Post-Workout Supplementation Protocol

Post-Workout Supplementation Protocol

We have reached the post-workout and the first thing you have to do is wait…

How long do we need to wait to take a post-workout shake?

Wait between 30 and 60 minutes until you take a shake or meal

As we know, our body responds better to the nutrients we provide if it is in basal levels before absorbing them. Otherwise, even if we could provide a constant amino acid discharge to our body, the protein synthesis would stop.

This is due to the timing regarding the nutrients we have absorbed during the workout from our intra-workout supplements.

Therefore, what we need to do is wait until said levels drop. We will let hormones such as cortisol do their thing, since it increases after performing a high intensity activity.

Benefits of taking a Post-Workout supplementation

Post-workout drink

Even if our eating pattern is important throughout the whole day, post-workout nutrition is extremely important. This is due to the fact that it can improve the following aspects:

  • Muscle Recovery and Performance
  • Relieve the DOMS

Regardless of our objective, we need to make sure that our main goal is to advance progressively.

If we train for esthetic purposes, we should focus on gaining muscle mass (hypertrophy). However, our body will react in the same way when facing a bad stimulus. That is, if we do not apply a new stimulus, there will be no new adaptations, which trigger the development of new tissues. On the other hand, if we want to increase our strength, the type of workout will be crucial. We should conclude phases and mesocycles in order to progress.

The benefits of a good post-workout will be connected to an optimal muscle recovery. Therefore, it will help us adapt to the new stimuli, helping us progress towards our goals: esthetic, strength gains, improve the performance…

Let’s not forget that the idea of improving our performance is meant to help us progress.

Another point is reducing the DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, also known as muscle fever. They appear some time after doing physical exercise and they basically are micro trauma, as well as other physiological processes. With a proper supplementation protocol we will shorten the recovery and relieve the symptoms of this phenomenon.

Objectives of Post-Workout Supplementation

As it has been discussed in several studies, the key points of post-workout supplementation are closely connected to:

  • Glycogen recharge
  • Positive nitrogen balance and protein synthesis

Glycogen recharge

When we train, specially if we perform activities that use the glycolytic energy system, the energy reserves from the muscles and liver are partially emptied. Therefore, providing certain nutrients to recharge said reserves will be a priority if we want an optimal recovery. In such case, the glycogen synthesis is enhanced two hours after finishing the workout and it goes back to its usual state after this period. Then, we should measure the energy supply from the post workout.

Nitrogen Balance

The physical effort triggers a series of physiological changes inside our body as we consume glycogen. More specifically, the structure of the muscle fibers will be broken down. In this circumstances, we would have a negative nitrogen balance. This term refers to the fact that we are losing more protein than what we are providing. If we want to solve this issue, we will have to take proteins. They will provide the necessary elements that will stop the catabolism (negative balance) to reestablish the best hormone environment for protein synthesis. That is, a positive nitrogen balance that will also improve the muscle recovery.

What type of protein should we take before training?

Now the question is: what is the best post-workout protein? According to what we have previously discussed, the response should be close to the product that provides the necessary nutrients quickly. If we want to get the best results, we will choose a hydrolyzed protein.

This type of products produces an ultra fast amino acid discharge, since protein is basically peptides (amino acid links). That is the same way in which our digestive system absorbs the protein. Therefore, this protein will jump a step in the digestive process, so that we will benefit from a higher absorption rate.

In spite of this reasoning, every time we take a fast absorption protein, we will be taking a good post-workout recuperator. We could even prolong the amino acid response if we combine different protein sources.

Post-workout protein shake

Muscle Recovery – Supplement Types

Post-Workout and recovery supplements can be classified as “All in One” that provide the most important nutrients or as isolated supplements. The latter will allow us to make our own combinations, the resulting formula will meet our needs. The RawSeries range of products has isolated supplements for this purpose.

All in One Supplements

These products contain protein, carbs, creatine, amino acids…

  • Evofuel
  • Evocell
  • Evodrink


Without any doubt, protein is the best post-workout recuperator. Depending on the source, we can find protein from whey, meat, soy, pea… Moreover, depending on its composition, it can be an isolate and even hydrolyzates.

