Sports Nutrition Recovery! A Dietitian's Top 6 Supplements

Exercise increases your body’s antioxidant and nutrient requirements. To promote muscle and cell recovery, consuming an abundance of antioxidant-rich foods will make a difference, but to bridge the gap resulting from an inadequate food supply, a good quality supplement regimen is truly needed.

What is your recovery plan?

Supplementation, food, and rest will help you perform your very best week in and week out.

My “Top 6” supplements for a quick and effective recovery from your workout.

#1: Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Three specific essential amino acids – Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine – are collectively referred to as branched-chain amino acids (BCAA), and they make up about 75% of the amino acids that get metabolized during exercise, with Leucine being dominate. The 4th most dominate amino acid is Glutamine.

By taking BCAAs for recovery, muscle breakdown can be prevented quickly, especially with high-volume cardio exercise. BCAAs also significantly reduce muscle soreness and accelerate the muscle growth and recovery process.

#2: Tart Cherries

Tart cherries are rapidly gaining popularity among elite athletes and weekend warriors to help speed the recovery process. They’re extremely high in anthocyanins and flavonoids, two antioxidants effective at reducing inflammation and other cell damage naturally caused from exercise.

One ounce (2 tablespoons) of cherry juice concentrate contains all the goodness of about 100 tart cherries!

Drink tart cherry juice concentrate within 30 minutes after a workout or strength training session to assist in muscle recovery.

#3: Whey Protein

Protein is one of the most important post-exercise supplements you can take. It helps repair damaged muscle tissue, speeds recovery, and reduces muscle soreness. Here are 11 top reasons to include protein in your sports nutrition diet

Pair the protein with carbohydrates to maximize the full recovery potential. Whey protein is the most effective form to promote post-exercise recovery. Choose a high quality whey protein, and here's more information about choosing a whey protein.

A grass-fed whey protein, such as Healthy Goods BerryLean is an excellent choice! 

#4: Glutamine

The body metabolizes glutamine (and BCAAs) during exercise so supplementing it after a workout hastens the recovery process. Glutamine functions as a conductor, conducting where the BCAAs go, such as into the muscles for post-exercise regrowth, repair, and recovery.

Glutamine also controls sugar metabolism and is a fuel for the brain and the brush border of the gut, all related to exercise recovery. If you’re one who gets GI issues post-exercise, consider glutamine.

I highly recommend this pure glutamine option: L-Glutamine Powder.

I also highly recommend Maxim hGh which is a glutamine blended with other ingredients that support recovery after exercise. 

#5: Antioxidants

Exercise stimulates the production of free radicals — there’s no way to avoid it. These highly reactive chemicals can damage muscles and cause muscular fatigue and soreness. Their production escalates with exercise intensity and duration.   

To help combat damage from free radicals, muscle fibers and cells require  antioxidants to neutralize free radicals. This protects muscles and cells against their harmful effects. 

Individual antioxidants with strong free radical scavenging abilities include vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha lipoic acid, and flavonoids.

My favorite recovery product is Maxim hGh. It supports removal of exercise-induced toxins, protects and maintains lean body mass, and supports nitric oxide production.

#6: Adrenal Recovery

Every person who exercises must support the adrenal glands or your body will have a hard time recovering. Normal levels of cortisol are necessary to build and repair the muscles, and since the adrenal glands make cortisol, supporting them is crucial.

Pantothenic Acid, a B-vitamin, is the #1 nutrient for the adrenal glands and its ability to support a healthy adrenal response to stress. 

I love this blend for adrenal support related to exercise recovery: Adreno-Lift. It contains all the essential vitamins and minerals the adrenal glands require to recover from stress, whether that be mental, emotional, or physical stress.

What's your most proven way to support recovery after intense exercise? 

Featured Recovery Products

BerryLean Whey Protein Powder

L-Glutamine Powder

Maxim hGh



In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

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