What is a post-workout drink?
Are you curious about what all those drinks are that fill the fridges when you enter the club? Aside from the water, you can get five times a month for checking, some of them might be confusing to the untrained eye. Hitting the gym is only half the battle. You also have to know what to eat after practice.
The food and drink you consume after sweating makes a big difference when it comes to restoring energy, building muscle, burning fat, and much more.
The good news is that you cannot just drink water to replenish lost fluids. There are more possibilities than just a sports drink or a bottle of water.
If you are unable to build more muscle, can’t tap the fat pads in the middle of your body, or are simply too exhausted to go to the gym the next day, the problem is probably not your fitness routine, but what you lack after training. Don’t worry, we have your back.
Sugar-free post-workout drink the best choice
HYDRAMINO Complete Hydration Multiplier
All 6 Electrolytes
Fluid Boosting Aminos
Complete rapid hydration formula supplies all 6 electrolytes
Optimally hydrates during intense exercise or daily activity
When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Thanks for helping us do what we love.
TOP sugar-free post-workout drink
Energizers for Anytime Energy
Performance, Immune Support
Honey Badger Vegan Keto BCAA
Natural Gluten Free Amino Acids Essential Aminos Sugar Free
Best post-workout drink
What are the best sugar-free post-workout drinks?
Post-workout drink benefits
Post-workout nutrition is more complex. Its purpose is to provide your body with everything it needs to repair, replenish, recover, and adapt to the training stimulus that the training provided.
To be more precise, the post-workout nutrition helps:
- Minimize muscle damage/muscle protein breakdown
- Support for muscle building/increase in muscle protein synthesis
- Replenish muscle glycogen (the stored form of carbohydrates)
- Reduce cortisol (stress hormone)
- Reduce sore muscles
For this your body needs these two things again:
As a general guideline, a meal after training should include:
- Carbs = 0.25-0.5 grams per pound of target body weight.
- Protein = 0.25 grams per pound of target body weight.
Many people prefer this food as a recovery drink or shake to be quick and convenient and to achieve an optimal balance between carbohydrates and proteins. Appetite is often suppressed after a hard workout, so a liquid diet is a more attractive option.
Others prefer a “proper meal” that combines a protein with a carbohydrate, such as rice. Others divide the difference by drinking a protein shake immediately after training and rounding it off with additional carbohydrates later.
Best sugar-free post-workout drinks
Post-workout drinks for muscle recovery
Sour Peach Rings
Muscle Recovery Vitamins for Post-Workout and Hydration
Multiple delicious flavors
Support muscle recovery and get back to the gym faster, thanks to the chain store amino acids, available in a variety of refreshing flavors! These BCAAs are packed with amino acids that support recovery during training and are the best way to improve your fitness game. Muscle recovery, endurance, and fluid intake play a major role in your post-workout training.
If you are not properly hydrated after training, this can have a negative effect on alertness, concentration, focus, and energy levels. The BCAA supplement powder ensures that you get enough hydration during or after exercise to avoid these challenges. The vitamins contained in the product improve muscle recovery and endurance and ensure that you can continue to push your limits and achieve your personal fitness goals.
- Branched Chain Essential Amino Acids help you accelerate your recovery and get back to the gym faster.
- Is designed to shorten the recovery time during exercise and reduce muscle soreness
- Improves your overall endurance so that you can work harder and longer than ever before.
- Ensures that you are fully hydrated and can take full advantage of your hard work.
JYM Supplement Science
Post-Workout with BCAA’s, Glutamine, Creatine HCL, Beta-Alanine, and More
Includes 8 scientific studied ingredients to maximize muscle recovery
When your workout is finished, the muscle-building process – also known as muscle protein synthesis (MPS) – is just beginning. The key to improving performance and physique lies in one simple thing: recovery. Without the right nutrients, MPS and recovery could be missed out.
Support your hard work at the gym by sipping Post JYM BCAAs+ after training. BCAAs and seven other key ingredients promote complete recovery after intense workouts.
Intensive training breaks down muscle tissue and it has to be rebuilt via muscle protein synthesis (MPS) so that you can become bigger and stronger. The ingredients in the Post JYM BCAAs+ Recovery Matrix work together to increase muscle protein synthesis and start the repair process immediately
- It provides the optimal post-workout blend to increase protein synthesis to maximize and expand muscle growth.
- No other post-workout supplement can match the delicious taste of Pro JYM.
