9 Best Post-Workout Supplements in 2024

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko (Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition)

Recovery is one of the most important parts of working out, and supplementation can help with it! Getting the right nutrients after a workout will help you recover and see the most results out of your routine. This is why we’re covering the 9 best post-workout supplements available. 

Finding solid after workout supplements is the easiest way to get all the nutrients you need to make some serious gains. The right post-workout supplement can make all the difference in seeing serious progress and plateauing. Keep reading to find out the best post-workout powders available today.

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the Transparent Labs MASS GAINER.


Featuring 51 grams of protein in each serving as well as over 100 grams of carbs, this shake has everything you need to recover after a tough workout. 

9 best post workouts

Top 9 Best Post-Workout Supplements Reviewed

ProductTotalMacronutrient BreakdownTaste/FlavorNutrition Label TransparencyMixabilityValue for Money
Transparent Labs49.5101010109.5
Pro Series49101010109
Rivalus4891091010
Cellucor47.591099.510
MuscleTech4799.599.510
Dymatize4699.5999.5
Optimum Nutrition45.599.59108
NAKED448.59998.5
Promix4389998
transparent labs post workout
  • Best For: Bulking, Improving Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Whey
  • Serving Size: 187g
  • Price per Serving: ~$5.33
  • Calories: 730
  • Proteins: 51g
  • Carbohydrates: 106g
  • Fat: 13g
  • Added Sugar: 0g
  • Company Founded: 2015
  • Recommended by Athletes: Hafthor Bjornsson, Paul Sklar, Sean Harris

At the top of our list and the best overall pick for a post-workout supplement is Transparent Labs Mass Gainer. Transparent Labs is well known for its long line of outstanding products, and its post-workout shake is no exception.

Featuring 51 grams of protein in each serving as well as over 100 grams of carbs, this shake has everything you need to recover after a tough workout. At 730 calories per serving, it is on the higher end of our list calorically, but it’s in the ideal range where it’s not too high as well. This makes it a perfect choice for those looking to put on weight, but without adding too many excess calories into their diet.

All of the protein in this mass gainer comes from 100% grass-fed whey. You can also expect 3g of creatine in each serving to help aid with putting on muscle mass and improving performance. This product also has all of its carbohydrates coming from clean natural sources like oat flour, sweet potato powder, and organic tapioca maltodextrin. Finally, with 4g of fiber per serving, as well as 0g of added sugar, you can be confident you’re getting a high quality product to aid with your recovery.

Finally, like all of Transparent Labs’ products, there are no artificial sweeteners, flavoring, or preservatives. On top of this, they offer a subscription service which takes 10% off and gives you free shipping – this is a great option if you’re planning on buying regularly.

49.5Expert Score

Featuring 51 grams of protein in each serving as well as over 100 grams of carbs, this shake has everything you need to recover after a tough workout.

Macronutrient breakdown:
10
Taste/Flavor:
10
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Mixability:
10
Value for Money:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • High-quality, naturally sourced ingredients

  • No artificial ingredients

  • Subscription option available to save some money

Could be better:

  • Calories per serving may be too high for some people’s goals

  • At only 15 servings per container, you will go through it quickly with daily use

2. Muscle Milk Pro Series – Runner-Up

muscle milk post workout
  • Best For: Bulking, Improving Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Milk Protein Isolate & Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Serving Size: 82g
  • Price per Serving: ~$5.3
  • Calories: 310
  • Protein: 50g
  • Carbohydrates: 17g
  • Fat: 5g
  • Added Sugar: 1g
  • Company Founded: 2000
  • Recommended by Athletes: Charli Collier, Alex Silver Fagan, Andrew Stern

Next on our list is Muscle Milk’s Pro Series Protein Powder. While many of the choices on our list are more designed as mass gainers, this is purely a post-workout recovery shake.

At 310 calories, it is certainly on the higher end calorically for a regular protein powder, but at 50g of protein per serving, it makes for an excellent recovery shake. While we recommend this product for people looking to maintain weight, its unique macro breakdown means it could potentially be used for an athlete bulking or cutting as well. This makes it one of the best all-around choices on our list.

muscle milk in hand

photo by @klts77

On top of having a great macro breakdown, this product is also chocked full of vitamins and minerals, being a solid source of over 20 different kinds including iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

While this is certainly a top-tier protein powder, the price per serving is rather high, especially considering the number of calories. However, if you’re looking for a shake that maximizes protein while staying relatively low on carbs and fats, this is a great choice.

