If you're looking to maximize your workouts and get the most out of your muscle-building efforts, muscle recovery supplements can be a great addition to your routine.
Let's face it, working out is hard. Often we feel sore and worn out after getting in a good session at the gym.
And the more sore and tired we feel, the longer we need to spend resting and recovering. Especially as we get older.
That's where muscle recovery supplements come in. Taking muscle recovery supplements can help reduce muscle soreness and improve muscle function, while also speeding up the muscle-rebuilding process.
They help to not only shorten how long you have to wait in between workouts, but they also help to increase muscle mass and muscle strength in the long term.
In this article, we'll be covering the best muscle recovery workouts, and how they can help you make the most of your workouts.
Let's dive in!
What are muscle recovery supplements?
Before you go buying the first muscle recovery supplement you find on the shelf, it's important to understand what they are and how they work. Muscle recovery supplements are nutritional products that are designed to help support the recovery of muscles after exercise.
They help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue, promote muscle growth and repair, and improve overall recovery time.
Muscle recovery supplements work by supplementing your diet with the necessary nutrients and building blocks to repair and rebuild muscle tissue that has broken down during exercise.
Some supplements provide additional protein to help muscles repair and grow. Others increase the amount of energy available to the muscles during exercise, allowing for more intense and longer-lasting workouts.
Other muscle recovery supplements help buffer lactic acid in the muscles, reducing muscle fatigue and soreness. How the supplement supports your body will depend on what ingredients are used.
The Top Muscle Recovery Supplements
Now that you know what muscle recovery supplements are, let's take a look at some of the top muscle recovery options and how they can help maximize your workouts.
Creatine is a naturally occurring compound that is stored in the muscles and used as an energy source during high-intensity exercise.
When you take creatine as a supplement, it increases the amount of creatine stored in your muscles. This can help to improve the muscle's ability to generate energy quickly, allowing for more intense and longer-lasting workouts.
Additionally, creatine has been shown to help increase muscle strength and size, which can also aid in muscle recovery. During muscle contraction, the body uses a form of energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to fuel the muscles.
Creatine increases the body's ability to store ATP and helps to regenerate it quickly. This means that the muscles have more energy readily available to perform exercises and recover faster.
Creatine also has the ability to hydrate muscle cells by drawing water into the muscle, which can improve muscle function, and promote recovery and growth.
A study on the effects of creatine on exercise and sports performance noted that creatine helped "enhanced force output, augmented power output, increased strength, increased anaerobic threshold, increased work capacity, enhanced recovery, and enhanced training adaptations."
Here is the Creatine that I use.
Protein powder is a supplement that provides the body with a concentrated source of protein, which is necessary for muscle repair and growth. Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids, and when you consume protein powder, your body breaks it down into these individual amino acids.
These amino acids are then used to repair and rebuild muscle tissue that has been broken down during exercise.
A study done in 2010 noted that "There is evidence that protein hydrolysates can speed tissue repair following damage and may therefore be useful for accelerating recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage."
Protein powder can come in various forms such as whey, casein, soy, pea, and many more. They can be consumed as shakes, smoothies, or mixed with food.
Here is the protein powder I’ve been using for over 15 years.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. BCAAs play an important role in muscle recovery by helping to stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and reduce muscle protein breakdown.
MPS is the process by which the body repairs and rebuilds muscle tissue that has been broken down during exercise. Leucine, in particular, is known to be the most effective in stimulating MPS.
BCAAs can also help to reduce muscle soreness and fatigue by acting as a fuel source for the muscles during intense exercise, which can help to preserve muscle glycogen stores, and decrease muscle breakdown.
A study done in 2018 noted that "BCAA supplementation may mitigate muscle soreness following muscle-damaging exercise." Supplementing with BCAAs is important for recovery because the body cannot produce them on its own.
Here is my favorite BCAA mix. It tastes great and I like that it has caffeine in it.
Multivitamins are dietary supplements that contain a combination of various vitamins and minerals that are essential for overall health and well-being. While multivitamins are not specifically formulated for muscle recovery, certain vitamins and minerals within the multivitamin can help support the recovery process.
For example, Vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants that can help to reduce muscle inflammation and oxidative stress caused by exercise, which can speed up muscle recovery. Vitamin D is important for muscle function and recovery and can also help to maintain healthy bone density.
Vitamin B complex, particularly Vitamin B6 and B12 are also important for muscle recovery as they help to produce red blood cells and maintain the nervous system, which can help to reduce muscle fatigue and soreness.