- Post JYM contains 8 scientifically researched ingredients to maximize muscle recovery
- This post-workout powder is best suited for both men and women
Classic BCAA mixes as easily as it tastes good
Naturally fermented – BCAA 5000
Classic BCAA can be used by anyone who is concerned with building or maintaining lean muscles or improving recovery after training. It is especially helpful for so-called “hard gainers” (i.e. people who find it particularly difficult to gain and/or maintain muscle), athletes who are in a heavy training phase (e.g. longer or twice-daily training), and anyone on a carbohydrate or calorie-reduced diet (e.g. Keto), in which case there is an increased risk of losing lean muscle.
Taking BCAAs before and/or after cardio can help maintain lean muscles and improve recovery. Remember that if you really want to build muscles, you will need to do a lot of resistance training, i.e. lifting weights.
- Only Classic BCAA contains Biofit to support healthy digestion
- Drink it between meals and/or before, during, or after exercise to promote muscle maintenance and recovery. Perfect for keto.
- 100% free of artificial flavors, colorants, sweeteners, GMOs, gluten, soy, and dairy products.
Supports lean muscle growth
Branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential to muscle protein synthesis
BCAA 5000 uses natural fermented plant based BCAAs
BCAA 5000 is NutraBio’s anabolic matrix that combines the powerful muscle regenerating benefits of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). However, it is their synergistic combination that causes one of the most important processes in muscle building and regeneration muscle protein synthesis (MPS). There are hundreds of studies on the ergogenic benefits of BCAA. Most of them show that whether consumed throughout the day or before, during, or after exercise, BCAAs reduce protein catabolism (breakdown) and support muscle protein synthesis, a physiological process responsible for muscle growth and repair.
In addition, BCAAs are crucial for glucose (energy) production as they contribute more than 40% of glucose production during sustained endurance exercise. BCAA 5000 is suitable for men and women.
- The amino acids of the branching chain (BCAAs) are essential for muscle protein synthesis.
- BCAA 5000 uses natural fermented plant-based BCAAs.
- This product is vegetarian, gluten-free, GMO-free, certified kosher, and keto-friendly, and is produced in the USA.
- Helps improve and support recovery.
Premium BCAA Powder for Post Workout Muscle
5g of Essential Branched Chain Amino Acids
Endurance & Energy
BCAA 5000 can be used to increase endurance and as fuel during training. It contains Isoleucine, which increases glucose uptake and consumption during training, resulting in greater energy production. It also contains Valine, which promotes muscular endurance, making BCAA 5000 the ideal branched-chain amino acid supplement to use after training.
BCAA 5000 was produced with the scientifically proven amino acid ratio of 2:1:1. This ratio uses all the advantages of the three different amino acids. They play a crucial role in the process of muscle protein synthesis, and during exercise, it promotes the growth of lean muscles, and increased endurance and energy.
- Promotes muscular endurance, reduces fatigue, and improves muscle recovery by playing a key role in stimulating protein synthesis.
- The RSP BCAA 5000 plays a key role in stimulating protein synthesis, which is responsible for muscle growth and recovery.
- BCAAs have also been shown to help maintain existing muscle tissue and play an important role in maintaining the function of the immune system.
Top Sugar-free post-workout drinks
Fluid Boosting Aminos
Сomplete rapid hydration formula supplies all 6 electrolytes
Сaffeine free for use any time
The complete formula of HYDRAMINO provides all 6 electrolytes plus coconut water powder to replace lost minerals and amino acids that draw fluid into the cells so you can rehydrate quickly and recover from training and daily dehydration!
The performance begins with hydration, as the body is 60% water and your skin, brain, and muscles are over 70% water. But water alone will not help you perform at your optimum level, as you need electrolytes for muscle contractions and minerals and antioxidants to maintain your performance. A lack of hydration and electrolytes is a major cause of both muscle and mental fatigue. In addition, the B vitamins and fruits and the green blend of HYDRAMINO help you fight fatigue and stay energetic.
- Evolution Nutrition HYDRAMINO is caffeine-free and can be used at any time, day or night, as a clean, stimulating, caffeine-free hydration supplement.
- This unique formula contains 0 sugars, 0 carbohydrates, and 0 calories, which is vegan and also gluten-free.
- Each bottle of HYDRAMINO is proudly manufactured in the USA in a GMP-certified facility to ensure you get only the best.
