The Best Muscle Recovery Supplements: Improve Performance Through Accelerated Recovery

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taking a supplement break in the gym

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In recent years, an increasing number of athletes have been rediscovering the importance of the time between activities. Proper recovery has become a major point of emphasis. It's not only about peak performance and avoiding injury, either. Proper recovery can also lengthen the lifespan of participation in what you love.

We've discussed in previous posts a few external recovery strategies that people are using, including massage guns to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and foam rollers to enhance joint range of motion.

Now let's look at some of the best muscle recovery supplements to help the internal mechanisms of your body recover more quickly and effectively. 

The Best Muscle Recovery Supplements - Our Top Picks

Why Trust Us?

The health and safety of ACTIVE's readers are of the utmost importance to us. To ensure your well-being when consuming nutritional supplements, the editorial team prioritizes products independently tested by a third party. We've also consulted with a team of nutritionists and dieticians to ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. This helps us create the most accurate, authentic review content for our readers. More importantly, fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

Disclaimer: Exercise caution when ingesting supplements. Always make sure to consult with your doctor before ingesting a new supplement or pill. Muscle-building supplements are not a substitute for a balanced diet and regular exercise. Any supplements taken should be used in accordance with a healthy lifestyle.

Best Overall - Ritual Essential Protein

Ritual Essential Protein


  • Price (rating scale - see below): $$$
  • Flavor Options (rating scale - see below): 1
  • Type: Protein powder
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (30g)
  • Recommended dose: 1 scoop post-workout


A recent survey shows that significant portions of the American population are not consuming enough protein. Not only is protein essential for growth and repair, but it can also reduce the risk of heart-related disease. As a plant-based, gluten- and allergen-free protein, Rituals' protein can be enjoyed by nearly anyone. This blend offers a complete amino acid profile, providing one of the most robust offerings of any protein on the market.

What We Like

  • Allergen- and gluten-free
  • Sustainably sourced, plant-based protein
  • Complete amino acid profile
  • Transparent, ethically sourced ingredients
  • Sugar-free
  • Top-rated flavor

What We Don't Like

  • High cost per serving
  • Only 1 flavor choice (vanilla)

BUY: Ritual Essential Protein

Best for Sleep Recovery - Transparent Labs Sleep Aid

Transparent Labs Sleep Aid & Recovery Formula


  • Price: $
  • Flavor options (rating scale): 3
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (19.18 g)
  • Recommended dose: 3 capsules nightly


Sleep quality is crucial for maximizing recovery. Unfortunately, nutrient gaps and imbalances can contribute to poor sleep and recovery.

Transparent Lab's Sleep Aid is an effective way to provide nutrients and supplements to aid in the body's ability to get into an effective recovery state while sleeping. Adding L-theanine and magnesium helps with muscle relaxation via increased blood flow and tissue repair and has an overall calming effect.

Non-habit-forming and clinically dosed, this product is one of the cleanest sleep aids on the market.

What We Like

  • Properly dosed for effectiveness
  • Each serving is only three pills, fewer than many alternatives
  • Non-habit-forming
  • No artificial sweeteners or colorings

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Shipping tends to take longer

BUY:  Transparent Labs Sleep Aid & Recovery Formula

Best for Post-Workout BCAA - Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine

Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine


  • Price: $$
  • Flavor options (rating scale): 3
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (19.6g)
  • Recommended dose: 1 scoop 2-4 times daily---before, during, or after training


A major purpose of BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) is to facilitate muscle growth by preventing muscle damage. Transparent Lab's addition of coconut water powder helps to enhance the body's ability to absorb and utilize these amino acids.

This BCAA supplement is uniquely formulated to be taken during workouts. Multiple customer reviews mention a noticeable improvement in their recovery times mid-activity or between sets.

