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Workout Recovery Supplements: Choosing Which are Right for You

Woman Stretching

It’s believed that the key to reaching your fitness goals is training as hard as possible. While giving your all is important, it’s only half of the equation for workout success. Recovery or muscle restoration is the other (less-practiced) element in achieving ultimate performance.

Arguably, the only thing more important than working out correctly is recovering correctly. Immediate or short-term recovery is the most common form of recovery. This short duration of time allows the body to rebuild muscle fibers, making them stronger than they were before.

Sleep is another crucial component of correct recovery. Athletes who are sleep deprived are at risk for losing aerobic endurance levels as well as decreased production of human growth hormones (HGH) — a hormone that is active during tissue repair.

Workout recovery supplements can also serve their own important role in the recovery process. Here’s what you need to know.

How Can Supplements Help?

Long stretches in the gym at high intensity may seem like the best way to get that summer bod, but too much time in the gym can actually halt your progress. Make sure to leave some time to recover and recuperate. Workout recovery supplements help your body with this process and re-energize your body before you step foot in the gym again.

Many recently converted health nuts like to determine their progress based upon how sore they are post workout. Sore muscles means it’s time to stop. Returning to the gym anything less than 90% fit is a one way ticket to injury. Thankfully these workout supplements can help speed up the recovery process, getting you out of bed and back in the gym quicker.

Botanic Choice Creatine

Creatine is every gym nut’s best friend. It helps increase your muscles’ phosphocreatine stores. Phosphocreatine helps with the formation of ATP that gets broken down to produce energy. By increasing our phosphocreatine stores, we are able to produce more ATP, fueling muscles during more intense workouts.


L-Carnosine is fantastic for improving muscle endurance by promoting healthy aging and cellular restoration. This supplement works by helping to reduce levels of hydrogen ions (H+) from our blood plasma. Too much H+ in blood plasma causes your body to drop in pH which can lead to other health complications. L-Carnosine acts as a buffer for bodily pH, which delays the onset of fatigue.

Whey and Plant-Based Protein

Whey protein and plant-based proteins are a staple recovery method for gym-goers young and old. Its main ingredient, protein, is essential for repairing and rebuilding muscle. Both types of protein are easy for the body to absorb and digest. It is best to consume immediately after a workout.


BCAAs is short for Branched Chain Amino Acids. This supplement is very popular amongst bodybuilders. BCAAs help increase muscle growth, decrease muscle soreness, reduce exercise fatigue, and prevent muscle wasting. So not only will this help increase muscle mass, but it’ll help you get back in the gym quicker and longer.


Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins that are vital for muscle growth, development, and recovery. In addition to its muscular benefits, regularly supplementing Glutamine can help enhance your immune system.

How Do I Know Which Ones Are for Me?

It can be difficult to pinpoint what exact supplements fit your gym regimen. If you are looking for supplements that contribute to muscle growth, BCAAs and Whey Protein are good shots.

If muscle longevity and endurance are more important to you, creatine or L-Carnosine may be helpful.

Other recovery methods such as proper hydration, stretching (both before and after working out), and rest are all important for muscle growth and recovery.

What Else Matters for Muscle Recovery?

If you want to make the most of the time in between workout sessions, you may need more than just supplements. Whey protein, BCAAs, and other choices have their benefits, but they’re only part of an optimal recovery routine.

Below are some helpful habits to form for better post-workout recovery.

Get Enough Sleep

While it may be popular opinion to keep pushing all the way to your limit, sleep and recovery are crucial components and shouldn’t be skipped.

It’s true that the strain you experience in the gym is part of the muscle-building process, but that doesn’t mean embracing pain and ditching your sleep schedule is the right move.

Getting plenty of high-quality sleep is essential for any serious athlete, and it’s one of the core aspects of the recovery process. When you’re sleeping, your muscles have time to repair the tiny tears created in them during your workouts.

If you find that you need an extra few hours of sleep the day after a particularly strenuous workout, hit that snooze button. Giving your body time to rest and recharge is a core principle of workout recovery.

Stay Hydrated

It’s virtually impossible to reach your fitness goals if you aren’t drinking enough fluids. Your muscles need water to function during your workouts, and they also need water to recover after you leave the gym. That’s why it’s so important to drink up before, during, and after your workout for optimal performance and recovery.

While there are plenty of sports drink companies that say otherwise, experts recommend water as the beverage of choice in the gym. A pre-workout or post-workout liquid supplement can help you perform at your best, but H2O is what your body needs most. Electrolyte-fortified sports drinks and other workout beverages can be paired with water but shouldn’t be the sole source of fluids. Many people will drink electrolyte drinks and water in a 1:1 ratio — one bottle of water for every bottle of sports drink.

If you’re a little extra worn out, an IV therapy session can help replenish fluids while also providing reenergizing nutrients that can support recovery.

ivee’s Athletic Recovery features a hydrating saline solution to balance out the body’s fluid levels and get it ready for the next workout. This specialized formula also includes key nutrients that your muscles need to recharge and get stronger, including L-carnitine and a tri-amino acid blend.

Cycle Muscle Groups

One rookie mistake that newcomers to the gym often make is working out the same muscle groups every day. While this might help you put off leg day, it’s not doing you any favors in terms of muscle recovery. Your major muscle groups need time to rest in between workouts, and engaging them over and over can put you at risk of an injury.

The best way to avoid overusing certain muscles is cycling through muscle groups throughout the week. That might mean focusing on chest exercises on Monday, back exercises on Tuesday, then resting on Wednesday before returning for leg day on Thursday and abs on Friday. That’s just an example – there are plenty of other ways to cycle through muscle groups.

On the days when you’re resting from the gym entirely, you don’t have to just sit around waiting for your next workout. Instead, try engaging in some low-impact aerobic activity. Also known as active recovery, this approach to rest days usually involves taking a walk or really anything else that won’t put significant strain on your muscles.

By rotating the muscle groups that you engage in the gym and taking time to actively rest and recover, you’re taking a healthier (and more efficient) approach to muscle growth while minimizing your risk of injury.

At the End of the Day…

The only one who knows their body the best is you. The best thing you can do to get the most out of your workout is to understand your limits. Most injuries occur when people try to go that extra mile and push through the pain. Listen, the pain is your body’s way of telling you, “Please can we stop doing this.” So most importantly, listen to your body…and your doctor. Always consult your physician before adding supplements to your wellness regime and even increasing fitness routine intensity.


The importance of rest and recovery for athletes | MSU Extension

The Role of Water Homeostasis in Muscle Function and Frailty: A Review | NCBI

Is Branched-Chain Amino Acids Supplementation an Efficient Nutritional Strategy to Alleviate Skeletal Muscle Damage? A Systematic Review | NCBI

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