Post-Workout Supplement: What to Eat After a Workout

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Are you done with your workout session? But do you take care of your post-workout routine? If not, this article is for you!

A post-workout routine is equally vital as a pre-workout routine. After a workout, your body requires nutrients for the growth & recovery of muscles. Supplements you take after exercise or training will help you in getting long term results.

In this article, you will learn about essential post-workout supplements and other important tips to consider after a workout.

Let’s learn about the important supplements you require post-workout.


10 Types of Post-Workout Supplements

1. L-Carnitine / L-Tartrate


L-carnitine supplements help your body in muscle repair after intensive training. Research studies suggest that these supplements reduce 40% muscle tissue damage during post-workout. LCLT supplement supports androgen receptors of muscle cells by increasing uptake of testosterone. These effects allow for quick repair and recovery of tissue muscles.

The optimum dosage of LCLT supplements is 2 grams.


2. Creatine


Creatine is a natural chemical which the liver & kidney makes from amino acids for building proteins. As resistance training can deplete your creatine stores, creatine supplements are the best to take post-workout. These supplements help increase cell volume, more rapid tissue recovery and high levels of insulin-like growth (IGF).

Research studies have shown that creatine enhances muscle health and lean tissue health after rigorous weight training exercises. Creatine monohydrate quickly assimilates in water or non-acidic beverage of your choice.

The optimum dosage of creatine supplements is 5 grams.


3. L-Leucine

L-leucine is the anabolic branched amino acid, which helps stimulate protein synthesis and muscle growth. It has anti-catabolic properties that protect muscle mass in the body from being broken down. It also stabilizes blood sugar in a calorie-restricted condition of the body. These properties of leucine make it an important supplement to have after your workout.

The optimum dosage of L-Leucine supplement is 5 grams.


4. Phosphatidylserine

Phosphatidylserine is a fatty substance called phospholipid, which protects brain cells while carrying messages between them. It also plays a vital role in mental processes that involve gaining knowledge and understanding.

Research studies have shown that Phosphatidylserine can help cope with exercise-induced stress mainly by reducing stress hormones, cortisol.

The optimum dosage of Phosphatidylserine is 600-750 milligrams.


5. L-Glutamin

Glutamine is in the category of most essential and abundant amino acid in the body. L-Glutamine supplement helps in the release of natural growth hormone and increases nitrogen retention.

Glutamine intake helps in protein synthesis that helps to prevent muscle damage and improve your immune system.

The optimum dosage of the L-Glutamine supplement is 10 grams.


6. Whey Protein Isolate

Whey Protein

Whey protein isolate is the superior form of protein source after your weight training sessions. Once you have done your workout, the objective is to flood your body with essential amino acids so that no protein is assimilated and utilized as quickly as whey protein isolate.

Whey Protein isolate is rich in branched-chain amino acids, particularly L-Leucine, chemical signalling molecules in muscles and responsible for protein synthesis and growth.

Whey protein isolate does the dual work, refuelling muscles with essential amino acids, and other digesting carbohydrates quickly. A 2017 study stated that whey protein might improve performance and recovery time.

The optimum dosage of whey protein is 20-25 grams, depending on your body weight and fitness goals.


7. Carbohydrate Powder

Labrada Muscle Mass Gainer

It is crucial to restoring muscles repair and recovery, and no time is more effective to do so after your weight training or high-intensity interval training (HIIT). After a workout, insulin sensitivity is high, and muscles are ready for ingesting carbs.

Carbohydrate intake, which gets digested and stored easily, helps increase insulin levels, absorbs amino acids, creatine, and other nutrients directly into muscle cells.

Carbohydrate powders (Weight Gainers) are based on dextrose and other glycaemic carbohydrates. These powders are an efficient supplement to replenish your body with glycogen & encourage the repair & recovery process post-workout.

The optimum dosage of carbohydrate powder is 50 grams to 150 grams, based on your body weight and health goals.


8. BCAA Blend

BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids)

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) consists of three essential amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine. The most important out of all three is leucine, which helps in muscle damage.

Research studies indicate branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) help build muscles and fuel recovery after resistance training exercises. BCAAs provide substantial energy sources in endurance training when carbohydrate sources are low.

BCAAs may be found to perpetuate strong signalling in the body to repair a damaged muscle.

The optimum dosage of the BCAA blend is around 20 grams per day.


9. Protein Bars

Protein bars may not sound like a supplement, but these are a great source of enhancing your protein intake after a workout. Protein bars are the perfect combination of proteins (help in repair & recovery of muscles) and fibres. Nuts, seeds and jaggery powder are some of the common ingredients. Antioxidants present in these ingredients help in preventing inflammation.