What We Like

  • Contains science-backed BCAAs for recovery
  • No artificial flavors or colorings
  • Free of artificial preservatives

What We Don't Like

  • More expensive than other options
  • Manufactured in a facility that handles peanuts and coconuts

BUY: Transparent Labs BCAA Glutamine

Best for Muscle Growth - Transparent Labs Muscle Building & Recovery Formula

Transparent Labs Muscle Building & Recovery Formula


  • Price: $$
  • Flavor Options (rating scale): 2
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (15.7g)
  • Recommended dose: 1 scoop post-workout


Our pick for the best recovery supplement for muscle growth goes to Transparent Lab's Post-Workout. We appreciate its high manufacturing standards and the added value of consolidating some of the most effective recovery supplements into one product. It contains effective doses of ingredients like BCAAs, glutamine, L-carnitine, and beta-alanine. Transparent Lab's formulation places a major emphasis on rehydrating your body post-workout.

What We Like

  • Proper doses of key ingredients aimed at recovery
  • Vegan
  • Has a subscribe-and-save option
  • Wide spectrum of amino acids

What We Don't Like

  • Limited flavors
  • Mixed reviews on the overall taste

BUY: Transparent Labs Muscle Building & Recovery Formula

Best or Post-Workout Protein - Kaged Re-Kaged Post-Workout Recovery Protein

Kaged Re-Kaged Post-Workout Recovery Protein


  • Price: $$$
  • Flavor options (rating scale): 2
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (41.7g)
  • Recommended dose: 1 scoop post-workout


Specifically formulated for your body's needs post-workout, Kage's Re-Kaged protein comes equipped with recovery powerhouses like glutamine and essential BCAAs to optimize it for maximal effectiveness. Everything included in this protein comes in one science-backed, effective dose.

If you often have difficulty digesting protein shakes, this one is formulated with ProHydrolase, a patented digestive enzyme.

What We Like

  • Contains science-backed BCAAs for recovery
  • Low in lactose
  • Free of banned substances
  • Wide spectrum of amino acids

What We Don't Like

  • High cost
  • Flavors often go out of stock

BUY: Kaged Re-Kaged Post-Workout Recovery Protein

Best Affordable - Jacked Factory Growth Surge Post-Workout Muscle Builder

Jacked Factory Growth Surge Post-Workout Muscle Builder


  • Price: $$
  • Flavor options (rating scale): 3
  • Type: Post-workout
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (10g)
  • Recommended dose: 1 scoop post-workout


This post-workout by Jacked Factory checks all the boxes when it comes to affordable muscle recovery supplements. Instead of under-dosing its active ingredients, Growth Surge achieves its affordability by eliminating the excess fillers and additives that other brands use to upsell customers.

Growth Surge contains ingredients proven to enhance recovery and muscle growth, including creatine monohydrate for greater anabolic endurance, betaine anhydrous to promote cellular hydration, and L-carnitine. Jacked Factory's offering strikes a strong balance between affordability and quality.

What We Like

  • Affordable
  • Transparent label with clear ingredients
  • No fillers or dyes
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Research-backed dosing
  • Wide flavor selection
  • Vegan

What We Don't Like

  • Hit or miss on flavors
  • Some report difficulty getting it to dissolve completely

BUY: Jacked Factory Growth Surge Post-Workout Muscle Builder

Best for Post-Workout L-Glutamine - Jacked Factory L-Glutamine Fermented

Jacked Factory L-Glutamine Fermented


  • Price: $
  • Flavor options (rating scale): 1
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (5g)
  • Recommended dose: 1-2 scoops daily


L-glutamine is an important building block for muscle function. It plays a role in glycogen replenishment for muscle recovery and is a crucial nutrient for gastrointestinal tract integrity.

This iteration of Jacked Factory's L-glutamine is specifically formulated to enhance absorption while providing the right dosage and it can be taken before, during, or after exercise.

What We Like

  • Cost effective
  • Fermented for better absorption
  • No fillers or dyes
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Proper dosing per serving

What We Don't Like

  • More expensive than other options
  • A few customers report a chalky aftertaste

BUY: Jacked Factory L-Glutamine Fermented

Best for Post-Workout Creatine - Jacked Factory Creatine Monohydrate

Jacked Factory Creatine Monohydrate


  • Price: $
  • Flavor options (rating scale): N/A
  • Serving size: 1 scoop (5g)
  • Recommended dose: 1-3 scoops daily


With their transparent labeling, science-backed dosing, and cost-to-value ratio, it's hard to find a better offering on the market than Jacked Factory's creatine monohydrate.

