If you’ve suffered an injury, you’re most likely looking for the swiftest road to recovery. There are a handful of supplements that can be really beneficial as muscle repair supplements after injury, but you have to know which ones to look for, and ensure that they are high-quality.
Supplements may help with muscle repair in terms of injury prevention, but they have the potential to help you heal after your muscle has already been injured as well.
In this article, we will help to identify the best muscle repair supplements after injury, why these supplements are effective, and how you can choose the best quality supplements for your needs.
There are a lot of different factors that go into deciding how to address a sports injury, and seeking medical attention is advised. Getting guidance from a medical professional can provide an effective treatment and recovery plan beyond your at-home supplement routine.
Be sure to ask about medical nutrition therapy during your appointment to learn how your diet can impact your recovery. You can also see what your medical professional thinks about our list of best muscle supplements for injury repair to ensure the supplements are right for you.
The 5 best muscle repair supplements after injury
When you decide to use muscle repair supplements after injury for recovery or even for injury prevention, you’re likely doing so for a few reasons:
- To prevent further damage to the injured area and tissues
- To optimize collagen synthesis and tissue formation
- To ensure that your body is receiving the micronutrients it needs to repair its connective tissues
For the most part, your body is seeking help to repair the injured tissue through additional antioxidants and amino acids. Other muscle repair supplements after injury can offer help to control things like inflammation or the absorption of necessary nutrients.
Here are our top five muscle repair supplements after injury to help you recover quickly and get back to the sport you love.
Whether you have a minor injury like a muscle pull or strain, or you have a major injury that requires surgery, you will likely be experiencing inflammation. Inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is often what causes some of the pain you feel in the injured area.
Your body needs inflammation to occur when you have an injury so you can clean up old, dead cells and invite healthy nutrients into the area. However, there are healthy and unhealthy ranges of inflammation.
When your body overreacts with inflammation, or you can’t break out of the inflammation stage, you need something to address the issue and alleviate some of the pain.
Introducing anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements has the potential to increase recovery time and reduce inflammation to a healthy range. Turmeric is one of the most common natural supplements used as an anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric is thought to be a successful anti-inflammatory supplement because it’s main active compound in curcumin. In one study, turmeric actually outperformed ibuprofen in reducing inflammation-related joint pain while presenting fewer side effects.
Turmeric is thought to reduce your oxidative stress because of the antioxidant effects, and it reduces inflammation in osteo-cartilaginous tissues as well. That is what makes it one of the best muscle repair supplements after injury.
How much turmeric you take and with what frequency will be up to you, your treatment plan, and should be decided with a medical professional to avoid any unwanted effects.
Most patients have more luck with turmeric when taking it with black pepper extract to improve absorption, so when looking for a tumeric muscle repair supplement after injury, look for one with black pepper extract included if possible.
2. Tart cherry extract
Next on our list of the best muscle repair supplements after injury is tart cherry extract.
Cherries may already be something that you readily include in your diet because of the widely-known claims that cherry juice or extract can benefit in muscle recovery.
Many athletes add cherries to smoothies, drink cherry juice, or take cherry supplements as a part of their exercise routine because of the muscle recovery benefits.
Much like turmeric, cherry extract works to reduce inflammation, but cherries specifically reduce inflammation in your muscles that can cause soreness. It does this by bringing the uric acid levels down to reduce muscle injury biomarkers and general muscle pain.
Cherries are also very antioxidant rich which can help with cell production and injury recovery.
Most athletes will choose to take tart cherry extract for concentrated doses as muscle repair supplements after injury, but you can also choose to drink tart cherry juice or simply add more cherries to your diet.
3. Fatty acids
Fatty acids in general are great as muscle repair supplements after injury.
When we think of fatty acids we often think of fish oils, but another just as effective source of these fatty acids is algae. The reason fatty acids may help with muscle recovery is because they supply you with energy while simultaneously reducing inflammation in the affected area.
Medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) fatty acid may help your muscles to reduce lactic acid buildup. Omega-3 fatty acids may help reduce muscle fatigue and soreness. Both may help with injury prevention in general.
