6 Best Post-Workout Nutrients

The nutrients you need for a full recovery.

Research suggests there’s a 45-minute window 
after workouts when muscles 
will take up Miss this window 
and your recovery and muscle growth will be compromised.
 After workouts, down these
 six ingredients ASAP.


That short post-workout window doesn’t refer to when you consume those nutrients, it refers to when those nutrients get to your muscles. The only protein fast enough for the job is whey protein. That’s just one reason why it’s always good to finish with a whey shake.


Whey’s counterpart in milk protein is
 quite the opposite of whey in regard to digestion; casein breaks down
very slowly. So why bother with it? Research shows that while whey spikes muscle protein synthesis, which builds muscle, adding casein keeps it going for longer and further enhances muscle growth. A good option is to look for a protein powder that combines whey and casein.


Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—are the most critical aminos for muscle growth. Studies now point to leucine as being the master switch that starts up the process of protein synthesis.


As with protein, you also need a quick shot of carbs to get to your muscles. Slower-digesting carbs like fruit or oatmeal won’t get there within the short window. Your muscles need a quick dose to replenish glycogen levels for adequate energy in the next workout. Good choices are dextrose and maltodextrin, which may already be in your protein powder or creatine product.


You need to keep creatine levels high inside muscle cells for optimal strength and energy. After workouts is the best time to maximize creatine uptake, especially when it gets a boost from carbs.


 This amino acid is now known to be critical for maintaining muscle strength and endurance. Studies suggest that it further aids creatine’s benefits, including muscle growth.