As one of the most-researched supplements, creatine monohydrate’s impact on muscle recovery, strength, and hypertrophy is massive. While the market may be saturated with creatine suppliers, you will not want to purchase this supplement of an unknown quality from an unknown source. We trust Jacked Factory’s commitment to U.S.-based, best practices manufacturing.

What We Like

  • Low cost
  • Heavily researched
  • Vegan
  • Manufactured in the United States
  • Clinical dosing per serving

What We Don't Like

  • More expensive than other options
  • Only comes in 1 size (85 servings)

BUY: Jacked Factory Creatine Monohydrate

A Quick Look at Muscle Recovery Supplements

The best way to understand how muscle recovery supplements help is to envision your body as a high-performance race car. Recovery supplements act as the additives in your engine oil or fuel mix that help your vehicle do what it already does, but better and more quickly.

Paired with a solid diet and physical activity, muscle recovery supplements will improve performance through quicker, more efficient recovery times and nutrient replenishment to get you back into action sooner.

What To Look For When Shopping for Muscle Recovery Supplements

Due to their popularity, hundreds of muscle recovery supplements have exploded onto the market. To help determine which supplements are the best for your situation, it's important to consider a few things.

Reputation of the Brand

Good companies will have meticulous control of every aspect of their manufacturing process, from sourcing to shipping. 

High-Quality Ingredients

Make sure the brand you purchase from is transparent regarding how ingredients are sourced. This is important, especially for plant-based ingredients.

Clinical Dosages

Many products on the market do not contain a high enough concentration of the ingredients they market to be effective.

It's good practice to research the minimum effective dose and ensure the muscle recovery product matches or exceeds it.

Avoid Proprietary Blends

Companies often hide behind "proprietary blends" to cover up poor quality ingredients and under-dosing. Choose products with transparent labels.

In our roundup, we'll explain how the ingredients in the following supplements will give your body the extra recovery edge and how athletes utilize them to enhance recovery.

Our Rating Scale for Supplements

Price/affordability (scale of $-$$$)

Prices depend on several factors and tend to fluctuate over time, so we've kept our affordability rating scale simple so you can easily see how products compare:

$ = under $1 per serving

$$ = $1-2 per serving

$$$ = over $2 per serving

Flavor Options (scale of 1-3)

When it comes to dietary supplements that you take frequently or even daily, options are important. And while your protein powder or pre-workout doesn't have to taste good to be effective, having several flavors to choose from can make it easier to stick with your fitness and health goals.

N/A = Unflavored

1 = 1-2 flavor options

2 = 3-4 flavor options

3 = 5 or more flavor options

FAQs About Muscle Recovery Supplements

Which supplement is best for muscle recovery?

Many supplements can aid in muscle recovery. The best choice is dependent on your situation and needs. However, some supplements to look into are L-glutamine, creatine monohydrate, and branched-chain amino acids. For a solid all-in-one option, check out Post by Transparent Labs.

What helps muscles recover faster?

Faster recovery depends on giving the body what it needs immediately after working out. In addition to rehydration and protein intake, other supplements would be beta-alanine, L-glutamine, and betaine anhydrous.

What supplement helps with muscle soreness?

In addition to proper post-workout nutrition, supplements such as magnesium, creatine, and BCAAs can address muscle soreness.

What supplements help repair muscle damage?

While many supplements can help, some of the most effective, clinically researched supplements include protein, glutamine, and carnitine.

What supplements help muscles recover fastest?

In addition to adequate protein, supplements such as creatine monohydrate, glutamine, and branched-chain amino acids may help accelerate muscle recovery in significant ways. It's for this reason that many are trying Kaged's post-workout protein.

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