Two Supplements to Take After Training

What dietary supplements should I use after training? In this article, we'll discuss the two that are most commonly used by athletes.
Two Supplements to Take After Training

Last update: 27 January, 2021

If you use supplements meant for athletes or are considering incorporating them into your post-workout routine, we recommend that you continue reading this article. We’ll provide you with valuable information about proteins; specifically amino acids and creatine, two of the most popular products for supplements to take after training.

First, you need to understand if it’s necessary for you to add supplements to your diet or if your food intake will be sufficient to cover your macro and micronutrient requirements. For this, you need to assess your level of physical activity, considering the intensity and frequency, along with your goals.

Going to the gym three days a week to train for a triathlon isn’t the same thing.  If you practice sports as an amateur as a means to maintain or improve your physical health, you likely don’t need to do anything more. Other than eating a balanced diet and leading a healthy lifestyle.

However, if your training is very intense and your goals require it, you may need additional supplementation that, along with a healthy and nutritious diet, help you reach your goals. Next, we’ll talk about two supplements with the most scientific support: protein and creatine.

Supplements to take after training: proteins and amino acids

Protein is undoubtedly one of the most popular and commercialized supplement categories. Although amino acids are known to aid in muscle hypertrophy and strength building, the need for supplementation causes controversy.

Generally, a varied diet that includes sources of protein such as meat, fish, dairy, legumes and eggs is usually more than enough.

dietary supplement

However, sometimes the pace of life or personal needs is far from the ideal recommendations. We don’t always have time to prepare or eat a bowl of lentils after exercise. These are the cases when supplements come into play. In this case, specifically, protein shakes.

Read this article too: Training and Supplementation According to Genetics

Types of protein supplements: supplements to take after training

In most cases, protein is usually consumed as a shake. You dissolve the protein powder in liquid – water, juice or coffee. You can also make other more elaborate recipes with protein powder, such as pancakes or cookies.

Where do protein powders come from?

  • Whey protein: one of the most popular, and is from milk. It’s 70 to 90 percent protein depending on whether it’s a protein concentrate or isolate.
  • Others: there are other types of protein such as albumin, from an egg; casein, also from milk; or vegetable proteins, which vegan athletes often use.

Creatine – another of the most common supplements to take after training

Creatine is a biomolecule synthesized in the body from glycerin, arginine, and methionine, although a small part comes from the diet – fish and meat.

It’s stored in the muscle in the form of free creatine and phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine is the primary source of adenosine triphosphate – ATP – or energy in skeletal muscle during intense and short-term exercise, called anaerobic exercise.

Check out this article: Nutrition and Supplements for Beginner Cyclists

dietary supplement

What effects does it have?

The effect of creatine supplementation is given by an increase in the concentration of phosphocreatine in skeletal muscle, around 12-18 percent.

This increase results in greater availability of ATP in very intense and short duration exercises, in intermittent exercises such as soccer – which include repetitions of high-intensity efforts – and even in resistance exercises.

On the other hand, creatine decreases the acidosis that occurs in the muscle in exercise, since it uses intracellular hydrogen ions to produce ATP. In this way, it reduces muscle fatigue.

Finally, it’s pertinent to highlight the importance of training when it comes to achieving good results. Without a proper and individualized exercise routine, the use of supplements makes no sense, and could even be harmful.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ayudas ergogénicas nutricionales para las personas que realizan ejercicio físico. Documento de consenso de la Federación Española de Medicina del Deporte.
  • Mesa, J.L.; Ruiz, J.R.; González-Gross, M.M; Gutiérrez Sáinz A.; Castillo Garzón, M.J. Oral creatine supplementation and skeletal muscle metabolism in physical exercise. Sports Med. 2002;32(14):903-44.
  • Antonio J, Ciccone V. The effects of pre versus post workout supplementation of creatine monohydrate on body composition and strength. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013 Aug 6;10:36. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-10-36

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.