Best Supplements for Recovery

When choosing a supplement for recovery, it is crucial to consider your individual needs. Not all supplements are created equal. Some things to consider when selecting a recovery supplements include the type of injury or illness, the severity of the injury or illness, age, diet, current physical activity level, and overall health.

Compare supplements for sore muscles by looking at the nutrition and ingredients labels. Read the entire label and research any ingredients you do not recognize. Certain additives can hinder the healing process, even if a supplement aims to help you recover.

Many different types of supplements can help with recovery. The following three are the most popular and effective muscle repair supplements.

  1. Ashwagandha (Best for Stress Reduction)
  2. Magnesium (Best for Muscle and Nerve Function)
  3. Creatine (Best for Overall Recovery)

These three supplements combined can help with everything from reducing stress to increasing muscle mass. Consider taking all three of these if you want a comprehensive recovery supplement.

When it comes to recovery, every little bit helps. Supplements can give you the additional edge to get back on your feet and start living your life again. Let’s move on to the best muscle repair supplements for recovery.

1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an ancient herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. It is a powerful adaptogen that helps the body cope with stress. Ashwagandha reduces cortisol levels which gives one all-around stress relief. It even aids in alleviating the stress associated with stress-related disorders. 

The Ashwagandha plant has many beneficial effects, including boosting energy levels and improving recovery from exercise. Ashwagandha is a powerful herb that can have some side effects if taken improperly. Here are some of the most common side effects.

  1. Upset stomach
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Drowsiness
  4. Nausea

Ashwagandha is an excellent supplement for coping and recovery. It can help alleviate the stress, anxiety, and depression associated with trauma and intense weight training. It is also cooperative in improving sleep quality and, for some, lowering blood pressure. Some use it to get better relaxation at night for enhanced restful sleep.

Transparent Labs, Life Extension, and Thorne are three popular Ashwagandha supplement brands. Each brand offers a unique formula with different dosages, so reading the label and following the directions is important.

The price of Ashwagandha varies based on brand, number of capsules, and dosage. Generally, one capsule or gummy will cost $0.25 to $0.50 which is worth the benefits that it provides.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid Ashwagandha. Also, those with diabetes or stomach ulcers should consult their physician before taking this supplement.

When buying Ashwagandha, be sure to purchase from a reputable source, like Transparent Labs. This herb is sometimes counterfeit and may not be safe.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is necessary for muscle and nerve function, blood sugar control, and blood pressure regulation. It is a major key in energy production, protein synthesis, and DNA replication. 

Magnesium deficiency is common and can lead to symptoms such as muscle cramps, fatigue, anxiety, and migraines. Magnesium supplements can help to improve these symptoms.

Magnesium is generally well-tolerated, but it can cause some side effects.

  1. Abdominal cramping
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Urine retention
  4. Muscle Weakness

Magnesium is a fantastic supplement for those who are deficient in the mineral. It aids recovery by helping to regulate muscle and nerve function. It can also help to reduce anxiety, migraines, and fatigue. 

Magnesium supplementation is often recommended for athletes, as it can help to improve energy levels and reduce recovery time. It is an incredible muscle healing supplement.

Some popular brands include Thorne, Nature’s Bounty, BrainMD, and Nature Made.Nature’s Bounty happens to be one of the best-selling Magnesium supplements because they only charge $8.92 for a bottle. Thorne prices its supplement at $17 for 90 of the 135 mg tablets. The BrainMD magnesium brand comes with sixty (60) chewable tablets, priced at $20.95.

Magnesium supplements can interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics, blood pressure, and diuretics. Talk to your doctor before taking magnesium if you are taking any medications.

Though magnesium has many tremendous benefits, taking it in excess can cause severe reactions that could result in confusion, slowed breathing, coma, and even death. As always, consult with a health professional before purchasing.

3. Creatine

Creatine is a nitrogenous organic acid. Creatine supplements can help to improve exercise performance and increase muscle mass. It works by hydrating the muscles, which leads to increased muscle cell volume.

Creatine 1

Creatine is generally well-tolerated, but it can also cause some side effects. They are listed below.

