Hey there! Are you on the hunt for the perfect post-workout supplements and diet to help you gain muscle? Look no further, because we’ve got you covered!
We’ve put together a list of 5 top-notch post-workout supplements and diets that will help you achieve the results you’re after.
If you want to know more about these products, keep an eye on them! In today’s world, everyone is looking for ways to improve their physical appearance, and supplements have become an essential part of people’s daily routines, from teenagers to the elderly. But with so much information out there, it can be tough to know where to start.
The truth is, there is no one “best” supplement. It all comes down to your body’s unique needs, which can only be assessed by experienced health professionals who take into account your medical history, vitals, and fitness goals.
So, before you start taking any post-workout supplements or eating specific foods, it’s essential to consider all the factors that will impact your muscle gain goals.
Don’t fall for marketing gimmicks that claim one supplement is better than all the rest. Instead, focus on what your body needs, and work with experts who can guide you in the right direction.
What Is The Role Of Post-Workout Supplements?
The role of post-workout supplements is to support the body’s recovery and growth processes after exercise. These supplements are designed to be taken after a workout, typically within 30-60 minutes, when the body is in a state of heightened nutrient absorption.
Post-workout supplements can play several roles in supporting muscle recovery and growth. One of the most important roles is providing the body with the nutrients needed to repair and build new muscle tissue.
Protein is a key component of these supplements, as it provides the building blocks (amino acids) needed to repair muscle tissue.
Carbohydrates are also important, as they can help replenish the body’s energy stores that were depleted during exercise, which can help reduce fatigue and support recovery.
Other nutrients commonly found in post-workout supplements include BCAAs, which are a type of amino acid that can help to reduce muscle breakdown and support muscle recovery, and creatine, which can help to improve muscle strength and power.
Proven Benefits of Taking Post-workout Supplements
Post-workout supplements have become increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts and athletes over the years. These supplements are designed to aid recovery, reduce muscle soreness, and enhance muscle growth after intense physical activity.
Here are some of the benefits of taking post-workout supplements:
1. Improved Muscle Recovery
One of the primary benefits of taking post-workout supplements is improved muscle recovery. These supplements contain ingredients such as BCAAs, glutamine, and creatine, which help repair and rebuild muscle tissue damaged during exercise.
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that supplementing with BCAAs reduced muscle damage and accelerated muscle recovery after exercise. 1
2. Reduced Muscle Soreness
Post-workout supplements can also help reduce muscle soreness after exercise. Ingredients such as curcumin, tart cherry, and omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate muscle soreness.
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that tart cherry supplementation reduced muscle soreness and inflammation after intense exercise. 2
3. Increased Muscle Growth
Post-workout supplements can also help increase muscle growth by providing the body with the necessary nutrients and amino acids needed for muscle repair and growth.
Studies have shown that supplementing with creatine can increase muscle mass and strength in resistance-trained individuals. 3
4. Enhanced Endurance
Post-workout supplements containing caffeine and beta-alanine can also enhance endurance during exercise. Caffeine has been shown to improve exercise performance and delay fatigue 4, while beta-alanine supplementation has been shown to improve endurance and delay fatigue in high-intensity exercise 5
5. Improved Immune Function
Some post-workout supplements contain ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc, which can improve immune function and reduce the risk of infections.
A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that supplementation with vitamin C and E improved immune function in athletes during intensive training 6
5 Best Post Workout Supplements
1. Whey Protein
The most commonly known supplement in the world of bodybuilding is “whey protein”. However, the whey protein shake is not a magic which on consumption turns a lean man into a hardcore bodybuilder.
It is a way to supplement the amount of protein, which cannot be fulfilled or is difficult to meet by diet alone. Whey protein is a supplement manufactured by the remaining byproduct of cottage cheese production.
To build muscles, a proper workout regime with an appropriate diet and lifestyle is mandate.
Workout leads to breakdown of muscle tissue, and so the body requires a fast absorbing protein for immediate muscle recovery. Whey protein is the fastest absorbing protein and is most suited as a post workout recovery drink.
This trait of whey protein makes it the best post workout supplement for muscle gain. It possesses various properties, which include:
- Best quality of protein, with a PDCAAS score of 1.
- Contains almost all essential amino acids.
- Rich in Leucine (one of the BCAAs).
- Better for muscle growth in comparison to soy or casein protein.
Some of the good whey protein supplement for lean muscles are:
- Nutrabay Gold Whey Protein Concentrate (provides 25 g protein per serving),
- Nutrabay Pure Whey Protein Isolate (provides 26.5g protein per serving),
- Optimum Nutrition whey protein (provides 24 g protein per serving),
- Isopure (provides 25 g protein per serving),
- Ultimate Nutrition Prostar Whey (provides 25 g protein per serving)
2. Carbs (Carbohydrate Supplement)
The disintegration of muscle tissues during workout creates an immediate requirement for carbohydrates in the body, so that the body can restore its energy stores. It is not always possible to have carbohydrate rich food available within 15 minutes from the training.
