According to the legend, Arnold Schwarzenegger, “The best activities for your health are pumping and humping.”
While we believe this is true, most of those pumps are wasted without a proper postworkout supplement. A quality supplement like Jacked Factory Growth Surge (our RAVE pick) will ensure your body receives what it needs for recovery and growth. Now stop being a baby, choose a supplement, and get your pump on!
Have you finally reached the point where you recognize the benefits of nutrition supplements for a high-intensity training program? Maybe you’ve caught the pre-workout buzz, and maybe you’ve benefited from the almighty whey protein.
Well, we’ve got good news and bad news! The good news is that you’re well on your way to reaching—and maybe even improving on—your natural physical potential. The bad news is that you might not be getting as much out of your supplements as you thought.
The Post Workout Supplements We RAVE About
It is common knowledge that one of the most important periods of time for those involved in high-intensity exercise is not the activity itself but rather the period after the activity.
In other words, how well you recover from your activity of choice will determine how well you are able to perform in the days, weeks, months, and even years ahead.
If you don’t recover properly, your ability to make progress toward your physical goals will be severely restricted. Lucky for you, there are some excellent post-workout supplements out there that are designed to optimize your recovery during the period of time immediately following your workout — often referred to as the post-workout window — so that you can get after it without skipping a beat.
Most post-workout formulas feature at least the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs): leucine, iso-leucine, and valine, which are arguably the most important ingredient in muscle restoration and repair. You will also commonly find the almighty creatine, which hydrates muscle tissue and also promotes power production. Glutamine and electrolytes are also common.
There are also different post-workout formulas for different needs. A good post-workout formula for the male athlete who is interested in putting on mass, for instance, won’t serve the needs of female athletes looking to cut fat. Vegan athletes will want to avoid post-workouts that feature whey protein, while men will want to avoid any ingredients that might inhibit the free flow of testosterone.
This all begs the question, What are the best post-workout supplements out there? Generally, the best post-workouts will feature ingredients that promote muscle tissue recovery. Beyond that, it’s up to you!
And that’s where we come in. We have formulated a list of the best post-workout formulas with several different needs in mind.After scouring data from the leading manufacturers, we are proud to offer the best post-workouts in the following categories: best overall, best for men, best for women, best all-natural, best for bulking, and best for nighttime recovery.
In order to arrive at our final rankings, we ranked ingredient quality, taste, customer satisfaction, and price per serving to arrive at the leading fifteen post-workout supplements on the market today. Enjoy, and recover well!
Best Overall Post Workout
Jacked Factory Growth Surge
Growth Surge (made by Jacked Factory) is a post-workout muscle builder containing a tried-and-true blend of four synergistic ingredients:
- Creatine monohydrate
- L-carnitine L-tartrate
- Betaine anhydrous (also known as Trimethylglycine)
- BioPerine (Black pepper fruit extract)
While creatine monohydrate is undoubtedly effective on its own, the addition of the other ingredients helps your body maximize the absorption and uptake of creatine into muscle cells without the need for insulin-spiking sugars. This makes Growth Surge ideal for people looking to pack on lean muscle and those who want to cut body fat.
Each serving of Growth Surge contains evidence-based doses of each ingredient. And like all of Jacked Factory’s products, Growth Surge is made with none of the artificial junk or fillers many companies use.
The flavoring is also top-notch, so Growth Surge is a supplement that you’ll actually look forward to drinking.
Legion is a cutting-edge supplement producer, and their post-workout formula, Recharge, is no exception.
Legion was founded with a commitment to having all ingredients backed by peer-reviewed scientific literature, good value per serving, clinically effective dosages, and honest marketing.
Like its other supplements, Legion’s Recharge features great taste and high-quality ingredients with no artificial sweeteners, flavoring, food dyes, or fillers. Recharge’s ingredients appear in clinically effective dosages and the formula is sweetened only with natural stevia—which has demonstrated health benefits—and erythritol. The key ingredients in Recharge are:
- Creatine monohydrate
- L-carnitine L-tartrate
- Corosolic acid
Fans of Recharge praise its good taste, whether mixed in water, milk, or dairy substitutes. Recharge will help you recover faster, push harder, train more frequently, and stave off soreness.
Progenex has made a name for itself as the supplement provider of choice for many competitive athletes. It is well-known for its great-tasting products and simple, no-nonsense packaging. Its Recovery formula provides crucial supplements necessary for the post-workout window:
- Amino acids
Progenex knows that high-quality protein is necessary for this process, and not all protein sources are digested quickly enough to be delivered to the muscles in a timely manner. That’s why Progenex uses only high-quality whey protein isolates that have been hydrolyzed through a proprietary enzymatic process.
