Nobody wants to feel sore or fatigued, especially when it’s time to train. Since you’ve made your way here, I assume that you also want to train hard and gain as much muscle and strength as possible. Luckily, there are ways to speed up recovery with supplements. Some of them have been proven to be truly effective and some of them, well, not so much. In this post I have ranked and reviewed the best supplements for muscle recovery currently available.
What Are The Best Muscle Recovery Supplements?
People often think of supplements as vitamins, minerals or some other biological compounds. But the definition for the word “supplement” is a thing added to something else in order to complete or enhance it.
That’s why I’ve included things like sleep and protein in this list, because they enhance or complete the process of muscle recovery.
Here are my top picks for the best muscle recovery supplements.
1. Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine is a substance found naturally in muscle cells. It helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high intensity exercise.
Creatine Monohydrate is one of the most researched supplements on the planet. It’s one of the safest, cheapest and most effective ways to enhance muscle growth, muscle strength and muscle recovery.
To load with creatine, take 5 grams four times per day for 5–7 days. Then take 3–5 grams per day to maintain levels.
Dietary protein is required to promote growth, repair damaged cells and tissue, synthesize hormones, and for a variety of metabolic activities.
I’m mentioning protein in this list for a clear reason. Although the majority of the U.S. population exceeds the minimum recommendations for protein intake, it might not be enough for people who exercise regularly.
For a person who does any form of exercise, about 0.7–1 grams of protein per pound (1.6–2.2 grams per kg) of lean mass should be the goal to maximize muscle recovery and growth.
3. Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 strengthens your bones and muscles, boosts immunity and improves mood and heart function. It also reduces inflammation which is important for muscle recovery.
The function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury. If inflammation is prolonged then it will slow down the healing process and therefore muscle recovery.
Having sufficient levels of D3 results in less muscle fatigue and faster recovery post-exercise.
Sleep is one of the natural supplements on this list that’s available to everyone. It helps muscles release protein-building amino acids into the bloodstream at an increased rate which helps them grow bigger and stronger over time. It also aids in the release of growth hormones during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which helps with muscle recovery.
Adults between the ages of 18 and 64 need seven to nine hours of sleep per night. 35.2% of all adults in the U.S. report sleeping on average for less than seven hours per night.
REM sleep is most prevalent in the later hours of your sleep, meaning if you cut your sleep time, then you will lose out on REM sleep and the recovery benefits that it offers.
Glutamine is an amino acid and is one of the building blocks of proteins. As a workout supplement, it has an effect on building muscle and reducing soreness and muscle fatigue.
Glutamine helps best with recovery when your workouts tend to be longer. The benefits of glutamine appear to be primarily for endurance even if it does help build lean muscle.
BCAAs can help reduce muscle soreness and accelerate recovery by decreasing the rate of muscle breakdown and boosting how quickly muscles can repair themselves.
7. Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice has many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. It lessens pain and accelerates strength recovery after exercise and decreases blood markers of inflammation/oxidative stress making it a valuable supplement for muscle recovery.
What Are Muscle Recovery Supplements?
Muscle recovery supplements are products or methods that can help your muscles recover faster after a workout or an exercise bout. They enable you to gain an edge on your competitors by supporting your body’s natural recovery mechanisms.