After a great workout don’t forget you need a proper refuel that includes certain macro and micronutrients to optimize recovery.
Recovery plays several roles – in growing and repairing muscles, preventing soreness, and replenishing energy sources to prep for your next gym session. Recovery is key to keep smashing your workouts week after week, and essential to your results overall.
Here are 6 you should be including in your post-workout routine:
1. Whey protein
Whey protein, available in many flavours, forms, and concentrations, is likely the most common recovery supplement.
Exercise stresses our muscles, causing micro-tears, and protein provides the necessary building blocks to heal, repair, and grow our muscles. While our muscles are always in a flux of breaking down and building up, providing a protein source made up of all the essential amino acids has been repeatedly proven for effective recovery.
Fuel-Up’s Pro Whey is a high quality protein that delivers clean, great tasting, post-workout fuel.
L-carnitine is a key component of burning fat for energy. It is also involved in heart, muscle, and brain function and is made by the body but we can also get it from our diet. Due to its involvement in fat metabolism and health of heart and muscle, some people take it before workouts but it is also useful for recovery. Helping your body to burn fat and preserve muscle.
Creatine (or creatine monohydrate) can help to speed recovery after workouts. Using creatine prepares your muscles to be strong and powerful for your next workout. Optimised creatine levels can specifically boost performance in high intensity, anaerobic activity.
Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are unique in their molecular structure. They include valine, leucine, and isoleucine and are part of the “essential” amino acid group, which means they are essential to get from our diet – our bodies can’t make enough of them on their own.
BCAAs have been shown to help shift the protein balance to rebuilding muscle tissue and slowing muscle breakdown.
L–glutamine is another amino acid that our body benefits from getting in our diet or supplement regime. While all of these supplements help to speed recovery, L–glutamine specifically is known for reducing muscle soreness.
The less sore you feel, the harder you can push during your next workout. L-glutamine is also unique it its glucogenic capabilities, which means it is able to be turned into glucose, your body’s primary energy source.
While many recovery supplements focus on muscle recovery, it’s also crucially important to replace electrolytes that we lose during our workouts.
Electrolytes include calcium, magnesium, potassium and more and these micronutrients are crucial for many of the processes that keep us alive, especially if you are sweating excessively or working out in hot weather, make sure electrolytes are included as part of your recovery.
So, while supplements aren’t required for recovery, they can speed the recovery process and enable you to get back to the gym sooner and with greater power and energy. While soreness and fatigue can weigh us down, speeding recovery is key to achieving your goals as soon as possible.