How to Pick the Best Supplement for Your Workout Recovery

How to Pick the Best Supplement for Your Workout Recovery
Muscular caucasian man on diet resting after exercise And drinking protein powder from shaker in the gym

( – We all want to get the most out of our workouts, which means optimizing our recovery time afterward. Getting proper hydration and taking the time to cool down while we switch gears can get us off to a good start. But we may want to consider going a step further if we’re going to see the best possible results.

Some supplements may help our bodies stay on track and better ensure we’re getting the results we want, but there are many options to wade through. Here’s what to look for when considering a post-workout regimen.

Offer the Right Building Blocks

Our bodies need enough of the right components to recover from strenuous exercise and build new muscle. Supplementing them can boost the building blocks they need to put our hard work to good use. Consider the following:

  • Protein is necessary for muscle growth and repair. Aim for 10-20 grams after a serious workout. Supplements come in the form of powders, ready-to-drink shakes, and snack bars.
  • Carbs help the body replenish glycogen levels after we exercise, and that added energy can improve recovery time. GNC recommends looking for products that contain dextrose or other simple sugars that go straight from the stomach to the bloodstream without lengthy digestion.
  • Creatine optimizes energy use, improving stamina and recovery. In addition to improving overall performance by up to 14%, creatine supplementation reduces oxidative stress and speeds healing after sports injuries.

No two bodies are precisely the same and our individual requirements can vary. Always be sure to discuss any new supplement with a doctor or nutritionist before using it to ensure the regimen isn’t unwarranted.

Beware of Excessive Supplement Use

Numerous other types of supplements have been marketed with claims they can improve exercise recovery and performance, but most don’t have the science to back them. Collagen, branched-chain amino acids, and beta-alanine supplements aren’t likely to benefit us following an average workout, according to Self — but plenty are available for sale.

The FDA also reminds us that just because a product is natural doesn’t always mean it’s safe. No one reviews the safety or efficacy of dietary supplements unless someone files a complaint, which means countless products are on the shelves that haven’t passed any type of outside testing or quality control. Whenever buying a supplement of any kind, thoroughly research the product first.

Natural Alternatives

The need to supplement doesn’t necessarily create the need for a supplement. We can increase our post-workout nutrients by snacking on foods that are rich in what we need. Consider the following:

  • Eggs, yogurt, lean meats, fish, nuts, and seeds are all excellent protein sources.
  • Sweet potatoes, fresh fruits, oatmeal, chocolate milk, and whole-grain breads and pasta contain healthy carbs.
  • Red meat, salmon, and tuna are good sources of creatine.

We have numerous options at our disposal to help us make every workout count. Supplements can improve performance and recovery times, but not every regimen is right for every person. It’s essential that we each find the best approach for our activity and fitness levels, listening to our bodies and seeking guidance from our doctors when we need it.

~ Here’s To Your Healthiest Life!

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