Fitness couple drinking post workout supplements in gym

Top 10 Best Post-Workout Supplements for Recovery

Post Workout Recovery Supplements are considered to be among the most important supplements in the training industry, for both men and women.

During an intense weightlifting or training session, your muscles become strained and bruised and lose a significant amount of nutrients that keep them functioning properly. In order for your muscles to efficiently recover and grow, they need to replenish those nutrients and get protein and BCAA, or risk becoming malnourished, effectively making your exercise just a waste of time.

That is why it is of vital importance to have a balanced and healthy meal with a lot of protein after a workout.

However, the window when your body absorbs nutrients most optimally after a workout is quite short – just 45 minutes! That is why it is nearly impossible for a significant amount of people to get home, prepare a healthy and proper meal and consume it.

That is exactly what muscle recovery supplements are for – they are an incredibly convenient product that provides you with everything your body needs to replenish those lost nutrients and help your muscles recover and grow.

There are hundreds of different recovery drinks on the market, so choosing the best post workout supplement can be tricky – that is why we present you with our Top 10 List of the Best and Top Rated Post Workout Supplements of 2017.

For more information on what they actually do and what they contain, please refer to our Post-Workout Supplements Guide article.

Why Take Post Workout Supplements? – The Basic Explanation

A fit man and woman posing while lifting barbells

The best supplements for muscle recovery all have one thing in common – they either contain protein that naturally has BCAA in it, or they just contain the BCAAs on their own – which makes them either a post workout protein powder or a BCAA powder.

This means that BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) are the most important ingredient in recovery drinks for muscles.

But muscle recovery after a workout isn’t the only benefit! Here are the other main ones:

The Benefits and Uses: 

  • Improve Recovery, Immune Function, Bone Mass and ability to Utilize Body Fat
  • Increase Muscle Growth, Endurance, Hydration and Energy Levels
  • Reduce Soreness, Recovery Time, Muscle Breakdown and Risk of Dehydration
  • General Convenience and Cost-Effectiveness

Why We Need Them: 

The biggest upside to these products is obviously convenience.

Even though there is no substitute for healthy food, not everyone has the time or inclination to run home and prepare a full, well-balanced and healthy meal with a lot of proteins and many different vitamins and nutrients in the next 45 minutes after a workout.

You can, of course, have that meal an hour or two after training, but you won’t supply your muscles with protein and BCAAs just when they need them the most – so you won’t get the optimal effect.

So to provide your muscles with everything they need within 15-45 minutes after a workout – we present you with our list!

The Top 10 List – Post Workout Recovery Supplements

1. Catalyst Recovery by Strength

Catalyst Recovery Post-workout by Strength Supplement

Catalyst Recovery by Strength is a phenomenal Intra & Post-Workout Recovery Supplement that is geared towards muscle repair, recovery and development.

It has the perfect blend of ingredients and a fast absorption formula that’s ideal for taking this supplement either during a workout for extra energy and endurance, or after your training session, when your muscles need nutrients the most!

It’s developed by a reliable manufacturer that has garnered widespread respect and overwhelmingly positive reviews for most of their products.

As of right now, there’s no better post-workout supplement on the market.

The Pros:

  • Completely Transparent Ingredient List
  • Trusted and Reliable Manufacturer
  • Full, clinically effective doses
  • Consistently Amazing Results
  • Affordable
  • Highest-Quality Ingredients
  • Phenomenal Ingredient Profile
  • Contains a Muscle Hydration Electrolyte Blend and an Anabolic Recovery Blend
  • Great Taste!

The Cons:

  • Contains Sucralose and Acesulfame-K

We think this is not the optimal choice and that they could’ve gone with the much safer Stevia sweetener, instead of using these two.

Ingredient Safety:94%

Product Efficacy:100%

Value For Money100%

Catalyst Recovery is currently one of the most comprehensive recovery supplements available.

It contains everything you need to have an effective recovery after an intensive workout, and you can even take this supplement during your exercise to keep you working harder and your muscles fuelled longer.