49Expert Score

At 310 calories, it is certainly on the higher end calorically for a regular protein powder, but at 50g of protein per serving, it makes for an excellent recovery shake.

Macronutrient breakdown:
10
Taste/Flavor:
10
Nutrition Label Transparency:
10
Mixability:
10
Value for Money:
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Incredibly high protein-to-calorie ratio

  • Great source of 20 vitamins and minerals

  • Good choice for all different goals

Could be better:

  • High price point

  • Reviews suggest poor mixability

rival nutrition post workout
  • Best For: Building Muscle, Improving Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Protein Blend (Whey Concentrate & Isolate, Milk Protein Isolate, Micellar Casein)
  • Serving Size: 149g
  • Price per Serving: ~$3
  • Calories: 560
  • Proteins: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 99g
  • Fat: 5g
  • Added Sugar: 4g
  • Company Founded: 2008
  • Recommended by Athletes: Robert Contreras, Nick Romano, Fitness Karie

Up next we have the Clean Gainer from Rivalus. Another mass gainer shake, at well over 500 calories in each serving, this product will be best for people bulking.

Unfortunately where this product loses points is in the amount of protein per serving. At only 30g in each serving, this is very low for a mass gainer. With Muscle Milk having 20 more grams than this with 200 fewer calories, this isn’t an ideal macro breakdown.

What’s great about this product though is where its ingredients are sourced from. Rivalus prides itself on only using the best ingredients, sourcing its carbs and fats from things like rice bran, quinoa, oat fiber, flaxseed, and avocado. It’s good to know that this mass gainer is made up of largely whole foods instead of heavily processed artificial ingredients. This product also has 4g of fiber in each serving, however, it does still have 4g of added sugar, which you may be looking to avoid.

rival nutrition on table

photo by @tanersc

Another plus is that this is easily the cheapest mass gainer product on our list at only ~$3 per serving. While the macro breakdown certainly leaves something to be desired, it does come at a significant discount compared to the other mass gainers on this list.

Finally, keep in mind that this product does contain sucralose, which on the one hand is widely regarded as safe for consumption by several regulatory authorities, on the other hand, there are constant concerns and doubts about its safety. It is ultimately up to the individual’s discretion to decide if they feel comfortable consuming such a product.

48Expert Score

Rivalus prides itself on only using the best ingredients, sourcing its carbs and fats from things like rice bran, quinoa, oat fiber, flaxseed, and avocado.

Macronutrient breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
10
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Mixability:
10
Value for Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • High-quality, whole-food ingredients

  • The cheapest mass gainer on our list

  • 4g of fiber per serving

Could be better:

  • 4g of added sugar per serving

  • Not a very high protein-to-calorie ratio

cellucor post workout
  • Best For: Building Muscle, Improving Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Concentrate, Whey Protein Isolate)
  • Serving Size: 46.5g
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.60
  • Calories: 160
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Fat: 2.5g
  • Added Sugar: 3g
  • Company Founded: 2002
  • Recommended by Athletes: Brittany Ann, Scott Mathison, Demi Bagby

Up next on our list is Celucor’s Whey Sport Post-Workout supplement. While Cellucor is best known for its C4 pre-workout, they also offer a great protein powder.

At only 160 calories per serving, with 30 grams of protein, this is the best choice on our list so far for those looking to cut weight. While it could be used for people who are bulking as well, we do recommend choosing a higher-calorie shake if that is your goal.

Especially considering the protein-to-calorie ratio, the price point of ~$1.60 per serving is excellent. With a solid 2.5g of creatine monohydrate in each serving, it’s also a great way to begin supplementing with creatine. Similar to Rivalus’ product, it does also contain sucralose, for those who care.

While some people may want more carbs in a post-workout recovery shake, if you’re limiting your carbohydrate intake – because you’re on a cut for example – then at 5g of carbs per serving, this is a great all-around choice.

47.5Expert Score

At only 160 calories per serving, with 30 grams of protein, this is the best choice on our list so far for those looking to cut weight.