So a carb- blend supplement can be a convenient option to have as a post workout supplement. These are a combination of simple and complex carbohydrates, and hence provide immediate as well as sustained energy to the body.
Examples of carb blend supplements are
- Universal Nutrition Carbo Plus,
- MuscleBlaze Carb Blend etc.
3. Mass Gainer
Mass Gainer is a combination of around 75-80% carbohydrates, around 15-20% proteins and 4-5 % fats, of the total calories it provides. It is an appropriate post workout supplement for muscle gain besides weight gain; and so is suitable for people who want a bulky body and a muscular physique.
Excessive carbohydrate intake post workout leads to more glycogen production in the body, which is later converted to fat leading to weight gain.
Some of the good mass gainers are
- Nutrabay Gold Mega Mass Gainer,
- Nutrabay Gold Mighty Mass Gainer,
- ON Serious Mass,
- Labrada Mass Gainer,
- Dymatize Super Mass Gainer etc.
4. Lean Mass Gainer
Lean Mass Gainer comprises approximately 60-65% carbohydrates, around 30-35% proteins and 4-5 % fats, of the total calories it provides. It is a relevant post workout supplement for people who want to gain muscles and a few kilograms of weight, but do not want a bulky body.
Example: MuscleBlaze High Protein Lean Mass Gainer etc.
A multivitamin with less Iron content is a good idea to have post workout, as most vitamins and minerals help in faster recovery of muscles. Do not have specific iron supplements after workout as hepcidin levels are high which cause blocking effects to iron absorption in the body.
Effects of having a calcium supplement post workout is still not clear, studies are going on.
Diet For Muscle Gain
Diet for muscle building refers to adequacy of all macro and micro nutrients as well as ample water intake. It’s a big misconception that all what is required for building muscles is protein.
The first and foremost point of concern is calorie intake.
Calorie requirement of a person is calculated on the basis of his/her Ideal Body Weight. It may be 20 Kcal per kilogram of Ideal Body Weight (or even less), for people trying to lose weight. Whereas, it may be 30-40 Kcal per kilogram of Ideal Body Weight (or even more) for people trying to gain weight or muscles.
Hence, calorie requirement varies from person to person; for different age groups, for men and women, according to the goals etc. It cannot be the same for everyone trying to build muscles, or gain or lose weight.
All foods provide calories to the body by means of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. One needs to have calorie dense foods in post workout meals. Some foods have an excess of proteins, some have more fats and some have excessive carbohydrates.
These calories cannot be fulfilled by just having one nutrient (say protein) in excess, rather all nutrients should be consumed in adequate quantities to fulfill calorie requirement. All these nutrients have their own significance, defined below.
Intense workout leads to muscle tissue breakdown and the body is in a catabolic state post workout. Sufficient protein intake in post workout meals is essential to accelerate muscle repair and growth; provided the daily calorie intake is also adequate.
There is a phenomenon in the body known as “Protein sparing action”, a process by which other nutrients- fats and carbohydrates are utilized to provide energy (calories) to the body, so that proteins can be left out for muscle gaining, tissue repair and growth.
A person having a surplus amount of proteins in a post workout diet with calorie deficit would not be able to gain muscles properly; as a huge amount of consumed proteins will be utilized by the body for energy purposes.
A calorie dense food with an excess of protein is a good idea to have post workout, such as
Whey protein supplement with Oats Porridge,
- Peanut Butter Sandwich with Egg whites,
- A glass of Natural Whey Water with Carb Supplement,
- Homemade Boiled Chicken Sandwich, etc
Glucose, a simple form of carbohydrate, is stored as glycogen in the body, which provides energy whenever required. These stores of glycogen breakdown during workout and get depleted to some extent, which causes fatigue.
Now here, the body needs to rebuild its glycogen stores and so carbohydrate intake is necessary in post workout meals. Some of the good choices of carbohydrate foods along with protein foods would be:
Sugarcane Juice with Boiled Chicken
- Berry Smoothies or Shakes with Boiled Egg Whites
- Sweet Potato Chaat with Whey Protein supplement
- Ample amount of seasonal fruits with Lassi and Peanut Butter
- Carb Supplement with Boiled Egg Whites
Fats are not required in a post workout diet in large quantities. It does not mean that fats are totally restricted but are to be consumed in small quantities. Just like low fat peanut butter that contains a limited amount of fats but is a good source of protein, some amount of white butter or hung curd, are good options to be consumed post workout.
What is the role of a proper Diet For Muscle Gain?
