Your recovery is just as important as your training.
Tough training sessions are great for your physical health and mental well-being. However, your body needs time to recover from the inflammation caused by intense exercise.
Recovery is an essential part of any training routine. Your post-workout recovery process significantly impacts your fitness and athletic performance and allows you to train more effectively.
Recovery plays several key roles, including:
- Growing and Repairing Muscles and Tissue
- Preventing and Reducing Soreness
- Replenishing Energy Sources
- Reducing Inflammation
- Restoring Central Nervous System Function
Supplementing your post-workout recovery routine with the right nutrients can help with:
- Faster muscle recovery
- Muscle repair
- Muscle mass breakdown and soreness
We’ve rounded up the some of the best supplements for recovery after tough training to save you time and pain.
You need carbohydrates after a tough training session to replenish your glycogen stores.
Glycogen is the storage form of carbohydrates in the body and the fuel your muscles need to perform and carry you through a workout.
When your glycogen stores are low, your muscles have less fuel to work with leading to fatigue and an inability to perform.
But we're not talking about any ole carbs, look for a post workout recovery supplement that uses a 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein.
Carbohydrates will replenish muscle glycogen, while protein protects existing muscle and helps to build new muscle. After a workout, supplementing with protein gives your muscles the amino acids it needs to replenish, repair, and build.
BCAA (BRANCHED CHAIN AMINO ACIDS)
Every athlete should include branched-chain amino acids in their recovery strategy to recover faster and build muscle mass.
BCAAs are the building blocks of protein, which is essential for muscle repair and growth. We need these amino acids for our bodies to rebuild and grow new muscle. In total, there are 20 amino acids, but the body can manufacture 11 of them.
The remaining nine must be obtained through our diet or supplements. These nine amino acids are:
Out of the nine essential amino acids above, three contain a molecular structure that branches off to the side. They’re referred to as BCAAs. They include:
Research shows that BCAA supplementation has been found to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after training.
Other studies show that BCAA can help reduce fatigue. Many factors, including intensity and the duration of your training session, can contribute to fatigue.
BCAAs have been shown to restore tryptophan levels in the brain. Tryptophan is converted to serotonin during exercise, causing fatigue.
Consuming BCAAs before and after training can give you more energy for your workout, increase muscle protein synthesis, reduce muscle soreness, and help with recovery. It can also enhance your endurance because it increases blood flow to your muscles, giving them more oxygen.
Creatine monohydrate combines three different amino acids: arginine, glycine, and methionine.
It’s a substance naturally formed by the body and found in foods high in protein, such as fish and red meat.
When you eat foods high in protein, your liver and kidneys convert the amino acids in them into creatine, which is converted and transferred into your muscles as cellular energy known as creatine monohydrate.
Creatine supplements work in a similar way.
Your body converts the supplement into creatine phosphate, fueling your muscles during intense training activities, such as heavy lifts or sprints.
In its synthesized form, creatine plays a key role in producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP helps with muscle growth and repair, and it allows us to produce energy rapidly during high-intensity exercises like sprinting and weightlifting.
In short, creatine boosts your energy and helps repair your muscles during training so that you can run a little faster, do a few more repetitions, and push your muscles to their limit.
During repeated episodes of intense workouts, creatine has been proven to be one of the most effective supplements for enhancing performance.
Research shows that taking creatine supplements may:
- Enhance your exercise performance
- Reduce the severity of an injury
- Help athletes cope with intense training
- Increase muscle mass
Creatine comes in various forms, including powder, liquid, and solids, and it can be found in smaller amounts in your diet. However, a concentrated powder is even better and more effective.
Whey protein is one of the best supplements for muscle recovery.
It’s rich in amino acids, which are helpful in building and rebuilding muscle, repairing muscle mass breakdown, and enhancing muscle growth.
When milk is made into cheese, the watery part removed from the cheese is what is known as whey.
Whey protein is used as a supplement because it digests more quickly than other types of protein.
This allows critical nutrients to be rapidly absorbed from the intestines into muscle tissue, making for a faster recovery time.
Whey protein stimulates protein synthesis and minimizes protein breakdown, the two important processes required for faster muscle recovery.
Rich in a compound called anthocyanins, mushrooms have been shown to protect against post-exercise muscle soreness and loss of strength.
Mushrooms also contain anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation and cellular damage after intense training. Reducing fatigue, soreness, and pain allows you to recover quicker and achieve your goals faster.
Mushrooms, such as cordyceps, have been shown to enhance exercise performance by increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles, allowing all body cells to receive more oxygen. Cordyceps can also increase stamina and endurance.
Intense and prolonged forms of exercise can damage the body by creating a lot of free radicals. Mushrooms contain antioxidant properties that prevent oxidative stress by fighting free radicals.
This slows down the damage done to cells and speeds up the healing process.
Use recovery supplements after tough training sessions to help your body:
- And get ready for you next session
The four best recovery supplements to add to your training regime are:
Train hard. Recover smart. Get shit done.