Proven Post-Workout Recovery Secrets Of High Performers

5 min read

key takeaways:
  • If you want to get the most out of your workouts, you need to know how to recover properly. 
  • High performers – people who run faster, lift more and overcome more – recover after workouts much more quickly than the average person. The reason is that they follow specific post-workout recovery protocols. In short, they do certain things after workouts that others don’t.
  • Plant-based protein can be a more effective tool for recovery than whey protein supplements.

Discover why elite athletes, weekend warriors, and fitness fanatics are all ditching dairy and turning to plant-powered fuel for post-workout replenishment.

f you’re serious about working out you know that recovery is an essential part of your routine.

Following intense exercise, the right combination of protein and carbohydrates will help your muscles recover and build strength. It’s during the post-workout window that your body responds to the stress of exercise and the real benefits begin to kick in. How you refuel after you sweat can make all the difference between average results, and game-changing performance.

According to leading sports scientists and exercise physiologists, a muscle needs anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to repair and rebuild - assuming the right conditions are met. Working it again too soon can lead to tissue breakdown instead of building, which can delay progress and heighten your risk of injury.

It’s no secret that every athlete wants to maximize results and decrease risk of burn-out, fatigue, and injury. But, the question is, how to do it as naturally and safely as possible. The secret? It all comes down to the fuel you put in your tank. None of which is more important than the fuel you use during the post-workout recovery window.

What can you do after a workout to elevate your recovery game?

An effective post-workout recovery strategy should include things like:

  • Replacing lost fluids
  • Eating nutrient-dense superfoods
  • Resting and relaxing
  • Giving your body a good stretch
  • Myofascial release & soft-tissue massage
  • Performing active recovery exercises
  • Getting some extra sleep
  • Avoiding overtraining

The trouble is, many of these strategies are time-consuming and don’t fit well with today’s busy lifestyle. Too often, we rush from home to work to gym without taking time in between to give our mind and body the personal care it needs on a DAILY basis. Being away from home, getting stuck in traffic, social engagements, and a long-list of “To-Do’s” can infringe on the time we need to fully recover and compromise results

What's the best way to help my muscles recover?

Since the early 80’s, whey protein has been considered the gold standard for building muscle and maximizing gains, but it comes with a relatively unknown darkside, and it all started with a popular myth...

A big concern for athletes is getting adequate protein in their diet for building, preserving, and repairing the tissue and muscle in their bodies.

And, for quite some time there has been a popular myth circulating in the fitness and sports nutrition world that says you can only get the protein your body needs from whey or animal protein.

But now, with all the emerging science around plant-based nutrition, we know that nothing could be further from the truth…

You absolutely can get the protein your body needs from plant-based foods and you may be better off as a result. 

Who are Some Famous Plant-Based Athletes?

Many athletes who are at the top of their game are switching to a plant-based diet, including:

  • NBA’s Kyrie Irving
  • US National Rowing Team member, Michaela Copenhaver
  • 7-Time Super Bowl Champ Tom Brady
  • Ultramarathoner, Scott Jurek
  • Tennis stars Novak Djokovic, Venus and Serna Williams
  • Philadelphia Phillies pitcher, Patrick Neshek

And these are just a few.  Each year, the list of athletes switching to plant-based diets gets longer, which shouldn't be surprising.

With all things, athletes are hyper-competitive, so when see they're teammates and competitors thriving on a plant-based diet they want the same competitive edge for themselves. 

Plant-Based Olympic Sprinter

Which Protein Source is Best for Protein and Recovery?

Animal-based proteins like whey and collagen have been used for decades without anyone really questioning their merit or whether they are truly the best source of fuel...until now.

You see, before whey protein came along in the early 80's, athletes simply ate real food to get the calories and protein needed to support training and recovery.

But, given the number of calories high performance athletes require daily, eating only whole foods can often feel like a chore.  It's extremely time-consuming and requires a lot of preparation.

Protein powders and recovery drinks provide an easier option to boost protein and caloric intake in a fraction of the time it takes to cook a meal — an important necessity for almost any athlete in the modern era.

But, it wasn't until recently that the plant-based craze really kicked into high gear and was taken seriously by athletes, trainers, and nutritionists as a viable fuel source.

And that's because everyone was starting to discover that whey protein has some major design flaws.

