Over-training or overreaching is of concern to exercisers, so the use of muscle recovery supplements is a common technique to help resume your program faster and heal sore muscles. There are four key health supplements and two key antioxidants to enhance your body's recovery from exercise by boosting the various systems of the muscles' recovery process after overexertion. Since these are unique supplements, look for them at GNC or a similar vitamin shop that deals expressly with muscle nutrition and the needs of athletes, as sports nutrition supplements are generally unlikely to be found in the typical vitamin aisle of drug stores. It is important to combine this program with sufficient sleep to process glucose and produce energy, as well as to avoid the side effects of sleep deprivation, including increased cortisol production, which attacks muscle tissue and halts muscle recovery.
- Start a creatine monohydrate supplementation program. Creatine phosphate is a source of energy in muscle cells that fuels maximum intensity efforts. It is found naturally in animal-based foods such as beef. Numerous studies have shown that supplementing with creatine can greatly increase the level of creatine phosphate that is stored in the muscles, which allows them to work at higher intensities for a longer duration, increasing the training effect of strength workouts. The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports in 2003 touted the use of creatine monohydrate as one of the dietary muscle supplements to improve lean mass and increase strength. The recommended dosage for creatine monohydrate is starting with 5 grams four times a day for five days. After that as a maintenance level switch to 5 grams one time a day after your workout.
- Start glutamine supplementation. Glutamine levels have been shown to decrease in relation to extreme over-training, often making one's immune system weaker. Studies show that glutamine can increase training tolerance even after prolonged exercise. The recommended dosage for glutamine supplementation is 10-15 grams daily.
- Start a beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate (HMB) program. This is produced in the body from proteins containing the amino acid leucine. It is believed that HMB reduces muscle break down following strenuous exercise. Many strength and speed athletes use HMB since it allows for a more intense exercise and slower recovery time. They thereby gain muscle size and strength faster. HMB supplementation is 3 grams per day, divided into one gram before three of your daily meals.
- Start a l-carnitine supplementation program. L-carnitine comes from eating meats, and is made by the liver and kidneys. Its purpose is to transport fatty acids across cell membranes to be metabolized. Some metabolism experts believe that why l-carnitine is helpful; by taking l-carnitine post-workout, you can reduce exercise-induced muscle tissue damage and improve the recovery of the tissues that have been damaged. The recommended dosage is 2 grams per day, taken after your workout.
- Select preferred antioxidants to reduce post-workout muscle soreness and tissue damage. There is some evidence that oxygen radicals play a role in the cellular damage that follows the rupture of muscle fibers during exercise. Antioxidants are needed to limit this damage. Vitamins C and E are especially good at defending against oxidative damage to muscles. Antioxidants also reduce swelling and inflammation as well as help remove wastes from muscles, helping them function at their best. Alpha lipoic acid is excellent for removing swelling and inflammation.