  1. Weight gain
  2. Bloating
  3. Digestive problems
  4. Muscle cramps

Creatine is a well-liked supplement for athletes and bodybuilders. Some athletes use it as a supplement for faster recovery from injuries. Hydration to the muscles always helps with the repair process.

Some popular creatine brands include Thorne, Optimum Nutrition, and Transparent Labs. While each brand offers a different price, creatine is a low-cost supplement, so it is best to choose a well-trusted brand like Thorne.

If you have any kidney problems, do not take creatine supplements. Creatine is generally safe, but there have been reports of it causing kidney damage. If you have any kidney problems, do not take this supplement.

Also, if you cannot drink adequate amounts of water, refrain from taking the supplement. That’s why it is important to stay hydrated when taking this supplement, as it can cause muscle cramps.

4. Whey Protein

Whey protein is a milk-comprised protein used in supplements. It has all nine essential amino acids. Whey protein helps build muscle mass and improve exercise performance. It also works as a muscle healing supplement.

One thing that Whey Protein features are great-tasting products! Whey Protein comes in almost every flavor under the sun, from banana pudding to chocolate.

Whey protein is generally well-tolerated. It can cause the following side effects.

  1. Nausea
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Acne
  4. Headache

Athletes use it as a pre-and post-workout beverage to give them the energy to get through a workout and help their muscles recover afterward. Whey Protein has building blocks to aid in collagen production. This process is responsible for building and repairing tissues, resulting in wound healing.

Some popular whey protein supplement brands include Thorne, Optimum Nutrition, Transparent Labs and Ora Organics. When it comes to protein powder, cheaper is not always better. While a cheap protein brand may cost under $1 per scoop, it is best to buy a well-researched product (NSF Certified), such as Thorne, to prevent the consumption of deadly metals.

If you suffer from lactose intolerance, avoid whey protein, as it can cause indigestion. Also, hormones are present in milk products. These hormones cause individuals to bulk up. So, if you are trying to avoid these hormones, you should not take whey protein. The proteins typically come from whey, casein, soy, or egg whites, but plant-based options are available as well. 

5. Electrolytes

Electrolytes are minerals that regulate the body’s fluid levels. They are often used in sports drinks to help athletes rehydrate during or after exercise. However, they can also come in supplement form. Some electrolyte supplements contain vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and magnesium.

Electrolyte supplements are generally safe but cause the following side effects.

  1. Flushing
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Cramps
  4. Gas

Athletes often use electrolyte supplements to help replenish the minerals lost through sweat during exercise. They are one of the best supplements for muscle soreness and recovery and can help prevent cramping. They also work for ill people or those suffering from diarrhea to help prevent dehydration.

Some popular electrolyte brands include LMNT, Gatorade, Powerade, and Nuun. While Gatorade, Powerade and Nuun are excellent when you need to refuel, LMNT is the best overall product. No added chemicals, just healthy salts and vitamins your body needs to replenish.

If you have kidney problems, you should not take electrolyte supplements as they can cause kidney stones. Also, many electrolyte supplements contain added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day.

6. Citrulline

One of the best supplements for recovery after a workout is Citrulline, an amino acid mainly found in watermelons. It is often used in supplements to improve exercise performance and recovery. Some may be more familiar with Arginine, another amino acid.

Arginine gets converted into nitric oxide, and Citrulline is a precursor to Arginine. This means that Citrulline can increase nitric oxide levels in the body.

Citrulline doesn’t usually cause side effects, but these side effects have been reported.

  1. Indigestion
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Nausea

Athletes often use Citrulline to improve exercise performance and recovery by increasing muscle blood flow. It typically gets consumed in supplement form, which in some cases is a capsule or a powder mixed in with another supplement. It provides natural energy and can help to delay fatigue during exercise.

Some popular citrulline malate brands include Double Wood Supplements, BulkSupplements, Nutricost, and NOW Sports. Depending on your budget and preferences, these are the best options to stick with.

Double Wood Supplements offers the best solution with it’s 210 count bottle at $19.95. BulkSupplements citrulline malate powder comes in a one-pound bag priced at $26.96. The Nutricost citrulline also comes in a powder with slightly more weight, priced at $27.99. Now Sports citrulline capsules come in a bottle of 120 capsules and are priced at $20.16.

