Whether you’re into yoga, sports, weight lifting, CrossFit or pilates, the best post-workout supplements for women can optimize muscle growth and restore diminished nutrients for faster recovery and muscle gains.
Now you may be wondering: aren’t post-workout supplements built for men? The answer: many post-workouts are built for men, with higher doses and little concern regarding clean ingredients. However, there are also post-workout formulas designed for women, as well as human formulas that work equally well for men and women. This guide discusses the best post-workouts for women to take.
Quick List: Best Post-Workout Supplements for Women
The best post-workout supplements for women combine moderate doses of natural, energizing ingredients and vital nutrients into “stacks” to rejuvenate the body after a workout. We’ll get into the ingredient details and fitness benefits a little later. But for now, here is a quick list of top-rated post-workout formulas for women:
|#1. Performance Lab SPORT Post-Workout – A super clean, caffeine-free post-workout for women that counteracts damage and deficiencies due to intense exercise using natural, effective ingredients like pomegranate juice extract; comes in advanced vegan plant capsules. Performance Lab SPORT Post-Workout website|
|#2.Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator – An all-natural, vegan powder post-workout for women containing 17 grams of carbs along with electrolytes and yellow pea protein to repair muscles and replenish lost nutrients after a workout. Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator website|
|#3. Gym Vixen Sexy Recover – Built for women, Gym Vixen Sexy Recover contains L-Glutamine, Creatine HCL and Banaba Leaf, which work together to reduce soreness after a workout while replenishing lost nutrients. Gym Vixen Sexy Recover website|
|#4. Mt. Capra Solar Synergy- With all natural ingredients including goat milk protein and 9 superfoods, Mt. Capra is the perfect substitute for your sugar and chemical-filled sports drink of choice. Mt. Capra Solar Synergy website|
|#5. Onnit Recovery Protein – Containing Coconut Water, Hemp Seed and Branched Chain Amino Acids, Onnit post-workout powder shortens muscle recovery time while rehydrating the body. Onnit website|
Or, read on to learn about Post-Workouts for women.
Post-Workouts for Women Guide
Women take post-workout supplements to replenish nutrients and energy after a workout. They also take them to prevent protein breakdown while supporting protein production, which may help with the development of lean muscle. Here’s exactly how women can benefit from a natural post-workout supplement.
Benefits of Post-Workout Supplements for Women
Women can actually reap many of the same benefits as men do from a quality post-workout supplement. Here are the details.
1. Rehydrate the Body
Taking a post-workout supplement can help women restore hydration after a workout, counteracting dehydration or hypohydration. Hypohydration is the technical term for when the body is lacking water.
Post-workouts provide nutrients that can replenish hydration after exercise. For example, organic coconut crystals can be found in some post-workouts because they have proven to provide electrolytes for rehydration, especially when combined with salt.
2. Reduce Oxidative Stress
Believe it or not, working out temporarily damages the female body by initiating the release of stress hormones, which activates the use of protein and nutrients for energy maintenance. This damaging effect is called oxidative stress.
Luckily, some post-workouts may stop the release of cortisol during a workout, ultimately reducing oxidative stress reactions. This means the muscles will use up less protein and nutrients while exercising.
Reducing oxidative stress can ultimately reduce damage and soreness from exercise, allowing the body and muscles to recover and rebuild quicker for optimal gains.
- For example, some of the best post-workout supplements for women supply antioxidant ingredients like vitamin C, goji berry and pomegranate extract.
These antioxidants are suggested to buffer oxidative stress after a workout by neutralizing cell-damaging free radicals.
3. Rebuild and Repair Muscles
Post-workouts rebuild and repair muscles by supporting protein synthesis, replenishing glycogen stores and reducing stress reactions. Post-workouts that provide protein after a workout may repair any damaged cells and promote muscle growth. Keep in mind, however, that women who work out more often and more intensely may need more protein than others.
