When you’re looking to build muscle and get fit, your exercise routine isn’t the only thing that matters. Yes, a solid workout plan is vital to the process. But the things you eat and the dietary supplements you take following your workout are arguably just as important for helping you achieve your goals in the fastest window of time. After all, you could work out long and hard, only to leave your muscles tired, worn down and torn.
And while periods of rest are vital, taking too much time to rest your sore, aching muscles could be doing more harm than good. After all, losing your fitness level goes a lot faster than achieving high levels of it. When it comes to your heart, it only takes about 4 weeks of inactivity to lose 20% of your VO2 max. And your strength training muscles? Well, those can start to weaken after just 2-3 weeks. So it’s crucial to give your muscles every opportunity for fast recovery.
Want to amplify the results of your workout session and move steadily toward your fitness goals? Here are the supplements you should be taking on a regular basis after your workout to help your body recover, and help you achieve your strength, muscle or weight gain goals.
Protein for muscle building and recovery
Protein is vital for gaining muscle mass and tone. Work out all you want, but if you aren’t properly caring for and feeding your muscles, you’ll be waiting longer to see the results you hope to see.
But just how much protein do you need, and when should you be consuming it? The recommended amount for most people looking to bulk up is to consume 1 gram of protein in a day for every pound of bodyweight. And while eating protein throughout your day is key for keeping your body strong, you can also optimize your post-workout results by refueling with protein within 45 minutes to an hour of a strength-training workout. What this does is help your muscles recover and rebuild faster, to amplify the results you’re waiting for.
Protein shakes, protein powders and protein bars are a great option for getting the protein you need in the recommended post-workout anabolic window of time. One study suggested that protein powders and supplements, when consumed following a big workout, had a positive effect on reducing muscle soreness.
Gainers for gaining weight and muscle mass
Carbs have been shown to replenish glycogen-depleted muscles. Carbs help refuel the body and speed up your recovery time so you’re ready to hit the gym faster. However, glycogen depletion is more common in endurance athletes than bodybuilders. Nonetheless, if you’re looking to balance your body’s sugar levels, the recommended amount of fast-acting carbs to consume post-workout is about 50-75 grams. For optimal results, consume them within the first 30 minutes following your workout session.
If you’re looking to bulk up and add on some pounds, a top-rated gainer supplement can provide not only a good dose of protein, but a solid amount of much-needed carbs as well. The combination of protein, carbs and calories in gainers provides great post-workout fuel for bodybuilders who really want to amplify their results. And one study suggested that taking in both carbs and proteins after a hard workout could improve both protein and glycogen synthesis.
Nitric Oxide for increased strength and muscle growth
Recovery is a vital part of the workout process. And if you aren’t paying attention to your post-workout nutrition, then you’re missing out on achieving your optimal results.
While protein builds mass and carbs restore glycogen levels in the muscles, nitric oxide can help improve blood flow to your muscles. It does this by relaxing the smooth muscles of your body, which amplifies the blood’s ability to bring oxygen to all your muscles. Greater blood flow and oxygen equal faster recovery and muscle-building. And when you want to see results fast, nitric oxide acts a bit like creatine, amplifying your current muscles through the increased blood flow so you can look really good following your workout.
Nitric oxide can also be taken before a workout, as it can boost your gym sesh by giving your muscles more energy and the ability to push harder. One study showed that cyclists given nitric oxide saw an increased anaerobic threshold after three weeks.
Check with your doctor to see if nutritional supplements are right for you. If your doctor confirms that they won’t affect any health conditions you might have, or medications you might be taking, check out real reviews of top-rated supplements to find the ones that are best for maximizing your workouts.
View our top rated protein supplements here: Top Whey Protein Powders.
I’m not just a supplement analyst. I’m an extremely qualified one! I am a Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC) and actually received my certification directly from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I am also a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, certified by the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA).