Blog Nutrition Your Guide To Post Workout Recovery Shakes And Supplements

Your Guide To Post Workout Recovery Shakes And Supplements

Muscle recovery is an integral part of any workout routine. Whether you’re a beginner just starting out, or a seasoned athlete, your muscles need time to repair and grow after an intense workout. There are many different ways to help your muscles recover, including rest, stretching, foam rolling, and massage. Another important part of muscle recovery is nutrition. What you eat after a workout can have an impact on how quickly your muscles recover. That’s why post-workout recovery shakes and supplements can be so helpful. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about post-workout shakes and supplements, including the possible benefits, the best ingredients, and how to make your shakes at home.


Benefits Of Post Workout Recovery Shakes And Supplements

There are many potential benefits to drinking a post-workout shake or taking certain supplements. They may help your body to:

Rebuild And Repair Muscles

When you work out you create tiny tears in your muscle fibers. For your muscles to grow stronger, these tears need to be repaired.

Protein is essential for muscle repair, and it’s one of the most important nutrients for athletes (18). A post-workout shake or supplement can help you to get the protein your body needs to rebuild and repair muscles.

Reduce Muscle Soreness

Muscle soreness may be caused by inflammation, and it can make it difficult to work out the following day (16).

Many ingredients might help reduce inflammation, including omega-3 fatty acids, turmeric, and ginger (7) (19). These ingredients can be found in many post-workout recovery shakes and supplements.

Increase Muscle Growth

For your muscles to grow, you need to exercise regularly and eat a diet that provides enough protein.

However, having a post-workout supplement can help you meet those protein needs, which is thought to help increase muscle growth (11).

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Replenish Energy Stores

Exercise can drain your energy stores, as such it’s important to replenish them after a workout.

A post-workout shake or supplement can help to restore your energy levels so that you can continue to exercise regularly and do everything else you need to in the day.

Read More: Muscle Recovery Time: Here’s How Long You Should Rest Between Workouts

post workout recovery shakes

Best Ingredients For Post Workout Recovery Shakes

Many different ingredients can be used in post-workout shakes and supplements. The best ingredients for recovery are those that contain protein, carbohydrates, and electrolytes.


As we mentioned earlier, protein is essential for muscle repair. It’s also important for muscle growth (11).

Some of the most common sources of protein for post-workout shakes are whey protein and casein protein. Whey protein is a fast-acting protein that is absorbed quickly by the body. Casein protein is a slow-acting protein that takes longer to digest, but one study found no difference in the performance-enhancing effect between the two (20). 

Protein powders made from whey and casein are both made from cow’s milk, but they are not the only ingredient options for post-workout shakes. There are plant-based protein powders available. You can also use protein-rich foods, such as Greek yogurt, dairy or non-dairy milks, nut butters, etc.


Carbohydrates are important for replenishing energy stores and for restoring glycogen levels. Glycogen is a type of carbohydrate that is stored in the muscles and is used for energy (13).

Sources of carbohydrates for post-workout shakes include simple carbohydrates, such as honey, agave nectar, or fruit juice. You can also use complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, quinoa, or oats. If you’re using milk in your shake, that naturally contains some carbohydrates as well.

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post workout recovery shakes


Electrolytes are minerals that are found in the body, and they are essential for hydration. They help to regulate fluid balance and muscle function (12).

One source of electrolytes is coconut water. Coconut water contains potassium, magnesium, and sodium, all of which are electrolytes that are lost during exercise (8).

Inflammation-Reducing Ingredients

Inflammation is thought to cause muscle soreness, and many ingredients may help to reduce it.

Some of the best possible anti-inflammatory ingredients for post-workout shakes are:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Found in fish oil, flaxseed oil, and chia seeds (19).
  • Turmeric: A spice that contains curcumin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound (9).
  • Ginger: A root that may have anti-inflammatory properties (5).
  • Berries: Rich in antioxidants, which might help to reduce inflammation (6).
  • Leafy green vegetables: Also rich in antioxidants (14).

Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are an important part of a balanced diet, and they can also be beneficial for post-workout recovery (10).

Healthy fats may help to reduce inflammation, and they can also help to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates. This is important because it helps to keep blood sugar levels stable (4).

Some good sources of healthy fats for post-workout shakes are:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olive oil

post workout recovery shakes

Post Workout Recovery Shake Recipes

These recipes all contain ingredients that are beneficial for post-workout recovery.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Recovery Shake (3)

This shake contains whey protein, which is a fast-acting protein that is absorbed quickly by the body. It also contains simple carbohydrates, which are easily absorbed and helps replenish energy stores.


  • 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
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  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Read More: What To Do On Rest Days: 5 Best Ways To Stimulate Active Recovery

post workout recovery shakes

Berry Orange Smoothie (2)

Those with a sweet tooth, looking for a filling post-workout snack will love this recipe. It contains protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates.


  • 1 medium banana, frozen
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 medium orange, peeled and chopped into pieces
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup low-fat Greek yogurt


  1.  Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

post workout recovery shakes

Green Machine (2)

This recipe is perfect for people who want to get their greens in after a workout. It contains leafy green vegetables, which are rich in antioxidants, and it also has spirulina which is a type of algae that is high in protein.