Macronutrient breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
10
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Mixability:
9.5
Value for Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Great protein-to-calorie ratio

  • Excellent value for money

  • Solid amount of creatine in each serving

Could be better:

  • Contains sucralose, which is potentially harmful

  • Macro breakdown makes it a poor choice for those looking to put on weight

muscle tech post workout
  • Best For: Building Muscle, Improving Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Isolate Protein & Peptide Blend (Whey Peptides, Whey Protein Isolate, Whey Protein Concentrate)
  • Serving Size: 45g
  • Price per Serving: ~$1.60
  • Calories: 160
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Fat: 3g
  • Added Sugar: 0g
  • Company Founded: 1995
  • Recommended by Athletes: Chef Rush, Joshua Manoi, Alli Jo

Coming up next on our list is MuscleTech’s Nitro-Tech Whey Protein. This post-workout supplement for muscle growth is very similar to Cellucor’s product in a wide variety of ways.

It has a very similar macro breakdown to Cellucor’s product, at 30g of protein and 160 calories per serving – on top of this it has the same price per serving as well at ~$1.60 for each scoop. It also contains slightly more creatine than Cellucor at 3g per serving. The similarities also carry over in the fact that this product contains sucralose.

muscle tech post workout in hands

One thing to note is that MuscleTech advertises its product as building 70% more muscle than regular whey protein. This is likely due to the presence of creatine in their product, which they don’t mention in their advertising. This makes it appear as if their protein is of a significantly higher quality than other companies when in reality it is likely the same. While the presence of creatine will certainly help you build more muscle, this is some rather misleading marketing.

47Expert Score

This post-workout supplement for muscle growth is very similar to Cellucor’s product in a wide variety of ways.

Macronutrient breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Mixability:
9.5
Value for Money:
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Solid value for the money

  • High protein-to-calorie ratio

  • A good dose of creatine in each serving

Could be better:

  • Does contain sucralose

  • Some misleading marketing from MuscleTech

dymatize post workout
  • Best For: Building Muscle, Improving Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Protein Blend (Whey Protein Concentrate, Isolate, & Hydrolysate, Milk Protein Isolate, & Micellar Casein)
  • Serving Size: 335g
  • Price per Serving: ~$5.62
  • Calories: 1280
  • Protein: 52g
  • Carbohydrates: 245g
  • Fat: 10g
  • Added Sugar: 14g
  • Company Founded: 1994
  • Recommended by Athletes: Cara Carmichael, Aicha El Mahmoudi, Sean Harris

Next on our list is a mass gainer from Dymatize, and is the first product on our list to contain well over 1000 calories per serving. While this post-workout drink for muscle gain won’t be for everybody, for those who have a serious problem with getting enough calories, this may be a good fit.

It’s worth noting that with a product like this, you may end up gaining more weight than you want. Keep in mind that to put on lean mass, you won’t want to increase your caloric intake by too much over maintenance. With just 300 extra calories a day, you’ll be putting on 1.2 pounds every week. Now imagine you’re adding an extra 1280 calories every day! While you may want to put on weight quickly, there will inevitably be some serious fat gain if you’re eating in such a high surplus.

dymatize post workout on table

While everyone has different goals, keep this in mind. Of course, if you struggle to eat enough to begin with, such a high-calorie mass gainer may be useful to get into a caloric surplus. In this case, Dymatize’s mass gainer may be a great choice. With tons of vitamins and minerals, this acts as a great meal replacement shake. Just keep in mind that it does contain a high amount of artificial ingredients, such as sucralose. Also, with such a high-calorie shake, there will inevitably be some added sugar, with this choice having 14g. There is also creatine in each serving, but at only 1g per serving, this is not very high compared to the other creatine-containing products on our list, especially considering that it takes 3-5 grams per day to effectively fill your muscles with creatine.

46Expert Score

While this post-workout drink for muscle gain won’t be for everybody, for those who have a serious problem with getting enough calories, this may be a good fit.

