The Ingredients that Make a Difference in Your Recovery Protein

Jan 14, 2016
Tagged with: The Ingredients that Make a Difference in Your Recovery Protein

What you do just after a rigorous workout may be nearly as important as the workout itself. During a particularly strenuous workout you will have lost considerable water, burned up a large quantity of stored glycogen and broken down red blood cells and muscle tissue. You may feel great that you have accomplished your daily goal and exhilarated by the effort, but your body needs immediate attention.

Besides replenishing the lost fluids and electrolytes that you sweated out during the exercise, your body requires replacement of the glycogen burned and, very importantly, proteins to repair the muscle damage caused by the stress of strenuous exercise.

Optimal results are achieved when these elements are consumed within 30 minutes of the end of the exercise program. Drinking a water/sodium mixture or commercial sports drink and ingesting carbohydrates after exercise will begin the process of replacing fluids, electrolytes and energy-producing glycogen. Carbohydrates should best be replenished within a few hours following heavy exercise.

But what should be done about protein replacement for muscle repair?


Many exercise physiologists agree that ingesting a protein product within 30 minutes of strenuous exercise will facilitate the repair and strengthening of muscle tissue. Protein can be consumed in a variety of different forms, since whole food options are not always available nor desired immediately after a strenuous workout. In these cases, protein products such as gels, powders and shakes may provide the amino acids that begin the muscle repair process and are the answer for best post-workout protein consumption. However, it should be noted, that whole foods including meats and other protein-laden products as part of balanced diet are critical to overall health due to the presence of other necessary vitamins, minerals and important nutrients.

Amino Acids

Supplemental amino acids in various forms have been determined to be the key ingredient to post-workout recovery. Many body building products include or suggest the word “amino” in their brand names. Supplementing with products that contain amino acids provide the post workout recovery protein.


BCAA is an acronym for Branch Chain Amino Acids. This label is used everywhere as a supplemental protein source for weight trainers and other athletes. The Branch Chain Aminos specifically are leucine, isoleucine and valine. These three promote production and regulate protein metabolism.


Glutamine supplementation improves protein metabolism and enhances protein synthesis. Since the body produces this type of amino acid, glutamine is depleted during rigorous exercise and needs to be replenished. Supplements are believed to accelerate the natural recovery of these elements.

Whey Powder

Though not necessarily good for lactose intolerant individuals, whey powder is a complete protein derived from milk and contains nine essential amino acids for muscle recovery. According to, whey powder can be sold in three different forms: concentrate, isolate, and hydrolysate. The third form of whey powder, hydrolysate (WPH), has been processed to allow it to be more easily absorbed by the human body. Whey powder can be served in shake or liquid form.


A product also found in milk, casein, provides protein, carbohydrates, amino acids, phosphorous and calcium. As a supplement, casein is considered a slower supplement to the muscle rebuilding process. Casein makes up about 80% of the proteins found in cow’s milk. While considered an excellent source for maintaining muscle mass while losing weight, casein also promotes colon health, according to an Australian study cited by

Egg Proteins

In many forms, egg protein supplements and powders provide the purest natural protein and are easily digestible. Egg whites can be considered an excellent recovery protein.

Best Results

While the effect of protein supplements for muscle building is well documented, most studies suggest that too much is too much. In other words, approximately 20 grams of protein within two hours of exercise will generally provide necessary benefit. To ensure they are getting the proper amount of nutrition that their bodies need, top athletes are participating in the “Macro Counting” diet. A comprehensive diet in which proteins, fats, and carbs are carefully counted upon intake.” 


Interested in weight loss? Find out more here.

Author: Ryan Blair

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