Taking Citrulline and Arginine together increases efficacy in sports performance. However, it can onset some side effects such as bloating and diarrhea. Start with a lower dose. Increase it as your tolerance allows.

Citrulline is commonly marketed and sold as a powder, making it challenging to take the recommended dose. It is vital to ensure you follow the directions on the supplement facts label to avoid any unwanted side effects.

7. Fish Oils

Fish oils are a type of fat found in fish. They are often used in supplements to improve heart health and brain function. Fish oils are fantastic workout recovery supplements because they increase muscle activity and cell growth.

Fish oils can cause some of the following side effects.

  1. Heartburn
  2. Loose Stools
  3. Bad breath
  4. Fishy taste in the mouth

The brain plays a significant role in muscle recovery because it controls the nervous system as well as hormone secretion. Therefore taking fish oil helps regulate these processes and aiding in recovery. Fish oil is versatile in that it can be taken as a supplement or consumed in foods like fish, nuts, and seeds.

Some popular fish oil brands include Nature Made, Nordic Naturals, and Nature’s Bounty. Nature Made Fish Oil comes in a bottle of 60 soft gels priced at $13.29. Nordic Naturals Omega-3 soft gels also come in a bottle of 60 soft gels and are priced at $23.76. Nature’s Bounty Fish Oil capsules come in a bottle of 90 capsules. They cost only $13.40.

If you have a seafood allergy, avoid fish oil supplements. However, if you are able to consume seafood, it is recommended that Omega-3s be consumed to supplement the amount that your body stores.

The amount of mercury in fish is a concern which is why Omega 3 supplements are so valuable. The FDA recommends that pregnant and breastfeeding women, and young children limit their intake of fish that is high in mercury. These include swordfish, shark, tilefish, and king mackerel. Salmon, trout, and canned light tuna are low in mercury and are safer to eat.

8. L-Glutamine

L-Glutamine is an amino acid often used in supplements to improve gut health and exercise performance. Keeping the gut healthy is vital for immunity and recovery because most of the immune system lives in the stomach.

L Glutamine 2

L-Glutamine may cause the following negative side effects.

  1. Nausea
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Headache
  4. Constipation

L-Glutamine can be taken in supplement form or found in some foods, such as meat, poultry, and fish. L-Glutamine decreases inflammatory response and strikes a balance in the gut microbiome. It comes in handy when adhering to strict diets or during periods of intense training when the body is more susceptible to gut issues.

Some popular L-Glutamine brands include Life Extension, Nutricost, and Optimum Nutrition. Life Extension’s 100-count L-Glutamine capsules are $11.25. Nutricost comes in a one-pound powder priced at $22.95. Optimum Nutrition features a 240 capsule count for $19.99.

L-Glutamine is another naturally occurring amino acid. It is often used in supplements to improve gut health and exercise performance. While supplementing is key to getting healthy amounts. Seafood such as mussels, clams, and fish are especially rich in this amino acid. Red meats also contain L-glutamine, although in smaller quantities.

L-Glutamine is considered a necessary supplement to maintain healthy muscle protein. It is one of those supplements that’s needed much more than discussed. Glutamine is just as essential as protein as it plays a massive role in immune function and cell volumization, both critical for muscle growth.

9. BCAAs

BCAAs are a mixture of amino acids in protein-rich foods, such as meat, poultry, and fish, so it’s one of the best muscle recovery supplements. They are often used in supplements to improve exercise performance and recovery. BCAAs are the building blocks of protein and can be used to help repair muscle tissue after exercise.

While safe, BCAAs can cause the following reported side effects.

  1. Nausea
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Bloating
  4. Fatigue

While many use BCAAs for the purpose of recovery and alleviating muscle soreness, they may be unaware that BCAAs can also work as an energy source during endurance exercise. When taken before exercise, BCAAs can help delay the onset of fatigue.

Some popular BCAA brands include Thorne, Transparent Labs, Optimum Nutrition, XTend, Crazy Nutrition, Ora Organics, and Bulk Supplements. While there are many to choose from, if you know your budget and have specific dietary needs, the list is easy to sort through.