Minerals such as Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, and Calcium are also important for muscle recovery. Iron helps to transport oxygen to the muscles, zinc is essential for protein synthesis, magnesium is important for muscle function and calcium is necessary for muscle contraction and relaxation.
Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is a natural remedy that has been found to be beneficial for muscle recovery. Tart cherry juice is high in antioxidants, specifically anthocyanins, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Exercise can cause inflammation in the muscles, which can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. The anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherry juice can help to reduce that inflammation and improve muscle recovery.
Tart cherry juice also contains high levels of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep. Adequate sleep is important for muscle recovery because it's during sleep that the body repairs and rebuilds muscle tissue.
Tart cherry juice also contains high levels of vitamin C, which is important for muscle recovery as it can help to reduce muscle inflammation and oxidative stress caused by exercise.
Research is ongoing about the benefits of tart cherry juice, but WebMD notes that it can help with exercise recovery, better sleep, and reduced inflammation in the body.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Another one of the top muscle recovery supplements is Omega 3 fatty acids. According to a recent study, Omega-3s can help reduce perceived muscle soreness and have anti-inflammatory properties.
Inflammation in the muscles can occur after exercise, which can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue. The anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3s can help to reduce muscle inflammation, which can speed up muscle recovery.
Omega-3s also play a role in the process by which the body repairs and rebuilds muscle tissue that has been broken down during exercise. They help to promote muscle growth by increasing the availability of certain amino acids in the muscles, an important building block for muscles.
Omega-3s are also known to improve cardiovascular health, which can help to increase blood flow to the muscles, which can aid in muscle recovery.
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids, meaning that the body cannot produce them on its own and they must be obtained through diet or supplements. They can be found in fish, nuts, seeds, and supplements such as fish oil capsules.
This is the Omega-3 supplement that I use.
Another supplement that may be useful for muscle recovery is citrulline malate (CM). Citrulline malate is a combination of the amino acid citrulline and the organic salt malate.
Although the research is mixed, there are some studies that suggest CM can enhance blood flow to your muscles.
During intense exercise, lactic acid builds up in the muscles, which can lead to muscle fatigue and soreness. Citrulline malate can help to reduce lactic acid buildup by increasing blood flow to the muscles, which can help to remove waste products and bring oxygen and nutrients to the muscles more efficiently.
Citrulline malate also helps to reduce muscle fatigue by increasing the availability of energy in the muscles during exercise. It does so by increasing the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary energy source for the muscles.
While Citrulline malate is considered safe and well-tolerated, more research is ongoing to better understand its effects on muscle recovery.
The next top muscle recovery supplement to consider is magnesium. Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in muscle recovery.
Magnesium helps to regulate muscle contractions and relaxation. A lack of magnesium can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, and soreness, which can slow down muscle recovery.
Magnesium also plays a role in protein synthesis, which is the process by which the body repairs and rebuilds muscle tissue that has been broken down during exercise. Magnesium also helps to regulate energy metabolism by activating enzymes that are involved in the production of energy (ATP).
This can help to reduce muscle fatigue and improve muscle recovery. A study done on 18 professional cyclists during a 21-day cycling stage race noted that having adequate levels of magnesium helped with muscle recovery from intense and strenuous exercise.
This is the Magnesium supplement that I use.
The last supplement that can help with muscle recovery is CBD oil. CBD oil, which stands for cannabidiol oil, is a product derived from the cannabis plant.
It is believed to have several health benefits, including aiding muscle recovery. CBD oil has anti-inflammatory properties which can help to reduce muscle inflammation and soreness after exercise.
It also has pain-relieving properties, which can help reduce muscle soreness and discomfort from a tough workout.
CBD oil also helps to reduce anxiety and improve sleep which can help the body to recover properly. Stress and anxiety can interfere with muscle recovery by increasing muscle tension and fatigue.
I use the most potent CBD Oil on the market, the Rouse Fit EXTREME STRENGTH CBD TINCTURE 5,000MG CBD.
Things to Consider Before You Buy Muscle Recovery Supplements
While most people recognize that buying a muscle recovery supplement is important, they don't always realize that there are a few things they should take into consideration before making their purchase.
You don't want to just grab any old supplement off the shelf. Not all supplement companies are created equal.
You want to make sure you're buying a good, high-quality muscle recovery supplement that's going to be effective and safe for your body.