Macronutrient breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Mixability:
9
Value for Money:
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Super high calorie content for those who struggle to eat enough

  • High vitamin and mineral content

  • A unique blend of protein types

Could be better:

  • Contains artificial ingredients

  • 14g of added sugars

optimum nutriotion post workout
  • Best For: Building Muscle, Improving Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Whey Protein Concentrate
  • Serving Size: 340g
  • Price per Serving: ~$7.75
  • Calories: 1260
  • Protein: 50g
  • Carbohydrates: 252g
  • Fat: 6g
  • Added Sugar: 8g
  • Company Founded: 1986
  • Recommended by Athletes: Taylor Fritz, Justin “Jets” Jefferson, Morgan Willett

Coming next on our list is another super high-calorie mass gainer from Optimum Nutrition. This after is very similar to Dymatizes in terms of protein and overall calories. This means it will appeal to the same person, and has the same obvious drawbacks as well. Of course, for those super hard-gainers, this may be a great choice.

optimum nutrition post workout on table

One major drawback compared to Dymatize is the price point. At ~$7.75 per serving, it is over ~$2 more expensive for each serving, even though the product is nearly identical. One upside is the fact that this product has significantly less added sugar at only 8g per serving, as well as having a similarly robust assortment of vitamins and minerals. It also contains creatine at a more effective dose, at 3g in each serving. Once again, this product does contain sucralose.

Overall, this is a great choice for a super high-calorie shake, as long as this is in line with your goals.

45.5Expert Score

This is a great choice for a super high-calorie shake, as long as this is in line with your goals.

Macronutrient breakdown:
9
Taste/Flavor:
9.5
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Mixability:
10
Value for Money:
8
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Perfect for hard gainers looking to boost their overall calorie intake

  • A high amount of vitamins and minerals

  • Solid amount of creatine

  • Relatively low amount of added sugar considering the calories

Could be better:

  • The very high price point

  • Contains sucralose and other artificial ingredients

naked nutrition post workout
  • Best For: Building Muscle, Improving Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Whey Protein Concentrate, Micellar Casein Blend
  • Serving Size: 333g
  • Price per Serving: ~$6.36
  • Calories: 1360
  • Proteins: 50g
  • Carbohydrates: 251g
  • Fat: 15g
  • Added Sugar: 35g
  • Company Founded: 2014
  • Recommended by Athletes: Kenzie Mariano, Daniel Victor

Up next is Naked’s Mass Gainer, which is the final super high-calorie mass gainer on our list, and the highest-calorie option so far.

This product has a similar macronutrient breakdown to the other two products, with an added 100 calories added on top. The major drawbacks here are the whopping 35g of added sugar, as well as the notable lack of additional vitamins and minerals. While the product does only have 5 ingredients – including high-quality grass-fed whey – there is something left to be desired in the macronutrient breakdown.

naked mass post workout on table

While there are some definite upsides here – like 12g of fiber in each serving, for example – the relatively high price point, and lack of added nutrition are both definite downsides. With this being said, this is the only super high-calorie mass gainer that contains no artificial ingredients. It will just come down to individual preference whether this makes up for the product’s other deficiencies.

44Expert Score

This is the only super high-calorie mass gainer that contains no artificial ingredients

Macronutrient breakdown:
8.5
Taste/Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Mixability:
9
Value for Money:
8.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • No artificial ingredients

  • Highest calorie option for those looking to bulk

  • High fiber content at 12g per serving

Could be better:

  • Very high added sugar content

  • No significant added vitamins or minerals

promix post workout
  • Best For: Building Muscle, Improving Recovery
  • Suitable for Vegans: No
  • Protein Source: Whey Protein Isolate
  • Serving Size: 100g
  • Price per Serving: ~$6.27
  • Calories: 360
  • Protein: 30g
  • Carbohydrates: 60g
  • Fat: 1.5g
  • Added Sugar: 36g
  • Company Founded: 2011
  • Recommended by Athletes: Odell Beckham Jr., Audrey & Nicole Nourse, Rashaad Slowley

The final choice on our list is Promix’s Recovery Protein. At only 360 calories per serving, this could certainly be used for someone looking to maintain weight or bulk, however, at 60g of carbs per serving and only 30g of protein, this likely wouldn’t be a great choice for someone on a cut.

promix post workout on table

photo by @jackdfitness

The most obvious drawback here is the amount of added sugar. At 36 grams per serving at only 360 calories per serving, this is the most added sugar by far on our list. Naked’s Mass Gainer is the only product that compares, and it has nearly 4 times as many calories! On top of this, it also does not contain a very dense nutritional profile. Especially at ~$6.27 per serving, it’s difficult to justify such a high price point for this product.