In addition, replenishing glycogen requires carbohydrates and proteins, which can be found in many post-workout supplements in varying dosages. Similarly, various ingredients work to reduce oxidative stress, which, as we discussed above, can reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery between workouts for optimized gains.
4. Support Fat Loss
Some post-workouts for women can help optimize fat loss and muscle growth for maximum overall gains. For example, ingesting carbs right after a solid workout ensures those carbs won’t be stored as fat but instead used to replenish depleted glycogen stores for faster recovery. This ultimately helps women gain lean muscle while promoting fat loss.
The best post-workout supplements for women also keep the body hydrated after a workout, which can help reduce daily caloric intake and support fat loss.
For an even bigger fat loss boost, women should look for post-workouts containing specific fat-burning ingredients. For example, post-workouts that contain BCAAs or Branched Chain Amino Acids, Arginine and Glutamine may support fat loss.
To achieve the best results, women should look for supplements that provide extra support for:
- Protein synthesis
- Muscle repair and recovery time
- Replenishing nutrients like glycogen and electrolytes
- Fat loss
Which Ingredients Should Women look for in a Postworkout Supplement?
Women tend to go for clean, caffeine-free ingredients with little to no side effects in their post-workouts. This means they may even prefer vegan or plant-based supplements to animal-based. Below, we’ll discuss which natural ingredients are the most popular and effective for women and why.
Exercise depletes the body’s supply of creatine, which is why it’s an important amino acid to have in a post-workout; yes, even for women. Creatine gets turned into phosphocreatine in the body, which is ultimately stored in the muscles to be used as energy during a workout.
It may also help reduce oxidative stress to boost muscle gains and decrease muscle damage. However, women should be aware of possible bloating effects. Some branded forms of creatine are designed to minimize gastric side effects.
Organic Pomegranate Extract
Organic Pomegranate Extract may boost muscle circulation, reduce free radicals and buffer oxidative stress in women who work out. This can help reduce the amount of time the muscles take to recover after an intense session.
- P40P™ is the best form of pomegranate extract because it is regulated to 90% of the antioxidants from pomegranate juice and provides an estimated 5 pomegranates worth of nutrients.
Organic Coconut Water Crystals
Organic Coconut Water Crystals can rehydrate the body by replenishing electrolytes and glycogen stores after a workout, especially when combined with Himalayan pink salt.
Himalayan Pink Salt
Himalayan Pink Salt may also boost hydration after a workout. Actually, studies show it’s the perfect hydrating complement to coconut water crystals.
- Natural, unprocessed salt is the best form of Himalayan Pink Salt because it contains natural trace minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Hemp seed is an all-natural source of protein that may have antioxidant effects, according to animal studies. This makes sense, seeing as hemp seed contains more amino acids than meat, eggs and cheese. It usually comes in a powder form and is known as the most natural form of plant-based protein there is: perfect for vegans and vegetarians.
- The best form of hemp seed is nonprocessed, natural hemp seed powder because it comes without additives that may contain side effects.
BCAAs stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids. They consist of the amino acids Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. Their job is to initiate the production of muscle myofibrillar protein after a workout. In other words, they help speed up muscle recovery for ultimate muscle gains and fat loss.
- The best form of BCAAs includes all three BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio of leucine, isoleucine and valine. This mixed ratio has shown to initiate maximum increases in protein production for optimal muscle gains compared to other ratios.
Whey protein is a dairy-based protein that comes from cheese. Whey protein has shown to improve overall body anabolism and may help speed up recovery times after intense workouts by balancing protein levels faster afterward.
- Whey Protein Isolate is the best form of Whey protein because it is the purest form, containing about 90-95% protein with very little fat and dairy content.
Citrulline may help high-intensity athletes reduce soreness and recovery times between workouts. It may also increase nitric oxide, allowing the muscles to absorb nutrients faster. Thus, it’s a great, research-backed ingredient for women to look for in a post-workout.
- Citrulline Malate is the best form of citrulline because it provides citrulline and malate, therefore initiating the production of nitric oxide to make nutrient-absorption easier while increasing energy by supporting the citrus acid cycle.
