Most of us understand the importance of taking pre-workouts for enhancing our training, but do the best post-workout supplements also benefit our bodybuilding targets?
Here’s a question.
Do you feel that, despite working like an absolute machine in your gym sessions, the gains made never equal the effort you’ve put in?
You know what I’m talking about.
Here’s the truth—guys taking the best post workout supplements have seen their returns go off the scale. Muscle builds at a phenomenal rate, recovery times are reduced, and they remain energized—despite having trained like a monster.
This article brings you the best post-workout supplements that every dedicated bodybuilder should use. If you want to obtain the physique you deserve from your hard work—you must read this.
What Is Post Workout Supplement?
As the name suggests, post workouts are taken either immediately, or within about an hour, after completion of your training session. Depending on the type of post-workout consumed, they can be drinks, powders or pills.
Many guys consider that once their evening gym workout is completed, it’s a case of home, TV, and bed—but that’s not giving your body the chance to either build or recover at optimum levels. Your session is not finished until after you’ve taken a post-workout supplement.
The best post-workout supplements vastly improve the returns made from your training.
Let me show you how.
What Are the Benefits of Post Workout Supplements?
Generally speaking, the best post-workout supplements address two essential areas—that is, they allow your body to quickly recover and improve returns from your resistance work.
1. Restoration of the Body
I’ll be honest with you.
If you leave the gym after your workout and you feel exactly the same as when you walked in—you’re just not working hard enough bro!
Effective and correctly performed resistance training should place an immense amount of stress on the body—both mentally and physically. We’re trying to take the muscles past their “normal” limits with every single set—lifting heavier, working longer, and using every ounce of available energy until complete fatigue sets in.
And when you walk out of that gym door to go home—you should feel this.
This means you have pushed the muscles so hard they have no other choice but to return larger and stronger. Yet, once the work is completed—you don’t have to suffer.
The best post-workout supplements restore and soothe the body.
Here’s how they work:
- Replenish glycogen stores—glycogen is the energy fuel stored in muscles, and resistance training drains them—if they are not replaced, even doing the simplest physical tasks will be difficult.1
- Alleviate the onset of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)—while DOMS does indicate that you’ve pushed your muscles to the limit, it’s extremely painful.2
- Reduce recovery time—the sooner you can return to the gym, the faster you will build muscle.
2. Improving Workout Returns
Let’s face it.
When we hit the heavy iron like beasts, we are pursuing one main goal—to build an absolutely jaw-dropping physique.
So, when leaving the gym you feel that you’ve seriously pushed your muscles to the limit. As you know, resistance training creates microtraumas and small tears to the muscle fibers—as they rebuild, they return larger, stronger, and look astounding.3
But, this doesn’t happen in isolation.
Growing muscle is akin to growing a plant—neither will reach their size and strength potential without the correct conditions.
That’s where the best post-workout supplements help.
Taken after training, these potent enhancers place the body into a prime anabolic state—providing the nutrition, fuel, and chemical conditions required to form powerful and visible muscularity.
Without them, a large proportion of your hard gym work will be wasted.
Best Post Workout Supplements – Top 5
While there are many post-workout supplements available—there are five that are the absolute “kings” of after-training enhancement. Listed below, these are the supplements that you should concentrate on using—to achieve the best overall physique possible.
Unless otherwise stated, these supplements should be taken 30–60 minutes after the end of your training sessions.
Your body needs amino acids for overall wellbeing—but not all of them can be synthesized by the body. Instead, they have to be ingested through food or supplementation—these are the nine essential amino acids.4
While they are all important, there are three that are particularly relevant to the bodybuilder—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—otherwise known as BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids).5
If you only take one post-workout supplement—it should be BCAAs. In short, they’re astounding. Let me show you why.
1. BCAAs Build Muscle
Studies have shown that taking BCAAs after working out greatly increases muscle growth—they still provide incredible benefits even when consumed several hours post-exercise.6
Muscle protein synthesis is the method by which muscles rebuild and BCAAs start this process. To be exact, leucine is the BCAA which turns on the ignition and commences muscle reparation.7
Yet, there’s more.
They also stimulate the enzymes that utilize protein for muscle growth. Research indicates that when taken post-resistance training, muscles build larger and faster than without supplementation.8
And it doesn’t end there!