If price is a factor, however, it is recommended to get your BCAAs through other means rather than by consuming an unsafe product. Avoid brands that add chemicals or products that are known to cause issues.

All BCAAs are not created equally and may not contain all of the essential amino acids needed for proper muscle protein synthesis. Because of this, it is necessary to choose a supplement that includes all of the essential amino acids, such as Optimum Nutrition’s BCAA supplement.

BCAA supplementation is one of the most effective ways to increase muscle growth and prevent muscle breakdown. BCAAs stimulate protein synthesis and help to regulate metabolism. They are also involved in the transport of amino acids across cell membranes. BCAAs are necessary for anyone who wants to build muscle and improve their exercise performance.

10. Glucosamine and Chondroitin

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are two of the best supplements for muscle pain and stiffness. They are often used to relieve joint pain. Together they are the best supplement for sore muscles and joints.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin are generally safe, but they can cause the following side effects.

  1. Nausea
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Constipation
  4. Puffy eyelids

Glucosamine and Chondroitin relieve joint pain by helping cartilage and tissue heal. Together they maintain the joints’ structural balance, making them two of the best supplements for muscle stiffness and pain. 

Some popular Glucosamine and Chondroitin brands include Thorne, Nature Made, and Doctor’s Best. Thorne is the most recommended, coming in at $34 for 90 capsules. Nature Made capsules come in a bottle of 120 muscle recovery pills priced at $18.23. Last, Doctor’s Best Glucosamine and Chondroitin capsules come in 240-count at $28.40.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin come in powder, tablet, and capsule form. It also exists in shellfish. Glucosamine and Chondroitin may also be effective in treating osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin work by reducing inflammation and stimulating the production of new cartilage. They are most effective when taken together. Both are involved in the same process. Glucosamine is an amino sugar produced naturally in the body, while Chondroitin is a carbohydrate found in cartilage.

11. Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate

Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate is a dietary supplement used to improve exercise performance and recovery. Tart cherries are a type of fruit that is rich in antioxidants. Many enjoy the sour taste of tart cherry juice, which is also slightly sweet.

Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate causes these side effects.

  1. Nausea
  2. Diarrhea

Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate works by enhancing blood flow. Tart cherry juice does not cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Not to mention, it comes in supplement form if you don’t like the flavor.

Some popular Tart Cherry supplements include Cheribundi, Dynamic health, and Cherry Bay Orchards.

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate comes in a bottle of 8 ounces, priced at $23.78. Dynamic Health’s version of the juice comes in a 16-ounce bottle priced at $15.99. Last, Cherry Bay Orchards Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate comes in a 16-ounce bottle priced at $18.79.

Tart cherry juice concentrate has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. This means it can help reduce muscle pain and stiffness. It is also rich in potassium, an electrolyte that helps regulate fluid balance in the body.

Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate is most effective when taken before or after exercise. It can help to reduce inflammation and muscle soreness. It is an excellent source of antioxidants, protecting cells from damage.

12. L-Carnosine

L-Carnosine is a dietary supplement for muscle soreness that works to improve exercise performance and recovery. It is an amino acid with many benefits, including reducing muscle soreness and improving blood flow; making it one of the best supplements for muscle recovery.

L-Carnosine causes the following side effects.

  1. Nausea
  2. Diarrhea
  3. Headache
  4. Vomiting

L-Carnosine aids normal body functions but is a fantastic supplement that prevents aging, supplement for muscle repair because it helps deliver oxygen and nutrients to muscles, which speeds up the repair process.

Some popular L-carnosine brands include Thorne, NOW Supplements, Jarrow Formulas, and Doctor’s Best. While Thorne offers the best L-Carnosine, the other brands may be better suited for your budget.

For example, NOW Supplements L-Carnosine comes in a bottle of 100 capsules. It costs $27.95. Jarrow Formulas L-Carnosine comes in a bottle of 90 pills priced at $33.99. Doctor’s Best L-Carnosine complex comes in a bottle of 120 capsules priced at $20.65.

Foods high in L-Carnosine include turkey, chicken, beef, and pork. Dairy products have trace amounts of nutrients. L-Carnosine lives highly concentrated in the brain, heart, and muscles. It is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect cells from damage. It even helps improve blood flow and reduce inflammation.

