The Best Recovery Supplements

LAST UPDATED: August 28, 2018 by Sasha deBeausset
If you’re looking for a way to avoid muscle fatigue and soreness after a training session, recovery supplements might be your answer. Adding a supplement to your daily routine can drastically increase the results of your workout regimen. We’ve made your life easier by reducing the amount of time it will take to find a recovery supplement. We conducted the research and reviewed the top five recovery supplements on the market.
Science in Sport Rego Rapid Recovery Protein Shake Freak Athletics BCAA Tablets Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Pure Science L-Glutamine Supplement 1500mg Nutriodol ZMA N500

The Best Recovery Supplements

The Rego rapid recovery shake comes in four delicious flavours.  They offer strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, and banana, so you have plenty of options based on your personal taste preferences.

You’ll consume an updated formula that has 20 grams of protein and 23 grams of carbohydrates with each serving.  Both of these ingredients and doses are optimal for muscle recovery.  The added carbohydrates help replenish what your body loses while you workout.  It gives you plenty of energy so you can recover before your next session.

There are also amino acids included in the mix, which supports muscle protein synthesis to grow and rebuild your muscles.  It contains leucine, which is an amino acid that amplifies the effects of this rebuilding process.

If you’re an athlete that competes competitively, you can safely take this recovery supplement without worrying about violating the terms of your league rules.  Unlike other supplements, the Science in Sport Rego Rapid Recovery formula is certified by the SiS Innovation Centre in Lancashire and doesn’t test positive for any banned substances.

It’s an ideal option for athletes that train for long periods several times each week.  You can also enjoy the benefits of this supplement if you do high-intensity training multiple times each week.  If you train more than once in a day or compete in multi-day events, the Rego Rapid Recovery Protein Shake can help you recover fast.


  • Comes in four tasty flavours.
  • Has an optimal amount of protein and carbohydrates.
  • Contains leucine and other essential amino acids
  • Doesn’t have any banned substances in the formula.
  • Great for people that train multiple days per week.


  • May cause diarrhoea.
  • Texture doesn’t mix well and stays thick or gritty.

The BCAA tablets help stimulate protein synthesis, which helps you build muscle faster.  These capsules help reduce muscle fatigue during and after training sessions so you can recover quickly without feeling the painful effects.  You’ll also notice faster results in your training program.

BCAA capsules rebuild your muscles, so you won’t get sore from your workouts.  If you’re sore, you may decide to skip the next training session on your schedule.  Even if you don’t skip it, training with sore muscles is inefficient, counterproductive, and could potentially lead to a serious injury.  The BCAA tablets limit the chances of these things happening to you.

They have an optimal 2:1:1 ratio of BCAA amino acid support.  These amino acids give you 2000mg of your daily serving.  In a serving of two capsules, you’ll get 500mg of leucine, 250mg of L isoleucine, and 250mg of L valine.

These essential amino acids help you regardless of your training goals.  You can enjoy these benefits whether you are bulking, cutting, or maintaining your current physique.

It’s a high quality product that’s made in the UK.  The manufacturing process meets some of the highest standards in the world when it comes to hygiene.


  • Contains 2:1:1 ratio of essential amino acids.
  • Helps if you’re cutting, bulking, or maintaining.
  • Manufactured in the UK.
  • Fast recovery from training sessions.
  • Minimises the effects of sore muscles.


  • One serving is four pills per day.
  • May not combine well with other supplements or medications.

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard has one of the widest selections of protein powder flavours available on the market.  One of the biggest complaints from users that take supplements is the taste, but Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard gives you plenty of options to satisfy your unique palate.

You can get this product flavoured in banana, banana cream, birthday cake, caramel toffee fudge, chocolate mint, chocolate peanut butter, cookies and cream, double rich chocolate, extreme milk chocolate, French vanilla crème, rocky road, strawberry, vanilla ice cream, and white chocolate raspberry.

Each serving contains 24 grams of protein and 5.5 grams of branch chain amino acids.  You’ll only consume one gram of fat per serving as well.  The Whey protein isolates are over 90% pure protein, unlike other products that are significantly lower.

The combination of the pure protein, amino acids, and low-fat per serving all contribute to fast recovery from each workout.  Getting protein to your muscles after a training session helps you build muscle and recover fast.

You also know you’re getting a high quality product from Optimum Gold Nutrition.  Each container has a hologram on the neck seal, so you know that it’s authentic and hasn’t been tampered with.  The batch code and best before date are also clearly printed on above the sticker, so you know that you’re getting a fresh product.


  • Large selection of flavours.
  • Over 90% pure protein isolates.
  • Contains amino acids.
  • Low amount of fat per serving.
  • High quality and authentic product.


  • The consistency after it’s mixed is watery.
  • May cause an upset stomach.

The Pure Science L-Glutamine Supplement contains one of the highest dosages of L-Glutamine powder per capsule on the market.  You can meet the 1500mg daily requirement of L-Glutamine with just one capsule of this supplement from Pure Science.