Glutamine is an amino acid and natural post-workout ingredient that has shown to help enhance physical performance and muscle growth. It may be the perfect compliment to Citrulline, which may reduce soreness and increase nitric oxide for optimized nutrient-absorption.
Organic Grape Seed Extract
Pea protein is a plant-based protein as opposed to animal-based, making it the perfect vegan alternative to Whey Protein, which is animal-based (containing dairy). Post-workout supplements built with pea protein instead of animal-based protein have actually shown to be just as effective as animal-based proteins.
Pea protein contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It also contains more of the amino acid Arginine than Whey protein; Arginine is an essential amino acid for muscle building.
How Best 5 Supplements Rates and Ranks the Best Post Workouts for Women
For general information on buying high-quality post-workout supplements, please check out the Best 5 How to Buy a Good Supplement guide. When it comes to buying the best post workout supplements for women in particular, here are the criteria we used in our ratings:
- Combinations – Stack ingredients that may work in synergy for muscle gains
- Healthy – Superior post-workout supplements look out for women’s long-term health
- Quality – Premium ingredient and delivery forms work better than others
- Research – Human studies that show safety, no side effects and benefits
- Service – Good return policy, shipping, and strong customer support
- Value – Formulas that deliver muscles gains and results on your investment
- Cleanliness – Vegan, no fillers, artificial colors, synthetics or preservatives
Best Post-Workouts for Women
#1: Performance Lab SPORT Post-Workout
We can’t say enough about this quality post-workout for women, which is why it takes the top spot. It is also our top Post-Workout overall for 2018.
Performance Lab SPORT Post-Workout comes in a super clean, caffeine and stimulant-free, vegan, prebiotic capsule. The ingredients are highly absorbable; the prebiotic capsule helps digestion.
The Performance Lab SPORT Post-Workout formula consists of a stack of just four evidence-backed ingredients in quality forms, with a focus on rehydration and replenishment after a workout. The result: quicker muscle recovery and lean muscle gains for women.
Performance Lab SPORT Post-Workout Summary
|Full Ingredient List: Sodium (from Himalayan Pink Salt) 140 mg, Creatine (as Creapure® pH10) 1,000 mg, Pomegranate (as P40p™) (40% punicosides 50% polyphenols) 500 mg, Organic Coconut Water Crystals 1,250 mg, Himalayan Pink Salt 350 mg, Plantcaps® Pullulan Capsule, NuFlow® Rice Concentrate|
|Clean Label: Yes. No artificial flavors, preservatives or additives|
|Advanced Delivery: Yes. Vegan, pre-biotic Plantcaps® made from pullulan|
|Price: $40 per one month supply|
|Any Deals? Yes. Save 5% when you buy 2 boxes and 10% when you buy 3.|
|Service: 30-day guarantee on first order; contact via email.|
|Official Website: www.performancelab.com|
|Read our in-depth Performance Lab SPORT Post-Workout review|
#2: Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator
Vega Sport Recovery comes in a tropically flavored powder form with no artificial sweeteners or additives. It is vegan, gluten-free and caffeine-free, presenting itself as one of the cleanest post-workout supplements on the market.
It also contains folic acid, which supports women’s reproductive health while helping the body create new cells after a workout. Another thing that makes Vega Sport special is its vegan pea protein base as opposed to whey and/or soy proteins.
Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator Summary
|Full Ingredient List: Calories 90, Carbs 20 g, Sugars 14 g, Vitamin A (as vitamin Apalmitate) 300 IU, Thiamine (as thiamine hydrochloride) 5 mg, Riboflavin 5 mg, Niacin (as niacinamide) 5 mg, Folate (as folic acid) 30 mcg, Biotin 5 mcg, Pantothenic Acid (as calcium D-pantothenate)5 mg, Magnesium (as magnesium citrate) 20 mg, Zinc (as zinc citrate) 5 mg, Ginsenoside 4 mg, Sodium 150 mg, Turmeric 53 mg, Chloride 154 mg, Yellow Pea Protein 4,207 mg, Organic Gelatinized Maca Root 1,500 mg, Glucosamine Hydrochloride 750 mg, Sprouted Whole Grain Brown Rice Protein 624 mg, L-Arginine 500 mg, Devil’s Claw 5:1 Extract 180 mg, American Ginseng 100 mg, Astralagus 100 mg, 95% Curcuminoids 50 mg, Cayenne 25 mg, Whole grain brown rice sweetener, natural flavors, citric acid, malic acid, stevia extract, beta-carotene|
|Clean Label: Yes. No artificial flavors or sweeteners; just natural stevia sweetener|
|Advanced Delivery: No. Comes in vegan powder form; mix with water or other drink.|
|Stimulant Free: Yes. No caffeine or stimulants.|
|Price: $33.99 per one-month supply (was $39.99)|
|Any Deals? On sale for $33.99; Buy 12 packets for $25.49 or single packet for $2.12.|
|Service: 30-day satisfaction guarantee; fill out form and contact via email or phone.|
|Official Website: www.MyVega.com|
|Read our in-depth Vega Sport Recovery review|
#3: Gym Vixen Sexy Recover
If you have trouble with soreness and inflammation after intense workouts, Gym Vixen Sexy Recover could change your post-workout experience for the better. This post-workout was built especially for women to help decrease muscle soreness and speed up recovery time.
Gym Vixen Sexy Recover’s powerful formula helps women replenish vital nutrients by providing all 9 essential amino acids in their studied doses on top of vital BCAAs and minerals for optimal muscle gains and fat loss. Even better, there are no caffeine or stimulants and no artificial flavors that we can see.
Gym Vixen Sexy Recover Summary
|Full Ingredient List: Vitamin C (as Absorbic Acid) 1,000 mg, Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine HCl) 10.5 mg, Magnesium (as Mangesium Aspartate) 100 mg, Zinc (as Zinc AAC) 15 mg, L-Leucine 1,122 mg, L-Lysine 888 mg, L-Phenylalanine 771 mg, L-Valine 561 mg, L-Isoleucine 561 mg, L-Threonine 468 mg, L-Methionine 443 mg, L-Histidine 328 mg, L-Tryptophan 117 mg, L-Glutamine 2,000 mg, Creatine HCI 1,000 mg, Banaba Leaf (1%Corsolic Acid) 50 mg|
|Clean Label: Yes. No artificial flavors or preservatives listed|
|Advanced Delivery: No. Comes in powder form, mix with water.|
|Stimulant Free: Yes. No caffeine or stimulants.|
|Price: $39.95 per one-month supply|
|Any Deals? Yes, Save $10 plus free shipping and a free shaker when you buy 2; Save $20 plus free shipping and free shaker when you buy 3|
|Service: 60-day money-back guarantee on all orders, contact via online form, phone or email.|
|Official Website: www.gymvixen.com|
|Read our in-depth Gym Vixen Sexy Recover review|
#4: Mt. Capra Solar Synergy
This unique post-workout is an advanced, healthy version of sports drinks that replenish electrolytes and refuel the body, minus the loads of sugar and unhealthy ingredients.
Mt. Capra Solar Synergy combines premium goat milk with 9 effective botanical superfoods that provide antioxidant support while moderating free radicals after exercise. All in all, it can refuel the female body after a workout without the crash and burn from caffeine, sugars and additives.
