Recovering from your workouts—especially if you’re just getting back into the game or trying something new—isn’t always easy. And no one said it was necessarily supposed to be. Occasional soreness, muscle aches, changes in your appetite, maybe some fatigue? These inconveniences are sometimes the price you pay to strengthen your body, helping to make it stronger and more resilient in the process.
But here’s the good news: studies show that certain supplements might be able to help you see results from your workouts faster, while offering some protection against set-backs or the risk for injuries while you progress.
It’s important to understand that while exercise is very healthy, it’s actually a stressor on the body. Tough workouts challenge and even damage your muscles, and as a result, you must be intentional about repairing those muscle tissues with the right nutrients if you want to get stronger. Exercise can also affect hormone levels, including by temporarily increasing the stress hormone called cortisol. But this, too, can be beneficial—as long as your body has the proper tools to bounce back from the challenge.
You need time following exercise, as well as proper fuel and nutrients in to facilitate the recovery process. Protein is obviously key for muscle recovery, but so are healthy carbs, B vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants. Unfortunately, you may or may not be able to get all the essential nutrition you need solely from food, which is where supplements come in. They can help bridge the gap and ensure you’re not deficient in key macros, vitamins or minerals.
Let’s look at some of the top supplemental sources of workout-boosting nutrients.