With that being said, the product does only contain high-quality, natural ingredients. Similar to Naked’s product, it will be up to the individual consumer to decide whether or not this is a fair trade-off considering the high amount of added sugar and lack of added vitamins and minerals.

43Expert Score

At only 360 calories per serving, this could certainly be used for someone looking to maintain weight or bulk.

Macronutrient breakdown:
8
Taste/Flavor:
9
Nutrition Label Transparency:
9
Mixability:
9
Value for Money:
8
(Show More)

Positives:

  • Good blend of carbs and protein for recovery

  • Could be used for bulking or maintaining weight

  • High-quality, naturally sourced ingredients

Could be better:

  • The very high price point

  • A high added sugar content without a dense nutritional profile

What Are The Dietary Recommendations For Post-Exercise Recovery?

1. Understand Your Goals

A big part of what your post-workout nutrition will look like is determined by what your actual goals are. Someone trying to bulk up will have a much different recovery meal than someone trying to shred down

Typically, if you’re trying to put on weight, something like a mass gainer that is rich in protein, carbs, and overall calories will be a great choice. 

However, someone trying to cut will likely want to stick with a lower-calorie protein powder that does not have as many carbs or calories. The first step is knowing what your goals are before deciding on the best post-workout recovery supplements to buy.

2. Get Lots of Protein

Your main priority after a tough workout should be to refuel with a solid amount of protein. This will give your body the amino acids necessary to repair broken-down muscle proteins. It’s recommended that you should consume anywhere from 20-40 grams of protein around your workout to maximize recovery. This is true regardless of if you’re bulking or cutting, so be sure to get your protein in no matter what!

Over the course of the day, it’s recommended that you eat 0.5 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight to maximize recovery. For people on a cut, it’s recommended you stick to the higher end of this range to maintain as much muscle mass as possible.

athletes training with dumbbells

3. Eat Lots of Carbohydrates as Well

While protein provides the building blocks of muscles, carbohydrates are just as important for maximizing gains in the gym. This is because we use carbohydrates to give our cells and muscles energy. When you work out, you deplete these glycogen stores, meaning you need to eat plenty of carbs to refuel them. 

On top of this, you should primarily be looking to eat primarily complex carbs – ie. carbs that contain fiber – because they will help give you more sustained energy.

It’s worth noting that many people tend to limit their carbohydrate intake while on a cut, but this might not always be necessary. 

Ultimately, as long as you’re in a caloric deficit, you can lose weight regardless of how you’re splitting your macros. While you’ll certainly want to put more emphasis on your protein intake, having carbohydrates post-workout is still recommended.

4. Don’t Worry Too Much About The Anabolic Window

While many athletes worry about “the anabolic window” – or the time you have after your workout to get your recovery meal in – the window is much larger than you may think at 5-6 hours after training. Especially if you choose to eat before your workout, you shouldn’t have to worry too much about getting a post-workout drink right away. Although it may seem counterintuitive, having your post-workout meal pre-workout should be just as effective in aiding recovery. 

athlete training

What Types of Products Can Be Considered as a Post-workout Supplement?

The concept of a post-workout supplement is fairly broad and can refer to a wide variety of different products. Usually, it’s a product that contains protein and carbs meant to help you recover after a workout. There are a few different things that fall under the distinction of post-workout supplements which we’ll be covering below. 

1. Mass Gainers

The main product that should be considered as a post-workout supplement is mass gainer shakes. This is because these products will usually have an effective blend of carbohydrates and protein that will better aid in recovery. Of course, if you’re trying to limit your caloric intake, the high-calorie content of these supplements may not align with your goals. 

However, if you’re looking to bulk up, these are some of the best post-workout supplements for muscle gain available. 

2. Protein Powders

Another option for post-workout recovery is protein shakes. These are ideal for those looking to cut or maintain weight as they are usually significantly lower calories than mass gainers. The one downside is that they usually do not contain many carbs. To maximize post-workout recovery, we recommend pairing a simple protein shake with a source of complex carbs – like a banana, for example – to give your body the carbohydrates it needs to replenish glycogen stores. 

athlete deadlifting

3. Ready-To-Drink Protein 

Ready-to-drink protein shakes are essentially premixed protein powders in a bottle. Take Premier Protein for example, which has 160 calories, 30 grams of protein, and only 1 gram of sugar per serving – not bad, all things considered! The main downside here is that they are quite pricey compared to standard protein powder. 

