So what does recovery mean? Recovery is repairing muscle and tissue, removing waste products, and reducing inflammation. It's also replenishing nutrients and energy stores necessary for cellular activity and restoring central nervous system function, which means repairing the communication pathways between the brain and the body. The post-workout recovery process is critically important if you want to continue to stay healthy and active!
In addition to the supplements listed below, there are a few other basics to consider for optimal results:
Optimize your immune system. A resilient immune system means less downtime and faster recovery.
Eat a good meal including protein and carbohydrates post-workout in order to give nutrients to your muscles and to avoid excess soreness.
Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to allow the central nervous system to repair and recover. Sleep is also important for fat loss and muscle building because growth hormone is released during sleep.
Hydrate well. I recommend drinking at least ½ your body weight in ounces of water everyday (and more if you sweat)!
With the above fundamentals of nutrition, sleep, immunity and hydration in place, here are my ultimate 6 supplements to help increase recovery and sports performance. You can shop womensbest supplements using the link at the end of this blog~
Probiotics supply the gut with healthy flora necessary for digestion, absorption, elimination and immune function. If your gut or digestion isn’t operating properly you won't recover properly either, thus slowing the repair of muscle and tissue leading to more inflammation. A healthy target dose for daily health maintenance is between 20 and 50 billion CFUs.
2. Omega-3 Fish Oil
Most known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it is also essential for hormone synthesis and improves bone repair while reducing muscle soreness. I aim for 3-5g daily to maximize the benefits. As with probiotics, your naturopathic doctor will dial in what works best for you when it comes to fish oil. I currently take the omega supplement from womensbest.
3. BCAA's (Branched Chain Amino Acids)
BCAA’s can help you get back to the gym more quickly, especially after a heavy workout day. BCAAs are very well known in the exercise world for enhancing muscle protein synthesis and preventing delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). I love using Womens Best BCAA's because I can simply add it to my water bottle and the zesty orange flavor is a refreshing alternative to plain water.
Protein gives your muscles the necessary building blocks to build muscle/strength and prevent muscle wasting, especially when consumed after a workout. It also provides satiation and increases metabolism post-workout by restoring glycogen and reducing cortisol, which naturally rises during a workout. My goal is 20g of protein after each workout. If you can tolerate whey protein, it is a great source for muscle synthesis and it is highly absorbable. If you are like me and whey protein does not agree with your body, consider a vegan protein (I use womensbest).
Glutamine is an amino acid that speeds recovery by allowing the muscles to intake carbohydrate more readily post-workout. It also increases growth hormone, thus allowing the body to create new muscle mass. Plus, it’s great for gut healing! I prefer powdered glutamine taken immediately after a workout and I use a product that combines glutamine with my BCAA’s (see above).
Arginine is another amino acid that stimulates growth hormone, which aids in muscle growth, increased strength and recovery. It is the precursor to creatine, which naturally enhances performance. Arginine can be taken as a powder or a capsule, but I prefer the powder so I can add it right into my protein shake. I use women's best L arginine and add it into my shakes since it's unflavored.
These 6 supplements can be added to a daily routine and post-workout meals to help the body recover more quickly after exercise, allowing active people to get back into the gym for the next workout session.
Use this link to shop women's best supplements!