Muscle recovery is a fundamental component of any successful fitness journey. Whether you're a dedicated athlete or someone looking to improve their overall health, the process of repairing and strengthening your muscles after exercise is crucial.
Rest and proper nutrition are the two things you should focus on for optimal recovery, but supplements can provide a valuable boost to your recovery efforts. At 373 Lab, we specialize in providing you with supplements designed to optimize your training performance ând post-workout recovery – so we know a thing or two about what makes a great muscle recovery supplement!
That said, we've put together a detailed guide on the best supplements for muscle recovery and growth, providing in-depth insights into their benefits so you can decide which supplement is best for you.
Whey protein stands as the undisputed champion of muscle recovery supplements. It is derived from milk and boasts a fast digestion rate, making it an ideal choice for post-workout consumption. What sets whey protein apart is its rich amino acid profile, with an emphasis on leucine. Leucine plays a central role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis, making whey protein a top choice for muscle repair and growth. To maximize its benefits, it is recommended to consume whey protein within the post-workout "anabolic window" of 30 minutes to 2 hours after exercise.
Although whey protein is the king of protein powder, those following a vegan or plant-based diet won't be able to reap the benefits – but that's okay! There are good vegan protein powder options comparable to whey. To find the best vegan protein powder for you, we recommend finding one with a blend of different plant-based protein sources in order to get a complete protein like whey. For example, our Lemon Shake Vegan Protein Isolate contains 20 grams of a completely plant-based blend of Pea Protein, Brown Rice Protein, and Pumpkin Seed Protein. These are three of the best vegan protein sources and blended together to form a complete protein. It tastes just as good as our Whey Protein Isolate and provides the same muscle recovery benefits!
Dosage: Typically, one to two scoops (20-40 grams) of whey protein post-workout or as part of a meal replacement shake.
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) consist of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids are fundamental for muscle protein synthesis and reducing muscle protein breakdown. BCAAs are especially useful for individuals involved in high-intensity training or prolonged workouts. This is why some opt to take BCAA's during or even before working out. You can time it before, during or after and still reap the muscle recovery benefits!
Dosage: Depending on the product, 5-10 grams of BCAAs before, during, or after exercise.
Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in small amounts in certain foods and synthesized by the body. Creatine monohydrate supplementation has undergone extensive research and has been proven to enhance exercise performance, increase muscle mass, and aid in muscle recovery. It works by replenishing ATP (adenosine triphosphate), thkurte cellular energy currency, which helps you push through demanding workouts and recover more effectively. Creatine is typically taken daily, even on rest days, to maintain optimal muscle creatine levels.
Dosage: A typical dosage involves a "loading phase" of 20 grams per day for the first 5-7 days, followed by a "maintenance phase" of 3-5 grams per day.
L-Glutamine is classified as a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning the body may require more of it during times of stress or intense physical activity. Glutamine plays a pivotal role in reducing muscle soreness and supporting the immune system. By supplementing with L-Glutamine, you can expedite muscle recovery and mitigate the immune suppression often associated with strenuous training. It's most effective when taken after workouts or before bedtime.
Dosage: 5-10 grams of L-Glutamine post-workout or before bedtime.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that, when combined with histidine in the body, forms carnosine, which acts as a buffer against lactic acid buildup during high-intensity exercise. By reducing muscle acidity, beta-alanine delays fatigue and enhances workout performance, indirectly contributing to muscle recovery by allowing for more productive training sessions. The typical approach is to divide the daily dose into smaller portions taken throughout the day.
Dosage: 2-5 grams of beta-alanine per day, split into 2-3 doses.
Fish Oil (Omega-3 Fatty Acids)
Fish oil supplements are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, primarily eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). These fatty acids possess potent anti-inflammatory properties, helping to reduce exercise-induced inflammation and muscle soreness. Omega-3s also support joint health, which is crucial for overall recovery, especially in activities that exert stress on the joints. A daily dose of fish oil can be highly beneficial.
Dosage: Typically, 1-3 grams of combined EPA and DHA per day.
Zinc and Magnesium (ZMA)
ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. These minerals are essential for various physiological processes, including muscle function and recovery. Zinc supports protein synthesis and immune function, while magnesium is involved in muscle contraction and relaxation. ZMA supplements are often taken before bedtime to improve sleep quality, which is vital for muscle recovery.
Dosage: Typically, ZMA supplements provide 30 mg of zinc, 450 mg of magnesium, and 10.5 mg of vitamin B6 per serving.
Achieving optimal muscle recovery is a multifaceted endeavor that involves maintaining a balanced diet, getting adequate rest, and strategically using supplements. Keep in mind that supplements should complement a consistent training regimen.
When used wisely, the supplements discussed in our guide can help reduce muscle soreness, promote muscle growth, and expedite the recovery process after demanding exercise. It's essential to remember that patience and consistency are key in achieving your fitness goals, and a robust recovery strategy is a fundamental component of that journey.
Why choose 373 Lab Supplements?
Hi we're 373 Lab Supplements! Founded by Iulia Danilova (Fit With Iulia), and with a team filled with fitness enthusiasts, we've worked hard to bring a trustworthy supplement to the market! Our supplements are designed to help you achieve your fitness goals by giving you only the nutrients you need – no unnecessary fillers or additives!
Whether you're building muscle, want to focus on muscle recovery, or boost your training performance – we have the supplements you need to help make your journey an easier and healthier one.
Find what your pantry is missing at 373 Lab Supplements.