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Best Supplements to Help Recovery for The Best Performance

Best Supplements to Help Recovery for The Best Performance

Muscle soreness can occur when exercising or performing active physical activities such as running, long-distance cycling, etc. Recovery is key to a good fitness journey, not just intense exercise. Supplements to help recovery play a pivotal role in this process. In this article, let's explore the best supplements for helping muscles recover and optimal performance. Proteins, BCAAs, and Creatine help heal muscle, growth, and overall physical well-being, thus elevating your fitness regimen to its peak potential.

Why Do You Need Muscle Recovery?

Workout recovery is arguably as important as the workouts themselves. Any time you stress a muscle outside its standard limitation, a tiny tear forms in the muscle itself. The healing of this tear is what causes muscular growth.

If muscles aren’t given time to heal, muscle mass won’t increase. Additionally, muscle strength could decrease. This can make workouts more challenging and might result in a lack of progress.

If you are serious about your fitness goals, you must understand that working out is not enough. Recovery is equally important as it allows your muscles to heal and adapt after a strenuous exercise session. Proper recovery is crucial for preventing injuries, reducing soreness, enhancing performance, and building muscle mass and strength. Without adequate recovery, you risk overtraining, leading to fatigue, inflammation, decreased immunity, and impaired results.

How Supplements Can Aid in Recovery

While getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, eating well, and resting is crucial for recovery, supplements can also significantly enhance your body's natural healing process. They can give your muscles the necessary nutrients to repair, rejuvenate, and grow.

Best Supplements to Help Recovery for The Best Performance


Additionally, supplements can help in decreasing inflammation, oxidative stress, and muscle damage that often results from intense workouts.

However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen to ensure they are safe and suitable for your specific needs.


Best Supplements to Help Recovery

To enhance recovery, we look at key supplements: proteins (whey, casein, plant-based) with intake tips, BCAAs for muscle recovery and soreness, and Creatine for performance improvement, each with usage advice. This guide helps you choose the right supplements for better recovery:

1. Protein

Protein is a key nutrient essential for building, repairing, and maintaining tissues like muscles and bones. It is composed of amino acids and can be found in animal and plant sources and supplements like protein powders.



Proteins mainly come in two forms:

  • Animal-Based Proteins: Meat, eggs, dairy, and fish are nutrient-rich sources. Supplements like whey and casein proteins are derived from these sources. Whey is quickly digested and aids in muscle recovery, while casein is slow to digest, helps prevent muscle breakdown, and promotes satiety.
  • Plant-Based Proteins: Combining plant-based proteins such as soy, peas, rice, hemp, and quinoa can create complete proteins that are both eco-friendly and high in fiber. Among the popular supplements are soy, a complete protein, pea, which is rich in BCAAs, rice, which is easy to digest, and hemp, which is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.

Recommended Intake:

  • General Intake: The Food and Drug Administration suggests that most U.S. adults require around 50 grams (g) of protein daily. However, this total depends on your age, sex, health status, and activity levels.
  • For Athletes and Active Individuals: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine suggest athletes consume between 1.2 and 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight for the best performance.
  • Post-Workout: To ensure that your muscles recover well after exercising, It’s recommended to consume 20-40 grams of protein every 3 to 4 hours, and this seems to maximize the body’s ability to recover after exercise. Another source suggests consuming at least 20 grams of protein after a workout.

2. BCAAs

BCAAs are essential amino acids that makeup 35% of muscle protein. This can be gained through diet or supplementation.

Role in Muscle Recovery

BCAAs are beneficial for:

  • Muscle Protein Synthesis: Leucine triggers muscle growth by activating specific body pathways.
  • Preventing Muscle Loss: They provide energy and inhibit enzymes that cause muscle breakdown.
  • Reducing Muscle Damage and Inflammation: They lower muscle damage indicators and suppress inflammation-causing molecules.

This helps in quicker recovery, allowing more frequent and effective training and enhancing performance.

Optimal Dosage and Use

  • Recommended Intake: The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends a daily intake of around 144 mg of BCAAs per kg of body weight.
  • Timing: According to Healthline, a reliable source of health information, the best time intake can be before, during, or after workouts.
  • Forms and Combinations: Available as capsules, tablets, or powders. It can be mixed with other supplements but should be avoided with alcohol.

3. Creatine

Creatine is an organic compound that is key in creating energy for muscular contractions. It is an excellent supplement for increasing muscle growth, improving exercise performance, and encouraging healing.

How does Creatine work?

  • Energy Production: Creatine works by increasing the concentration of phosphocreatine in muscles, which aids in the regeneration of ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate). This process enhances performance during high-intensity exercises.
  • Muscle Repair and Growth: Creatine boosts the water content in muscles, stimulating the production of proteins necessary for muscle repair and growth. It also reduces myostatin levels, a protein inhibiting muscle differentiation and growth.

What are the advantages of creatine?

  • Muscle Benefits: Creatine helps in muscle repair, growth, and recovery. It enhances muscle endurance and stamina, increases muscle size and strength, helps build lean muscle, and increases muscle fibres.
  • Health Benefits: Creatine also offers advantages for brain function, blood sugar regulation, and bone health.

How Should Creatine Be Used?

To benefit from Creatine, recommended by the Mayo Clinic, one of the best hospitals in the U.S., it is crucial to incorporate it into a recovery plan that includes proper nutrition, hydration, and rest. To begin with, divide 20-25 grams of Creatine into 4-5 doses per day for a span of 5-7 days. After that, take 3-5 grams of Creatine per day. It is suggested to take Creatine before or after your workout and mix it with water or juice. It is important to avoid alcohol and to consume protein, carbs, and fluids after your workout. Lastly, take a break between training sessions.