A proper diet plays a critical role in muscle gain. Eating the right types of food in the right quantities can help support muscle growth and repair, as well as provide the energy needed to fuel workouts.
Here are some of the ways a proper diet can help with muscle gain:
1. Adequate Protein Intake
Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, as it provides the necessary amino acids needed for muscle synthesis. Consuming adequate amounts of protein can help support muscle gain.
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that consuming a high-protein diet (2.3-3.1g/kg body weight) resulted in greater muscle mass and strength gains compared to a low-protein diet (1.2-1.5g/kg body weight) in resistance-trained individuals. 7
2. Sufficient Caloric Intake
Consuming enough calories is important for muscle gain, as the body requires energy to build and repair muscle tissue. Consuming too few calories can hinder muscle growth, while consuming too many calories can lead to fat gain.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming a high-calorie diet (40% protein, 40% carbohydrate, 20% fat) resulted in greater muscle mass and strength gains compared to a low-calorie diet (10% protein, 70% carbohydrate, 20% fat) in resistance-trained individuals. 8
3. Timing of Nutrient Intake
The timing of nutrient intake is also important for muscle gain. Consuming protein and carbohydrates before and after exercise can help promote muscle growth and repair.
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that consuming protein and carbohydrates before and after resistance training resulted in greater muscle mass and strength gains compared to consuming the same nutrients at other times of the day. 9
4. Variety of Nutrient Sources
Consuming a variety of nutrient sources can help ensure that the body receives all the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for muscle growth and repair.
A study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that consuming a whole-foods-based diet resulted in greater muscle mass and strength gains compared to consuming a diet consisting mainly of supplements. 10
Micro nutrients in post workout meals
Almost all micronutrients are required in minute quantities for recovery from catabolic state after workout. However, zinc helps in healthy tissue repair, produces good hormones (including testosterone) and hence zinc food sources should be included. Example of zinc foods are
- whole grains etc.
Another essential micronutrient is magnesium, which prevents muscle spasm and relax muscles post workout. Food sources of magnesium include
- Fruits (Bananas, Berries, Figs etc),
- Green Leafy Vegetables,
- Nuts & Seeds etc
Water: Last but not the least; adequate intake of water is essential followed by workout as exercise causes water loss from the body.
Human muscles comprise about 75% water and to recover and regrow, water is extremely eminent. Moreover, it facilitates the digestion of all nutrients, which are required for recovery after working out.
There are many post-workout supplements and diet plans available that can help you achieve your muscle gain goals. The five supplements and diet plans mentioned in this article are among the best options for optimizing recovery and supporting muscle growth. However, it is important to remember that supplements and diet plans alone cannot replace a consistent exercise routine and proper nutrition.
It is also recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before starting any new supplement or diet regimen to ensure it is safe and effective for your individual needs. With the right combination of exercise, nutrition, and supplementation, you can make significant progress towards building the strong, healthy, and muscular physique you desire.
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What are the benefits of post workout supplements?
Post-workout supplements have an alternative effect to pre-workout supplements in that they are essential to muscular recovery. By increasing muscle synthesis, they reduce aches and pains which allows you to continue training while the body repairs itself.
Which protein is best after workout?
Whey protein is a milk protein that your body absorbs quickly, making it useful before or after your workout. It also contains bioactive proteins that may offer other health benefits.
Does post workout supplements work?
Pre and post-workout supplements have different benefits. While pre-workouts are an energy boost and help with endurance to make your workouts last longer, many post-workouts aid in muscular recovery and muscle building.
How do you know if a supplement is good?
The Dietary Supplement Label
Products sold as dietary supplements come with a Supplement Facts label that lists the active ingredients, the amount per serving (dose), as well as other ingredients, such as fillers, binders, and flavorings.
What is the best post workout drink?
Some good refreshment options after exercising include chocolate milk, smoothies, fruit and vegetable juices, and protein shakes. Spirulina can be a great addition to your smoothies, juices, and protein shakes since it’s a nutrient-rich product that contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and electrolytes.
- Ra, S. G., Miyazaki, T., Ishikura, K., Nagayama, H., Suzuki, T., & Maeda, S. (2013). Additional effects of taurine on the benefits of BCAA intake for the delayed-onset muscle soreness and muscle damage induced by high-intensity eccentric exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 1-10.
- Howatson, G., McHugh, M. P., Hill, J. A., Brouner, J., Jewell, A. P., van Someren, K. A., & Shave, R. E. (2010). Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 20(6), 843-852.
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- Harris, R. C., Tallon, M. J., Dunnett, M., Boobis, L., Coakley, J., Kim, H. J., … & Wise, J. A. (2006). The absorption of orally supplied beta-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis. Amino Acids, 30(3), 279-289.
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