The Best Post Workout Supplements
There are many supplements that are marketed as being ‘essential post workout’ and that promise to aid recovery and enhance muscular repair, but here we analyze the most scientifically backed and the ones you should absolutely consider taking post workout.
After a workout your muscles are starved and so require protein quickly in order to repair the micro tears caused by training and increase in size. This is why the most important supplement you can take immediately following training is protein since it’s this that is solely responsible for the recovery of your muscles. Regarding the type of protein experts usually recommend a quick absorbing protein such as whey protein, since it’s absorbed by the muscles quicker compared to other proteins like casein.
A Quick Releasing Carbohydrate
Another supplement that’s absolutely essential post workout is a high glycaemic index carbohydrate such as dextrose or maltodextrin because researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands found these types of carbohydrates dramatically boosted insulin levels, which in turn increased the absorption of protein and helped to kick-start the recovery process. Another benefit of having this type of carbohydrate in your post workout nutrition is to replenish muscle glycogen levels that would have become depleted during a workout, this will ensure you’re muscles have the energy to complete another bout of exercise in the same day if needed.
Many people will take creatine pre workout thinking that it will be immediately absorbed and then positively affect your body’s phosphagen system, which will then allow you to lift more weight in the gym for more repetitions. However many experts will recommend having it in your post workout shake since it’s at this point that your body is in its most absorbable state meaning by taking the creatine at this point you ensure it all gets stored right inside the cells for where it’s needed for your next workout and not pre workout when the muscle cells aren’t as receptive to the creatine molecules, therefore won’t be absorbed as efficiently.
A supplement that’s essential for preventing muscle breakdown and promoting the building of muscle is branch chain amino acids. Branched Chain Amino Acids, namely leucine, isoleucine and valine, are considered vital for muscular hypertrophy and development since they are not metabolised in the stomach and are instead metabolised directly in the muscle. Also when taken post workout they’ve been shown to trigger protein synthesis and effectively work with the protein and carbohydrates to kick-start and enhance the entire recovery process.
Taurine is another naturally occurring amino acid and is found in high concentrations in the central nervous system, skeletal muscle and white blood cells. But more importantly post workout it’s been shown to be an effective cell volumiser capable of drawing water and nutrients into the cells to aid recovery and growth. So by adding as little as 1-3 grams of this into your post workout shake you can effectively increase the absorption of all the other nutrients in that shake.
Lastly for those wanting to prevent muscle soreness and reduce muscle breakdown after a workout, the amino acid HMB (Beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate) has been shown to greatly help according to researchers at The School of Life Sciences, Kingston University. So by adding as little as 1.5 grams to your post workout shake you can ensure you’re less stiff the following day and able to train again.