Best Additional Supplements for Enhanced Recovery

Let's take a look at additional supplements to help recovery. It's not a comprehensive guideline, but rather to help you know what supplements are good for you and offer unique and holistic benefits for your body.

1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids (DHA and EPA)

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats with anti-inflammatory properties that protect your cells from damage. Fatty fishes such as salmon, tuna, and sardines are rich sources of these omega-3 fats. Alternatively, you can also take fish oil supplements to meet your daily recommended intake.


  • They are great for reducing soreness, swelling, and muscle and joint pain, especially after work.

  • They also help improve blood and oxygen flow to your muscles and ensure your muscles get all the nutrients they need.

  • Plus, they're good for keeping your immune system and brain healthy.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (DHA and EPA)


Enhance your health with our premium DHA/EPA, which gives you a high-quality and pure form of these fats. Ideal for supporting muscle recovery and overall wellness. Incorporate 2 to 3 grams daily into your meals for optimal benefits.

2. Antioxidants (Vitamins C and E, Glutathione)

Antioxidants are special helpers in your body that protect your cells from free radicals. Free radicals damage your cells, muscles, and tissues, slowing muscle recovery and increasing disease risk. Antioxidants remove free radicals, reduce cell stress, and promote healthy recovery.

Antioxidants (Vitamins C and E, Glutathione)


Some of the best muscle antioxidants are vitamins C and E and glutathione. These antioxidants have different roles and benefits for your muscle health:

  • Vitamin C: This antioxidant boosts collagen, strengthens joints & tissues, and supports immunity while reducing inflammation.
  • Vitamin E: This antioxidant helps balance the immune system and protect cell membranes from damage.
  • Glutathione: This antioxidant enhances the effects of other antioxidants, cleanses harmful substances, and helps synthesize and repair DNA.

Optimal Dosage and Use:

According to the World Health Organization, for optimal muscle recovery, it is recommended to take the following amounts of antioxidants daily, preferably with a meal:

  • Vitamin C: The recommended daily dosage of Vitamin C is 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women. However, a daily dosage of 200-250 mg helps athletes recover faster after strenuous workouts, promoting muscle growth and athletic performance.
  • Vitamin E: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also recommends that adults take 15 milligrams of Vitamin E daily.
  • Glutathione: In studies, glutathione dosages ranged from 250 to 1,000 milligrams daily. One study found that at least 500 milligrams daily for at least two weeks was needed to boost glutathione levels.

3. Electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals in your body that assist in balancing your fluids, moving your muscles, sending nerve messages, and maintaining the proper acid level. These minerals include salt (sodium), potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, and bicarbonate. You lose essential minerals when you sweat a lot, especially during severe or long exercise. Losing them can dehydrate you, induce muscle cramps, make you feel weak and exhausted, and impair your capacity to perform and recover.

To fix this, it's good to replace the lost electrolytes. This keeps you hydrated and your muscles and nerves functioning properly. Electrolytes can be found in sports drinks, tablets, powders, and meals such as bananas, oranges, coconut water, and milk products. How much electrolytes do you require after a workout? It is determined by how much you sweat and weight and how long and hard you exercise.

  • But a good rule is to drink 500 to 1000 milliliters of liquid and take 400 to 1100 milligrams of salt every hour you exercise.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is vital to 300+ enzyme processes in the body, including energy, muscle function, protein synthesis, and electrolyte balance. Magnesium is present in foods like green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains, as well as supplements like magnesium citrate, glycinate, and threonate (a shortened form of magnesium threonate)

  • Magnesium can aid muscle recovery by lowering muscle tension, spasms, and soreness while improving muscle relaxation, blood flow, and oxygen delivery.
  • Magnesium can also aid in regulating your sleep quality, mood, and stress levels, all of which are essential for your overall recovery and well-being.

Ideally, before bed, a magnesium intake of 300 to 400 mg per day is recommended for muscle rehabilitation.

5. Nitrates

Nitrates are naturally present in several plant foods, including beetroot, spinach, celery, and arugula. They can be obtained through fresh or cooked vegetables, juices, or supplements such as beet powder or juice.

  • Nitrates can aid muscle recovery by increasing nitric oxide production, a chemical that dilates blood vessels and enhances blood flow and oxygen supply to the muscles.
  • Nitrates can improve blood pressure and exercise performance and reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.

For muscle rehabilitation, consume 6 to 8 millimoles of nitrate daily, especially 2 to 3 hours before or after your workout.

When to Use Supplements for Muscle Recovery?

While supplements can benefit your muscle recovery, they are not magic pills that can replace a balanced diet, adequate sleep, and proper rest. Supplements should be added to your recovery routine, not a substitute.

The first 45 minutes after an exercise are important for repairing your muscles with the nutrients they need to recover and expand.

When to Use Supplements for Muscle Recovery?


NOTE:  It's important to note that no recovery method can make up for poor nutrition and a lack of rest. Supplements to help recovery can also affect different people, depending on their needs, goals, preferences, and tolerances. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any supplement regimen. You should also monitor your response, adjust your intake, and discontinue use if you experience adverse effects.

Wrap Up!

Muscle recovery is essential for fitness progress. Supplements to help recovery by providing nutrients and anti-inflammatories. Best supplements include protein, BCAAs, Creatine, omega-3s, electrolytes, magnesium, and nitrates. A healthy diet, sleep, and rest are crucial. Consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplements. For optimal post-workout recovery, consider STAAR LABS' potent and pure product.

    Madalyn Riley Higgins & Azimeh Izadi & Mojtaba Kaviani (15/11/2020). Access date: 2023-11-30.

    Tom Rush (02/10/2020). Access date: 2023-11-30.

    Mayo Clinic (13/12/2023). Access date: 2023-11-30.

    Health Professional Fact Sheet (15/01/2024). Access date: 2023-11-30.

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