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7 Best Post-Workout Supplement For Muscle Recovery 2023

Kate Barrington

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

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Jacked Factory Post-Workout Growth Surge

Jacked Factory Post-Workout Growth Surge

  • Supports fat loss and lean gains
  • Supplemented with creatine
  • Made in the USA

Transparent Labs Intra Workout EAA

Transparent Labs Intra Workout EAA

  • Protects against muscle breakdown
  • Boosts energy and enhances hydration 
  • Contains just 5 calories per serving

CrazyNutrition 100% Tri-Protein

  • Six proteins to fuel muscle gains 
  • Supports muscle growth, repair, and recovery
  • Backed by a 100% 60-day guarantee

Maybe you work out to build muscle or improve your fitness level. Maybe you do it to lose weight. You might even do it for the rush of endorphins you get from exercise. 

Regardless of your motivation for working out, proper nutrition is essential to optimize performance and meet your fitness goals. Pre-workout nutrition helps ensure you have the energy you need to power through your workout, while post-workout nutrition is essential for recovery to ensure that you can do it all again the next day. 

Taking a post-workout supplement is the best way to take advantage of the window after exercise in which your body builds muscle and burns extra calories. 

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into the subject of the best post-workout supplements and answer your questions about how they work and how to use them. We’ll also provide you with in-depth information about our top seven picks.

Best Post-Workout Supplement For Muscle Recovery on the market in (February. 2023)

Should You Use Post-Workout Supplements?

There is an abundance of theories about optimal nutrition following intense exercise to support recovery and help build lean muscle mass. A post-workout shake or protein powder can help you achieve both of these goals – especially if your primary goal is to gain muscle mass. 

A post-workout supplement is simply a dietary supplement that contains protein and other nutrients to speed the recovery process and boost muscle protein synthesis. 

These dietary supplements are often packed with branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) to help your body repair damaged muscle tissue that develops during resistance training. If you work out regularly, post-workout recovery supplements rich in protein[1] may support lean muscle growth and help your muscles recover more quickly so you can make the most of your next training session.  

The Line Up At A Glance

Jacked Factory Post-Workout Growth Surge

Editor’s Choice

Jacked Factory Post-Workout  Growth Surge

  • Supports fat loss and lean gains
  • Supplemented with creatine
  • Made in the USA

Transparent Labs Intra Workout EAA

Best for Hydration

Transparent Labs Intra Workout EAA

  • Protects against muscle breakdown
  • Boosts energy and enhances hydration 
  • Contains just 5 calories per serving

Runner Up

CrazyNutrition 100% Tri-Protein

  • Six proteins to fuel muscle gains 
  • Supports muscle growth, repair, and recovery
  • Backed by a 100% 60-day guarantee

Jacked Factory Green Surge

Best for Digestion

Jacked Green Surge

  • Packed with superfood antioxidants
  • Supports healthy and regular digestion 
  • Free from artificial sweeteners and preservatives

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine

Best for Endurance

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine

  • Speeds muscle repair and recovery
  • Naturally flavored and sweetened
  • Choose from 5 fruit flavors

Optimum Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein

Best Whey Protein

Optimum Standard Whey Protein

  • Whey protein to promote muscle protein synthesis
  • Available in over a dozen flavors
  • Contains 5.5 g BCAAS per serving

Kaged Muscle Re-Kaged Recovery

Best High Protein

Kaged Muscle Re-Kaged Recovery

  • Contains 28 grams of protein per serving
  • The lactose-free formula is easy to digest
  • No artificial flavors or colors

7 Best Post-Workout Supplements For Muscle in 2023

Jacked Factory Post-Workout Growth Surge

If you’re looking for a post-workout supplement you can trust, turn to Jacked Fitness. This formula is designed to speed recovery, build muscle, and support fat loss.

  • Supports fat loss and lean gains
  • Supplemented with creatine
  • Made in the USA
  • Returns don’t cover shipping fees
  • Contains some artificial flavor

Jacked Fitness was founded in 2015 out of a desire to provide elite powerlifters, bodybuilders, and athletes with effective supplements to boost performance. Every formula is thoroughly researched and tested, plus a 90-day guarantee backs their products. If you’re not satisfied with your purchase, you can return it for a refund minus shipping and handling fees. 

Growth Surge is a post-workout muscle-builder formulated with creatine monohydrate, betaine anhydrous, L-carnitine, epigallocatechin-gallate (ECGC), BioPerine, and  L-tartrate. Creatine in particular[2], may help support fat loss to ensure lean muscle gain. 

