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.

This is a great recovery product with BCAAs:

Uckele's Physio Recover Strawberry Watermelon

#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.

Acerola cherry powder is most well-known for being extremely rich in vitamin C, and contains a plethra of phytonutrients like carotenoids, anthocyanins and flavonoids..

#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 strawberry whey and Healthy Goods chocolate whey is an excellent choice! Pick a flavor you enjoy! 

#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.

A pure glutamine option is Uckele L-Glutamine Powder.

A glutamine blended with ribose, creatine, beta alanine and caffeine is Uckele's Ribo-Energy Powder, which is taken to support maximum energy production and output for any strenuous exercise program. 

#5: Antioxidants

Exercise stimulates free radical production—there’s no way to avoid it. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals capable of damaging muscles and causing muscular fatigue. The amount of free radical production increases as exercise intensity and duration increases. To help combat damage from free radicals, muscle fibers and cells need antioxidants to scavenge the free radicals and protect the muscles and cells against their damage.

This is a great antioxidant blend for recovery:

Uckele Mega Antioxidant is full of all the potent antioxidants your body wants and needs!

Uckele DC Intensive is another great antioxidant blend, but contains different antioxidants than the Mega-Antioxidant.

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

Baobab Powder and Camu Camu for Vitamin C

#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. Specifically, pantethine, which is the most bioavailable form of Panthothenic Acid.

I love this blend for adrenal support related to exercise recovery: Uckele Adreno-Lift

Feel your best from workout to workout with proper recovery!

In Health and Happiness,

Kelly Harrington, MS, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Healthy Goods

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