However, if you don’t have access to an after workout powder, these can be a great substitute in a pinch. 

4. Meal Replacement Shakes

Finally, as a last resort, you can consider meal replacement shakes as an option for a post-workout supplement as well. Meal replacement drinks are things like Boost, and Ensure. The main drawback to these products is they aren’t designed to be post-workout drinks. They often contain unnecessary filler ingredients, high sugar content, and are generally more expensive than protein powders. Let’s take a look at Boost’s nutritional information, for example: at 240 calories per serving, they only have 10g of protein and a whopping 15g of sugar! While they do have a solid nutritional profile, they are also rather expensive, and certainly shouldn’t be an everyday choice. 

female athlete deadlifting

How To Find The Best Post-Workout Supplement?

There are several factors you’ll want to consider before making a decision on which supplement to buy. These are what we’ve scored the products in this list on – use them as a general guide to find which supplement is best for you!

1. Macronutrient Breakdown and Nutrition Label Transparency

The first thing you should be considering before buying any post-workout supplement is what it contains. You want to make sure you’re not only getting a solid amount of protein and carbs but that the total calories are in line with your goals as well.

On top of this, you want to make sure that the nutrition label is as transparent as possible in regard to what the supplement contains. This means taking a look at the ingredient list, and things like the amount of added sugar. Make sure you’re buying a supplement that only contains ingredients you feel comfortable consuming.

2. Value For Money

Next is the overall value for your money. This means taking a look at how much each supplement costs per serving and comparing it with other similar supplements. As you can see from our list, there’s a wide range of prices when it comes to post-workout supplements. Decide for yourself how much you’re willing to spend, and whether or not things like organic ingredients are worth a premium to you. 

3. Taste/Flavor and Mixability

Finally, you should enjoy the taste of your post-workout supplement, and it should mix properly as well. This is especially true of mass gainers because they have such large serving sizes. You’ll be drinking a pretty huge shake, so it should be able to mix smoothly, and you should enjoy how it tastes! If you’re unsure of whether a product will taste good or mix well, always check product reviews on Amazon as they will usually indicate both of these things. Taste ultimately comes down to a matter of personal preference, so it may take some trial and error before you find a shake you really enjoy. 

athlete deadlifting outdoors

How to Make DIY Post-workout With Protein Powder?

One of the best ways to get all the benefits of a post-workout drink is by making your own mixture with protein powder as a base. Below are a couple of ingredients you can try out that will give an added boost to your post-workout shake. Feel free to combine any of these ingredients to not only add some extra flavor to your shake but a solid nutrient boost as well! 

1. Banana

One of the easiest things to blend into a smoothie with protein, bananas will not only give an added thickness to your shake but give you a solid boost of complex carbs as well. One banana has an average of 110 calories, 28 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of fiber. On top of this, bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, and manganese as well. 

2. Oats

Although it may not be an obvious choice, oats are a great addition to any post-workout shake. Like bananas, oats are a great source of carbs and fiber – as well as having a solid amount of extra protein as well. 1 cup of oats has a little over 300 calories, 10 grams of protein, 54 grams of carbs, and 8 grams of fiber. Oats are naturally gluten-free and low FODMAP (the type of carbohydrates that can cause digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, and constipation) On top of this, they are a great source of phosphorus, thiamine, magnesium, and zinc, as well as being shown to have numerous health benefits.

female athlete training with barbell

3. Berries

Another great boost to the flavor and overall nutrition content of your post-workout shake is berries, which are a great source of complex carbohydrates and a wide range of vitamins. Berries have a wide range of health benefits such as lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes and reducing the risk of heart attacks. They are also a great source of potassium, magnesium, as well as vitamins C and K. 

4. Greek Yogurt

If you’re looking to boost the protein content of your post-workout shake, there aren’t many better choices than Greek yogurt. One 200-gram serving of Greek yogurt has around 150 calories, with 20 grams of protein, and 8 grams of carbs. Aside from their high protein content, they are also a great source of calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. 