The result is a protein that your body can digest in a matter of minutes, not hours, which jumpstarts the recovery process so that you can perform at your peak.
Jym Post-Gym Active
JYM supplements are no stranger to supplements users. Its Pre-JYM is one of the best pre-workout supplements on the market, and Post-JYM, its post-workout counterpart, comes in as the third best post-workout supplement for value, quality, and taste.
Post-JYM delivers the exact ingredients needed for the post-workout window in the correct proportions. Key ingredients include:
- Creatine HCL
Post-JYM’s formula is a powerful one that is scientifically designed to help you boost repair, maximize recovery, and build more muscle. Many of these ingredients are also included in the Pre-JYM formula, and JYM suggests using both formulas together to achieve maximum results.
Added carnitine and glutamine assist in the all-important post-workout muscle repair process.
Evlution Nutrition RecoverMode
Athletes familiar with Evlution nutrition will know its well-known pre-workout formula, ENGN, as well as its line of BCAAs. RecoverMode, its flagship post-workout nutrition supplement, is an ultrapremium post-workout formula designed to rebuild muscle, promote recovery, enhance strength, and increase endurance. RecoverMode features:
- BCAAs in a proven 2:1:1 ratio
- Creatine monohydrate
- Creatine HCL
- L-Carnitine L-Tartrate
- Vitamin C, D, and E complexes
As you can see, RecoverMode leaves no stone unturned in its formula.
The potent mixture of all these ingredients helps supply energy to muscles and support muscle protein synthesis; supports muscle tissue development, recovery, and lean body mass; supports recovery and muscular fatigue in relation to exercise; supports lean muscle growth, strength, endurance, and power; reduces lactic acid production; supports cell hydration, metabolism, and endurance; and promotes hydration.
Best Post Workout for Men
Jacked Factory Powerbuild
Jacked Factory, also makers of Growth Surge, offer a second option for your post-workout arsenal. Unlike Growth Surge, which features creatine monohydrate, L-carnitine L-tartrate, and Betaine anhydrous, Powerbuild features a full range of post-workout ingredients:
- Creatine monohydrate
These added ingredients will not only help you recover but also help you grow in the hours after your session is over, and that is what makes it our first choice for the best post-workout supplement for men in particular.
It also reduces muscle soreness and increases strength and power. Powerbuild is a powerhouse for post-workout recovery, and it is sweetened and flavored naturally with no artificial dyes or fillers.
Old School Lab’s Vintage Build comes in as our best post-workout for men. It features three no-nonsense, scientifically proven ingredients to achieve the one goal common to all male lifters: build lean mass! Its trifecta consists of
- Creatine monohydrate
While it is true that these ingredients are common to many post-workout supplements, Vintage Build’s formula contains them in doses that are proven to be effective for male athletes. BCAAs are provided in a proven 2:1:1 ratio, and creatine and L-Glutamine at 3g and 2g, respectively.
Vintage Build also avoids using artificial ingredients and dyes. Furthermore, Vintage Labs carefully monitors its supply chain for ingredient quality. Both of these factors are crucial for producing a formula that promotes the flow of free testosterone, which all men need to achieve a chiseled, alpha physique.
Best Post Workout for Women
Cellucor Alpha Amino
Cellucor’s Alpha Amino is ideal for female athletes. It contains the post-workout ingredients your body needs without any added carbohydrates or sugars, which helps you focus on staying lean and toned even long after you’ve left the gym.
Key ingredients in Cellucor’s formula include:
- Amino acids
Added electrolytes in Cellucor’s formula help keep your body hydrated, which is its number one priority. If you’re not hydrated, all other bodily functions are impaired. Hydration will improve your performance in the gym and also promote recovery.
BCAAs are provided in the proven 2:1:1 ratio, and your strength, power, and muscle endurance will be well supported in this low-calorie, sugar-free solution.
FitMiss BCAA Recovery
FitMiss BCAA Recovery, made by MusclePharm, which also makes the popular women’s pre-workout FitMiss Ignite, is a no-nonsense, simple BCAA recovery formula that provides just what women need after a workout—and nothing they don’t. It contains the three BCAAs, which are necessary to any strength regimen:
The reason these are so important is that they account for nearly one-third of all the amino acids in muscle protein. The combination of these three in the right amounts helps promote muscle growth, slow muscle damage, promote the use of glucose, and provide energy.
As your lean muscle tissue grows and repairs, the presence of these amino acids also promote fat loss. BCAA recovery is available in two popular flavors: Strawberry Margarita and Blue Raspberry.