It contains an electrolyte blend, Creatine Monohydrate, a proper dose of BCAA’s, and Glutamine, as well as some other highly effective and beneficial ingredients that are backed by clinical studies. Similar recovery products on the market are often under-dosed and overpriced!

Show Me The Price!

It’s our number one choice for a post workout shake and we can safely and whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone who wants a comprehensive and very efficient intra or post-workout supplement!

2. Transparent Labs BCAA GLUTAMINE

Transparent Labs Core Series BCAA Glutamine post-workout Supplement

Transparent Labs Core Series BCAA Glutamine is currently the highest rated and best pure BCAA recovery powder in the industry.

It is made by a manufacturer notorious for its high ingredient standards and the complete transparency of its label so that you know exactly what you’re paying for and putting inside your body.

The Pros:

  • Full 100% Ingredient Transparency
  • Trusted and Respected Manufacturer
  • Scientifically proven and clinically effective doses
  • Extremely Effective
  • Zero colored dyes, Unnecessary Fillers, or Harmful Additives
  • Affordable
  • Great Taste
  • Contains 1 g of Coconut Water Powder

The fact that it has a whole 8 grams of BCAAs per serving is phenomenal because most manufacturers try to skimp on their ingredients.

L- Glutamine is a naturally occurring nonessential amino acid and according to this study, it increases growth hormones and blood alkalinity. It also plays a critical role in keeping your immune system boosted and working properly.

Coconut Water Powder helps your body with hydration and provides electrolytes and micronutrients lost during high-intensity workouts, which is perfect for serious athletes and bodybuilders.

Here are some of the benefits that it provides:

The Cons:

  • NONE!

The product does contain Stevia, which is a natural sweetener derived from a plant, so there may be some people who are sensitive to it.

Ingredient Safety:99%

Product Efficacy:94%

Value For Money98%

This product is as perfect as it can get, apart from the inclusion of Stevia, which some people may be sensitive to. Even though this is complete nit-picking, we still can’t give it a rating of 10.

That said, we thoroughly and wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wants a pure BCAA post-workout supplement to speed up their recovery after workouts, improve their performance as well as sculpt an excellent body and achieve their training goals faster.

It’s safe and recommended for men and women, beginners and professional athletes alike and is nearly the best product for muscle development, recovery, and fat-loss at the same time.

Show Me The Price!

The overwhelming number of positive reviews from customers and industry critics agree with us, and it’s currently the best pure BCAA Recovery Supplement on the market.

Plus, it can also be used at any time, not just for recovery after workouts since BCAAs benefits are not only tied to post-workout.

3. Optimum Nutrition Essential AmiN.O. Energy

Optimum Nutrition Essential AmiN.O. post-workout

Optimum Nutrition Essential AmiN.O. Energy is a BCAA powder designed for muscle recovery, energy and boosted focus.

It is manufactured by what people consider being the most reputable and trusted company in the supplement industry that has won numerous awards for its products. It’s safe to say that this manufacturer knows the ins and outs of what makes an efficient supplement.

The Pros:

  • Extremely Affordable
  • O. Booster
  • Most Trusted and Reputable Manufacturer
  • High-Quality Premium Ingredients
  • Designed for Fat Loss
  • Designed to Boost Energy Levels
  • Designed for Use After and During Workouts
  • Great Taste

The biggest upside is the price of the product – it’s the most affordable recovery supplement on the market and still contains highest-quality ingredients, which is a phenomenal value for money!

The Cons:

  • Proprietary Blend
  • Contains Sucralose

Ingredient Safety:90%

Product Efficacy:98%

Value For Money99%

It’s a very effective post workout drink and great product for both recovery and energy that’s designed to be taken during and post workouts. However, some people may not like the inclusion of stimulants.

The price is this product’s biggest attraction, and it’s the most affordable post-workout supplement on the market that also boasts ingredients of exceptionally high-quality – something Optimum Nutrition is well known for.

It’s the perfect choice for those who are looking for something that’s not too expensive!