All Jacked Fitness products are made in the USA in a cGMP-certified facility. Choose from eight different flavors, including Cherry Limeade and Swoleberry.

Transparent Labs Intra EAA Supplement

Amino acids are the key to muscle growth, but your body also needs to rehydrate after a tough workout. This supplement boosts performance, energy, and hydration.

  • Protects against muscle breakdown
  • Boosts energy and enhances hydration 
  • Contains just five calories per serving
  • Only available in 2 flavors 
  • Contains tree nuts

Transparent Labs aims to provide effective workout supplements to help you achieve your fitness goals. In addition to pre-workouts, they offer to create supplements, protein powders, and fat burners. No matter your fitness goals, Transparent Labs has a product to help you get where you want to go. 

Intra Premium Essential Amino Acids formula is designed to protect against muscle tissue breakdown while boosting energy levels. It also contains hydrating coconut water as well as chelated electrolytes. It’s free from artificial sweeteners, colors, and preservatives and contains just 5 calories per serving. Simply put, this is one of the best post-workout recovery drinks on the market.

You’ll enjoy free shipping on Transparent Labs orders over $150, and you can view the certificates of analysis and composition on the website so you know what you’re buying.

Crazy Nutrition Tri-Protein Powder

Made with six natural, proteins made from ingredients that are not from genetically modified organisms (non-GMO), this power-packed supplement will keep you fueled, energized, and satiated to achieve your fitness goals.

  • Six proteins to fuel muscle gains 
  • Supports growth, repair, and recovery
  • Backed by a 100% 60-day guarantee
  • Contains dairy
  • Not made in the USA

Crazy Nutrition is a UK-based company, but their products are all made in Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved facilities. The company strives to deliver effective, well-researched formulas that help you achieve your fitness goals. They offer top-notch customer service and a 60-day guarantee back all purchases. 

Standard whey protein powders may support recovery and muscle growth, but that’s not all your body needs after a workout. This six-protein formula is made with fast-absorbing protein to refuel the body and reduce muscle breakdown. Phase two of protein absorption helps deliver protein to the muscles to support growth, repair, and recovery. 

This post-workout powder is particularly unique because it also contains micellar casein and calcium caseinate, which provide a steady stream of amino acids to the muscles. It may also help curb hunger and suppress your appetite.
This supplement also contains a controversial ingredient, an artificial sweetener called Sucralose. Sucralose, while approved for industry use and is on the ”generally recognized as safe list” (GRAS), there is literature to support the harmful effects[3] that this sweetener may have on the gut microbiome and on raising blood sugar. People sensitive to such sweeteners should avoid products containing them.

Jacked Green Surge

Taking nutritional supplements may not do you much good if your body can’t absorb it properly. This digestive supplement is just what you need to optimize the benefits of post-workout supplements.

  • Packed with superfood antioxidants
  • Supports healthy and regular digestion 
  • Free from artificial sweeteners and preservatives
  • Limited flavor options
  • Not designed for muscle growth

Jacked Green Surge is formulated with an abundance of essential micronutrients derived from organic plant superfoods. It contains digestive enzymes and a proprietary probiotic blend to support healthy gastrointestinal tract function and digestion. By boosting digestion and providing supplemental antioxidants, it may also help support a strong immune system.

Not only is this recipe formulated to deliver digestion-boosting benefits, but you can rest easy knowing it is free from artificial coloring and preservatives. It’s also free from added sugar and naturally sweetened with stevia extract. 

This product is manufactured in the USA in a cGMP-certified facility, and you can get 20% off your first order by signing up for Jacked’s newsletter.

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine

After a hard workout, it’s important to replenish your glycogen stores so you’re powered up and ready to go the next day. This carb-rich supplement is just what you need.

  • Speed muscle repair and recovery
  • Naturally flavored and sweetened
  • Choose from 5 fruit flavors
  • Doesn’t contain supplemental protein 
  • Only 2g carbs per serving

Transparent Labs offers a full transparency promise so you can feel good about what you’re putting in your body. Their formulas are clinically dosed and free from fillers and dyes. Choose from a wide variety of supplements to help you achieve optimal nutrition to speed you on the path toward achieving your fitness goals. 

