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Best Post Workout Drinks Reviewed For A Smooth Recovery

last updated Sep 07, 2019

Society has relayed the message to us that exercise is important, so much that it is now ingrained in our minds. Eating a proper diet and getting the right amount of exercise is essential to our wellbeing. Over time, you will notice that you will peak in your training, meaning that there doesn’t seem to be much improvement in your strength or endurance. This is when exercise drinks come into play. Consuming these sports beverages before and after your training can aid your body and help it become stronger.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 14 hrs of research

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Optimum Nutrition Gold
99.3/100 our score
Brand
99
Features
100
Materials
100
Value
98
Optimum Nutrition Gold
Why is it better?

Great taste

Boost immune system

Increased endurance

Fast recovery

Hydration

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Optimum Nutrition Gold
Test Winner: Optimum Nutrition Gold
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#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99.3
Brand
99 %
Features
100 %
Materials
100 %
Value
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$24.29
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
Brand
98 %
Features
98 %
Materials
97 %
Value
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$39.99
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Brand
97 %
Features
98 %
Materials
97 %
Value
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$35.00
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Brand
96 %
Features
95 %
Materials
94 %
Value
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$28.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Brand
93 %
Features
92 %
Materials
90 %
Value
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$48.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Brand
90 %
Features
91 %
Materials
91 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$17.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.5
Brand
89 %
Features
89 %
Materials
90 %
Value
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
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$36.88
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
Brand
88 %
Features
88 %
Materials
89 %
Value
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
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#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Brand
88 %
Features
87 %
Materials
86 %
Value
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
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$29.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
Brand
84 %
Features
85 %
Materials
83 %
Value
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.11.19)
Amazon Link
$15.99

Top 10 Picks

1. Optimum Nutrition Gold

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
99.3
Optimum Nutrition Gold
Amazon Link
Brand
99
Features
100
Materials
100
Value
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$24.29
Pros:

Great taste

Boost immune system

Increased endurance

Fast recovery

Hydration

Cons:

Expensive

This is an extremely popular product among athletes and people that are serious about their fitness goals. It is unlike any other product and can work for you during the entire duration of your workout. There are also ingredients within this product that support a healthy immune system while giving you some extra stamina to last longer during your training.

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Continuous
This product is a combination that allows you to use it while training and for recovery. If the product is consumed prior to a workout, it will work to give you an extra burst of energy that allows you to train longer. It is also designed to improve your mental focus. When the product is consumed after a workout, the electrolytes in the drink will work on soothing your sore muscles. It is also designed to nourish and rehydrate your body.

Preventative

This product can work as a preventative measure from hurting your muscles. During particularly intense workouts, your muscles can break down more than you anticipate. This can cause inflammation, soreness, and an overall sense of discomfort. The ingredients contained in this product can work to soothe your aches and provide a continuous channel of energy for your muscles to use during the exercise.

Cost and Value
This product is on the costly side, but it is tried and true. Thousands of people have used this product and seen great results. It has also been tested to for any banned substances, ensuring you do not accidentally get disqualified during your competition. Because this is both a pre and post workout beverage, it can save you money by eliminating the need to purchase another product.

2. BSN Amino X Muscle Recovery

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
BSN Amino X Muscle Recovery
Amazon Link
Brand
98
Features
98
Materials
97
Value
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$39.99
Pros:

Affordable

Five flavors

Muscle repair

Hydration

Amino acids

Cons:

Runs sweet

This product is a simple yet effective way to improve your workouts. It provides you with all the nutrition and energy you may need to up your workout game. During the workout, your body is supported by branched-chain amino acids to be able to work harder and longer. After your exercise, this product will provide you with much need electrolytes to recharge and kickstart your recovery.

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Amino Acids
Amino acids are the very single cell that is the protein that our body lives off of. After eating, your body breaks down the food to release these amino acids, which are then converted into usable energy. This usually comes in the form of protein on a cellular level. This product contains amino acids that are specific to giving your muscles extra energy to use. It encourages the growth and strengthening of each muscle, allowing you to become stronger with each training session.

Muscle Repair
After a particularly hard training session, your muscles will break down. This is caused by the acid and toxin that builds up within the muscles after you are done working them out. In order to prevent you from feeling the soreness or need a longer recovery process, this product works to provide an extra energy source. After consuming this product, extra energy is delivered to your muscles and your body to give you that extra little bit of protection to prevent further break down.

