What to have post workout can be an interesting conversation, most people agree that a whey protein shake is a good idea – in fact some people believe that without one your muscles will turn to dust in front of your eyes!

Truth is that so long as you are consuming enough protein through your diet, a post workout protein shake it not essential, but still a good idea. In this article we will take a look at some possible post-workout supplement options for you to consider.

The Top 6 Post Workout Ingredients


Glutamine is an amino acid that occurs in protein, it is commonly found in meat and dairy (particularly in whey and casein protein shakes).

This means that vegetarians, vegans, and people who are lactose intolerant may be deficient.

As glutamine is essential for muscle building, taking a Glutamine supplement is a really good idea. If you are taking a protein shake then you don’t need any additional glutamine.


One of the three branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine.

Stimulate Protein Synthesis

Leucine is the most effective of the three, it is particularly effective at stimulating muscle protein synthesis – which is necessary for building muscle.

If you are exercising at a high intensity then taking additional Leucine could be a really good idea.

Creatine Monohydrate

Consuming creatine monohydrate alongside a protein shake has been shown to produce greater muscle gains than taking either alone, meaning that creatine and protein have a synergistic relationship.

Most Effective Post Workout

A study in 2007 found that the combination of whey isolate and creatine monohydrate led to greater strength gains when combined with resistance training [1]. Creatine supplementation has been shown to be more effective when taken post workout than when it is taken pre workout.

Betaine Anhydrous

A supplement that is only recently coming into light, Betaine seems to work similarly to Creatine.

Betaine may improve muscular endurance, aerobic/anaerobic performance, and may also reduce cortisol slightly.

Considering cortisol is highest after a workout, Betaine may be the perfect supplement for a post workout.

Beta Alanine

An antioxidant and potentially a supplement that has anti-ageing properties. It can help improve performance so is usually taken as a pre workout or intra workout supplement.

Reduce Fat Mass

Beta Alanine can reduce fat mass slightly while also increasing lean mass, so as a post workout it ticks a lot of boxes.

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate

If you are deficient in L-Carnitine L-Tartrate then you may benefit from fat loss when taking it, but the rest of us will have to make do with the anti fatiguing properties.

Reduce Muscle Damage

Which is a pretty useful thing to have after an intensive workout. Studies have also found it to reduce muscle damage, making it a great way to reduce the dreaded DOMS [3].

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate really can improve your recovery from exercise, making it perfect for post workout.

There you have it, six supplement ingredients that you can take after a workout to improve your recovery from intense exercise.

Remember that to get the most out of your post workout you need to be consistent, and you need to concentrate on improving your diet and your sleep. Get these three factors under control and you will get the best results possible from exercise.



[1] Cribb, P., Williams, A., Stathis, C., Carey, M., Hayes, A. 2007. Effects of Whey Isolate, Creatine, and Resistance Training on Muscle Hypertrophy. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise39(2): 298-307

(link) http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2007&issue=02000&article=00012&type=abstract

[2] Antonio, J., & Ciccone, V. 2013. The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition10(36)

(link) http://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-10-36

[3] Volek, J., Kraemer, W., Rubin, M., Gomez, A., Ratamess, N., Gaynor, P. 2002. L-Carnitine L-Tartrate supplementation favourably affects markers of recovery from exercise stress. American Journal of Physiology, Endocrinology & Metabolism 282(2): E474-82

(link) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11788381


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