You’ve nailed it in the gym. You managed to pump out extra reps, pile an extra plate onto your squat and achieve a massive pump in your front quads. As you stagger out the door, you mutter to yourself, “Killed that workout! Best post-workout supplement you say? Psh…who needs that?”
Fact is, your body is now primed to grow. What you put into it in the next hour is going to determine whether that mind blowing workout is going to translate into dense slabs of beef on your frame or whether all of your effort is going to end up being one big waste of time. This, you see, is the critical time for muscle recovery and growth. It’s your body’s optimum muscle building window. You have to get it right!
We’ve already covered the many benefits of a quality pre-workout. Effective post-workout recovery supplements are equally indispensable in feeding your nutrient famished body with just the right combination of carbs and protein in that critical hour after the workout. A post workout supplement may be in the form of tablets, liquid or a shake (got milk?). It will contain a blend of proteins, carbs, amino acids, vitamins and other ingredients specifically designed to fast track it directly to the muscles that have been stressed during your workout. These are vital nutrients needed to rebuild and repair your muscles, making them bigger and stronger.
Benefits of a Post-Workout Supplement
- Feed Protein to Depleted Muscle: Confidently fuel your worked muscle with the vital protein it needs, when it needs it.
- Recover Quickly: Feed your body with the essential carbs, vitamins and minerals that will allow you to rebound from the workout and get on with your day.
- Convenient & Cost-Effective: No hassles preparing food or spending money on high quality lean protein. A supplement is easy and, comparatively, cheap.
- Improves Body’s Response to Exercise: Allows muscle energy storage to fuel your next workout.
- Creatine: Strengthens and rebuilds muscle cells that have been traumatized during the workout
- Glutamine: Provides a boost to your body’s natural recovery ability.
|ON 2:1:1 Recovery
||MHP Dark Matter
||Myogenix AfterShock Recovery
||BSN CellMass 2.0
Best Post-Workout Supplement – Our Top 10
#1. Optimum Nutrition 2:1:1 Recovery
Optimum Nutrition’s 2:1:1 recovery is one of the best supplements to replenish, refuel, and build your muscles following a strenuous workout. What makes it tops on our list? Simple. Its ingredient profile is superior to 99% of the other post-workout products available in 2017. That, and it consistently delivers faster recovery and reduced muscle soreness, which is exactly what you want in a post-workout.
ON uses a unique 2:1 ratio of fast-acting carbohydrates to proteins to quickly replenish your glycogen levels. It comes with 5g of BCAAs per serving. It contains 30.8g of proteins per 100g consisting of multiple proteins (hydrolized whey, egg, casein). The protein blend includes fast, intermediate, and slow-digesting proteins.
ON 2:1:1 will cost you about $1.30/scoop on Amazon. The serving size is a sizeable 2 scoops (113g), but most people can probably get away with less than that. It isn’t the cheapest post-workout out there, but it is one of the highest quality ones. Without a doubt, it more than pays for itself.
In short, if you are looking for a post-workout recovery drink that will help you get out of bed feeling refreshed and ready to hit your next workout harder than the last, ON’s 2:1:1 Recovery is our favorite on the market right now.
#2. MHP Dark Matter
Dark Matter by MHP comes in at #2 on our list. Dark Matter uses proven ingredients to take full advantage of the crucial anabolic period following a workout far better than most other run of the mill supplements.
Dark Matter contains 12g of protein per serving. It has 48g of carbs mostly from waximax and dextrose, which acts to restore glycogen levels in your body and deliver the essential nutrients your muscles are craving following an intense workout. It also contains a unique cell volumizing and creatine blend to optimize your muscles’ recovery and growth. Finally, it has an amino acid blend as well which enhances the muscle-building process. All of this adds up to hands down one of the best supplements you can take following your workouts.
Dark Matter is definitely one of the better-tasting post-workouts. There are a couple downsides with Dark Matter: (1) the mixability is not that great, so a shaker may come in handy; (2) the price is on the higher side at about $1.62/serving on Amazon. But, if you’ve got the pockets, MHP really delivers a solid product with Dark Matter.
#3. Myogenix AfterShock Recovery
Aftershock Recovery by Myogenix is simply one of the most effective products when it comes to taking advantage of the post-workout “anabolic window” that bodybuilders talk about. Everything in AfterShock is geared towards accelerating the recovery process.
Specifically, each serving of AfterShock comes with 34g whey isolate and protein and 30g carbs, meaning a 1:1 ratio for those who desire a more even protein-carb split. It also has a Joint Support Complex and an Antioxidant Blend. One thing that stands out about AfterShock is that it is loaded with a ton of BCAAs (7.25g) as well as creatine and glutamine (8g).
In addition to its superior macronutrient profile, AfterShock tastes pretty good, depending on which flavors you select. We did notice that people do commonly complain about the taste, but we didn’t find that to be the case with the flavors we tried. Some of the flavors that we like include Fruit Punch and Wild Berry Blast.
The one noticeable downside with AfterShock is the price tag. One 2 lb tub will cost you about $1.91/serving, which does place it on the upper end in terms of pricing. Despite that, we still place it #3 on our list because in terms of muscle recovery and muscle gains, AfterShock is as good as they come.
