Workout Hard, Post-workout Smart, Part IV: Supplement Recommendations


In the last installment of this series I made several recommendations about exercise and post-workout nutrition that will allow you to maximize your training time.  Here is a recap of the nutrition recommendations:

  1. Take high quality protein within 30 minutes of training.
  2. Avoid carbs unless your training ran longer than 1 hour and fat loss isn't your primary goal.
  3. Omega 3 fish oil to improve protein synthesis and reduce inflammation.
  4. Adding BCAAs and L-Glutamine in addition to protein will further improve recovery by aiding tissue repair and boosting immune function.
  5. A high anti-oxidant blend like a green or red powder has multiple recovery benefits.
  6. Vitamin C helps reduce cortisol.
  7. Bonus: Cinnamon powder improves insulin sensitivity meaning less insulin release for any carbs you might take post-workout.

My Product Recommendations

Pure Whey by Stronger Faster Healthier (SFH) – This whey protein is the cleanest and best values on the market.  This is the one I use in my morning shake as well as post-workout.  It is derived from certified free range, grass-fed cows that are free of hormones and antibiotics.  The whey is prepared from a raw milk source and processed at low temperatures so as not to denature the native proteins.  It has no artificial ingredients.  This stuff is totally pure whey protein, nothing added.

Recovery (Postwork-formula) by SFH – Same idea as SFH’s Pure Whey in that it is derived from free range, grass fed cows that are free of hormones and antibiotics.  This formula is supped up with additional ingredients to help you recover from super-intense workouts at a cellular level.  Muscles run on fuel called ATP.  Recovery has creatine that replenishes ATP and a blend of Carnitine, CoQ10, and Ribose that help our cells make more energy (ATP).  It also has glutamine and joint support.  This is a step up for recovery from really intense training as well as a step up in price.

Vegan Protein by Innate Response – For those that are dairy free or allergic, I recommend Vegan Protein by Innate Response.  I love Innate as a company because all of their supplements are made from whole food sources rather than synthetic nutrients.  This pea protein has a complete amino acid profile, is grain-free and hypoallergenic.  It is a great alternative to whey without the high risk of heavy metals contamination from rice proteins and the estrogenic effects of soy.  I also like that Innate does third party testing on site.  There quality assurance is one of the best in the supplement industry.  Innate doesn't sell their products directly to consumers.  Contact me for more information if you are interested.

Armor by Energy Lab– Armor is a really well rounded post-workout branched-chain amino acid recovery formula. It boasts 7500 mg of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), 4000 mg of L-glutamine, and anti-oxidants to facilitate repairing muscle tissue through protein synthesis and to reduce oxidative stress from free radicals.  If that isn’t enough, Armor has ingredients that offer natural anti-inflammatory support to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Renewal Greens by Innate Response – A good green (or red) supplement is something I recommend to everyone as apart of solid daily supplementation regimen.  Although they are beneficial regardless of when you take them, I find that they fit perfectly into an ideal post-workout strategy.  Innate’s Renewal Greens formula is at the head of the class when it comes to greens powders.  This blend of 41 organic fruits and vegetables is loaded with anti-oxidants, has a high ORAC value, includes probiotics and digestive enzymes, is low glycemic (only 7 grams of carbs), and has multiple adaptogens to support your body’s response to stress.  This supplement will help you recover from a workout by neutralizing oxidative damage from free radicals, reducing inflammation, supporting tissue repair, providing probiotics and digestive enzymes to speed up protein synthesis, and boost your immune system that may be compromised from intense training.  Innate doesn't sell their products directly to consumers.  Contact me for more information if you are interested.

SO3 Liquid (Omega 3 Fish Oil) by SFH – Taking omega 3’s post-workout has a ton of benefits including improved protein synthesis that I wrote about in Part II of this series.  SFH has one of the best on the market.  They independently test their fish oil to ensure quality.  SO3 is free of mercury, heavy metals and other toxins that are very common with lower quality fish oils.  I prefer liquid fish oils for more efficient absorption and higher dosage.  There is 5 grams of omega 3 in one teaspoon of SO3.  It takes a lot of big, gnarly gel caps to match that teaspoon.  I also love this particular fish oil because there is no fishy taste or fish burps (gross).

L-Glutamine – If you don’t take a protein or BCAA formula with glutamine I strongly suggest getting some.  Vitacost has an inexpensive powder that is free of potential allergens.  If you can spend a little more money, Jarrow makes a pharmaceutical-grade option.

Organic cinnamon powder is a commodity you can pick up at any grocery or health food store.


Part I, Post-workout Nutrition Basics

Part II, Why post-workout carbs sabotage your hard work and why fat might maximize it.

Part III, Post-workout Hormone Optimization

Up next…

Part V, Importance of central nervous system (CNS) recovery for the advanced/hardcore trainees and so your workouts don’t leave you bonking at work.