The Best Supplement to Take Post-Workout

LAST UPDATED: August 28, 2018 by Sasha deBeausset
When getting serious about your workout, there are a lot of things to consider. The exercises you are doing, the foods you eat, and nutritional supplements all come into play. While those are crucial to the success of your health goals, the best post workout supplement can help you make the most of your routine. There are more containers of supplements on the market than anyone would care to count, which can make it tough to choose the best one. That’s why we scoured the internet and waded through a sea of reviews to pull out the top performers. Here are our top 5.
Gold Standard Whey BSN Amino X Intra-Workout Vintage Build Purition Wholefood Shake Mix The Protein Works 80

The Top 5 Post Workout Supplements

Gold Standard is a well-known name in the world of fitness, and this after workout powder is 100% whey. Each serving offers 24 grams of protein and 120 calories. This product is low in sugar and fat, which might be appealing to those looking to lose weight.
There are 5.5 grams of naturally occurring branched-chain amino acids per serving, helping to deliver the recovery and growth and your muscles need after a rigorous workout. It also features glutamine, which minimises the breakdown of your muscles and improves protein metabolism.
While protein powders, in general, do not offer an amazing taste, Gold Standard does provide plenty of different flavours to help make it more palatable.


  • Comes with a scoop for easy measuring
  • A variety of flavours help with taste
  • BCAAs for amino acid intake
  • Only 1 gram of fat per serving


  • Some users found it to be too sweet tasting
  • Not for the lactose intolerant

The primary feature that separates this product from the rest is that it offers 10 grams of amino acids per serving. Those BCAA’s are essential to the rebuilding process.
This formula also contains the amino acids L-Taurine which improves cardiovascular function, L-Alanine to promote muscle growth, and L-Arginine which is good for the heart. Instead of caffeine or sugar, this powder uses vitamin B6 to reduce fatigue and support metabolism.
Also featured are vitamin D and surprising less than 1 gram of carbohydrates, which are usually used to help replenish your muscle’s fuel cells. This product comes in four flavours to help reduce the protein powder taste. You can choose from Blue Razz, Fruit Punch, Green Apple, or Watermelon.
Finally, this product is sponsored by MMA fighter Conor McGregor.


  • High amount of BCAAs and other amino acids
  • Use of B6 instead of caffeine or sugar
  • Heart healthy
  • Multiple flavors


  • Less than 1 gram of carbs
  • Tall and thin container makes it harder to scoop out
  • Effervescent effect can be too powerful, possibly leading to gas and lids popping off

Featured in Los Angeles Confidential Magazine, Vintage offers a trio of muscle building ingredients in your after workout shake. That includes BCAAs, creatine, and L-glutamine. Combined, these ingredients may be a better choice for those looking to gain lean muscle as opposed to bulking up.
This product is vegetarian-friendly, as well as Gluten-free and non-GMO. However, it is produced in a facility contains a wide list of allergens from shellfish to nuts and dairy.
As opposed to sugar, this product uses Stevia as its sweetener alongside its berry flavour. With only four calories per gram and a minimal amount of fat, weight loss is not hindered when taking this powder.


  • Users reported increased energy during exercise regimens
  • The taste is better than other comparable products
  • Contains essential amino acids
  • L-glutamine helps improve protein metabolism


  • Not everyone likes the taste of Stevia
  • Not suitable for those with food allergies

The most notable feature about this product is that it is 100% natural, which might be an excellent option for those looking to avoid artificial ingredients commonly found in protein powders. This is a grass-fed whey protein isolate with linseed flax, psyllium husk and apple pectin for fibre, and a mix of nuts and seeds for healthy fats. It also uses Stevia in place of sugar.
It comes with a scoop for easy measurements to ensure you are getting the right amount of nutrients and is contained in a resealable package to avoid any BPA plastics. To help mask the taste, you can choose from Almond, Chocolate, Coconut, Macadamia Vanilla, Pistachio, and Strawberry flavours.


  • All-natural formula
  • Contributes to curbing appetite
  • Comes in multiple flavours
  • All carbs are fibres


  • Not suitable for those with nut allergies
  • Some users found it to be too gritty
  • Some users were less than fond of the taste

This whey protein concentrate is free of thickeners and fillers often found in similar products. It is also flavoured naturally to avoid artificial ingredients. With 80% protein content, it ranks in high on the scale.

Naturally low in fat and lactose, weight gain is not an issue with this powder. One of the great features about this product is that essential amino acids have been added, which might make this an excellent choice for anyone looking for a speedier recovery time.

This product is not heat treated. Instead, it is micro filtered to keep the whey as pure as possible. Its abilities as a post workout supplement earned it the Best Protein Award from the FSN Product Awards.

After mixing this up, it is recommended to drink it right away. Otherwise, you might be left with a bit of a film on your glass or bottle. It does come in a variety of classic flavours such as vanilla and chocolate, as well as an unflavored version that might be better for cooking with or sprinkling on food.