  • Evohydro 2.0
  • Evolate 2.0
  • Evobeef
  • Pea Protein Isolate
  • Soy Protein Isolate
  • You can purchase protein in our online store.

Amino acids

They come isolated, that is, available for their immediate absorption.

  • BCAA’s
  • Glutamine
  • Creapure Creatine Monohydrate
  • Creatine Monohydrate
  • Here, you can purchase amino acids for your muscle recovery.


They will support the glycogen recharge.

  • Amylopectin
  • Cyclodextrins
  • Maltodextrin
  • Dextrose
  • The best carbohydrates in our online store

What can we add to our shake?

The best thing would be to drink a protein shake 60 minutes after a high intensity physical exercise.

Energy and ATP recharge

We can add creatine and carbohydrates to this shake. However, the latter would be only necessary if we are going to do another activity afterwards.

The carbohydrates would recharge the glycogen deposits before and we would be ready to perform another high intensity activity. If we are having a hard time trying to reach the daily dose of calories that we need, this would be a good moment to take some carbs like cyclodextrins.

Muscle Recovery

The type of protein that we want is a hydrolyzate, since it will help us recover our strength more efficiently.

What can we take after the post-workout shake?

After drinking this shake, we would have to wait around 60 minutes again to:

  1. Drink another hydrolyzed protein shake
  2. Eat a solid meal.

Taking another protein shake that is not hydrolyzed would not improve the recovery significantly when compared to a meal. Then, if we take another hydrolyzed protein shake, we could eat a solid meal 30 minutes later.

This meal should be the most copious meal of the day if we want to gain muscle mass to achieve a higher protein synthesis. Most of the recovery takes places in the first 6 hours after finishing the workout.

Copious post-workout meal

A solid meal would provide nutrients for 4 hours approximately. If we add the hour we waited and the other hour after the first shake, we get the 6 hours we are talking about

As you can see, the amount of supplements we can use after training are drastically reduced. The idea of this protocol is to provide most of the nutrients during the pre and intra-workout. Thus, they will be available when we need them the most, that is, when we train. After the workout, everything is much simpler.

Post-Workout Supplementation Protocol

Now, we are going to give an example of how you could do a post-workout protocol (the minutes start to count an hour after training):

Hydrolyzed Protein Protocol

  • +0 min:
    • We finish the workout
  • +60 min:
    • Hydrolyzed whey protein
    • High glycemic index carbohydrates (if we are going to do exercise later on)
    • Creatine monohydrate
    • 1 dose of phosphatidic acid
    • 30mg of zinc to recharge what we have lost through the sweat
  • +120 min:
    • Hydrolyzed whey protein
  • +150min:
    • Copious solid meal

This would be a protocol for a user who wants to enhance the recovery. If we do not have hydrolyzed protein, the protocol could be like this:

Whey protein powder scoop

Whey Protein Protocol

  • +0 min:
      We finish the workout
  • +60 min:
    • Whey protein shake
    • High glycemic index carbohydrates (if we are going to do exercise later on)
    • Between 3-5g of creatine monohydrate
    • 1 dose of phosphatidic acid
    • 30mg of Zinc to recharge what is lost through sweating
  • +120 min:
    • Copious solid meal


We should not take omega 3 during peri-workout to avoid altering the inflammatory effect of the workout. Said inflammation also affects the processes that will perform the post-workout recovery. There are other different protocols where we could use many more supplements to increase the insulin levels.

Post-workout supplementation

The protocol that we have described in this article and previous ones, such as the intra-workout supplementation, meant to decrease the protein breakdown and enhance the protein synthesis

As always, you can ask any question about nutrition, supplementation or training in our Twitter account: @Science4Fitness or write your comment down below.

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About Alfredo Valdés
Alfredo Valdés
He is a specialist in metabolic physiopathology training and in the biomolecular effects of food and physical exercise.
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