Best Post Workout for Bulking
Optimum Nutrition Instantized BCAA 5000 Powder
Taking a post-workout supplement with branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) is the surest way to kickstart the muscle recovery and rebuilding process. Every serving of Optimum Nutrition’s Instantized BCAA 5000 Powder packs 5,000 mg of micronized BCAAs in the proven 2:1:1 ratio of leucine: isoleucine: valine. It’s also fantastic value at 40 servings per bottle and the unflavored option is ideal for those who just want the good stuff and none of the unnecessary additives.
Optimum Nutrition has an impressive track record as a sports supplement brand that caters to gym-goers and athletes from all walks of life. While they are renowned for their comprehensive protein powder offerings, they have a range of pre-workout, post-workout, and general health supplements with solid formulas. Due to their long-standing reputation, you can always count on the quality and consistency of Optimum Nutrition supplements.
Universal Nutrition Torrent
Universal Nutrition, makers of the popular Animal line of supplements, offers Torrent, its post-workout solution for serious strength athletes.
Torrent is a comprehensive mass activator that is designed to target every conceivable need the body has during the crucial post-workout window. Ingredients include:
- Fast acting carbs
- Hefty dose of leucine
- Advanced creatines
- Easily assimilated proteins
Torrent contains these crucial ingredients in precise amounts needed to repair muscles, distribute nutrients in the body, and promote muscle growth.
Universal recommends consuming Torrent immediately following each workout. At just over three hundred calories per serving, you’ve got a one-way ticket to Gainesville.
Best All Natural Post Workout
Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator
The name Vega Sport will be familiar to athletes who are dedicated to all-natural, vegetarian, plant-based, and vegan nutrition supplementation.
Vega Sport began with an entirely plant-based mission, and its post-workout formula, Recovery Accelerator, follows this tradition with the following ingredients:
- B vitamins
- Plant-based protein
- Various plant extracts
Recovery Accelerator is a comprehensive solution to nearly all post-workout needs, from endurance activities to strength activities. Plant-based proteins provide muscle-recovery support, while carbohydrates from brown rice syrup solids support energy levels.
Various micronutrients from plant- and root-based sources help reduce inflammation and provide vital nutrients to your body after strenuous exercise.
Natural Force Organic Recovery Nectar
Like Vega Sport’s post-workout formula, Natural Force’s Organic Recovery Nectar is completely plant-based and all organic.
It is designed to promote muscle repair, rehydrate the body, provide joint and immune support, and provide vital micronutrients in the post-workout window. Among its all-natural ingredients are:
- Coconut water powder
- Hemp protein powder
- Chia seed powder
- Maca root powder
- Goji berry powder
- Cherry fruit powder
In addition to post-workout recovery, Natural Force’s Recovery Nectar is also useful for getting over a nagging cold or just a long, exhausting day. Your body will feel replenished and restored, and you will be ready to get back to it the next day hydrated and healthy.
Best Overnight Post Workout
One of the most frequently overlooked dimensions of a well-rounded physical training program is physical rest — and by physical rest, we don’t mean lack of activity but actual deep sleep.
You can’t supplement yourself out of bad sleeping habits, and Progenex Cocoon’s specially formulated night-time formula kills two birds with one stone: it provides the nutrients your body needs to recovery and also sleep aids to help you achieve deep sleep. Key ingredients in Cocoon are:
- Micellar casein
Metamorphagen is a proprietary tryptophan peptide that reduces sleep interruptions while fostering deep, sound, restorative sleep so that you wake up feeling strong, rested, and fully recovered. The slow-digesting casein mixed with BCAAs provides your body with a slow but steady source of muscle-building nutrients while you sleep.
Through its strategic combination of ingredients, Cocoon stimulates protein synthesis, increases lean muscle mass, speeds recovery, improves immunity, reduces blood pressure, and more.
Like Progenex’s Cocoon, Universal Nutrition’s Animal PM contains sleep-promoting ingredients, but instead of a proprietary formula, it achieves this through a blend of natural herbs and L-Theanine they have named as its “Sleep and Relaxation Complex.” This complex includes:
- Valerian root powder
- Chamomile root powder
- Mucuna pruriens seed
Animal PM is also loaded with aminos, natural growth hormone boosters, and other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, magnesium, zinc, L-tryptophan, L-glutamine, and more. A serving of Animal PM turns your regular night’s rest into a multi-hour anabolic process.
Animal’s formula is non-habit forming, so you can cycle on and off as needed without concern about long-term effects. Animal suggests using PM in conjunction with its flagship product, Animal Pak, for best results.