Post-workout recovery products encourage optimal growth in muscle. These supplements reduce muscle breakdown, replenish energy stores, and promote muscle repair after a strenuous workout. Vital nutrients are are also provided to help recover.
The body’s ability to recover is doubled when proper nutrition is taken within an hour following exercise. Beachbody Fitness Programs point out several benefits of recovery supplements. Critical building blocks are provided to aid in rapid muscle re-synthesis. Vitamins assist in growth and repair and reduce muscle soreness.
What Do Recovery Supplements Do?
Whether working out to build muscle or lose fat, supplements can help support the goal. Top fitness experts and trainers all provide three categories of advice: workout schedule, nutrition information, and guidance in selecting post-workout supplements.
Bodybuilding.com includes supplement suggestions and education as part of its plans that are derived from experts in the industry. Training beats up the body. As it adapts, it becomes stronger. In the process, the body begins to break down.
That is why post-workout supplements are necessary for recovery. Recovery is the focus that is often ignored. It is essential to a fitness routine. Getting rest and allowing recovery time are just as important as lifting weights. Muscle building occurs while you sleep.
Benefits of Taking Post Workout Supplements
Taking supplements makes recovery faster and easier. Minerals and nutrients are provided that speed up the muscle repair process. Muscle Awards suggests taking supplements as you work out. Recovery between sets and exercises is faster when supplements are taken regularly while working out.
Recovery supplements should not be confused with bodybuilding supplements. They are different types of products. Both are used to make muscles stronger. The method implemented to achieve that goal is the difference between the two.
See Also: Top 10 Bodybuilding Supplements
Bodybuilders and athletes find recovery to be difficult. After a long workout, finding energy is a problem. Supplements and rest allow the body to heal and improve sooner. Muscle building supplements provide nutrition that serves as the building blocks of muscles.
Muscle soreness after a workout means the muscles have been hammered. The soreness also lets the body know it is healing. Taking post-workout supplements helps healing take place sooner.
Top 10 Supplements for a Speedy Post Workout Recovery
10. Fish Oil/Omega 3
There are good and bad fats. Fish happens to be the most abundant source of the good fat, Omega 3. Intense-Workout.com shares information that fish oil supplements improve the body’s ability to do almost everything. Nearly all coaches, trainers, and fitness experts recommend fish oil supplements.
The supplements lower blood pressure and triglycerides in the blood. The risks of abnormal heart rhythms, strokes, and heart attacks are reduced. Joint tenderness and stiffness are also reduced. Omega 3 helps to prevent or improve other conditions. The one most related to this article is arthritis.
Daily consumption of fatty fish would provide the recommended amount of one to three grams of Omega 3. Toxic contaminants in fish or disliking the taste make daily consumption of fish problematic. Fish oil supplements have contaminants removed and are excellent replacements for the non-lover of fish.
9. Carbohydrate Supplements
Simple carbs are present in the sugars found mostly in fruits and milk and some other foods. Twice during the day, carbohydrates should be taken. The first is in the morning when “fast” from sleep is being broken. The other is immediately following a workout.
Workouts deplete the body of glycogen and glucose. Available energy to the muscles is limited. The hormone, cortisol, will begin to eat muscle tissue and convert it to glucose. That causes muscle tissue loss.
Carbs must get to the muscle cells as quickly as possible to elevate insulin levels that will drive nutrients to muscle cells. The body’s energy comes from carbohydrates. They are required to burn fat. High-glycemic carbohydrates from cereal, potatoes, bread, rice, or fruits, as well as post-workout shakes like those suggested by Bodybuilding.com, are accomplishing these purposes.
Glutamine is an amino acid formed in the body. Bodybuilders use it to enhance muscle mass. Under stress, glutamine can be drawn from the muscles by the body. Workouts cause stress. That is why glutamine supplements should be taken after working out.
Daily five to eight gram doses help maintain muscle health. Protein rich foods such as fish, nuts, red meat, and beans contain glutamine. Supplements added to post-workout drinks are also available. The recovery process can be speeded up. Users feel better and have the ability to build an increased amount of muscle tissue.
Strenuous exercise causes a hit to your immune system. Any activity that places demands on muscles is demanding of the entire body. Immune systems, that run at low capacity, increase the risk of disease and infection. According to the Nutrition Journal, individuals using oral glutamine have a better ratio of immune system helpers to immune suppressors.
7. Casein Protein
Most people, who workout regularly, are aware of the importance of getting protein into the body after strenuous exercise. Casein is a protein made from milk. It is commonly found in processed foods. Dairy cattle are the primary casein protein source.
The coagulating property of casein when it comes into contact with stomach acid creates slow digestion and absorption rates. The versatile casein can be used whenever more protein is needed in the diet. After a workout is one of those occasions.
Another important protein that will be discussed later in this list is whey. The feature that differentiates casein from that whey is the ability it has to sustain the uptake rate of amino acid. Individuals wanting the nourishment that lasts several hours may find a casein protein supplement beneficial.
When casein protein powder is mixed with fluid, the texture may be gritty. Twenty-five grams of protein to eight ounces of fluid is the average mixture. Casein powder can be used creatively in some recipes.