Cost and Value
This is a great product that comes at an affordable price. It is suitable for everyone, whether you are just starting out or whether you are a seasoned athlete. The product comes in five different flavors, allowing you to find out that you will really like. Along with the fact that it provides you with a great source of energy during your workout and also helps with your recovery, this is a product you don’t want to miss.

3. Legion Recharge

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Legion Recharge
Amazon Link
Brand
97
Features
98
Materials
97
Value
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$35.00
Pros:

No additives

Sugar free

Pure creatine

Repairs damaged muscles

Great taste

Cons:

Bland

This is a product that has many benefits compared to the price you are paying. It is suitable for anyone looking for a healthy way to gain muscle. There are no banned substances in it and is a great source of pure creatine monohydrate. It is naturally flavored and sweetened, thus eliminating any junk that may end up in your body.

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Creatine Monohydrate
One of the main ingredients of this product is Creatine Monohydrate which is used to help regenerate broken down muscles in your body. It encourages a faster recovery to injured muscles and provides it with the much-needed energy to regenerate. For healthy muscles, Creatine is also very beneficial. It promotes faster and bigger gains for all fat-free muscles, meaning it is quick to burn off excess fat in your body.

No additives
This particular product also does not use any artificial ingredients in their recipe. This means there are no dyes, sweeteners, or banned substances. The product is naturally sweetened using fructose found in different fruits. There are also no extra filler substances and all the ingredients are one hundred percent natural. This can help reduce the amount of sugar you are intaking and keep your calorie count low.

Cost and Value
This is a great product that is worth the investment. There are not many products that will contain pure creatine, which is one of the essential building blocks of healthy muscle gain. The brand is so confident in their product that they boast a one hundred percent satisfaction guarantee or your money back.

4. Vega Sport Recovery

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Vega Sport Recovery
Amazon Link
Brand
96
Features
95
Materials
94
Value
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$28.99
Pros:

Natural

Turmeric

Glucosamine

Multiple flavors

Affordable

Cons:

Strong smelling

This product is designed no only to aid your muscles in recovering after a workout, it is also meant to give your body an overall boost. It features a strong anti-inflammatory that will protect your immune system from germs and bacteria. There are also many natural ingredients that will help with protecting your joints and bones and improve your overall wellbeing.

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Turmeric
This product utilizes Turmeric as one of the main active ingredients. It is a powerful organic ingredient that reduces inflammation. Turmeric is able to quickly and effective calm and soothe tired muscles, thus reducing the soreness you feel the next day. It is also rich in antioxidants, which help to eliminate the remnants of cell that have expired. The antioxidant nature also works as a barrier to prevent foreign substances from entering your body.

Joint Health
A big part of this product is made of glucosamine, which is able to aid in repairing any joint or connective tissue damage. During hard workouts, many small tears in your muscles and joint tissues occur. These are often slowly repaired during your recovery, more serious tears will surface as pulled or strained muscles. Adding glucosamine to your recovery phase will give your body extra energy to help repair any damages or tears that may be present, thus minimizing the amount of discomfort you may have.

Cost and Value
This is a great product that everyone should consider investing in. On top of being a workout recovery beverage, it is also rich in nutrients that can give your body a much-needed boost. The product is made with a recipe of natural ingredients found in nature and there are no extra additives. It utilizes many different roots and herbs that have medicinal properties that can aid you to recover faster.

5. Pacific Health Endurox R4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Pacific Health Endurox R4
Amazon Link
Brand
93
Features
92
Materials
90
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$48.00
Pros:

Simple

Protein synthesis

Fastest muscle recovery

Patented research

Increased endurance

Cons:

Not a great taste

This brand has been studying muscle recovery for over eighteen years. Using science and years of data, they have produced a product that can help muscles recover and build faster than anything else on the market. Using a perfect blend of 4:1 carbohydrates to protein, it wakes your body up and opens multiple channels for a speedier and more effective recovery.

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Combination
Many post workout products add a lot of extra ingredients. They may be natural, but they are extra add-ons. This particular product brings back the simplicity and focuses on helping your muscles recover. This is done by using a perfect blend of carbohydrates and proteins. Together, these two ingredients are all it takes to get your muscles back on track for another good day at the gym.