Sugar-Free Post Workout Drink
The World’s #1 BCAA Brand with 7G of BCAAs Per Serving
NSF & Informed Choice Certified
Scivation Xtend is the world’s best-selling and most advanced BCAA beverage mix. At the heart of Xtend are 7 g BCAAs – in a ratio of 2:1:1 designed by nature and proven in research – plus glutamine and citrulline malate. With a proprietary blend of hydrating electrolytes, Xtend is a sugar-free way to help everyone grind through a grueling fitness session. World-class athletes, champion fighters, elite bodybuilders, and strength athletes of all kinds use Scivation Xtend during their training to train longer, harder, and more intensely.
- 0 Carbs, Calories, and Sugar
- 15+ incredible delicious flavors
- The world’s number 1 BCAA brand with 7G of BCAAs per serve
Muscle Building, Recovery
Essential BCAA Amino Acids & Energizers for Anytime Energy
Perfect anytime: pre, post, or intra workout
BCAA ENERGY helps to delay fatigue during a longer workout so that you can stay strong for longer. Muscle fatigue is delayed because BCAAs are used by the body as an additional source of energy during prolonged training and exercise. BCAAs serve as an important source of energy when the carbohydrates are depleted after prolonged training. If your body exhausts the amount of stored glycogen it uses as an energy source during exercise, BCAAs can still work to strengthen your muscles and prevent fatigue.
It has been shown that BCAAs maintain muscle mass under extremely catabolic conditions characterized by protein breakdown and muscle atrophy. During exercise, muscle protein breakdown, and especially BCAA breakdown for energy is increased. By providing additional BCAAs, the body is less likely to consume its own protein stores. Think of BCAAs as protectors for your muscles!
- PRE, POST, OR INTRA WORKOUT, whether it’s replacing the morning coffee or optimizing in the gym, field, or office, you get all the performance benefits in one drink.
- Increases concentration and makes you ready to take on any challenge without the crash you can get from artificial stimulants.
- Defends your body cells against oxidative stress and supports your immunity level.
NSF Certified for Sport + Sugar-Free
Post Workout Muscle Recovery Drink with Amino Acids
NSF Certified for Sport
This NSF-certified formula for sports supports hydration and recovery without sugar, carbohydrates, or calories. The BCAAs support muscle recovery, repair, and growth, and the blend of electrolyte and performance hydration helps with overall hydration.
- The world’s number 1 BCAA brand with 7G BCAAs per serve
- 0 stimulants, sugars, calories, or carbohydrates
- BetaPower & Coconut – Power and Hydration
Best Post-workout drinks for vegan
The perfect formula
Vegan Unflavored Branched Chain Amino Acids 500 Grams
100% Pure 2:1:1 Formula
Naked BCAAs provide energy before training and recovery after training in the ideal ratio of 2:1:1: without caffeine and without nervousness. A vegan BCAA powder without added sugar, fillers, artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors. Fits perfectly with a post-workout shake with the whey or vegan protein powders.
Studies have shown that leucine, isoleucine, and valine help prevent protein catabolism – the breakdown of protein your body needs to build muscle. The amino acids in the branch chain are metabolized in skeletal muscle, which means your body breaks them down quickly to provide energy that helps you perform better during exercise, rebuild lean muscle and reduce muscle soreness.
- Pharmaceutical grade BCAAS
- Improves strength and muscle development
- Speeds recovery and increases endurance
Truth Nutrition Fermented Vegan BCAA Powder
Muscle Building, Post Workout Recovery, and Endurance
NO CHEMICALS, NO ARTIFICIAL COLORS, NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, NO ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS!
Promotes improved muscular endurance, energy, stamina, and recovery. The Essentials formula harnesses the power of biomolecular fortification – activated before, inside, and after a workout – for impressive results even if you plan on a calorie deficit from keto / intermittent eating. No chemicals, no artificial colors, no artificial aromas, no artificial sweeteners!
Now you can skip the hardest part of muscle building without having to pack in extra, unwanted pounds. These branched-chain amino acid lasers target the muscle fibers with nutrients and support the ideal environment for growth – strengthening each strand, for a stronger, chiseled physique
- Scientifically proven BCAA ratio of 2:1:1 for amazing muscle growth
- No chemicals or artificial ingredients
- The taste is great
Natural Gluten-Free Amino Acids
Essential Aminos Sugar Free + Sucralose Free
Made in the USA, No Artificial Flavors, Colors, Sweeteners, or Preservative
Key attributes: Repair/Restore and Refill/Rehydrate. It is suitable for Intra-workout, pre-workout, post-workout, and anytime recovery. The mission of the company sounds so: “We provide a natural and intense experience for your fearless, active lifestyle”. Made in the USA, no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives. Clean, optimized, and versatile formulas with full disclosure of active ingredients on the label.
