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The 5 best food supplements to improve sports recovery

by Cédric Jourdan © Copyright
Food supplements for sport

Optimise your muscular, articular and nervous recovery!

Facing the multiplication of food supplements, it is difficult for the consumer to identify which ones are essential and which really work. Based on our experience and on the basis of serious and independent scientific studies, we offer you the 5 best food supplements to improve your muscular, joint and nervous recovery. These supplements are valid for both strength and endurance sportsmen and women.

Improve muscle recovery

One of the essential rules for recovery is to leave muscles rest for 24 to 48 hours before the next workout. During your strength training or running, your muscle fibres are damaged causing micro tears.

Sport Passion recommends

Isolat Whey Elite d'Apurna

isolat whey This whey designed to boost muscle construction offers several advantages over other wheys, making it one of the best on the market. It is an isolate obtained by milk filtration (cold microfiltration then ultrafiltration). Isolate is purer, less fatty and above all more digestible than concentrated whey because the lactose has been largely eliminated by filtration. It offers a high protein content (81 g per 100 g of product), vitamins B6, C and E, amino acids (52 g per 100 g) including half of BCAA. It is sugar-free and fat-free. It also offers a very good value for money.

The hydration, nutrition and food supplements ingested will help repair the muscle to make it stronger and more resistant. Without quality muscle recovery, toxins remain, which can cause fatigue, stagnation and an increased risk of injury.

Whey protein

It is estimated that an endurance athlete (e.g. triathlon) needs 1.5 g of protein per kilo of body weight. This rate rises to 2 g per kg of body weight for muscle-building athletes with a muscular hypertrophy objective. Concretely, if you practice running and weigh 60 kg, you will need to consume 90 g of protein per day.

There are a multitude of protein powders available. However, we recommend whey isolate, which offers more advantages than whey concentrate (see our description in the box) and a good value for money. If you don't know which product to buy, we recommend Apurna's Isolat Whey Elite proposed on the i-Run website.

To improve your muscular recovery, consume it 30 minutes before but especially immediately after your sports session. You will respect the dosage recommended by the manufacturer.


Proteins + Carbohydrates =
a muscular recovery at the top

Boisson 2 and 1 Overstims Numerous scientific studies (1) have highlighted the major interest of consuming protein and carbohydrates together after exercise. Whey isolate and maltodextrin can be consumed very well. Otherwise, 2-in-1 drinks specially designed for this purpose are available on the market. Overstims proposes for example a very complete recovery drink (Overstims Elite).

According to F.DELAVIER and M.GUNDILL, in their book "Guide des complements alimentaires pour sportifs, 3rd edition" published in March 2019, it is advisable, in the first instance, to favour carbohydrates with a high glycemic index for short-term recovery. Thus, maltodextrin is one of the best drinks before, during and also after the effort to maintain high carbohydrate reserves. The speed of muscle glycogen synthesis was multiplied by 3 in the two hours following the effort thanks to this type of drink.

We encourage you to consume 50 g of maltodextrin immediately after exercise (view this product on i-Run).

For an optimised recovery, a drink combining carbohydrates and proteins can be consumed. Numerous scientific studies (1) have indeed highlighted the major advantage of consuming both together after exercise. In fact, "taking protein and a carbohydrate drink at the same time has the most obvious effects on energy recovery". This can be explained by a stronger secretion of insulin, which is beneficial for performance as well as recovery. In fact, do not hesitate to consume both whey isolate and maltodextrin. If you prefer to opt for a 2-in-1 drink, you will be spoilt for choice (see our box).


Sport Passion recommends

BCAA 4:1:1 at Anastore

BCAA Studies have shown the positive effects of BCAA's on the recovery of endurance athletes. In addition, BCAA's promote muscle growth and strength and reduce the feeling of fatigue. Anastore offers a quality product, certified 100% natural and allergen-free, with a balanced dosage of L-leucine, L-valine and L-isoleucine for increased efficiency.

Get 5 € discount from 90 € purchases with the code sport-passion

BCAA's consist of three essential amino acids, namely leucine, isoleucine and valine. Since they cannot be synthesised by the body, the intake of BCAA's is useful for recovery. Scientific studies are unanimous on this dietary supplement for both endurance and strength sportsmen and women. Whether the studies are on cyclists (2), swimmers (3) or strength training athletes (4), the effects are positive since BCAA's protect muscle integrity, speed up recovery, reduce the feeling of fatigue and develop muscle power to a greater extent than under placebo.

Unlike other food supplements, BCAA's are really effective because they are not destroyed before they reach the muscles. The intake of BCAA's therefore acts effectively on our organism since the degradation by the liver and the digestive system is low.

In terms of dosage, we advise you to consume 5 to 10 g of BCAA per day. You will find an interesting and quality product at Anastore (BCAA 4:1:1) offering a balanced dosage of L-leucine, L-valine and L-isoleucine. You will be able to consume 1 to 2 dosing spoons of powder to be taken in 2 times, 45 minutes before and immediately after your workout.

Improving joint recovery

It is estimated that muscular recovery is achieved in 72 hours. However, joint recovery takes longer due to poor blood supply, resulting in minor injuries and inflammation of the tendons, for example. To prevent this, the supply of collagen can be helpful.