Since fatty acids are sourced from natural products like fish or algae, to get the highest quality muscle repair supplements after injury you should identify how the fish were raised, and if the algae is farm raised.
Certain farming and raising conditions prevent pollutants from being caught up in the supplement and being passed onto your body. You can also get some fatty acids from foods like flax meal and chia seeds if you are trying to steer away from fish.
4. Collagen peptides
While there are several vitamins and minerals that can help your body heal, perhaps the most effective of the muscle repair supplements after injury is collagen peptides.
Sports research on collagen peptides suggests that collagen is one of the most influential supplements in muscle recovery and injury recovery. The reason collagen peptides are so influential in muscle repair is that your body uses collagen to construct new connective tissues.
While your body can produce some collagen on its own, if you are older than 25, your natural collagen production decreases with every year you age. That’s why you may notice it takes longer to recover from a run, or that your joints feel stiffer than they did in your early twenties.
When you have an injury, the reduced collagen production can also make the injury take longer to heal. To help your body keep up with the demand of collagen molecules needed, you can add a supplement to the mix.
Now, you can get some collagen from foods that you eat, but these will only be animal products. And the problem with trying to get collagen in the whole form from an animal product is that it is not as bioavailable to you.
Collagen molecules in the whole form are too big to fit through your stomach pores, and by the time the collagen has made it through your digestive system, you’ll end up passing most of it, not absorbing it.
That’s why some collagen supplements tend to be more effective than others when used to aid in injury recovery. You need to look for collagen supplements that are either labeled as collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, or nano-hydrolyzed collagen.
Hydrolyzed collagen supplements have gone through the process of hydrolysis to break down the molecules into smaller, more digestible pieces. Nano-hydrolyzed collagen has gone through hydrolysis more than once, making that collagen even more absorbable.
That’s what makes nano-hydrolyzed collagen one of the absolute best muscle repair supplements after injury. It’s incredibly easy for your body to absorb and utilize in injury recovery.
What makes collagen even better for your recovery is if it is paired with vitamin C.
5. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is one of the best muscle repair supplements after injury when taken with a collagen supplement. Reason being is that vitamin C helps your body synthesize collagen and makes the amino acids provided by a collagen supplement more absorbable when taken together.
You can supplement with ascorbic acid which is found in most vitamin C supplements or go straight to the source and eat foods high in vitamin C. This will include most fruits and some vegetables like bell peppers.
When you get high levels of vitamin C from your diet after a sports injury, you help your body rebuild the damaged tissue and support healthy collagen production.
As a bonus, vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant and has some anti-inflammatory properties, which can help with injury recovery as well.
How to choose the best supplements for you
The type of muscle repair supplements after injury that you choose will likely depend on the severity of your injury, your treatment plan, and what your doctor or dietician recommends.
Keep in mind that not all supplements are created equal and that most supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way pharmaceuticals are. Learn to read supplement nutrition labels thoroughly and understand product sourcing so you can make the most informed choices.
Of all of the supplements we listed above, if you only take one muscle repair supplement after injury, we’d recommend using a collagen peptide protein.
Protein in general is extremely important during muscle recovery and tissue repair, but your body uses collagen directly to build muscle and connective tissues.
The best collagen supplement for muscle recovery is going to be one that is easy for you to digest and absorb, and is one that comes from a reputable source.
Frog Fuel liquid collagen protein is just such a supplement. With the addition of digestive enzymes, and the use of nano-hydrolyzed collagen molecules, your body can digest and begin processing Frog Fuel collagen within 15 minutes of consumption.
We also use the same formula in our ProT Gold liquid collagen supplement. The reason we mention this is because ProT Gold is actually categorized as medical food, not a supplement. This means it has more rigorous testing and it is trusted by thousands of medical facilities.
Taking a nano-hydrolyzed collagen supplement is one of the best things you can do for your body when looking for muscle repair supplements after injury. Simply adding this supplement to your diet can give your body the building blocks it needs to heal yourself from the inside out.