BCAAs stimulate the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1)—proven to lead to even greater muscle mass.9
2. Post Workout BCAAs Lead to Weight Loss
Scientific papers have illustrated that BCAAs can be an effective form of weight control. By reducing cravings for sugary products, these supplements can prevent you from eating foods that will do little for your body—apart from piling on unnecessary weight.10
In short, BCAAs are the best post-workout supplement for weight loss.
3. BCAAs Reduce Muscle Soreness
In a study that pushed guys to the limits and led to exercise-induced muscle damage—it was shown that consumption of BCAAs resulted in faster recovery. 11
The bottom line.
BCAAs are powerful muscle builders, fat preventers, and ideal supplements for muscle recovery & soreness. Always choose one which contains 5 grams of BCAAs—such as the impressive Battle Ready Fuel BCAA.
With a ratio of 4:1:1 (four leucine, one isoleucine, and one part valine)—it’s the ideal formulation to really take muscle-building to the max.
Whey Protein Isolate
It’s the most basic rule of bodybuilding—to build muscle, you need protein.
This is the fuel that powers muscle growth. You can work as hard as you want in the gym, but if you don’t take sufficient protein post-exercise, you’ll receive little reward.
Whey protein, formed as a by-product of cheesemaking, is one of the fastest absorbing proteins you can consume. This means it gets to work quickly—enabling you to reach your full mass-gaining potential.12 13
But, some guys fall into the mistake thinking that all post-workout whey protein powders are the same. They aren’t.
Take note—this is important.
When choosing your whey protein, always select whey protein isolate. This form has had the majority of fat and lactose removed—hence isolating the protein and leading to potency of over 90 percent. Simply the best protein powder. 14
Not only does this mean you are receiving more muscle-building fuel, but also you aren’t taking in unnecessary fat or troubling your stomach with the difficult to digest lactose.
A word of warning.
While whey isolate is amazing, whey protein concentrate is definitely not one of the best post-workout supplements. This form, although a budget variety, should be avoided. It’s packed with lactose, fat, and carbs—while it may promote muscle mass it will also lead to weight gain. 15
Whey protein isolate is the best post-workout drink, providing the benefits of:
- Increasing strength.16
- Raising stamina.
- Providing impressive gains by boosting muscle protein synthesis more effectively when taken post-exercise.17
- Improving recovery time and reducing soreness.18
- Replenishing glycogen stores.19
This product is so powerful it can be considered the best pre-workout, as well as one of the best post-workout supplements.
Let me give you some quick science.
When you undergo resistance training, your muscles are contracting—this is due to the power of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). 20
Sadly, you don’t have unlimited resources for ATP.
When it’s gone, it’s gone—signaling the end of your workout. However, creatine can replenish your ATP stores—allowing you to workout longer. In short, it’s a stamina builder. This is why many guys consume this excellent supplement before workouts. 21
Yet, it’s also an awesome post-workout recovery drink.
Studies have shown that creatine taken after resistance training builds more muscle mass and raises strength levels to a greater extent than consuming before exercise.22
The problem is, creatine is a victim of its own success. It has received so much attention as a pre-workout endurance enhancer that many of its post-workout benefits are either ignored or unknown.
So, unlike other articles, let me readdress that balance!
Here are the phenomenal powers of this supplement:
- Elevates body mass.23
- Increases athletic performance.
- Raises water content of muscles—making them appear larger and more prominent.24
- Inhibits the production of myostatin—known to impair muscle growth and strength.25
- Speeds up muscle growth.26
- Raises dopamine levels—improving focus and providing an enhanced feeling of wellbeing.27
- Restores energy, alleviates fatigue, and improves recovery time.28 29
As creatine works as both an effective pre and post-workout supplement, my advice would to split the daily dosage (3-5 grams) in half and consume thirty minutes before and thirty minutes after exercise.
This means it works as a perfect solution for guys looking to increase their training performance by boosting stamina and endurance—while also providing immense muscle building and recovery benefits.
While maybe not as well-known as the previous three best post-workout supplements, glutamine is something you should seriously consider if you’re looking to recover quickly post-training, and amass astounding muscle.
Let me tell you why.
Glutamine is an amino acid. While your body can manufacture its own stores, this is often insufficient for your needs. Illness, injury, and hard exercise all drain your reserves. Although it’s usually ingested through foods, such as eggs, meat, and rice—frequently, the demand for glutamine exceeds supply.30 31
This means supplementation is often required.