Honey Badger BCAA + EAA is a blend of 100% vegetable branched-chain and essential amino acid (from sunflowers) for excellent digestion and absorption. The formula has been developed with a research-proven 2:1:1 ratio and key electrolytes to improve hydration and fluid balance. Relax your mind and body, train, and active lifestyle.
- Naturally seasoned, colored, and sweetened for a refreshingly original taste
- Non-Habit forming
- Repair/restore and replenish and rehydrate
Best post-workout drink for weight loss
Advanced Formula That Includes EAA’s BCAA’s And Coconut Water Powder
Help improve your performance and recovery
Let’s face it, water during exercise is just… boring. Why not sip a recovery and performance drink that takes amino acids to the next level? Not only a full dose of 5g of BCAA in a 2:1:1 ratio was added, but also 2g of the other 6 essential amino acids, which studies have shown a 50% greater increase in muscle protein synthesis than BCAA alone. Finally, it was rounded off this all-around amino product with 500 mg of coconut water to improve hydration and support electrolyte replenishment. Weights, CrossFit, cardio-sesh at night in the garage? Athletes of all kinds will benefit from Intra9.
INTRA9 contains a full 5-gram dose of 2:1:1 BCAA along with 2 grams of EAA, making it one of the most complete amino products on the market. The full clinical dosage ensures that you get results with every single scoop.
- It contains the widely researched 2:1:1 BCAA ratio for optimal performance in addition to all 9 essential amino acids.
- Simply scoop, add water, shake and enjoy!
- An advanced formula containing BCAA’s, EAA, and coconut water powder to enhance your performance and recovery.
Premium, High-Quality BCAA’s
Optimum Blend For A Zero-Calorie Source of Aminos and Industry Standard 2:1:1 Ratio
Made in a GMP Compliant, FDA Registered Facility
The Nutricost BCAA powder has been developed for consumption before and after training and contains 6 grams of BCAA in each serving. The Nutricost BCAA powder contains 90 servings in each container, making it the largest and most economical option. Nutricost uses an optimal blend of BCAA to produce a calorie-free powder that can be used both before and after training. Nutricost helps regenerate muscle tissue, building and repairing muscle mass.
- Optimal blend for a zero-calorie source of amino and industry-standard 2:1:1 ratio
- GMO-free, gluten-free, 3rd party tested
- Manufactured in a GMP compliant, FDA registered facility
Keto-Friendly, Caffeine Free
Endurance Powder with BCAAs
AMINOx is a BCAA formula designed to support endurance during training and promote muscle recovery after training so you can take your performance to the next level. With a 10-gram blend of BCAAs and the essential amino acids L-Alanine, Taurine, and L-Citrulline, AMINOx helps your body recover from today’s training and prepare for tomorrow’s. Available in five refreshing flavors, AMINOx provides versatile, nutrient-rich support for any type of training program.
AMINOx is available in seven delicious flavors and offers you versatile nutritional support for any kind of training program. It is also easy to mix without clumping. Simply mix 1 scoop with 6 ounces of cold water or any beverage of your choice for refreshing endurance and recovery support before, during, or after exercise.
- Amino acids support the recovery of the muscles after training
- Push during training with the inclusion of BCAAs in the formula that can help you take your performance to the next level.
- No clumping
Myths about Post-Workout Protein and Recovery
1. Myth: Large amounts of protein are necessary for recovery
No. Some protein is helpful for recovery, but it is unlikely that you will need a protein supplement. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams/kilogram of protein per day. For athletes in a training schedule with medium to high workload (in terms of volume and/or intensity), it increases to about 1.2-1.7 g/kg. But taking more than 2 g/kg of protein is no longer good for recovery, muscle synthesis, immune function, or energy metabolism.
2. Myth: The best time to take protein is immediately after training
As for timing, you should be careful not to focus too much of your post-workout nutritional choices on proteins. Immediately after training, you should focus on replenishing carbohydrates, and adding some protein to your food/drink choices can help speed up carbohydrate absorption. So when should you eat the most protein? Actually, never. It is better to spread your intake over the day. You need fuel to build and maintain muscle tissue, your immune system, and all other functions of protein throughout the day. And you don’t store protein, so unlike fat or carbohydrates, you can only use protein from food when you have it on board.