  • Tastes good
  • Low in fat
  • Mixes well with water or milk
  • Multiple flavours, and unflavored for cooking


  • Some found the taste too sweet
  • Some users reported an upset stomach
  • Uses sugar

Why Take a Supplement After Your Workout?

Have you ever wondered why you feel sore after a workout? This pain occurs because your muscles are being depleted of their carbohydrate stores and their protein structure, alongside being broken down so they can rebuild themselves later. This is what causes your increased appetite and need for extra sleep as well. These post workout supplements, often coming in the form of a powder, help to fuel protein synthesis while meeting your body’s need to stay hydrated. They deliver high quality calories that fuel muscle growth and recovery by supporting protein and glycogen synthesis. In more simple terms, they replenish what your body has lost during the workout while adding nutrients that promote good health, muscle growth, and therefore weight loss.

The Benefits

When examining these supplements, their benefits come from their composition. Each ingredient is designed to aid in a specific way.


To refill your muscle’s energy stores, you’ll need some carbs after that last set of reps. In fact, you need plenty of carbs for this process to take place. Consuming a higher amount of carbohydrates promotes substantial insulin release, the hormone that carries your carbs and amino acids to the muscles. With more insulin hard at work, your muscle tissue can repair itself faster.


The structure of your muscles is torn and damaged during any exercise. To rebuild these damaged parts, your body requires a significant amount of protein. Adding protein’s amino acids reverses your body’s cycle of breaking down protein so that it can begin to synthesise the protein instead. This leads to positive protein balance, which leads to healthier muscles altogether. Combined, both carbs and protein can lead to increased muscle and bone mass, as well as an improved immune system and higher utilisation of body fat.

Less is More with Fat

While that might sound like common sense for saturated fats, we all know that unsaturated fats can’t hurt us. However, any type of fat can impact the recovery time and promote excess calories that lead to weight gain. Your muscles are primed and ready for insulin intake after lifting weights. Adding carbs to the mix helps keep that level high while building adipose tissue, but adding fat that mix just adds fat. If you are looking to gain healthy muscle, even when bulking up, avoid eating fats as much as possible during this and every meal when you can.

The Liquid Form

There are a few benefits that these liquid shakes have over eating a large meal. For starts, they are easier to ingest right after a workout. Not only that, but they are digested faster than whole foods are. While your body may take up to three hours to absorb the nutrients from something like chicken and broccoli, it may only take up to thirty minutes for it to absorb the liquid shake while leaving you feeling just as full.

The “Window of Opportunity”

These benefits are ideal for helping you make the most of each workout, but they are also time sensitive. After exercise, your muscles are highly receptive to nutrient intake. This means you should consume your post workout supplement as soon as possible. As time passes, you begin to miss out on the recovery benefits that protein and carbohydrates can offer. This will cause your results to come at a slower pace, making your time at the gym less impactful towards your goals.

Debunking the Myths

There are myths around nearly everything in the realm of health. Strength training and post workout nutrients suffer the same misguided notions that everything else does. You might have heard some of these, but it’s important to separate fact from fiction.

Myth: The Post Workout Meal is the Most Important Meal of the Day

While your after exercise meal is incredibly important, it needs to be a part of a complete diet. One meal alone can only do so much to benefit the health and growth of your muscles. Eating a proper breakfast and pre-workout meal will help see the gains you are looking for, not to mention aid significantly in fat loss.

Myth: Benefits Only Occur in the Window of Opportunity

While studies show that delivering nutrients during this window is crucial to completing your workout, it isn’t the only time you will experience benefits. As you continually build your muscles, their responsiveness to protein synthesis will continue to be at an enhanced level. That means every meal is going to count towards muscle growth.

Myth: Whey is the Ideal Fast Protein

While it is true that whey digests faster than casein, it’s still digested at a prolonged rate. This has been known to cause bloating, which can be incredibly unpleasant after a workout. What you need from protein are amino acids, and there are faster methods for your body to take them in. While nothing is going to work like lightning, there are some purer products on the market that your body can make quicker use of.

The Clear Winner

After weighing the features, pros, and cons of each product, we chose Vintage Build as the winner. It was a tough decision but based on the criteria for a good post workout supplement, this one matches up nicely. While brands like Gold Standard and BSN might get more recognition, Vintage Build has burst onto the scene with a solid formula that does exactly what these powders should. The protein content is there, but so are the BCAAs necessary to deliver the recovery agents to the muscles. It also provides creatine, which might be a slower digested protein but works long term to deliver what your muscles need after exercise throughout the day which is essential. Plus, the addition of L-glutamine helps to boost protein metabolism. While it may not be the best option for those with allergies, it does remain Gluten and GMO-free while keeping the fat content low. Stevia replaces dietary un-friendly sugar, and the trio of ingredients works to repair and heal your muscles in a healthy way.

Recommended Weight Loss, Workout & Recovery Products