The 6 Best Post-Workout Nutrients

The nutrients you need for a full recovery.

The 6 Best Post-Workout Nutrients

At the end of every workout the muscle fibers you trained are in a state of disarray. They’re literally torn up from the torture you subjected them to in the gym. Their levels of glycogen (the stored form of carbs) have been depleted, and they’re quickly breaking down the protein that they’re made of. The good news is they’re primed to take up whatever nutrients you throw at them and turn this state of disarray into an anabolic state of recovery and muscle growth. But you’d better hurry. Research suggests there’s a 45-minute window 
after workouts when muscles 
will take up higher amounts
 of nutrients. 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.


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