Finding the right post-workout supplement can be challenging. And with so many capsules and powders available and so much information circulating, determining exactly which supplement is best after your specific workout can prove difficult. For instance, a recovery supplement for an endurance activity (like running, cycling, or swimming), may vary slightly from one used after strength training or an HIIT workout. We’ve taken a deeper look into each type of workout and outlined what you should look for in terms of post workout supplements for each type of workout.
Post Workout Supplements for Endurance Workouts
After you’ve conquered a long run, intense cycling ride, or a lengthy swim, it’s critical that you find a recovery supplement that works. In order to select the right supplement, you’ll first need to understand what happens to the body during endurance workouts. And while a supplement is necessary and important, it’s not the only factor to consider after an endurance workout.
The body loses lots of fluids during endurance workouts. Therefore, the first key to recovery is to replenish the fluids lost during exercise. The typical recommendation is to take sixteen to twenty-four ounces of fluid for every pound lost during your workout. Thus, it may be beneficial to weigh yourself before and after your run.
Recovery Supplements for Endurance Workouts
Many suggest carbs, proteins, and fats for endurance workout recovery. While these elements may help, it’s important to remember what you’re after: a speedy recovery. To quickly get back to your best, you need to help your muscles recover. Yes, even endurance workouts cause the muscles to break down. In order to quickly rebuild muscle tissue, the body requires protein and BCAAs, and the more readily-accessible the protein, the faster your recovery. A drink like PROGENEX Recovery contains protein that has already been broken down to its most usable form, meaning it can quickly target the damaged muscles, bypassing the digestive system to get you back to one hundred percent as quickly as possible.
Post Workout Supplements for HIIT Workouts
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a type of workout that involves short bursts of intense effort followed by brief periods of rest. Since HIIT workouts are most often focused on burning body fat, post workout recovery supplements for HIIT workouts should be fairly low in carbs. The short bursts of intensity in HIIT training can cause your muscles to break down and become tired more rapidly than in other workouts, making muscle recovery one of the most vital areas of concern when it comes to post workout recovery supplements. Look for a recovery supplement that includes a whey protein hydrolysate. This type of protein dissolves quickly into the bloodstream to foster lightning fast recovery.
Post Workout Supplements for Strength Training Workouts
Weightlifting and other strength training exercises help you build muscle quickly, but only if you put as much thought into recovery as you do into pre and post workout nutrition. Creatine is an oft-implemented supplement for bodybuilders. Taking creatine before or after a workout seems to prove equally beneficial for building muscle. Be careful, however to watch your servings. Around 3 to 5 grams of creatine per day should suffice. Whey protein is another important element to search for in your post workout recovery supplements. It is widely considered the best type of protein because it contains three essential branched-chain amino acids (isoleucine, leucine and valine) which are critical for growing muscle.
Other General Guidelines for Recovery
While post workout recovery supplements are an important piece in the recovery process, they’re not the only one. In addition to post workout supplements, you’ll want to guard your sleep, eat nutritiously, and get plenty of fluids.
Getting enough sleep is a critical component in every athlete’s recovery regimen. It’s during sleep that the body recovers and rebuilds, so sacrificing sleep is a bad idea if you want to perform at the highest level. Most athletes need between 7 and 10 hours of sleep each night to function optimally. For the best sleep, keep the room cool and dark. Some take a recovery supplement that aids sleep and contains tryptophan and casein protein powder (like Progenex Cocoon).
Daily nutrition is just as important as recovery nutrition. Keep your body primed for peak performance with a diet high in protein and low in simple sugars. Find a diet that works well with the type of exercise you pursue.
Maintain a good baseline. Staying hydrated throughout the day will keep your body running at the highest level. When it comes time to work out, your body will have fluids stored, enabling you to have a better workout. You may also add some pre-workout fluids to ensure you’ve stored enough to finish the workout without unnecessarily high fatigue levels.