5 Essential Nutrients for Optimal Post-Workout Recovery

General Pre-Workout Supplement Advice Training Tips

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the gym, you’ve probably seen someone chugging a post-workout protein shake. Are these guys onto something, or have they fallen victim to bro science?

If you’re not sure what you should be doing post-workout, keep reading.

We’ll explain the importance of post-workout recovery fuel and five essential nutrients you should consume when you’ve finished exercising below.

Importance of Post-Workout Recovery Fuel

First, it’s important to understand why post-workout nutrition matters.

When you exercise, your muscles use up your stored glycogen (carbohydrates). You may also damage some of the proteins in your muscles during your workout.

To repair your muscles, your body needs to replenish its glycogen stores. Eating a balanced meal after your workout can help your body accomplish this.

When glycogen stores replenish, your body has an easier time building muscle and recovering from your workout.

Eating a meal after your workout also helps you maintain an optimal balance of other important hormones like insulin and testosterone.

Five Essential Post-Workout Recovery Nutrients

As you can see, eating a meal or snack post-workout can be beneficial for some people. If you do choose to eat something after your workout, you’ll see the best results if you make sure that it contains the following nutrients:

1. Protein

Protein is one of the most important nutrients to consume after exercise. This is because exercising triggers a breakdown in muscle protein.

Post-workout protein is especially important for people who do intense forms of exercise.

If you’re only going for a quick walk on your lunch break, you don’t need to worry about your post-workout protein consumption. But, if you’re doing intense weight lifting or aerobic exercise, protein matters a lot more.

Most people seem to see the greatest benefits when they consume somewhere between 20 and 40 grams of protein post-workout. This is the amount found in most homemade protein shakes or protein bars.

Generally speaking, it’s best to get your protein from a whole food source (a piece of chicken or fish, for example). If you don’t have time to prepare a meal, a protein shake will do.

If you’re focused on recovery, a whey protein shake seems to be best since it’s absorbed quickly by the body. If you want a more filling post-workout shake that will tide you over for a few hours, a whey-casein blend is more effective since it digests slowly.

2. Carbohydrates

Your body also needs carbohydrates after a workout. This is important for replenishing the glycogen stores, especially after doing endurance training like running or swimming.

A good rule of thumb when planning your post-workout meal is to make sure it contains a 3-4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein. For example, you might have 20 grams of protein and 60-80 grams of carbs.

This will help replenish your glycogen stores, promote muscle repair, and stimulate insulin secretion. Insulin secretion promotes glycogen synthesis.

The more frequently you exercise, the more important your post-workout carb-to-protein balance is.

People who workout multiple times per day or week need to be careful about consuming adequate carbohydrates.

This is because their muscles undergo more strain. They’re also more likely to deplete their glycogen stores than someone with a casual workout routine.

3. Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is essential for people who want to maintain their muscle strength and muscle endurance. It promotes muscle growth by helping replenish muscle proteins damaged during a workout.

Beta-alanine can also improve your workout performance.

This is because it helps the body produce carnosine. Carnosine reduces lactic acid buildup in the muscles. This, in turn, helps reduce muscle fatigue and allows you to push yourself harder as you train.

The easiest way to take beta-alanine is to add it to your post-workout meal. You can mix a powdered supplement with water and drink it with your meal, or mix the powder in with your protein shake.

4. Creatine

Creatine is a molecule that is naturally present in the body. It helps provide the cells with energy and promotes faster recovery and better workout performance.

Supplementing with creatine can help you push yourself farther during your workouts. You’ll see greater benefits and faster results.

Creatine supplementation also promotes better cognitive function, especially in people who don’t eat animal products (which contain creatine).

Like beta-alanine, you can add creatine to your post-workout shake or meal.

Creatine hydrochloride seems to be the best type of creatine because it’s more absorbable. When it’s combined with a hydrochloride group, creatine is more stable and less likely to cause digestive issues.

5. Digestive Enzymes

Finally, you may also benefit from consuming digestive enzymes along with your post-workout meal or shake. Digestive enzymes promote better nutrient absorption and assimilation.

The better your body absorbs the nutrients from your food, the better your recovery will be and the better results you’ll see. You’re also less likely to experience stomach upset after your meal.

The type of digestive enzyme you consume will vary depending on the food you’re eating. Common digestive enzymes include:

  • Lactase: Helps the body digest lactose, which is in dairy products
  • Protease: Helps the body break down protein
  • Peptidase: Helps the body break down casein and gluten
  • Amylase: Helps break down sugar and starch

Most digestive enzyme supplements come with a combination of these different enzymes.

