There’s nothing like the feeling you get after a hard workout – the feeling of accomplishment immediately after the workout and the feeling of sore muscles in the days following the workout.
Endorphins are responsible for the “euphoric” feeling often associated with exercise, and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is responsible for sore muscles days after your workout.
I love the feeling of sore muscles–I enjoy knowing I’ve pushed my body outside of its comfort zone but am also eager to recover and move on to my next workout.
So how can you (and I) help our bodies recovery quicker and get ready for another strenuous workout? While there isn’t a “magic pill” to make the soreness and fatigue go away there are supplements available that may help you recover quicker so you can be ready for your next workout.
Here are a few of our favorites!
Vega is one of our newest brands and is quickly becoming one of our most popular sports nutrition supplement lines. The Recovery Accelerator comes in multiple flavors and contains a blend of 23 ingredients; all plant-based. Ingredients include vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate, biotin, zinc and yellow pea protein. The nutrients in Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator help provide support for restoring energy after a workout and also help replenish electrolytes lost during exertion. Recovery Accelerator may also help reduce inflammation, support the immune system, and reduce the overall recovery time between training sessions. It has a 4:1 carbohydrates to protein ratio which has been shown to increase muscle glycogen re-synthesis; an important part of your recovery after a hard workout. It is recommended that this product be taken immediately after exercise to enhance and speed up the recovery process.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Our bodies use amino acids for a variety of tasks including breaking down food, repairing body tissue, growing and other body functions. There are three groups of amino acids: essential, nonessential and conditional. Essential amino acids cannot be made by the body and must be consumed through food or supplementation. Nonessential amino acids are produced naturally by our bodies and supplementation isn’t always necessary. Conditional amino acids are amino acids that are typically non-essential except in times of stress or when we are sick. Branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) are amino acids that get their name from the tree-like appearance of their chemical structure. BCAAs help maintain optimal performance, promote recovery and promote the maintenance of lean muscle mass. This product contains three BCAAs: L-leucine, L-isoleucine, and L-valine. It’s a gluten-free, vegetarian-friendly formula that promotes muscle building and recovery and may also help reduce muscle soreness.
Proteolytic Enzymes have been around for ages. Here’s what our Certified Nutritionist, Theresa Groskopp had to say about these enzymes:
Proteolytic enzymes are the various enzymes that digest proteins and fibrin. These enzymes include the pancreatic proteases chymotrypsin and trypsin, bromelain, papain, serrapeptase and fungal proteases. These enzymes are used in systemic enzyme therapy for a whole body effect.
Many conditions may benefit from regular enzyme therapy including inflammation, pain, bursitis and tendonitis. Enzyme therapy may also be beneficial for sports injuries and traumas. Taking an initial loading dose of a product like Wobenzym may help speed up the healing process that occurs within the body. Proteolytic enzymes may be beneficial after an especially difficult workout.
Better Nutrition Magazine named Bluebonnet’s “Extreme Edge” product line as a winner in its Best of Supplements Awards for 2012. The Extreme Edge line consists of a pre-workout, carbo load and this post-workout powder. Your body needs quality nutrients after an intense workout and this product is full of them! Extreme Edge Post Workout replenishes electrolytes, amino acid stores and muscle glycogen stores. It also fuels your muscles and may help reduce the muscle soreness you feel after an intense workout. The 3:1 protein to carbohydrates ratio supports muscle growth and development during the recovery phase. Its nutrients may help reduce overall recovery time and may counteract the immune suppression that often occurs as a result of intense exercise. Extreme Edge Post-Workout contains three different nutrient “stacks:” a muscle mass fuel stack, an extreme muscle repair and volumizing stack, and a cellular hydration stack.
I mentioned the Vega Sport brand before with their Recovery Accelerator. The Vega Performance Protein is another great product! It contains 5000mg of BCAAs (L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine) and 5000mg of glutamine per serving. The nutrients in Vega Sport Performance Protein support reducing recovery time between workout sessions. In addition, Performance Protein supports muscle building and muscle repair, and may help improve strength and exercise performance. It contains a protein blend (from pea protein and whole grain brown rice protein), BCAA complex and digestive enzyme blend (protease and aminopeptidase) to promote optimal recovery and performance. It contains no dairy, gluten, soy or artificial sweeteners and comes in a variety of flavors including chocolate, berry and vanilla.
D-Ribose is a natural energy boosting supplement. It is necessary for the synthesis of ATP, the energy molecule of the body. ATP is depleted during strenuous exercise. It makes sense– your body needs energy to get through the workout. D-Ribose may help support ATP recovery. There is also new research that suggests D-Ribose may assist with muscle fatigue from normal, day-to-day activities as well as exercise. D-Ribose supports energy levels and supports a quicker recovery after your workout. This Source Naturals D-Ribose contains no yeast, dairy, egg, gluten, corn, soy or artificial flavors. If your body is able to recharge and recover ATP quicker you may find yourself needing less time between workouts, leading to enhanced performance and more energy.
Proper post-workout supplementation is important for many reasons. Proper recovery nutrition may help your about avoid the oxidative stress and inflammation that follows a workout.
Do you have any “go-to” products for your workout recovery? I’d love to hear what works for you!