Here are some things to consider before purchasing:
Check the ingredients
The first thing you want to do is take a look at the ingredients of the muscle recovery supplement you're considering. Make sure they contain the ingredients listed above, so you know they'll actually do what you want them to.
Also, check and make sure they are natural and free from artificial additives, fillers, and preservatives.
Another important factor to consider is the reputation of the company that makes the supplement. Make sure you check out reviews from other customers and look for any complaints about them online.
You want to make sure that they are a reputable company and have a good track record of producing quality supplements.
Of course, price is also an important consideration when it comes to muscle recovery supplements. Make sure you look for a product that is priced reasonably and won't break the bank.
You don't want to overspend, but you also want to make sure you get a good quality supplement. You can also check for any money-back guarantees or return policies so you can be sure you're getting the best deal.
Stacking Muscle Recovery Supplements
Another topic that comes up a lot around muscle recovery supplements is stacking. Stacking refers to combining different muscle recovery supplements together to get the best possible results.
This can be a great way to maximize muscle recovery, but it's important to understand that not all supplements are compatible with each other and some combinations may even have adverse effects.
It's always best to consult with your doctor before stacking muscle recovery supplements, or any supplements for that matter. You don't want to jump the gun on stacking supplements and potentially cause harm to your body.
Are there side effects of muscle recovery supplements?
Most muscle recovery supplements are natural products and relatively safe to use. However, some people may be sensitive to certain ingredients or have an allergic reaction.
According to WebMD, here are some common potential side effects of some of the supplements listed above:
- Creatine: Although most healthy people can take it with no problem, creatine can, in rare cases, have adverse effects, particularly when used in excess. Potential side effects include diarrhea, fatigue, fever, kidney problems, nausea, vomiting, and anxiety.
- BCAAs: Branched-chain amino acid supplements are considered safe when taken in proper doses for short periods of time. They do however react with certain medications including thyroid hormones, drugs for Parkinson's, and medicines for diabetes.
- Tart Cherry Juice: Tart cherry juice may interact with medications used to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Omega 3 supplements can cause potential side effects of a fishy taste in the mouth and an upset stomach with low doses. Higher doses can cause diarrhea, nausea, and stomach pain. They can also potentially interact with blood-thinning medications and cause problems for people allergic to fish or shellfish.
- Magnesium: When taken in appropriate doses, magnesium is considered likely safe. Possible side effects include stomach upset, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. When taken in large doses (over 350 mg per day) it can cause more severe side effects.
- CBD Oil: CBD oil is generally considered safe with few side effects including drowsiness, dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, and changes in appetite or weight. It can also interact with certain medications such as anticoagulants, muscle relaxers, and HIV/AIDS drugs.
It's always best to consult with a doctor before taking any muscle recovery supplement or if you experience any side effects while taking them.
When to Take Muscle Recovery Supplements
Now that we've got the run-down on muscle recovery supplements and you've most likely decided which one is best for you, the next step is to figure out when to it for optimal results.
Generally, muscle recovery supplements should be taken within 30-45 minutes of completing your workout. This is the best time for the supplements to be absorbed by your body and start the muscle-rebuilding process.
However, some muscle recovery supplements can also be taken before exercise as well. It's always best to read the label and consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns.
FAQs About Muscle Recovery Supplements
What helps muscles recover faster?
Taking muscle recovery supplements can help your muscles recover faster, but it's important to remember that proper nutrition and hydration are equally important.
Be sure to get enough sleep, adequate rest between workouts, and eat a balanced diet with plenty of lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables.
Do I need muscle recovery supplements?
Muscle recovery supplements aren't required to build muscle or recover from your workouts. However, they can be beneficial for some people who want to speed up the process and take their fitness goals to the next level.
Who will get the most out of taking muscle recovery supplements?
If you're training with specific goals to build muscle, improve your physical fitness, or increase your athletic ability then muscle recovery supplements can be very beneficial.
Supplements can also be helpful for people who engage in intense physical activity such as marathon running, weightlifting, and CrossFit.
Will I get injured if I don't take a recovery supplement post-workout?
No, muscle recovery supplements aren't necessary to prevent injuries.
Conclusion to The Top Muscle Recovery Supplements
When it comes to muscle recovery supplements, there are a variety of options that can help you reach your fitness goals. I hope this article has given you a better understanding of the different muscle recovery supplements and helped you decide which one is right for you.
With the right muscle recovery supplement and proper nutrition, you’ll be well on your way to a stronger, healthier you. Don't forget to consult with your doctor if you have any questions or concerns before taking muscle recovery supplements.