As casein is a slower digesting protein, it is best to take it before bed.
6. Testosterone Booster (for men)
Testosterone is the most important muscle building component. Higher levels of testosterone in men allow muscles to be packed in a way impossible for women, unless they take steroids. If muscle building hits a plateau, and it is a struggle to add size, low testosterone levels are likely the cause.
There are two kinds of testosterone enhancers, legal and illegal. Legal boosters have three advantages, other than the obvious.
1) They are made with natural ingredients.
2) They have no adverse side effects.
3) They are the most effective. Results are gradual and appear slowly.
Testosterone supplements are designed to increase testosterone levels in the body. The advantages are improved muscle development and repair. Stamina, vitality, and strength are increased. Diet plays a role in increased testosterone production.
Essential fats and proteins found in fish, egg yolks, red meat, and nuts. Supplements are available in gel or cream form or ingestible varieties. Anabolic supplements known as pro-hormones can enhance natural testosterone.
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Creatine supplements are designed to be used in post workout to maximize creatine absorption into muscle cells. When taking creatine after a workout, recovery time is shortened. The body works hardest at recovery immediately after a workout.
The heightened response quickly diminishes. Because of the limited time frame, getting nutrients into the system quickly is critical. The body recovers more efficiently. The workout results are maximized.
Creatine is found naturally in red meat. The body naturally manufactures creatine from amino acids. The pancreas, liver and kidneys are where the process takes place. Creatine is stored in the body. A typical adult male processes two grams per day. It is replaced through diet and the above mentioned process. Creatine resynthesizes ATP, which is the driving power of muscular energetics.
Taking creatine supplements is done in a cycle. A baseline is defined. The first week 50 percent of the baseline is taken daily, the second week 100 percent, the third week 150 percent, and the fourth week 50 percent. During the fifth week, no supplement is taken. The cycle is complete.
4. Beta Alanine
Beta Alanine occurs naturally in beta amino acid. It is found in foods rich in protein such as fish, pork, chicken, and beef. Supplements also provide beta alanine. The benefits of the supplement are increased muscle mass, strength and endurance.
Research has shown that muscle fatigue is delayed in adults aged 55 to 92. A study of football players who took beta alanine showed a significant increase in performance that was attributed to the buffering capacity of increased muscle.
Beta alanine aids in the production of carnosine. Carnosine in found in skeletal muscle tissue, eyes, nervous system and brain that affect muscle fatigue. It reduces fatigue, increases endurance, and after a workout, increases recovery of muscles.
Beta alanine is ingested. The muscles use it as a lactic acid buffer. Improved cardiovascular ability and increased reps result. The dosage for healthy individuals between 150 to 200 pounds is 1 to 1.5 grams.
3. Post Workout Supplements
The overall value of post workout supplements is determined by their effectiveness, how quickly they work, the ingredients found in them, whether or not there are side effects, and what users have to say about them. The purpose of taking post workout supplements is to speed up recovery, reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, improve performance, and replace nutrients and fluids lost while working out.
Some supplements are combinations of ingredients designed to help with post workout recovery. Combining Vitamin B6, zinc, and magnesium provides nutrients the body craves following intense workouts. Taking these supplements replenishes body stores that are depleted.
They help maximize muscle growth. Many work in conjunction with natural body hormones. Combinations of vitamins, carbohydrates, and proteins, not only help build muscles, they promote overall health.
2. Whey Protein
Whey protein is found naturally in milk. The body can process it easily. The cost of this supplement also makes it an attractive choice. The body uses protein to maintain existing muscle matter and to produce new muscle fibers. Protein maximizes the benefits of exercising. Because whey protein is easily digested, using it as a post workout supplement is particularly useful. The nutrient is available within 30 minutes to the recovering muscles.
Making protein shakes that contain whey is a common practice for those who workout regularly. Combining it with other nutrients such as blended fruits or quick oats provides minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fiber. They are some of the nutrients that are depleted during exercise.
The letters stand for Branch Chain Amino Acid. BCAAs decrease post-workout muscle soreness. Less soreness means training can be resumed sooner. These supplements help establish the environment needed for the body to recover faster from workouts.
STAYFITCENTRAL.com reports studies were conducted in which one group of workout participants drank a bcaa supplement, and another group was given a placebo. Those who used the bcaa drink experienced a great deal less muscle soreness following workouts.
The muscles of these groups showed less damage, and subsequent tests were performed better. Other benefits included higher testosterone and lower cortisol levels after working out. When the body recovers faster, individuals can train more frequently and harder.
Most muscle builders use some sort of supplement to aid in post- workout recovery. That does not necessarily mean the supplements are taken after the workout. Some of the nutrients make recovery better if they are taken before the workout. The body uses those nutrients during exercise, and the recovery is easier because they were taken.
No one takes all of the supplements listed here, at least not simultaneously. Some of the supplements provide the same kind of benefits. Others might counteract with each other when used together.
A few of the supplements may not be taken by people who need to remain gluten free or have allergies to dairy products. There are some supplements that are pricey and cheaper alternatives are chosen. The sites highlighted in this article include information about multiple supplements.
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