Looking for More Nutrition Advice?

You’ve now got plenty of information on post-workout recovery nutrition. Do you want to learn more about how to fuel your body to see the best results from your workouts?

Whether you want to learn more about pre and post-workout nutrition or anything else in between, we’ve got the information you need.

Don’t forget to check out our supplement reviews, too. We’ll help you sort through all the different products on the market to find the ones that will work best for you.

Bestseller No. 2
Letsfit Smart Watch, Fitness Trackers with Heart Rate Monitor, Activity Tracker Pedometer, 1.3 Inch Color Screen Step Counter Smartwatch, IP68 Waterproof Calorie counter Sleep Monitor for Women Men
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Bestseller No. 3
Letsfit Smart Watch for Android Phones Compatible with iPhone Samsung, Fitness Tracker with Blood Oxygen Saturation & Heart Rate Monitor, IP68 Waterproof Cardio Watch for Women Men, Black
  • All-day Activity Tracking: Our Letsfit activity tracker can easily monitor your steps, heart rate, distance travelled and more with 14 sports modes and GPS tracking that can be used when you connect your fitness watch to our Letsfit app.
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  • Great Battery Life and Wide Compatibility: Our Letsfit app is compatible with smartphones that use iOS 11.0/Android OS 6.0 or above and Bluetooth 4.0 or later. Enjoy up to 30 days device standby time with just 2hrs charging.
Bestseller No. 4
SoundPEATS Smart Watch Fitness Tracker with All Day Heart Rate Monitor Sleep Quality Tracker IP68 Waterproof 1.4" Large Touch Screen Call & Message Reminder 12 Sports Modes for iPhone Android Phones
  • 【Accurate Fitness Tracker Watch】SoundPEATS fitness watch accurately records your steps, distance walked, calories burned and heart rate at your wrist all day, motivating you to reach your exercise goal with real-time statistics on the watch. It also supports extra 12 sports modes to help you track your other exercise patterns and connects to your smartphone's GPS to draw the route map in the SOUNDPEATS SPORTS app.
  • 【Smart Watch for iPhone Android Phones】This smartwatch is compatible with Android 4.4 & ios 8.0 and above smartphones. You can get incoming calls, text messages, and social media notifications, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and more on your wrist. You can also read them diredctly on the watch, staying connected with the world.
  • 【Sleep Quality Tracker& More Practical Tools】This fitness watch automatically records your sleep activity, recording your deep sleep, light sleep and awake duration. You can get a comprehensive sleep quality analysis and healthy insights in SOUNDPEATS SPORTS app. It can also wake you up with silent vibrating alarms. This multi-functional watch also has many pratical tools, like weather/ music controller/ breath training/ stopwatch/ countdown/ alarm clocks/ find your phone/ sedentary reminder.
  • 【Swimming Waterproof& 10+ Days Battery】Don't bother yourself to take off the fitness watch frequently as this sports watch is rated IP68 waterproof and has super long battery life. You can feel free to sweat it out during exercise, shower, wash hands, play in the rain or swim with it. With the built-in 260mAh battery, this digital watch can work up to 10 days with one single full charge of 2 hours.
  • 【Touch Screen & Comfortable Wearing】This smartwatch is equipped with a 1.4-inch color touch screen and 5 customizable watch faces, making it easy to operate and read the data. The adjustable wristband of this light-weight watch fits a wrist between 6.1 to 9.3 inches (perimeter), suitable for men, women, and teens. Perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Birthday gifts.
SaleBestseller No. 5
YAMAY Smart Watch Fitness Tracker Watches for Men Women, Fitness Watch Heart Rate Monitor IP68 Waterproof Watch with Step Calories Sleep Tracker, Smartwatch Compatible iPhone Android Phones (Gray)
  • 【Accurate Fitness Tracker Watch】- YAMAY watch will accurately track your all-day steps,calories consumption,distance traveled,heart rate.It also supports extra 7 sports modes to help you track your other exercise patterns,and will connect to smartphone's GPS to draw the route map in the related app.
  • ♥【 Smart Watches for iPhone Android Phones】- This watch is compatible with most iOS 8.0 & Android 4.4 above smartphones(not for pc or tablet).You can get call, text, calendar,email and messages alerts and read them diredctly on the watch.This watch can fit for 6.5 - 9.5 inch wrist(perimeter), suitable for men women and kids.