#4. BSN CellMass 2.0
BSN’s newest entrant into the post-workout market is strong on creatine – its former version has been redesigned so that now it provides 3 forms of this powerful strengthener and muscle builder. It also includes glutamine, taurine and hydrolized whey protein to revitalize tired muscles. With a 2:1 protein/carb ratio, Cellmass is guaranteed to deliver all the amino acids that your body is craving as it attempts to rebuild and strengthen itself.
#5. RSP ReGen Endurance & Recovery Promoting Formula
RSP Nutrition’s Regen Endurance comes in at #5 on our list of the top post-workout supplement for a simple reason – it has one of the most complete, nutritionally balanced combination of energy enhancing compounds that we’ve come across. The combination of the most bioavailable BCAA’s on the market, a Nitric Oxide matrix comprising citrulline, malate, agmatine, sulfate and norvaline along with Vitamin B6 and Bioperine give this supplement the power to perform the job that your body demands after a muscle quivering workout. It also contains glutamine which helps speed up your recovery. When you take Regen, you’ll find that you consistently feel less fatigued and sore for your next workout, which allows you to push harder.
What’s more, it’s got an amazing taste and mixes completely and easily. RSP Regen can be used effectively as a post-workout, but it is also highly beneficial as an intra-workout supplement as well.
#6. Muscle Pharm Recon
Recon by Muscle Pharm is yet another solid workout supplement by a reputable brand. Recon is optimal for those in bulking or maintaining cycles and should be taken right after your workout is completed.
The nutritional profile is really what makes Recon stand out. First of all, there is no protein or fat in Recon. It does contain a ton of other very beneficial ingredients. Some of the highlights include 27g of a 3-stage carb delivery system (glucose, inulin, dextrose) to replenish depleted glycogen levels. It has a 3:1:2 BCAA blend, which mirrors Muscle Pharm’s BCAA supplement blend. There is also a Recovery Accelerator (arginine, glutamine, taurine). We can go on and on with the awesome ingredients in Recon, but in short, this is why we are so high on this product.
One downside with Recon is that it is a little pricey (~1.12/serving). But, like the other superior post-workouts on our list, you really get what you pay for with this supplement.
#7. Optimum Nutrition After Max Post-Workout Maximum Recovery
After Max by Optimum Nutrition is the second ON post-workout recovery product on our list. It really is an all-in-one product that contains every essential ingredient you look for in a quality post-workout.
Each serving contains 40g proteins and 40g carbs for a 1:1 ratio. There are also 5g creatine, 5g glutamine, and 22 vitamins and other minerals.
The serving size is ginormous with 3 scoops/serving. So, this can be a downside if you plan to use the entire 3 scoops everytime. But, again many users can and should probably use less than 3 scoops. Obviously, the value you get from this product is going to depend on how much you use. Using the full serving size will cost about $2/serving, but again you can experiment with what works effectively for you. As far as the taste and mixability, it is above average.
#8. Nutribolics Anabolic State
Canadian company Nutribolics has become a key player in the North American supplement market and this, their flagship post-workout products, is a great example why. With 10 grams of BCAA’s per serving, it’s the easily most potent post-workout protein infuser on the market. A unique ingredient in Anabolic State is HICA (alpha-hydroxyisoscaproic acid), which will decrease delayed onset muscle soreness. This product doesn’t include any fillers – every compound is designed to boost your recovery, build muscle and fuel for your next session. To top it off, the taste is fantastic.
One downside we discovered with Anabolic States was that it was a hassle to get an efficient blend. The handshaker just didn’t cut it, leaving a cement-like consistency at the bottom of the bottle.
#9. Gaspari Nutrition AMINOLAST 420
Rich Gaspari and his team have spent a full two years researching, developing and refining Aminolast based on the latest cutting edge research. The product they ended up with delivers a potent dose of BCAA’s, Leucine enriched peptide amino acids, anti cramping electrolytes and their unique AMMOJECT mix, designed to flush fatigue causing waste products from the muscle cell. All of this combines to make Aminolast a solid product that gets the post-workout job done.
#10. Cellucor COR-Performance Beta-BCAA
Cellucor has been a dominant player in the pre and post-workout market for nearly a decade based upon solid, immaculately researched products that deliver. Their #1 post-workout product’s point of difference is the inclusion of beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is an amino acid that supports muscular endurance, aids recovery and repair and promotes performance. It also has a proven ability to arrest fatigue and offset the build-up of lactic acid in muscle cells. Finally, quality post workout supplements for women are not necessarily the easiest to find, but many women also use Cellucor BCAA and have very positive feedback on it.
- Getting the right nutrients into your system within 60 minutes of completing your work-out is critical to support your muscle building efforts.
- Using a combination products from the top supplement players will give you peace of mind and make it easy for you to drive the nutrition to the muscle cell that is craving it.
- Post supplementing will actually help to prime you for the next workout.
- We’ve covered the top pre and post workout supplements available today. Use a post-workout in conjunction with a solid pre-workout and/or whey protein powder for maximum results.
- Our pick for the best post-workout supplement is RSP Regen Endurance and Recovery Promoting Formula.
It’s Your Turn! Do you regularly use post-workouts? Have you tried any on our list? Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!