Protein Synthesis
Protein Synthesis is an integral part of your muscle building process. Quite simply put, this is the way your muscles are created. When a recovery drink only contains protein, it will activate a singular path to restoring and building your muscles. This is why this particular product also adds carbohydrates. The scientifically calculated ratio of these two ingredients works to fire up multiple paths of synthesis, allowing your muscles to grow and repair at a rapid rate.

Cost and Value
This product comes at a great price for all that it can do. It is backed by many years of research and development, guaranteeing that it works well. It is suitable for athletes or people that are becoming serious in their training regime. The product takes muscle recovery back to the basics and has developed a recipe that is designed to aid you in a faster recovery.

6. Evlution Nutrition BCAA5000

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Evlution Nutrition BCAA5000
Amazon Link
Brand
90
Features
91
Materials
91
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$17.99
Pros:

No sugar added

Increased endurance

Decrease recovery time

Amino acids

Cons:

Chalky texture

This is a brand that specializes in all types of drinks for athletes. In particular, this product contains the three main amino acids that help in the recovery of fatigued muscles. These amino acids work to deliver energy while you are working out, then continue to repair any muscle damage and soothe inflamed areas.

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Easy Dissolving
One of the biggest problems that powder-based drinks face is the inability to dissolve. Many of the ingredients become soggy clumps within the beverage because they stick together. As a result, someone consuming the beverage will not get the full effects of one serving. To mitigate this problem, this product uses all water-soluble based ingredients that can quickly and easily dissolve within the bottle.

Sugar Free
When a person is serious about their exercise regime, there are certain supplements and drink formulas they will need. These products are designed to help a person meet their fitness goals. However, many to contain sugar. The extra sugar added to the diet can drastically affect a person and potentially prevent them from meeting their goals. To mitigate the problem, this particular product is made with no extra sugar and has no calories, allowing you to accurately keep track of your diet.

Cost and Value
This product is a great investment whether you are just starting weight training or a seasoned athlete. It has a great tasting flavor and works with your body to build lean muscle mass. Consuming this product during a workout will give your system a boost that allows you to exercise for a longer period of time and maintain your focus.

7. JYM Supplement Science

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.5
JYM Supplement Science
Amazon Link
Brand
89
Features
89
Materials
90
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$36.88
Pros:

Quality ingredients

Specialized recipe

Affordable

Effective

Muscle building

Cons:

Weird aftertaste

This brand uses a lot of research and development to create a powerful cocktail that can help you reach your fitness goals. Backed by years of research, this product is designed to decrease any muscle soreness and reduce swelling of overworked muscles. The recovery process included in this product allows your body to rehydrate and recharge comfortably.

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Faster Recovery
When you work out, a lot of energy is burned by your muscles. As your exercise progresses, the food your muscles use become depleted. If they are not restored, your muscles become very tired and unable to continue. This product has included one thousand milligrams of Taurine, which is an important ingredient in your recovery process. It works to repair your depleted endurance and power.

Muscle Growth
After every workout, there is a change in your body. This product works to add a little boost to your recovery and strengthening process, which allows you to see the physical changes much sooner. This product includes a dose of Beta-Alanine, which is a known ingredient that encourages fat reserves to be burned. This creates a lean muscle mass, which is the obvious and noticeable change you see in your body.

Cost and Value
This product is suitable for people that are looking to build lean muscles. It comes at an affordable price and has a great tasting flavor. This particular brand also offers an entire line of powdered drinks that can aid you from the start of your workout all the way to the end. It boasts a formula of eight important ingredients that can drastically reduce your recovery time and improve your performance.

8. GROWTH SURGE Muscle Builder

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
GROWTH SURGE Muscle Builder
Amazon Link
Brand
88
Features
88
Materials
89
Value
89
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Works pre and post workout

Improved mental focus

Reduces swelling

Increases absorption

Longer stamina

Cons:

Quality control issues

This is a product that is designed to help you from start to finish. Consuming the product prior to your workout will activate your muscles to burn more fat and produce more lean muscle. It will also work to improve your stamina and help you maintain your focus. Having this product after your workout will rehydrate your sore and tired muscles. This scientifically created recipe contains many ingredients that will help you reduce the amount of rest time before your next routine.