You can go for stimulant-free protein bars. Even, you can search for easy homemade protein bar recipes. Homemade protein bars can be stored in air-tight containers in refrigerators for 2 to 3 months.


10 Electrolyte Based Hydration Powder

Electrolyte enhanced beverages help to restore water & energy lost during the workout. Electrolytes contain potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium elements to help dehydration, relieve muscle pain, and lessen fatigue. Thus, electrolyte helps regulate nerve and muscle function.


Till now, you have learned about post-workout supplements. Let’s know about what type of foods you can eat post-workout.


All About Post-Workout Nutrition

Eating right after a workout is crucial for getting the best results. Food with nutrients helps prevent muscle breakdown, restore glycogen (carbohydrates) stores and enhance protein synthesis.


1. Prioritize proteins and carbs

Many gym trainers suggest taking proteins and carbs in the ratio of 3:1 is a good start after a workout. You can intake proteins in the form of soy seeds, whey protein, nuts, eggs, yoghurt, seeds, salmon fish, milk, cheese, and low-sugar protein bars.

You can also consume carbohydrates wisely to fulfil your post-workout nutrition. Fresh fruit, oat milk, whole grain pasta, sweet potato, whole wheat bread and legumes are carbohydrates.


The timeline within which you have to consume supplements is also a crucial aspect to learn.


2. Timeline of Workout Supplements

All you want from your workout is a healthy and fit body. So, knowing the complete timeline of workout supplements is a must.


3. Before & During Workout

Around 3 hours before a workout, eat a small number of carbohydrates, like any fresh fruit. Fuel yourself with pre-workout supplements one hour before exercise. You can sip on your preferred protein shake during a workout.


4. After Workout

Refill your body with amino acids & post-workout supplements to help repair & recover muscles within an hour after the workout. If replenishment delays till two hours, there is a 50% chance of low rates of carbohydrate synthesis.


Other Important Things to be Noted

Other than these post-workout supplements, there are other small but essential things for consideration. These things are related to your lifestyle changes and supplements usage.

Making healthy changes in your lifestyle makes your workout more fruitful.


Lifestyle Related Things

1. Keep Yourself Hydrated

Drink 225 to 280 grams of water after a workout, 480 to 560 grams of water before a workout and sip 195 to 280 grams of water during the exercise. Other than drinking water during & after a workout, it is beneficial to drink healthy & hydrated drinks throughout the day.

Coconut water, green tea, black tea, and chocolate milk are some of the healthy drinks. Avoid drinks containing caffeine & nicotine, as these are dehydrating in nature.


2. Consume Magnesium-Rich Foods

Other than workout and their supplement regime, you have to take care of your diet too. It is best to fill yourself with a magnesium-rich diet. Dark leafy vegetables, milk, cashews, sesame seeds, salmon fish, and avocado are magnesium-rich foods.


3. Self-Care Regime

Massaging yourself with coconut oil or any oil of your choice will relax your body and improve muscle strength. Relaxed breathing exercise or savasana yoga pose calms your nervous system. Proper sleep, meditation and bathing are also part of the self-care regime. You need to include some of these activities in your routine so that your body relax and recover.


4. Cool Down Routine

After the workout session, you can also include activities of cooling down. Static stretching for 20-15 minutes, walking or jogging for 5 to 8 minutes or cool shower are cool-down activities.


5. Light exercise on rest days

You can choose light exercises for the rest days. Walking, jogging, cycling, jumping ropes, aerobics & running are some light exercises.


6. Regular Meals

Eating food at regular and fixed time intervals help your body to assimilate food properly. Regular meals will also help you stop overeating.


Supplement Related Things

  1. Cycle these supplements

Some post-workout supplements, like creatine, BCAAs, have stimulants (caffeine, yohimbine, etc.) in their ingredients. For maintaining the effectiveness of these supplements, cycle off them for about 2-3 weeks. The reason being, after some time, your body can build up a tolerance for these supplements, which make them ineffective.


  1. Go for stimulant-free post-workout supplements

If you are unable to cycle off your workout supplements, select stimulant-free post-workout supplements.

If you are using a stimulant-included supplement, you can go for a stimulant-free post-workout supplement in cycling off stage.


Final Takeaway

Now, you can understand the importance of a post-workout routine & nutrition. To get the most benefits from your workout, you must respect your body to follow a pre-and post-nutrition routine. This way, you allow yourself to stay healthy physically and mentally.

If not following the post-workout routine, there is a risk of injury, burnout, or severe fatigue. So, take time to make your body repair, and recover muscles workout.

Plan and create your entire workout routine. I hope you find the article helpful.

Which post-workout supplement you are using? Please comment in the section below.

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