5. Natural Peanut Butter

Finally, if you’re specifically looking to boost the overall calorie content of your post-workout shake, there aren’t many better options than natural peanut butter. Each 2-tablespoon serving of peanut butter has 190 calories, as well as 7g of protein and 2g of fiber. 

Also, peanuts can actually help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, and the added boost of protein and fiber doesn’t hurt either! 

athlete training with barbell

FAQ

What Is the Best Post-Workout Supplement?

This ultimately depends on your goals. If you’re looking to bulk up, a mass gainer will be a great post-workout supplement for you. 

However, if you’re looking to cut or maintain weight, we recommend going for a lower-calorie protein powder instead. If you still want some carbs, we recommend mixing it with a low-calorie source of complex carbs – like oats or a banana, for example.

What Are the Benefits of Post-workout Supplements?

The benefits of post-workout recovery supplements mostly come from the protein and carbohydrates you will be consuming. These two macronutrients help you recover after a tough workout – with protein helping to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, and carbs replenishing depleted glycogen stores. While post-workout supplements can be very helpful, the same effects can be achieved through eating a meal rich in protein and carbs any time around your workout. 

Can I Make My Own Post-workout Drink?

Absolutely! To make an effective post-workout drink, we recommend starting with a base protein powder and adding in any combination of bananas, berries, oats, greek yogurt, and natural peanut butter. Depending on your goals, you can make a post-workout shake for muscle gain that is as calorically dense as you need!

Conclusion

Post-workout supplements are a great way to get the carbs and protein necessary for your body to recover after a tough workout. While we recommend different supplements for different goals, the best overall choice for a post-workout supplement is Transparent Labs MASS GAINER. If you’re looking to cut or maintain weight, we recommend one of the lower-calorie options on our list instead. We hope these post-workout supplement reviews helped you to make an informed decision!

Do you have a favorite post-workout supplement? Have you tried any of the products on our list? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  • What to Know About Sucralose // WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/diet/what-to-know-about-sucralose
  • Aspartame and Other Sweeteners // FDA: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-additives-petitions/aspartame-and-other-sweeteners-food#6492bbfbcdda0
  • Am I at a healthy weight? // K-State: https://www.k-state.edu/paccats/Contents/Nutrition/PDF/Am I at a healthy weight.pdf
  • Diets and body composition // BioMedCentral: https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0174-y
  • Strategies for weight loss // PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11740312/
  • Protein and exercise // PubMed: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28642676/
  • The Anabolic Window // GSU: https://lewis.gsu.edu/2021/10/13/fact-or-fiction-the-anabolic-window/
  • Protein intake // GSU: https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/protein_intake_for_athletes
  • 8 Do’s and Don’ts // CSP: https://online.csp.edu/resources/article/post-workout-nutrition-tips/
  • Diets that reduce calories lead to weight loss // Harvard: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/diets-weight-loss-carbohydrate-protein-fat/
  • Protein shakes // PremierProtein: https://premierprotein.ca/products/protein-shakes
  • Nutritional drink // Boost: https://www.boost.com/products/boost-original
  • Bananas // Harvard: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/bananas/
  • Oats 101 // HealthLine: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/oats#nutrients
  • Oats // Harvard: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/oats/
  • Berries // Harvard: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/fresh-berries-are-among-the-healthiest-foods-you-can-eat/
  • What is greek yogurt? // HealthLine: https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/greek-yogurt-benefits#what-it-is
  • Yogurt // Harvard: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/yogurt/
  • Peanuts can be healthy // Harvard: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/peanuts-can-be-healthy/

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here
Oleksandr Maksymenko

Sports Nutritionist, MSc

Experience: 7 years

Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist, certified by FPA (Fitness Professional Association). Oleksandr adheres to the principles of evidence-based dietetics and instills in his clients a healthy relationship with food - without strict prohibitions on favorite foods and regular disruptions. His main task – not only get a result for you, but also maintain it for many years, enjoying tasty and delicious food.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by expert with proven experience. When writing the article we use our expertise and data from open sources with strong reputation, scientific or medical based. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


Our team of authors and experts includes professional athletes (Olympians, winners of European and World titles) PhD in Sport Science, certified coaches, sports nutritionists, CSCP, physiotherapists and other. Read more about the team here, and more about how we test here.

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