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Premium Ingredients

One of the biggest concerns is where the ingredients are sourced. Depending on the manufacturer, some may have unnecessary filler ingredients or unclean products. This product is manufactured in USA and have gone through lab tests to guarantee its purity. It has also been approved by the inspection authorities and received a seal to certify their legitimacy.

Bioperine

The ingredients within a formula can have amazing benefits but will not do you good if your body is unable to absorb enough. This particular product has Bioperine mixed into the beverage, which helps encourage absorption in your digestive tract. It enhances the cells that live in the area and encourages them to bring more protein and food to the muscles that need it.

Cost and Value

This is a product that has been tested for years and backed by a lot of research and development. This brand has worked to create the most effective formula to help your muscles recover. There are multiple amino acids within this product that can be activated during your workout to give you the extra strength to do a little more while reducing the swelling afterwards.

9. Evlution Nutrition Recover

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Evlution Nutrition Recover
Amazon Link
Brand
88
Features
87
Materials
86
Value
87
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$29.99
Pros:

Powerful boost

Increased endurance

Amino acids

Reduced swelling

Protects lean muscle

Cons:

Not great tasting

This is a great product that can drastically improve your endurance while training. It uses a combination of amino acids that can work to fire up multiple ways to build your muscles. It also gives you extra muscle power, allowing you to work out for longer periods of time. This product also boasts a strong recovery formula that reduces the amount of swelling and protects your muscles from breaking down.

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Glutamine
This product includes an important amino acid known as Glutamine. This is an ingredient that encourages the rapid recovery of your muscles. It inhibits and slows down the breakdown of your muscles after a workout. This can protect the integrity of your muscles and prevent you from needing to make up for the lost muscle mass during your next training session.

Fat burning
The key to building muscle and becoming leaner is to burn up the fat stored within your body. Depending on your genetics, your body may burn a lot or a little despite how much you exercise. To combat this and ensure there is body fat being burned, this product includes Carnitine, which is an ingredient that is known to encourage the use of your fat reserves.

Cost and Value
This product has more benefits than most products on the market. There are many different amino acids and protein compounds mixed into this formula to guarantee the protection of your muscles. It comes in two different flavors. Along with the fact that this contains nutrients to reduce the amount of muscle break down between training sessions, this product will not disappoint.

10. MusclePharm 1 Sport Nutrition

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84
MusclePharm 1 Sport Nutrition
Amazon Link
Brand
84
Features
85
Materials
83
Value
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$15.99
Pros:

Coconut water

Sugar free

Muscle recovery

Intense hydration

Affordable

Cons:

Bland

This brand is known for being innovative and adventurous. They spend a lot of money on research and development while trying to incorporate as many beneficial ingredients to their formula as possible. This particular product is made with zero sugar and is flavored with coconut water. All the ingredients work together harmoniously to create a beverage that is hydrating and also relieves your tired muscles.

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Sugar Free
Many products contain a bit of sugar regardless of their recipe, this is so that it tastes better and makes it easier to consume. However, these extra calories are unhealthy and require extra energy to burn. Depending on the amount of sugar, it can become detrimental to your health as well. This product, in particular, has no sugar which allows for people with diet restrictions to consume it and will also offer a peace of mind to people that are watching their weight.

Coconut Water
Unlike any other product on the market, this one uses coconut water in their formula. This is very advantageous towards your health as coconut water is known to hydrate and nourish the body. It is rich in antioxidants and has shown signs of reducing blood pressure and keeping your blood sugar levels down. Coconuts are natural healers of our body and can greatly improve our health by incorporating it into our diets.

Cost and Value
If you only have enough in your budget to try one post workout drink, this is the one. The price is affordable and has natural ingredients that will be beneficial to your health. One of the biggest advantages is that the formula is created using coconut water. Studies have shown that it can rehydrate a body after lengthened exercise better than water. This delicious drink is guaranteed to put you on the fast track to recovery after your training.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Brand

Some brands may seem to not have any protein at all, but that is actually not true. Some formulas comprise of amino acids, which is actually a protein in its most basic form. There are a total of twenty amino acids that your body usually contain. After each workout, these are depleted in varying levels. Amino acids that can be regenerated by your body are considered non-essential ones while essential ones can only be replenished by eating a particular food group. Most brands will aim to include essential amino acids so it can replace you after your workout.

