Post-Workout Supplements for Repair and Growth

Exercise is hard work, and proper nutrition is the key to maximizing your efforts in the gym.

If you read our fitness supplements post, you know how we feel about supplements at Fit Body Boot Camp.

Spoiler: We like supplements, but they’re not magic potions that suddenly give you results. That said, using supplements can be a good thing, especially for post-workout recovery.

If you’re curious whether you need a post-workout supplement or want to know more about leveling up your nutrition, keep reading — we have the answers to your post-workout supplement questions!

The Best Post-Workout Recovery Is Proper Nutrition

Before we dive into the supplements you should take after a training session, we want to get something out of the way.

Your diet significantly affects how well your body recovers after a workout.

Building a nutrition plan that supports your workouts and gives you plenty of fuel should be your top priority for post-workout recovery.

It would help if you eat enough protein, balance it with carbohydrates from whole food sources like fruits and vegetables, and round out your diet with healthy fats.

The better your diet is, the more benefits you’ll see from exercise.

However, supplements can be handy if you need a bit more nutrition than your diet provides.

When Should You Use Post-Workout Supplements?

The first thing to consider is if your diet can’t keep up with your current exercise level.

Let’s say you’re attending boot camp classes three times a week and going for a bike ride between days to add some active rest to your schedule — you may need more protein.

If you don’t eat enough, your muscles won’t have enough to rebuild after a workout. Supplementing your diet with post-workout protein may be the perfect option to help your muscles recover.

With that in mind, let’s look at the best supplements for post-workout recovery!

The Best Supplements for Post-Workout Recovery

There are tons of studies out there on fitness supplements, and some aren’t as proven as others.

Thankfully, there’s no need to dive into every supplement to find what works.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) recently published a report that looked into the most common fitness supplements and provided a breakdown of supplement effectiveness. Here’s what they found.

Protein Is the Most Proven Post-Workout Supplement

According to the report, the NIH found that protein is the only protein supplement with numerous clinical trials pointing to its efficacy, and basic nutrition backs up these findings.

We know that working out breaks down muscle tissue, and your body needs protein for recovery.

Eating a high-protein meal or opting for a protein shake within an hour of working out is the best way to ensure muscle repair and growth.

If you go the shake route, keep your protein source in mind.

The two most common protein powders are whey or plant-based protein. While they both contain protein, whey has more fat and cholesterol. On the other hand, plant-based protein powders typically contain extra dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

Neither protein supplement is a “bad choice,” but you should check the nutritional facts to ensure you’re choosing one that fits into your diet.

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) May Help With Recovery

If you walk down the supplement aisle in any store, you’ll see at least one bottle with “BCAAs” printed on the label.

These amino acid supplements are prevalent, but there’s debate about their effectiveness.

Some studies found that BCAAs, when taken via IV fluids, actually lowered protein synthesis and slowed muscle growth, while others discovered increased protein synthesis from drinking BCAAs.

Even though science isn’t one hundred percent certain of effectiveness, we know that BCAAS are commonly found in the foods we eat and are safe to use.

So, if you want to try BCAAs, there’s little chance of adverse effects.

Electrolyte Supplements Can Restore Hydration Faster

There’s been a long-standing debate when it comes to hydration. Should you drink regular water when working out or go for something with electrolytes?

The somewhat frustrating but honest answer is — yes.

Both water and electrolyte drinks will restore hydration and help your body recover from a workout. However, one recent study found that zero-sugar electrolyte drinks with amino acids help restore hydration faster after exercise.

Electrolyte beverages also have essential minerals like potassium that can prevent increased muscle fatigue and cramps.

All in all, choosing electrolyte supplements after workouts is a good choice.

We’re Here to Answer Your Post-Workout Supplement Questions

Nutrition is complex, and figuring it out alone can be challenging — especially when you add post-workout supplements to the mix.

Our fitness coaches at Fit Body Boot Camp are here to help you build a nutrient-rich diet plan that supports muscle growth and fuels your fitness goals!

Visit a Fit Body Boot Camp location near you to learn more about our included nutritional counseling.

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