It’s a vegan product, so it’s safe for people that are on a special vegan diet.  These capsules are easy for you to swallow and digest.  They absorb fast into your system so you can start experiencing the benefits right away.  It’s a great option for vegetarians that have certain restrictions against gelatin capsules.

L-Glutamine helps boost your immune system while maintaining muscle cell volume.  It also helps grow your hormone levels and increases muscle protein synthesis.  As a result, this product helps speed up muscle recovery and muscle fatigue, making it a top option as a recovery supplement.

The bottle comes with 100 capsules.  Since you can get an entire daily L-Glutamine serving from just one pill, this purchase will last you for several months.  Some other supplements require you to take as many as four to six pills per serving.

Pure Science gives you a 100% money back guarantee.  If for whatever reason you’re unsatisfied with the product, they’ll give you a refund within two years of the manufacture date.


  • High dosage of L-Glutamine powder per serving.
  • Only one pill meets daily serving requirements
  • Vegan and vegetarian.
  • Easy to digest.
  • Money back guarantee.


  • Does not contain any protein.
  • Some customers had trouble reading the label.

The Nutriodol ZMA formula contains zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6.  These ingredients help increase your testosterone, size, and muscle strength.  They also increase your recovery rate.

Bodybuilders trust these ZMA supplements to enhance their workouts and recover fast from training sessions.  Although these boost your testosterone levels, they are suitable and safe for both men and women.

Each dose is three capsules per day.  You’ll benefit from 10mg of zinc, 375mg of magnesium, and 11.73 mg of vitamin B6.  Just make sure that you don’t use these pills to replace or substitute food products.  They are intended as a supplement to enhance your balanced diet and healthy lifestyle choices.

It’s best to consume these capsules on an empty stomach.  The best time of day to get your daily dosage is before bed.  To get the full effects of the ZMA N500 supplement, you need to regularly use the pills.  Basically, you can’t take them once or twice a week and expect to benefit from the dosage.


  • Contains zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6.
  • Suitable for men and women.
  • Boosts testosterone levels.
  • Increases muscle strength and size.
  • Helps you recover from workouts.


  • Does not contain protein.
  • No amino acids included.

How to Choose the Best Recovery Supplement

You want to find a well-balanced recovery supplement. Look for ones that contain several ingredients to benefit your recovery process. Supplements that have protein, carbohydrates, and amino acids will be one of the top options to look for. According to a 2014 study published in the National Institutes of Health, protein supplements help reduce muscle damage and soreness while increasing muscle recovery. (Sports Med) Fitness expert, Ben Greenfield explains that amino acids can help prevent muscle proteins from breaking down while you exercise. Supplements containing essential amino acids can help you recover faster. (Ben Greenfield)

What Are the Benefits of Using Recovery Supplements?

The main benefit to using a recovery supplement is protein synthesis. Certain supplements can speed up and enhance this process in your body. If you typically do high-intensity training, train multiple times per week, or even multiple times per day, recovery supplements help get you through each workout. (Protein Synthesis) Your muscles break down as you train, which can cause fatigue and soreness. If you don’t recover fast, you might not be able to make it through your next workout. Even worse, you can potentially get hurt during a subsequent workout if you’re not fully recovered.

Things to Look For That Differentiate Recovery Supplements

There are different types of recovery supplements, and you can select yours based on personal preference. Some of the recovery supplements are in powder form, so you mix it with water, milk, or other liquids to create a drink. You can also find recovery supplements that are in the form of a pill or capsule. If you have dietary restrictions such as gluten allergies, vegan, or vegetarian, there are certain supplements that are more geared towards your needs than others.

What’s the Best Way to Use Recovery Supplements?

According to Chris Jordan, the director of exercise at the Human Performance Institute, the best time to take a recovery supplement is 30 to 45 minutes after your workout. (JJHPI) You also need to consume sufficient amounts of protein throughout the entire day. These supplements will not work alone. If you are not eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, you won’t benefit from taking the recovery supplements.

Controversy Surrounding Recovery Supplements

Glutamine is a popular ingredient found in recovery supplements. Like most products, if not taken in moderation, you can experience some side effects. According to WebMD, some of these side effects include diarrhoea, mouth swelling, nerve pain, muscle pain, and joint pain. (WebMD) In general, some of the other side effects associated with workout and recovery supplements are stomach pain, nausea, headaches, and vomiting. To avoid harmful side effects, make sure you stick to the recommended dosage on the label. If it’s your first time taking recovery supplements, you can start by taking half of the recommended dosage. Consult with your doctor if you’re taking any other daily medications before starting a recovery supplement routine.


If you’re looking for recovery supplements, you’ll most likely be happy with any of the products that we reviewed above.  All of these help with the recovery process and also have other health benefits. With that said, the Science in Sport Rego Rapid Recovery Protein Shake is the clear winner on our list. The Rego Rapid Recovery formula meets all of the requirements that we outlined earlier when discussing what to look for when shopping for a recovery supplement. It has an optimal amount of protein and carbohydrates.  The mix also contains vital amino acids.  All of these result in fast recovery, so it’s a great option for people that train multiple times per day or multiple times per week.

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