It is recommended that you choose a product which has amino acids simply because it is an easier form of protein your body can absorb. When it’s inside your body, the amino acids join together and create the protein you need rather than needing to break down all the proteins to convert it into usable energy. This will allow your body to digest and absorb into your system quickly. The best amino acids to pick for your beverage are isoleucine, valine, and leucine

Features

After an intense workout, your body loses a lot of its natural sugars. This is known as glycogen and is an essential part of maintaining a healthy body. When you are low on Glycogen, it hampers your ability to move and lift weights. It may even prevent you from finishing a workout completely. You can restore your Glycogen levels by purchasing a beverage that has it incorporated into their formula. These Carbohydrates will also increase your insulin levels, which will kick-start the nutrients in your muscles.

Carbohydrates can be simple or complex. Simple carbohydrates are things that can be found in dairy products or protein. Fruits are also rich in simple carbs. In a post workout drink, they will be referred to as fructose, glucose, and lactose. Complex carbohydrates are what we often simply refer to as carbs. They are things such as potatoes, rice, oatmeals, and bread. They take longer to digest but gives you a longer span of energy.

Materials

When you choose your recovery drink, it is important to pick a formula that is rich in protein. When you exercise, the fibers in your muscle start to break down. It is important to give them the energy and nutrition necessary to rebuild and repair any damages there may be. This is known as muscle protein synthesis and is integral to how our body creates muscles.

Protein comes in a variety of forms, usually, they are not just stated as a protein on the ingredient list. Some of the products they may appear as are soy, egg white, pea, hemp, brown rice, and beef. One of the most common and popular ingredients that most manufacturers use is whey. Each protein has their own benefit and disadvantages, it is important to ensure that the one you pick will not affect any allergy or dietary restrictions you may have.

Value

Many of these drinks contain extra nutrition. When you exercise, you deplete a lot of your vitamins and minerals. Consuming a post workout drink will help quickly bring these levels back up. This, in turn, will help your body start the recovery process rather than having to wait until your body naturally replenishes them.

These drinks can also work well as a substitute for your post-workout snack. Most people get very hungry after exercising. An option is to consume a post-workout drink to prevent yourself from snacking or ingesting empty calories. Most of these products will have protein and other nutrients that will keep you feeling full and energized for the rest of the day. Many products will also contain amino acids that not only keep you satisfied but help you burn some of your stored fats.

One of the biggest reasons to consume a beverage after your exercise is to decrease the amount of muscle pain and soreness. After each training session, acid and toxins build up in your muscles. This translates to the discomfort and soreness you feel the next day. Post workout drinks can work to minimize and reduce the amount you feel. They contain ingredients that lower the swelling and inflammation within your muscles.

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expert tips icon
Best time to drink

As soon as possible. The sooner you get the extra minerals into your system, the quicker your body can start to absorb it. This will get the entire recovery process rolling and you will notice a difference in how you feel much faster.

Speak with your doctor

If you have any concerns with your health or body, its best to speak with your doctor.

Other Factors to Consider

Bottom Line

While there are many perks to consuming a post-workout drink, there are still considerations that need to be thought of. Despite the nutritional value of these products, they can be incomplete and lack certain vitamins and minerals. It is important to be aware of your body and choose a product that will benefit you the most. While these products will help you burn some of your stored fat, it will not help you lose weight completely. To lose weight, these beverages need to be consumed while watching your caloric intake and maintaining a balanced diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Can I mix these with juice?

a:

Absolutely, just be aware that most post workout beverages are already flavored. Make sure the flavor of the juice will go well with the rest of the drink.

q: Must I have post workout drink?

a:

not a must but definitely recommended. It works to provide you with extra minerals that you have depleted during your workout rather than waiting for your body to regenerate it. It will also be less taxing on your body and help it recover faster.

q: Can I have a post workout drink and a post workout meal without getting fat?

a:

If a beverage is not enough, you can definitely pair it with a snack. To prevent yourself from gaining excess fat, choose a snack that is high in protein or potassium and try to avoid snacking on empty calories.