4. 2:1:1 Recovery Optimum Nutrition

2:1:1 Recovery by Optimum Nutrition post-workout

2:1:1 Recovery by Optimum Nutrition is a recovery protein powder for weightlifters and athletes who want to put on a lot of muscle mass.

Once again, it’s developed by what most people consider being the most trusted and reputable manufacturer in the industry and contains an ingredient profile that’s vastly superior to most of the similar products on the market.

The Pros:

  • For Extreme Mass Gainers
  • Trusted and Reputable Manufacturer
  • Great Ingredient Profile
  • Fat Free
  • Contains Fast-Acting Carbs
  • Affordable
  • Provides sustained delivery of amino acids
  • Good Taste

The Cons:

  • High Calories, hence Not Designed for Fat-Loss
  • High Sodium
  • Contains Sucralose

Ingredient Safety:93%

Product Efficacy:96%

Value For Money92%

It’s among the best mass building and recovery products on the market if you want to wake up feeling refreshed, not sore and ready for your next day of training!

It consistently delivers outstanding results and is highly rated for its effectiveness and taste by the vast majority of its users. If taste is of utmost importance to you, then you’ll love this one.

We present it as an alternative for those that do not have fat-loss goals and want to pack on extreme muscle and mass instead.

5. ReGen BCAA by RSP Nutrition

ReGen BCAA by RSP Nutrition post-workout

ReGen BCAA by RSP Nutrition is a BCAA post workout powder for Increased Strength and Recovery

The Pros:

  • Great Ingredient Profile
  • Contains 0.25 g of Raw Coconut Water Powder
  • Contains BioPerine for increased absorption
  • 100% Transparent Ingredient Label
  • Affordable

The Cons:

  • Contains Sucralose and Acesulfame-K
  • Raw Coconut Water under-dosed
  • Not High-Quality Ingredients

Ingredient Safety:94%

Product Efficacy:91%

Value For Money91%

This is essentially the watered-down and arguably worse option of our #1 pick Transparent Labs BCAA GLUTAMINE. If it had higher quality ingredients at bigger and more effective doses, it could have been a phenomenal product.

As it stands now, it’s the poor-man’s version of the best product, which contains questionable ingredients like Sucralose and Acesulfame-K, as well as lesser doses.

We suggest spending the extra 5$ to 10$ and getting a vastly superior option.

6. BCAA Energy by EVLution Nutrition

Evlution BCAA post workout supplement

BCAA Energy by EVLution Nutrition is a muscle recovery powder that’s also designed to provide energy.

The Pros:

  • Great Ingredient Profile
  • Designed for Fat Loss and Energy
  • 100% Ingredient Transparency

The Cons:

  • Some people may be too sensitive to stimulants
  • Contains Sucralose
  • Some Under-dosed Ingredients
  • Sub-Par Taste

Ingredient Safety:92%

Product Efficacy:90%

Value For Money88%

This is overall a great product with a decent ingredient profile and high-quality ingredients. A few of the added amino acids are under-dosed, which is a shame because it would have otherwise been a fantastic supplement.

There’s nothing much special about it, which is not necessarily a bad thing! It delivers what it promises, and that’s precisely the quality you want in a product.

7. BPI Sports Best BCAA

BPI Sports Best BCAA Supplement

BPI Sports Best BCAA is a muscle recovery BCAA supplement that boasts Oligopeptide-Enzymatic Technology.

The Pros:

  • Oligopeptide-Enzymatic Technology that speeds up transport and absorption of amino acids
  • Increased Vasodilation
  • Good Taste
  • Good for Post and Intra-Workout Supplementation

The Cons:

  • Contains Proprietary Blend
  • Expensive
  • Contains Sucralose & Acesulfame-K, a potentially dangerous combination to sensitive users

Ingredient Safety:83%

Product Efficacy:90%

Value For Money76%

It’s a decent post workout drink that puts a unique technological twist on BCAAs to make transportation and absorption much faster, which makes this product great for intra-workout supplementation as well as post-workout.

However, the price and the inclusion of unnecessary ingredients detracts from the products overall luster.