What Are Muscle Recovery Supplements?

Muscle recovery supplements are dietary supplements that work to improve exercise performance and recovery. They comprise natural ingredients, such as herbs and amino acids. Muscle recovery supplements reduce inflammation and muscle soreness which helps you get the most out of your workouts. These supplements work even if you don’t work out regularly.

What Are Muscle Recovery Supplements
What Are Muscle Recovery Supplements?

What Is the Importance of a Muscle Recovery Supplement?

Muscle recovery supplements are essential because they can help you recover from your workouts faster. They can also help reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, allowing you to return to your routine more quickly. Muscle recovery supplements are also a good source of antioxidants, which can protect cells from damage.

What Are the Best Types of Muscle Recovery Supplements?

The best brands for recovery supplements have a good concentration of active ingredients. They work fantastic as muscle recovery supplements after a workout. Some popular brands include the following.

  1. BiOptimizers Magnesium (Best for Muscle Performance)
  2. Cheribundi’s Tart Cherry Juice concentrate (Best for Managing Inflammation
  3. Nutricost’s Citrulline (Best for Overall Performance)

Not only are they great post-workout soreness supplements, but they also work as a muscle pre-workout supplement.

Who Can Take Muscle Recovery Supplements?

Speaking with a doctor before starting any new supplement is always best. This is especially true if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have a medical condition, or take any medications. If you have any medical condition or take medications, consult your doctor before taking muscle recovery supplements to understand better how they could interact with your current routine.

When Should I Take Recovery Supplements?

The best time to take muscle recovery supplements is usually before or after exercise. It allows the body to absorb nutrients more quickly and efficiently. It is also essential to take these supplements with plenty of water. The best way to discover what works for your body is to create your own recovery supplement guide based on how your body reacts to the when and what supplements you take.

How to Choose the Best Supplement for Muscle Recovery?

Let’s look at the best way to choose the best supplement for recovery.

  1. Read the label: Read the label carefully before buying any supplement.
  2. Check the dosage: The recommended dosage is usually listed on the label. Make sure to take the appropriate amount.
  3. Consider your needs: Recovery supplements come in different forms, such as capsules, tablets, powders, and liquids. Choose the form that’s easiest for you to take regularly. 
  4. Speak with a doctor: Your doctor is your ally and can help you decide if a supplement will work for you long term.
  5. Compare prices: Recovery supplements can vary in price, so it is important to compare prices before making a purchase.
  6. Choose a reputable brand: There are many different brands of recovery supplements on the market. Choose a reputable brand that has a good track record.

Where to Buy the Best Supplement for Muscle Recovery?

One can buy the best supplements for muscle repair at your local drug store or online. Amazon carries most brands. Remember to compare prices before purchase. You can also find awesome, great deals on recovery supplements by searching online.

For example, Amazon Prime offers free shipping. Therefore if you find a better price for the supplement you want online, you save money overall. The price of a recovery supplement depends on the brand, the type of supplement, dosage, and even the brand’s reputation. The average price of a recovery supplement is between $20 and $30.

Are Muscle Recovery Supplements Affordable?

No, muscle repair supplements are not always affordable. However, they are a necessary part of working out and staying healthy. Considering all the other supplements needed to stay healthy today, paying $30 for a supplement with only 15 servings isn’t ideal. However, there may be ways around the price, such as reward points or even shooting for a sale.

Is It Necessary to Take Supplements for Recovery?

Yes, it is necessary to take supplements for recovery if you want to improve your results from working out. These supplements help the body recover from exercise faster and enhance the quality of your workouts. They help keep the muscles healthy and reduce the risk of injury.

Athletic Insight

Athletic Insight Research


The Athletic Insight Research team consists of a dedicated team of researchers, Doctors, Registered Dieticians, nationally certified nutritionists and personal trainers. Our team members hold prestigious accolades within their discipline(s) of expertise, as well as nationally recognized certifications. These include; National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT), American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA-CPT), National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Nutrition Coach (NASM-CNC), International Sports Sciences Association Nutritionist Certification.