If you’re concerned about endurance and muscle recovery, this is an excellent post-workout supplement. It contains 2 grams of carbohydrate (carb) per serving along with a high dose of vitamin C. You’ll also enjoy the muscle-boosting benefits of three essential amino acids (EAA). 

The addition of L-glutamine, an amino acid, may help boost muscle growth, while coconut water powder supports rehydration[4]. This supplement is sold in 30-serving containers at ten calories per serving.

Optimum Standard Whey Protein

Whey protein is an excellent source of protein, and this Gold Standard protein powder has it in spades.

  • Whey protein to promote growth
  • Available in over a dozen flavors
  • Contains 5.5 g BCAAS per serving
  • May not be ideal for endurance 
  • Contains some artificial flavor
  • Contains an artificial sweetener, sucralose

Gold Standard offers a wide selection of authentic products designed for convenience and effective performance. In addition to pre-workouts and energy-boosting supplements, they sell several versions of protein powder and shakes. Their products are economically priced, and delivery is free for orders over $40. 

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein is a post-workout protein powder designed to boost muscle growth and support healthy muscle tissue. It’s packed with 24 grams of protein per serving and 5.5 grams (g) of naturally occurring branched-chain amino acids. 

If you’re concerned about lactose, you’ll be glad to know that this post-workout drink for muscle gain has been filtered to isolate the lactose and excessive carbohydrates and fat. 

This product contains an artificial sweetener, sucralose, and is considered a controversial ingredient.

Kaged Muscle Re-Kaged Muscle Recovery

Protein is the key to preventing muscle breakdown and fueling growth. If you’re looking for a high-protein post-workout supplement, consider Re-Kaged.

  • Contains 28 grams of protein per serving
  • The lactose-free formula is easy to digest
  • No artificial flavors, or colors
  • Low carb content may not be ideal for endurance 
  • Fairly pricey per serving

Kaged delivers effective results with a generous selection of pre-workout, post-workout, and weight management products. Their formulas are clean and transparent, and third-party labs. They’re also guaranteed to be free from banned substances.

Re-Kaged Post-Workout Recovery is a protein-rich whey protein isolate powder. It’s available in three tasty flavors with 20 servings per container. Each serving contains about 140 calories with 28 grams of protein and minimal carbohydrates and fat. 

This protein supplement is designed to support muscle recovery and reduce muscle breakdown. It may help you recover faster after a workout, and it’s easily digested in a lactose-free recipe supplemented with digestive enzymes for enhanced absorption.

What Are the Benefits of a Post-Workout Drink?

Pre-workout supplements are designed to boost energy levels so you can maximize physical performance during a training session. After an intense workout, your body needs time to recover, and the right supplement can help. 

The best post-workout supplements have the potential to provide the following benefits.

Reduce Muscle Soreness 

Building muscle mass is hard work, and if you don’t pay attention to optimum nutrition after an intense training session, you might be too sore for your next workout. Protein shakes help your body recover more quickly and provide hydration to help reduce muscle soreness.

Promote Muscle Growth 

Resistance training challenges your muscles to deal with increasing levels of weight – the process is also known as muscle hypertrophy. It occurs when the muscle fibers are strained and sustain damage. After a workout, your body repairs the damaged muscle fibers by fusing them together, increasing muscle mass and size. 

Supplemental protein supports the process of muscle repair and growth. By increasing your protein intake, you’ll be providing what your body needs to mitigate the effects of muscle hypertrophy and optimize muscle growth. 

How Much Should You Use? 

When it comes to post-workout supplementation, the dosage is determined by several factors. Your level of training is important to consider, as is the protein content of the supplement. 

Some studies[5] recommend ingesting between 20 and 40 grams of protein after a workout, while others specify[6] 0.14 to 0.23 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. It’s also important to ingest carbohydrates after a workout to replenish glycogen stores and maximize protein synthesis. 

The best time[7] to take a post-workout supplement has long been thought to be between half an hour to 45 minutes after finishing your workout. However, more recent evidence suggests that the post-exercise window may actually be longer, up to several hours.

How to Choose the Best Post-Workout Supplement

Post-workout supplements come in several different forms to make things easy. If you’re looking for convenience, go with a pre-mixed protein shake. If cost efficiency is your concern, a post-workout powder may be more economical.