  • ♥【 Sleep Tracker with More Practical Tools】- This watch will auto detect and track your sleep,and analyze your sleep quality.You can easily check the data in the verfitpro app.This watch also has many pratical tools,like alarm clocks,music controller,deep breath guide,sedentary reminder,stopwatch,timer.
  • ♥【 7+ Days Battery & Swimming Waterproof】- Compared with traditional watches,YAMAY watch enhanced the battery life a lot.With one single full charge,it can work 7-10 days.This watch also has IP68 waterproof standard,you can wear it with no worries when washing hands or swimming
  • ♥【 Stay Active and Stay Healthy】- This watch has accurate readings,practical tools,stylish looks,light-weight and comfortable wearing on the wrist,buy with affordable price,being a very good gift for friends and family members to help them Stay Active and Stay Healthy
SaleBestseller No. 6
Letsfit Smart Watch for Android Phones, Fitness Tracker with Heart Rate & Sleep Monitor & Blood Oxygen Saturation, 5ATM Waterproof Cardio Smartwatch for Women Men Compatible with iPhone Samsung-Black
  • Smart in Every Day: Monitor your heart rate in real time via our app, and manually detect your blood oxygen (SpO2) via our watch. Our smart watch can also auto-track your sleep, and analyze your sleep quality(deep sleep, light sleep and wake up time) to help you develop a healthier lifestyle.
  • 14 Sport Modes with Connected GPS: Our fitness watch supports 14 sports modes such as walking, running, bicycle, yoga and more. You can record all-day fitness data including steps, distance, calories burned, miles walked and can connecting your smartphone GPS to your device to track all your workout routes and distance travelled during exercise.
  • 5ATM Waterproof with 7 Days Battery Life: With outstanding battery life Letsfit smart watch can track your health morning, day & night without needing to stop to charge. Our watch also meets 5ATM waterproof standards meaning you can wear it with no worries when swimming.
  • Call & Message Notifications: Pair our fitness tracker to your phone and receive and get all your SNS notifications straight to your smartwatch. You can also see incoming calls and reject them should you be busy, with other great functions such as sedentary alerts, alarms and more.
  • New Upgraded Smart Watch: Our Letsfit app is compatible with smartphones that use iOS 11.0/Android 6.0 or above and Bluetooth 4.0 or above. Features a 1.3 inch large touch screen with 3 stylish clock faces for you to choose from with an interface that allows you to understand your health more intuitively by displaying your sports data vividly and in a way that is easy to understand.
SaleBestseller No. 7
MuGo Smart Watch, 1.69 inch Fitness Tracker, Smartwatch with Heart Rate/Sleep Monitor, Calorie/Step Counter Activity Tracker, Stopwatch, Blood Oxygen Monitor, Full Touch Fitness Watch for Men Women
  • Amazing 1.69 inch LCD full touch screen: The 1.69" touch screen display with 300 PPI and 240*280 HD resolution, makes it clear and intuitive to understand your health and sports data. Smart watch with 5 levels of brightness, even in the sun, you can clearly read the information. you can also customize the watch face to show your personality.
  • Multifunctional smartwatch: This smartwatch includes more practical functions, monitor your real-time heart rate, blood oxygen, step count, calories burned, sleep stage, stress status data. Download and install free "HeroBand III" APP, bind this smartwatch in your cell phone, you can receive alerts of SMS, incoming calls and SNS (Facebook, WhatsApp and more) on this watch. It will never let you miss any important things.
  • 8 Excercise modes: Supports 8 sports such as walking, running, cycling, skiping, badminton, basketball, football, swimming. MuGo P36A fitness watch accurately records your steps, distance walked, calories burned and heart rate at your wrist all day, motivating you to reach your exercise goal with real-time statistics on the watch. The data you want to know is in your wrist.
  • Long lasting battery and comfortable wearing: Large capacity and low power consumption design offers longer endurance. It comes with a magnetic charging USB cable, supports 7*24hr typical usage scenario after 2hr fully charged, standby time can reach more than 30 days. The sport watch is lightweight and the band is changeable and very soft, being very comfortable for wearing.
  • More practical tools and IP67 waterproof: Smart watch features with many practical tools, such as alarm clocks, stopwatch, timer, deep breather guide, music controller, sedentary reminder, adjustable brightness. With the technology of ip67 waterproof, the smart watch will not be damaged even if you wash your hands, bathe and swim while wearing the fitness watch. (note: The running smartwatch does not prevent hot water. It can not track your swimming data.)