3. Myth: After every training, you need a recovery drink
Recovery drinks are great. They conveniently provide carbohydrates, electrolytes, fluids, and proteins and are usually consumed immediately after exercise when your body is ready for a quick recovery. This 60-90-minute period after exercise is often referred to as the “glycogen window” because it is the time when your body is able to replenish its glycogen stores the fastest. However, this still does not mean that you need a recovery drink after every workout.
When should you use a recovery drink? If you train or compete more than once a day, a recovery drink after the first session is a good idea. If you ride long distances for days in a row (such as a bike tour, bike camp, or stage race), it is also a good idea.
How to use a post-workout drink?
It is best to drink protein powder diluted with water. The amount of liquid recommended for dilution gives a good taste, but if you prefer a weaker or stronger dilution, it is perfectly normal. It is recommended to use a shaker or mixer to make your cocktail homogeneous. You can also add fruit or cottage cheese to your cocktail to add more nutrients. If you use milk instead of water, it slows down absorption and adds more calories – this can be useful, for example, if you want to develop mass, but during the diet, it is better to keep a certain body moist.
Do not eat more than 2-3 cocktails a day. In any case, it is recommended to drink one after the workout. If you drink only one, it should be after the workout. The body may also best use protein in the morning after waking up, as it is hungry for food after a period of rest. If you want to prevent muscle loss at night, think about slowly absorbing protein instead of or after dinner.
How often should you use a post-workout drink?
Some experts say that you should consume protein 20 minutes after training, while others claim it is an hour. The reality is that you have more time. Studies show that the increased sensitivity of muscles to protein lasts at least 24 hours. In fact, a review study conducted by McMaster University in 2012 showed that muscle protein synthesis can last 24 to 48 hours after training. The effect is higher immediately after training and decreases over time, but this certainly does not mean that a magic window closes after one hour.
It means that theoretically, you want to eat protein immediately – but since there is no big drop in muscle protein synthesis after training, you don’t have to rush to swallow a protein shake.
Best brands of post-workout drink
Best overall: Vintage Build 3-in-1 Essential Muscle Builder
“Helps to add more lean muscle and strength, but no mass.
Best Budget: MuscleTech Myobuild BCAA amino acid supplement
“Contains elevated levels of leucine, betaine, and taurine”.
Best budget chaser: Optimal nutrition Instantiated BCAA powder
“Helps recovery after exercise.”
The best for fat loss: Scivation Xtend Hydrasport BCAA powder
“Great if your goals are to burn fat and add lean muscle.
The best for endurance: BSN AMINOx Post-Workout Powder
“Good for muscle recovery after long or intensive training sessions.
Best for muscle building: JYM Supplement Science POST
“Ideal for those who want to improve their strength.”
Best tasting: Progenex Recovery
The best thing is natural: Genius BCAA powder
“Contains all-natural, vegan BCAAs.”
Best premium brands of post-workout drink
- Whey protein powder is one of the most widely used protein powders on the market. It is also one of the most affordable options and a larger multi-portion container costs between $15 and $60.
- Myprotein Pro THE Whey+. Only the finest ingredients have been used to make this powder, which delivers 26g of protein per 32g serving via “beadlets” that gradually release muscle-building BCAAs. It is easy to mix and lump-free, and although the texture is somewhat granular, the chocolate brownie taste is a winner.
- Healthspan Elite Complete Vegan Protein. Together with 20g of protein per 27g serving, this powder provides 100% of the recommended daily allowance of B12, which is important because it is a virtually impossible vitamin to get enough of with a vegan diet. The protein is derived from a combination of peas, pumpkin, and brown rice to provide a complete source of essential amino acids.
Best post-workout drink
When to take protein?
FAQ - Post-workout drink
While pre-workouts are an energy boost and help with endurance to make your workouts last longer, much post-workouts aid in muscular recovery and muscle building. Some post-workout supplements include glutamine, BCAAs, and casein protein. They help muscles recover and can increase muscle synthesis.
A meta-analysis of 22 studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found protein supplementation improved lean body mass and muscle strength. There’s a reason that so many fitness fans use these supplements. Adding one of these products to your routine can significantly increase the rate at which you can build muscle mass, reduce soreness, and prepare your body for the next round of exercise. In other words, for someone who works out frequently or who wants to get the most out of their exercise routine, a post-workout supplement really is necessary.
Protein is especially important to consume after a workout, as during exercise you are effectively breaking your muscles down. It helps to increase the impact of exercise.