When shopping for a post-workout drink for muscle gain, look for the following: 

Branched Chain Amino Acids 

Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle protein. While there are nine essential amino acids, three are most important in post-workout recovery supplements: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. A BCAA supplement that contains these important essential amino acids can help reduce muscle breakdown[8]

Carbohydrates

During a workout, your body burns the calories you’ve recently consumed as well as stored carbohydrates or glycogen. When your glycogen stores become depleted, the GLUT-4 receptors in your muscles start transferring glucose to the muscle cells which results in a drop in blood glucose levels. 

Consuming carbohydrates after a workout helps replenish your glycogen stores. BCAAs and carbohydrates have a synergistic effect[9] in supporting this process. 

Creatine Monohydrate 

Creatine is a common ingredient in pre-workout supplements, but it can also be beneficial after a workout. In fact, some research[10] suggests that creatine supplementation is more beneficial post-workout than pre-workout. When consumed after resistance training, a creatine supplement supports the growth of lean muscle mass and increased strength.

Electrolytes 

When you work out, you lose sodium and other electrolytes through sweat – especially during high-intensity training. When you’re finished exercising, it’s important to replenish those electrolytes. Electrolyte supplementation[11] may help the muscles contract and relax more smoothly, reducing cramping and muscle fatigue.

When shopping for post-workout recovery supplements, you should also pay attention to the ingredients. These supplements are made with different types of protein such as whey protein isolate and vegan options like pea protein. It’s also wise to avoid supplements that contain too much added sugar, artificial ingredients, or controversial ingredients. 

Final Thought

If you’re going to spend the time and energy exercising, you want to make sure you gain the maximum benefit from these efforts. A balanced diet that includes protein-rich foods is essential, but a post-workout powder or shake can boost protein and carb intake to help reduce muscle fatigue, build muscle, and support rapid recovery. 

We’ve reviewed the best options for excellent post-workout supplements to help you find the right option for your dietary preferences and your fitness goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I take post-workout supplements every day?

Depending on your fitness goals, you may not need to take a post-workout supplement every day. These supplements are most effective when taken after a resistance training workout.

Will post-workout supplements make me gain weight?

Post-workout supplements are typically not designed for weight gain, but it can happen. Combined with a high-calorie diet, these supplements may lead to weight gain, but as long as your diet is rich in protein, the majority of it should come from muscle.

What is more important: post-workout or pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout and post-workout supplements both have their own benefits. A pre-workout may be best if you’re concerned about fueling up for a workout. For muscle recovery and growth, try a post-workout supplement.


+ 11 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Carbone, J. W., & Pasiakos, S. M. (2019). Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit. Nutrients, 11(5), 1136. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051136
  2. Chilibeck, P. D., Kaviani, M., Candow, D. G., & Zello, G. A. (2017). Effect of creatine supplementation during resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscular strength in older adults: a meta-analysis. Open access journal of sports medicine, 8, 213–226. https://doi.org/10.2147/OAJSM.S123529
  3. Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Is Sucralose Bad for You? The Truth About Splenda – Cleveland Clinic. [ONLINE] Available at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/is-sucralose-splenda-bad-for-you/
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  5. Aragon, A. A., & Schoenfeld, B. J. (2013). Nutrient timing revisited: is there a post-exercise anabolic window?. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 5. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-10-5
  6. Kerksick, C., Harvey, T., Stout, J., Campbell, B., Wilborn, C., Kreider, R., Kalman, D., Ziegenfuss, T., Lopez, H., Landis, J., Ivy, J. L., & Antonio, J. (2008). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 5, 17. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-5-17
  7. Ivy, John & Ferguson-Stegall, Lisa. (2013). Nutrient Timing: The Means to Improved Exercise Performance, Recovery, and Training Adaptation. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. E-pub ahead of print. 10.1177/1559827613502444.
  8. Blomstrand, E., & Saltin, B. (2001). BCAA intake affects protein metabolism in muscle after but not during exercise in humans. American journal of physiology. Endocrinology and metabolism, 281(2), E365–E374. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.2001.281.2.E365
  9. Rasmussen, B. B., Tipton, K. D., Miller, S. L., Wolf, S. E., & Wolfe, R. R. (2000). An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md.: 1985), 88(2), 386–392. https://doi.org/10.1152/jappl.2000.88.2.386
  10. Antonio, J., Ciccone, V. The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 10, 36 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-10-36
  11. Bergeron, Michael F. Muscle Cramps during Exercise-Is It Fatigue or Electrolyte Deficit?, Current Sports Medicine Reports: July 2008 – Volume 7 – Issue 4 – p S50-S55. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e31817f476a
Kate Barrington

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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