8. Universal Nutrition Torrent

Universal Nutrition Torrent post-workout product

Universal Nutrition Torrent is a post workout shake supplement designed to refuel, recover and develop your muscles and build extreme mass.

The Pros:

  • Extreme Muscle and Mass Gains
  • Huge Amino Acid Complex
  • Trusted and Reputable Manufacturer
  • Great Ingredient Profile
  • Full Daily Dose of Creatine

The Cons:

  • High Calories, hence Not Designed for Fat Loss
  • Contains Sucralose and Acesulfame-K, a potentially dangerous combination for sensitive users
  • Production exposed to a lot of allergens (milk, soy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and wheat)
  • Very Expensive
  • Can be overwhelming for beginners

Ingredient Safety:80%

Product Efficacy:98%

Value For Money59%

It’s a great product for those who want to pack on extreme muscle and mass as well as fully recover from a grueling workout.

However, we only recommend this to serious and experienced athletes who want massive gains, because this compound can easily overwhelm a beginner.

The biggest downside is the price, making it among the most expensive post-workout supplements on the market. If not for that incredulous price, the product would be ranked much higher.

9. BSN AMINO X

BSN AMINO X Post-workout Supplement

BSN AMINO X is an endurance and recovery drink powder that also packs a significant dose of Vitamin D.

The Pros:

  • Added Vitamin D (125% of DV)
  • Decent Ingredient Ratio
  • Increased Endurance

The Cons:

  • Proprietary Amino Acid Blend
  • Contains no Glutamine
  • High Sodium
  • Production Exposed to several allergens (Milk, Egg, Soybeans, Wheat, And Tree Nuts.)
  • Contains Sucralose & Acesulfame-K, a potentially dangerous combination for sensitive users

Ingredient Safety:81%

Product Efficacy:79%

Value For Money81%

It is an unremarkable addition to the post-workout supplement market.

It has Vitamin D but lacks Glutamine – which is considered a big no-no.

 10. MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2

MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 post-workout product

MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2 is muscle recovery capsule and post workout powder supplement that uses a unique twist on the BCAA ratio.

The Pros:

  • Simple yet Effective ingredients
  • 100% Ingredient Transparency
  • Also comes in Capsule Form for Absolute Convenience

The Cons:

  • The BCAA ratio is unique but not scientifically backed
  • Contains Sucralose
  • Production Exposed to several allergens (Milk, Egg, Soybeans, Shellfish, Fish, Tree Nuts, and Peanuts)
  • Too basic, could contain other helpful ingredients to increase efficacy
  • Expensive for what it is

Ingredient Safety:92%

Product Efficacy:83%

Value For Money70%

If you want pure BCAAs and nothing else – then this post workout drink is decent. However, having a unique twist on the BCAA ratio doesn’t justify the inordinately high price for just BCAAs and nothing more. There are much cheaper alternatives on the market.

Usage Information

post-workout-powder-with-shaker

When to take it: 

As these are specifically post-workout supplements, the best time to take them is within 15 to 45 minutes after a workout.

You can technically take them at any time that you want, but you will not get the same full effect and benefits if you were to take them directly after training.

If you’re taking a pure BCAA post-workout, it’s also a great idea to take a serving just before you go to bed, as the repair and recovery process mainly happens during your sleep

How Much: 

For all post-workout supplements, we recommend that you always follow the instructions and dosages provided on the manufacturer’s label and mainly take one serving after a workout (or before you go to bed if it’s a pure BCAA supplement).

Conclusion

We base our list on user and critic reviews, documented athlete results, the reputation of the manufacturer as well as our own experience in the supplement industry.

We hope that we’ve helped you pick just the right kind of supplement that suits you and your body best. A correctly selected supplement will guarantee results and propel your workouts to the next level, while a poorly picked one will just end up wasting your money and causing you frustration.

Which Post Workout Supplement products do you think are best and should have a place in our Top 10 list? Write your thoughts in the comments below and let’s discuss them!

Stay Fit and Keep Training!