  • 1 cup coconut water
  • ½ cup baby spinach
  • 1 medium banana, frozen
  • ¾ cup frozen mango, diced 
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds


  1.  Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Chocolate Berry Protein Smoothie (1)

Chocolate lovers will be attracted to this recipe, which contains cocoa powder and berries, which are rich in antioxidants and may help to reduce inflammation.


  • ½ cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup frozen wild blueberries
  • ½ cup frozen sliced banana
  • ¾ cup 2 percent fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup water


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

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post workout recovery shakes

Spinach Superfood Smoothie (3)

Spinach is considered a superfood because it’s packed with nutrients. This recipe also contains bananas, which are a good source of potassium, and whole milk for that protein boost. 

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  • 1 scoop of protein powder 
  • ½ cup spinach, chopped
  • 6 oz milk or milk alternative
  • ¼ banana, chopped
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Ice to taste 


  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

Best Time To Drink A Post-Workout Shake Or Supplement

The best time to drink a post-workout shake or supplement is within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. This is because your muscles are most receptive to nutrients immediately after exercise.

However, if you are unable to drink a shake or take a supplement within 30 minutes of finishing your workout, don’t worry. You will still benefit from the nutrients. Some experts say that you have up to a few hours after working out to get in a good meal or shake.

post workout recovery shakes

What To Consider When Buying Post-Workout Shakes And Supplements

When you’re buying post-workout shakes and supplements, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Your Goals

Your fitness goals are an important factor to consider when choosing a post-workout shake or supplement.

Different ingredients will have different effects on the body, so it’s important to choose a shake or supplement that contains ingredients that will help you to reach your goals.

For example, if you are trying to build muscle, you will want a shake or supplement that is high in protein. If you are trying to lose weight, you will want a shake or supplement that is low in calories.


Some people want the purest, most natural product possible, so make sure to check the label for any artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners.

You may also want to avoid products that contain fillers, such as maltodextrin or dextrose (15).

post workout recovery shakes

Your Diet

Your diet is also an important factor to consider when choosing a post-workout shake or supplement. If you are following a vegan or vegetarian diet, you will want to make sure that the shake or supplement you choose is free of animal products.

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As we mentioned earlier, whey and casein are the two most popular types of protein for post-workout shakes and supplements. Both of these proteins are derived from milk, so they are not vegan-friendly.

If you’re vegan, there are plant-based protein powders available that are made from ingredients like pea protein, rice protein, and hemp protein (17).

If you have any allergies, it’s important to check the ingredients list of the shake or supplement to make sure that it doesn’t contain any allergens.


Supplements come in many forms including powders, capsules, tablets, and bars.

Powders are the most popular form of post-workout supplements because they are easy to mix with other ingredients, and they are generally less expensive than other forms.

Capsules and tablets are a convenient option if you are on the go, and they are often easier to take than powders, but they usually don’t contain much protein or energy.

Bars are a good option if you are looking for a meal replacement or snack.

Meal Plan

Your Budget

Your budget is another important factor to consider when choosing a post-workout shake or supplement. There are many different options available, and they all vary in price.

It’s important to find a shake or supplement that fits into your budget. However, don’t sacrifice quality for the price. There are many high-quality options available that won’t break the bank, or you can make your own from food ingredients you probably already have.

The Bottom Line

There are many different post-workout shakes and supplements available, and it can be overwhelming to try to choose the right one.

However, by considering your fitness goals, diet, and budget, you can narrow down your options and find the best shake or supplement for you.



This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. 4 Muscle Recovery Smoothies Perfect for Post-Workout – Aaptiv (n.d.,
  2. 4 Post-Workout Smoothies Packed With Protein (2016, 
  3. 7 Tasty Post Workout Smoothies | Gainful (2020,
  4. A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion (2014,
  5. Anti-Oxidative and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Ginger in Health and Physical Activity: Review of Current Evidence (2013,
  6. Berries: anti-inflammatory effects in humans (2014,
  7. Chronic diseases, inflammation, and spices: how are they linked? (2018,
  8. Comparison of coconut water and a carbohydrate-electrolyte sport drink on measures of hydration and physical performance in exercise-trained men (2012,
  9. Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health (2017,
  10. Dietary Fat and Sports Nutrition: A Primer (2004,
  11. Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health Benefit (2019,
  12. Electrolytes (2021,
  13. Fundamentals of glycogen metabolism for coaches and athletes (2018,
  14. Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables (
  15. Maltodextrin, Modern Stressor of the Intestinal Environment (2019,
  16. Myalgia and Fatigue (2010,
  17. Plant Proteins: Assessing Their Nutritional Quality and Effects on Health and Physical Function (2020,
  18. Protein for exercise and recovery (2009,
  19. The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on the Inflammatory Response to eccentric strength exercise (2011,
  20. The Effects of Pre- and Post-Exercise Whey vs. Casein Protein Consumption on Body Composition and Performance Measures in Collegiate Female Athletes (2013,
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