Why Muscle Recovery Matters
For people just beginning an exercise routine or who are working towards specific fitness goals, muscle recovery is critical. Specifically, recovery is important because that period allows for the muscles to repair and strengthen between activities. Working out day after day without rest can have the opposite effect than people would expect, leading to overtraining syndrome. But sometimes, people can help to speed muscle recovery by incorporating supplements into a daily routine.
1. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs are a popular post-workout recovery supplement because this pick contains a trio of key amino acids. Isoleucine, valine, and leucine are combined and help replenish amino acids naturally lost during a workout. Additionally, the three amino acids found in BCAAs aren’t naturally produced by the body but are essential for repairing any routine muscle damage that normally occurs when people exercise. BCAAs can be taken before or after a workout session but aid significantly in muscle recovery.
2. Protein to build muscles
While protein might not be what most people envision when the word supplement is mentioned, the macronutrient is critical for building muscles and strength over time. While protein can be consumed before exercising, experts agree that post-workout is the best option since the macronutrient can help to keep people feeling fuller longer and reduce cortisol levels. Experts agree that people should aim for between 15-20g of protein after a workout session. Consuming more than the recommended amount won’t produce any gains as the body can’t absorb more than 20g. Popular options include whey protein, vegan protein, and paleo protein powder.
3. Creatine for faster recovery
People who exercise frequently may be familiar with creatine as a way to maintain energy during workouts. Specifically, the naturally occurring substance helps muscles to power through by helping the body produce more adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or energy. But creatine is also fantastic for post-workout recoveries. Specifically, the substance helps to boost recovery rates in the muscles at the cellular level. Along with fast-tracking recovery times, research has shown that consistently taking creatine after working out can improve strength output.
4. Omega-3 fatty acids to reduce soreness
Most people are familiar with the aches and pains that can accompany a new workout routine. While omega-3 fatty acids are usually associated with reducing inflammation and improving heart health, the supplement is also ideal for reducing muscle soreness and aiding in bone repair. Reduced inflammation is important as the feature can help to reduce the risk of workout-related injuries. Additionally, omega-3s can also support improved blood and oxygen flow to the muscles, which helps to improve range of motion and reduce joint soreness.
Prioritizing the recovery periods
Working out is about more than picking the right exercises and warming up before engaging in activities. To get the best results, people also need to think about the foods or supplements being consumed post-workout. Individuals with questions about the best supplements to aid in muscle recovery and support customized workouts should speak with a pharmacist or dietitian for guidance.