanced Anabolic Response

Summary: This study delves into the ideal timing and dosage of protein post-workout. It suggests consuming 20-40 grams of high-quality protein within a few hours after exercise can maximize muscle protein synthesis.

 

10. Title: Do We Need Ergogenic Aids? Critical Review of Current Evidence

Summary: This review provides a critical look at various ergogenic aids, including supplements. It emphasizes the importance of evaluating the scientific evidence for different supplements and highlights that a well-designed training program and proper nutrition are often the most effective strategies.