The trouble with whey protein is that many people have an allergic reaction to whey (milk) products. It is also known to be pro-inflammatory and HIGHLY processed.

Whey protein is one of the most processed “foods” on the planet. A by-product of milk and dairy production, the extremely high temperatures used to produce whey protein can damage the fragile amino acids, leading to denatured protein that is less effective than advertised.

The lactose in whey can cause flatulence, indigestion, cramps, diarrhea, bloating and more for people who are allergic. Statistics show that over 75% of the worldwide population has dairy intolerance or lactose sensitivity. Even lactose-free options can pose issues because the underlying cause may not be lactose at all, but rather an intolerance to milk protein.Beyond gut health issues, whey protein can cause an increase in mucous production, acne, and and other skin-related issues, which are a direct result of the low-grade inflammation caused by milk proteins.

Does Milk (And Whey) Really Do a Body Good?

Billions of dollars have been spent to convince us that dairy is an essential food group. But, there’s nothing in cow’s milk and whey protein that you can’t get from plants. Protein combining of various plant-sources can provide all the essential amino acids you need to grow big and strong.

Contrary to what you’ve been led to believe, whey protein can actually increase the production and storage of body fat. A nutritional research study published in 2012 demonstrated that the amino acids in whey spiked insulin levels MORE than the carbohydrates found in a piece of white bread, which is more than a candy bar! Insulin is the hormone responsible for storing body fat...not the typical goal for someone looking to become leaner, faster, and stronger.

But What About Bone Health?

Whey protein and dairy products are acid-forming, meaning they spike acidity and lower pH levels in the blood. The non-alkaline sulphur-based amino acids of whey leach calcium from the bones into the bloodstream which degrades bone health and can result in calcification of the arteries, kidney stones, and even kidney failure. Quite a stark contrast to the reason why most people drink milk in the first place...the belief in the myth that it builds strong bones.

Why Whey Protein isn't a Health Food...

Other challenges with whey protein shakes is they typically contain large amounts of artificial sweeteners which you likely know aren’t good for your overall health and can pose dangerous long-term health risks.Additionally, the raising of livestock for milk, dairy, and subsequently whey protein production has an enormous negative impact on the environment. Aside from the horrific conditions imposed on these animals, industrialized meat and dairy production are one of the largest contributors to climate change. It is a completely unsustainable and inhumane process that is depleting precious natural resources at an alarming rate and threatens access to clean drinking water, arable land, and life as we know it.So, while whey is a complete protein it might not be the best choice for you. That is, if you care about your body, the planet and getting the most out of your workouts.

Ready to Wave Goodby to Whey & Power Up With Plants?

LYFE Fuel is a complete post-workout nutrition shake derived from whole food, nutrient-dense superfood ingredients.

So much more than your basic protein shake, the Recovery is the elite all-in-one solution for total post-workout nutrition.

Our shakes are easily absorbed into your starving muscles with a quick and gentle digestion process that gives you more bang for your buck without all the undesirable side-effects of whey.

And, unlike most whey protein shakes, there are no fillers, preservatives, artificial sweeteners or unpleasant side effects.Some people claim plant-based shakes and supplements typically taste chalky, but LYFE Fuel’s Recovery shakes are smooth & delicious. In fact, we’re so confident that you’ll LOVE our products that we offer a hassle-free money-back guarantee. If you’ve been searching for a healthier strategy to help you recover after a workout, to fast track your training and fitness goals…

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Amy Banaszek, Jeremy R. Townsend,* David Bender, William C. Vantrease, Autumn C. Marshall, and Kent D. Johnson, The Effects of Whey vs. Pea Protein on Physical Adaptations Following 8-Weeks of High-Intensity Functional Training (HIFT): A Pilot Study, V. 2019 Jan. Retrieved October 7, 2021

Jay R. Hoffman and Michael J. Falvo, Protein - Which is Best?  International Society of Sports Nutrition Symposium, June 18-19, 2005, Las Vegas NV, USA. Retrieved October 7, 2021

Disclaimer: The LYFE Fuel blog is for informational purposes only. The information does not serve as a replacement for professional medical advice or treatment. We kindly ask you not to ignore professional medical advice because of any information you’ve read on If you have any concerns about your health, please consult a physician or appropriate health care expert.