Mt. Capra Solar Synergy Summary
|Full Ingredient List: Calories 50, Sodium 110 mg, Carbs 10g, Sugars (not added) 4g, Protein 2 g, Potassium 10%, Calcium 10%, Vitamin C 102%, Iron 4%, Goat Milk Mineral Whey, Natural Flavors, Goji Berries, Lohan Fruit, Sea Buckthorn, Acai Berries, Elderberries, Sensoril (Ashwagandha), VitaGrape™ (Organic Grape Seed Extract), Wellberry™ (Indian Gooseberry), Organic Yacon Leaf, Aronia Berries, Goat Milk Cream, Stevia|
|Clean Label: Yes. All natural ingredients|
|Advanced Delivery: No. Comes in powder form.|
|Stimulant Free: Yes. No caffeine or stimulants.|
|Price: $49.95 per one-month supply|
|Any Deals? Yes. $39.95 for a 10-pack; $28.45 for 210 grams; $3.95 for single packet; $268.95 for 5 pounds|
|Service: 30-day money-back guarantee on all products; contact via phone or email.|
|Official Website: www.MtCapra.com|
|Read our in-depth Mt. Capra Solar Synergy review|
#5 Onnit Recovery Protein
Onnit Recovery Protein is another all-natural post-workout that can help women repair muscles and rehydrate after an intense workout.
Containing hydrating Coconut Water, Hemp Seed and fat-burning Branched Chain Amino Acids, Onnit enhances muscle recovery times while rehydrating the body.
In addition, Onnit comes in a toasted coconut flavored powder that can be mixed with water, a smoothie or a shake.
|Full Ingredient List: Calories 170, Calories from Fat 45, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat .5 g, Monosaturated Fat .5 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 3.5 g, Carbs 14 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Sugars 4 g, Protein 16 g, Calcium 83 mg, Iron 1 mg, Sodium 55 mg, Optimized Blend of Hemp (seed) and Colostrum (bovine) 15 g, Goat Whey Protein Isolate 10 g, Coconut Water 10 g, Branched Chain Amino Acids: L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine, L-Valine (2:1:1) 3.5 g, Creatine Monohydrate 1 g, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavors, Sunflower Lecithin, Nu-Flow® Organic Rice Hull Concentrate, Sunflower Oil, Organic Acacia Gum, Stevia (leaf) Extract|
|Clean Label: Yes. No artificial flavors or additives|
|Advanced Delivery: No. Comes in powder form to mix with water or smoothie.|
|Stimulant Free: Yes.|
|Price: $39.95 per one-month supply|
|Any Deals? Yes. Subscribe and save 15%|
|Service: Full refund and keep the product if you don’t like it. Redeemable for up to three months on first purchase only. Contact via phone, email or refund request form.|
|Official Website: www.Onnit.com|
|Read our in-depth Onnit review|
In this guide, we’ve outlined the best 5 post-workout supplements for women based on which stacks contain clean, research-backed ingredients in premium forms and clinical doses.
- Overall, women prefer post-workouts with little to no additives or preservatives to speed up muscle recovery without the pesky side effects.
Whether you’re an athlete, a yogi, or just a frequent exerciser, post-workout supplements can benefit women just as much as men; don’t let anyone tell you different.
Keep in mind, however, that you may achieve even better results when you pair your favorite Best 5 post-workout with one of our best pre-workout supplements for women.
- Kuberski T et al. Coconut water as a rehydration fluid. N Z Med J. 1979 Aug 8;90(641):98-100.
- Ammar A et al. Effects of Pomegranate Juice Supplementation on Oxidative Stress Biomarkers Following Weightlifting Exercise. Nutrients. 2017 Jul 29;9(8). pii: E819.
- Kreider RB, Campbell B. Protein for Exercise and Recovery. Phys Sportsmed. 2009 Jun;37(2):13-21.
- Ellery SJ, Walker DW, Dickinson H. Creatine for women: a review of the relationship between creatine and the reproductive cycle and female-specific benefits of creatine therapy. Amino Acids. 2016 Aug;48(8):1807-17.
- Abraham T. Girgih et al. A Novel Hemp Seed Meal Protein Hydrolysate Reduces Oxidative Stress Factors in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats. Nutrients. 2014 Dec; 6(12): 5652–5666.
- Negro M et al. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.
- Nicolas Babault et al. Pea proteins oral supplementation promotes muscle thickness gains during resistance training: a double-blind, randomized, Placebo-controlled clinical trial vs. Whey protein. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015; 12: 3.