Sport Passion recommends

Orfito Marine Collagen II

Marine collagen Collagen participates in joint recovery. It has been shown that a majority of sportsmen and women do not meet their needs in proteins, hence the interest to take some as a supplement. We recommend you to choose a marine collagen (from fish) rather than a collagen of animal origin. Marine collagen is indeed better assimilated and more effective. Type I, extracted from the skin of fish, is interesting for the health of the skin. Type II (extracted from cartilage) will be more appropriate for joint recovery. We propose Orfito's marine collagen type II. Its hydrolyzed form makes its assimilation optimal and offers good digestibility.

Collagen proteins represent about 30% of all our body proteins, in the form of tendons, fascias, ligaments and skin according to DELAVIER and GUNDILL. It would seem that a large majority of sportsmen and women do not manage to satisfy their need for collagen, hence the interest of this supplement to improve joint recovery and thus limit repetitive tendonitis, joint pain or aches and pains. The authors indicate that in the absence of collagen supplementation, recovery will be delayed or incomplete leading to injury.

It is estimated that between 5 and 10 g of collagen are needed for a sportsman or woman who wants to improve his or her recovery.

We recommend that you choose marine collagen (from fish) rather than collagen of porcine or bovine origin. Marine collagen is indeed better assimilated and more effective. Type I, extracted from the skin of fish, is interesting for the health of the skin. Type II (extracted from cartilage) will be more suitable for joint recovery.

For joint recovery, we therefore recommend a type II marine collagen such as the Orfito brand collagen on sale on the Onatera website (see our box). For better assimilation, it is best to consume it outside of meals, either on an empty stomach in the morning or in the evening before going to bed.

Improving nervous recovery

Nervous recovery is the slowest of the 3 types of recoveries. During training, the nervous system is put to work. For example, in strength training, the myelin sheaths covering the nerve fibres are damaged by the effort. The concentric phase compresses the nerve while the eccentric phase stretches it. In addition to this mechanism, an inflammatory process takes place, with the accumulation of waste products damaging the myelin sheath and the nervous system. As a result, the conductivity speed of the nerve signal is not optimal. In fact, it is rare for a sportsman or woman to break records several days in a row.


Sport Passion recommends

Magnesium 6 in 1 from MBE

Magnesium 6 in 1 MBE Magnesium 6 in 1 is an effective formula offering 6 sources of high quality bioavailable magnesium combined with Taurine and Vitamin B6 which promote its assimilation and fixation. Taurine promotes the entry of magnesium into the cells. Vitamin B6 helps to reduce fatigue while fixing magnesium in the body.

Magnesium contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous and muscular systems as well as to energy production and protein synthesis. In strength training, the lack of nervous recovery directly impacts performance on basic exercises (squat, bench press, lifting from the ground, etc.). This recovery is long and often neglected, which can lead to overtraining.

The study SU.VI.MAX, for SUpplementation in VItamines and Anti-oXidant Minerals, highlighted the fact that the average magnesium intake only covers 88% of the recommendations for men and 78% for women. Mineral needs are increased in sportsmen and women, which is why magnesium supplementation is useful in case of deficiencies.

For the dosage, we advise you to take 300 mg of magnesium per day, to be taken with meals.

We recommend this supplement in the form of soluble organic salts (e.g. gluconate, pidolate, citrate, glycerophosphate, aspartate, malate) for their good bioavailability and optimal assimilation in the intestine. For a better penetration at the level of the cells, these salts are often accompanied by vitamin B6 or taurine. They can also be taken in the form of a soluble organic complex, such as bisglycinate, which also offers excellent bioavailability and is highly assimilable by the body.

If you don't know which product to buy, we offer you the 2 references below which are magnesium salts that are highly assimilable and well tolerated by the body. You will find them on the Onatera website:

Beware! Magnesium cure is contraindicated in case of renal insufficiency. Magnesium taken in the form of medication makes it difficult to absorb certain drugs (especially for the treatment of osteoporosis) and antibiotics. It is best to delay their intake for 2 to 3 hours. Ask your pharmacist or doctor for more information.


The trio of proteins, carbohydrates and BCAA's is well ahead in speeding up muscle recovery. Moreover, they are the 3 food supplements most consumed by sportsmen and women.

If you are an endurance athlete (swimming, running, trail, triathlon, etc), make sure you focus on carbohydrates, without neglecting proteins.

Conversely, those who practise strength sports such as bodybuilding or fitness will focus their attention first on protein intake, then on carbohydrates. As a reminder, the joint action of proteins and carbohydrates multiplies the efficiency of recovery, compared to isolated use.

BCAA's will be useful for all sportsmen and women.

To limit inflammation and tendonitis, we opt for collagen supplementation. This will improve joint recovery.

Nervous recovery is the slowest. It will be improved thanks to the magnesium supply. Wisteria and maté have also proven their effectiveness.

Finally, it is important to remember that food supplements are an aid but are not a substitute for hydration, a good diet and a good quality sleep.

Cédric Jourdan, coach sportif
Copyright © Sport Passion


References :

Williams M.B., et al. Effects of recovery beverages on glycogen restoration and endurance exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2003

Blomstrand E., et al. Effect of branched-chain amino acid supplementation on the exercise-induced change in aromatic amino acid concentration in human muscle. Acta Physiol Scand. 1992.

Fu-Chun T. Influence of branched-chain amino acid supplementation on urinary protein metabolite concentrations after swimming. J Am Coll Nutr. 2006

Ganzit G.P. Effects of oral branched-chain amino acids supplementation in bodybuilders. 1997.

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