Muscle Recovery Cheat Sheet

Learn how to make your time spent in the gym really count with these can’t-miss tips on post-workout food and supps.


Protein Shakedown

You plan every workout, agonizing over exercises, intensity, and rest period length. If you are really meticulous, you also periodize your workouts so that you can make consistent gains over time. However, it’s important to remember that your workouts serve only to impart a stimulus to your body. It is how you adapt to that stimulus that determines your body’s response to the workout. This is where recovery comes into play. If your recovery strategies are strategically planned and implemented, you will be able to optimize the results of your training program. 

There are some basic fundamentals of nutritional recovery -- things you should do in the few hours following every workout – each with its own important role to play in the process. These strategies have been shown to maximize muscle protein synthesis and suppress muscle protein breakdown. This translates to bigger, fuller muscles, more strength and yes, less bodyfat. Here, we breakdown what you should have and when. More importantly, we explain why.

SEE ALSO: 6 Perfect Post-Workout Meals


What: Ingest 20-30 grams of high-quality whey protein

When: Within an hour after your workout

Why: 20-30 grams of whey protein contains the necessary amounts of the anabolic amino acid leucine which has been shown to maximally stimulate rates of muscle protein synthesis.

SEE ALSO: 11 Best (And Worst) Whey Protein Powders


What: Ingest 1 gram of carbohydrate per kilogram body mass, ideally from glucose, sucrose, maltodextrin, or glucose polymers, which digest faster.

When: Immediately after your workout and then again one hour later.

Why: Carbohydrates induce the secretion of insulin. This reduces the rate of protein breakdown, which improves net muscle protein balance and ultimately results in greater increases in lean body mass.

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