Glutamine, as we will see shortly, is a muscle builder—but one of its most important functions is a muscle protector.
Intense exercise, such as resistance training, reduces glutamine levels. But, this amino acid is still required for normal bodily function. If the body doesn’t have enough glutamine to function adequately—it enters survival mode.35
And that’s really bad news.
To source glutamine, the body begins to break down muscles to utilize their proteins as a glutamine source. Basically, the body enters a catabolic state—instead of building muscle, you’re doing the opposite.36
Hence, to ensure that you are always in an anabolic state—and not going to risk losing that important muscle—you should consume glutamine post-workout. This will restore your levels of this amino acid—replacing what you’ve lost through your training regime.
In addition to protecting your muscles, glutamine provides the additional post-workout benefits of:
- Building larger muscle by improving the rate and efficacy of protein synthesis.37
- Elevating strength levels.38
- Boosting and improving recovery—glutamine reduces post-training muscle soreness and restores muscular power.39
Some people consider testosterone boosters as one of the best post-workout supplements for muscle gain—however, I prefer to consider them the best all-around post-workout enhancers.
Before I tell you why to let me give you some quick detail on these boosters.
I want to make something clear.
Testosterone boosters don’t contain any testosterone. If that’s what you’re after, then get hold of some steroids and enjoy their awful side effects. Instead, these potent supplements are 100 percent natural—not made in a lab.
They work by using ingredients that are scientifically proven to increase your own natural production of this anabolic hormone.
And that’s important.
As you age, your testosterone levels decrease. So—if you want to make serious muscle gains—you need testosterone.40
Taking these boosters after your workout skyrockets your natural levels of this hormone—providing incredible benefits, including:
- Building enormous muscle—for muscle protein synthesis to occur, the body needs testosterone—the more of this hormone you have, the larger and more impressive the muscles will grow.41 42
- Elevating bone strength and density—giving you the peace of mind that lifting the really heavy iron will not break your arms.43
- Increasing definition—by raising the rate of lipolysis (fat breakdown), excess body weight is lost leading to a more ripped appearance.44
- Elevating strength levels—meaning you can lift heavier weights and increase muscle size.
- Improving recovery time and reducing muscle pain.45
This is why I consider testosterone boosters to be the best post-workout supplements for all-around benefits.
However, it doesn’t end there.
Although not a bodybuilding benefit—there’s one more way that testosterone boosters are excellent as a post-workout supplement.
They can also improve your sex life.
Coming back from a monster session at the gym you may be pumped—but you can also feel exhausted and just want some quiet recovery time. Yet, your partner might have other ideas—seeing that freakin’ awesome body, they may want to lead you straight to the bedroom.
Testosterone boosters allow you to become a post-exercise love machine.
Best Post Workout Supplements Summary
Taking the best post-workout supplements can vastly improve your bodybuilding returns.
They reduce recovery time, alleviate pain, build impressive muscle, and restore energy levels.
Here’s my advice.
To get the maximum results from the hard work you’re already investing in the gym, use one or all of the best post-workout supplements, and take your returns to the next level.
“What’s the Difference Between Pre Workout and Post Workout Supplements?”
As the names suggest, pre-workout supplements are taken before training and post-workout supplements afterward.
While they sometimes share some of the same ingredients and often achieve similar effects, there’s one distinct difference.
Pre-workouts tend to center on training performance—elevating energy levels, boosting stamina, raising endurance, intensifying focus, and reducing acidosis.
Post-workouts usually concentrate on enhancing muscle building returns, restoring energy levels, improving recovery times, and alleviating muscle soreness.
“What’s the Best Post Workout Supplement for Muscle Growth?”
To achieve amazing muscle gains, concentrate on testosterone boosters, creatine, and whey protein.
Testosterone boosters increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis, creatine inhibits the production of the muscle destroying myostatin, while whey protein provides the fuel for awesome muscle growth.
Ideally, taking these supplements in combination will yield the ultimate returns.
“What Are the Best Post Workout Supplements for Fat Loss?”
The best post-workout shake for lean muscle and fat loss are whey protein isolate, BCAAs, and testosterone boosters.
Whey protein isolate has had all the fat removed, BCAAs reduce cravings for sugars, and testosterone boosters increase the rate of lipolysis.
“What Are the Best Supplements for Muscle Recovery and Soreness?”
The best pre-workouts for muscle recovery and soreness are glutamine, BCAAs, and whey protein isolate.