SaleBestseller No. 8
Willful Smart Watch for Android Phones and iOS Phones Compatible iPhone Samsung, IP68 Swimming Waterproof Smartwatch Fitness Tracker Fitness Watch Heart Rate Monitor Smart Watches for Men Women Black
  • ♥【Smart watch for Android Phones Samsung iPhone】- Compatible with most iOS 8.0 & Android 4.4 above smartphones. Download and install Free "VeryFitPro" APP, bind this smartwatch in your cell phone,you can receive alerts of calendar, SMS, incoming calls and SNS (Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and more) on this watch;It will never let you miss any important things.
  • ♥【Accurate Fitness Tracker】- Supports 9 sports such as Walking, running, bicycle , Hike, Mountaineering, Dynamic cycling, fitness, treadmill, Yoga. Accurately record all-day activities like steps, distance, calories burned, miles walked, active minutes. Can track all your workout routes, distances, and physical status during exercise. Stay motivated all day!
  • ♥【24/7 Heart Rate Monitor & Sleep Tracker】- Automatically monitor your real-time heart rate, and provide comprehensive analysis of your sleep quality (deep sleep,light sleep and wake up time) to help you develop a healthier lifestyle.
  • ♥【Waterproof Fitness Watch & Long-Lasting Battery】- Willful smart watches is designed with IP68 waterproof rating,which allows you to swim in the pool with it with no worries(NOTICE:It can not track your swimming data). Large capacity and low power consumption design offers longer endurance.It support 7 days of normal use and 30 days standby time
  • ♥【More Practical Tools & App Details】- Willful smart watch also features with many practical tools,such as alarm clocks,stopwatch,timer,deep breather guide,music controller,sedentary reminder,adjustable brightness,find phone.The APP's name is VeryFitPro,which works with Android 4. 4 or iOS 8. 0 and above,Bluetooth 4. 0 and above smartphones only, not for pc or tablet.
Bestseller No. 9
JIKKO Smart Watch, Built-in Alexa, 1.69-inch Touch Screen, Heart Rate Monitor and Pulse oximeter Pedometer Clock Stopwatch, 5ATM Waterproof Fitness Tracker Men’s and Women’s Watches Android iPhone
  • Amazon Alexa; built-in Amazon Alexa to quickly get news, check the weather, set time reminders and alarms, control smart home devices and other functions-just talk to your watch.
  • 1.69-Inch Touch Screen And14 Sports Modes :JIKKO Smart Watch 1.69-inch full-color touch screen DIY dial. 14 modes Outdoorrun,Indoorrun,Outdoorwalk,Indoorwalk,Hiking,Outdoor cycle,Indoor cycle,Cricket,Pool swim,Open water swim,Yoga,Rower,Elliptical,WorkoutWorkout. You can choose to show or hide any sports mode in “VeryFit”
  • Intelligent Health Monitoring:Can measure blood pressure, blood oxygen, distance traveled, calorie consumption, heart rate, sleep and blood oxygen, GPS tracking, etc. The heart rate monitor APP has a health scoring system to help you clearly understand your health status.
  • Real-time notification function: When Fitness Watch is connected with a smartphone, when you receive a call, SMS, email, message (Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Linkedin, Messenger, Instagram), it will vibrate to remind you, you will never Will miss any important SMS/calls. Smartwatch can quickly receive up to 10 instant messages.
  • Excellent Battery life And Wide Compatibility: It has a built-in Bluetooth low energy chip and a large battery capacity of 320mAh. It can be charged for two hours and stand by for 30 days and use for ten days . Compatible with smartphones compatible with ios8.0/ Android 4.4 or higher
Bestseller No. 10
VETUPIC Smart Hula Weighted Hoops ( 24 Detachable Knots, 3 lb), 2 in 1 Abdomen Fitness Massage, Great for Adults Men and Women
  • 【Premium materials】VETUPIC smart weighted exercise hoop made of hard ABS plastic to prevent equipment aging, which is safe and durable
  • 【Easy to use】360-degree shock-absorbing massage ring allows you to exercise comfortably and relieve the labor pain in the lower back that has been sitting for a long time. The smart hoop is easier to use and will never fall, even beginners can use it
  • 【Detachable design】Consisting of 24 detachable parts, diameter 130cm / 51.18inch, detachable with a simple push of a button. You can adjust it according to your waistline. Suit for waistline 31inch - 51inch
  • 【Quiet bearings】3 set upgraded 360-degree silent rollers can even and flexible rotate, making the smaller noise and smoother rotation
  • 【Great service】if you have any doubts about VETUPIC products, don't hesitate to contact us, we are always here to help

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