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September 15, 2022 4 min read

Alongside balanced workouts, recovery time and optimized nutrition are vital parts of muscle gain and maintenance. While you’re out there pushing your physical limits, it is essential to equally prioritize adequate down time, healthy meals and sophisticated supplementation.

Because of preferences, habits and genetics, even the cleanest diets will have some nutritional gaps. Supplementation allows us to go above and beyond what food alone provides, paving the way to minimal soreness and efficient muscle gains. We can accomplish a lot with a few well chosen, high quality nutritional formulas that support workout recovery in various ways:

Fueling Mitochondria:

Mitochondria exist in every cell of your body and are responsible for producing the energy that the cell needs to carry out its work. Various nutrients are required in the mitochondrial “engine,” so to keep skeletal muscle cells pumping out energy for doing hard work, feed them CoQ10 and Acetyl L-Carnitine. Calcium and magnesium are also vital minerals for muscle performance, as every time a muscle fiber contracts, it requires molecules of calcium to do so, and relaxing the same fiber requires molecules of magnesium.

Better Blood Flow and Oxygenation:

That sore, stiff muscle feeling you get after working out for too long or going too far is the result of lactic acid buildup in muscles that have been pushed beyond their current capacity.

Lactic acid is a waste product of anaerobic metabolism (the process of producing energy, with lower than optimal levels of oxygen in the tissues). Once your muscles hit the point of being overworked, they switch into anaerobic metabolism in order to keep up with the demand you’re putting on them. You get through the workout, but at the cost of being sore until the muscle cells get the lactic acid cleared out.

Nutrients like L-arginine, L-citrulline, DL-Malate and niacin maximize perfusion (the movement of oxygen from blood vessels into the tissues that need it) in part by increasing nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide keeps blood vessels relaxed, allowing for easier oxygen and nutrient transfer.

Don’t lose momentum! Set a schedule to be sure you’re stepping your workouts up in a way your body can handle. Then, support oxygenation AND perfusion by taking VasoWORx, one of Superior Labs’ flagship formulations, 20 minutes before you hit the gym.

Men with hand on lower back indicating inflammation

Modulating Inflammation:

Inflammation gets a bad reputation, considering that it is a vital part of how our bodies heal and grow. However, when we are out of balance between naturally created chemicals that are inflammation-promoters and nutritional/dietary/herbal inflammation-modulators, we experience slower recovery and other signs of being inflamed (sluggish, stiff, puffy, tight). While anti-inflammatory drugs slow and/or block the production and release of certain inflammatory chemicals, nutrients like Turmeric and Bromelain instead function as inflammation-modulators. As modulators, these compounds do not prevent inflammation from occurring, instead they work to resolve the inflammatory cascade once the purposeful work is completed.

Quelching Oxidation:

High-intensity exercise that raises your heart rate and gets you breathing heavily also increases compounds called free radicals in the body. Similar to our previous discussion of oxidation, the creation of free radicals is the natural and expected result of humans utilizing oxygen to function.

As oxygen fuels our cells, the waste products of that usage are called free radicals or reactive oxygen species (ROS). Left unchecked, excessive free radical production creates oxidative stress, which over the long term may create DNA damage, a more “aged” appearance and promote other degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s or cardiovascular disease. We have adapted to be able to combat oxidative stress by using the antioxidants that we consume, primarily in plant-based foods, to put out the “fire.”

Stay on top of oxidative stress by following heavy workouts with (or consistent daily intake of) concentrated antioxidant formulas like pine bark extract, Alpha Lipoic Acid and CoQ10.

Restorative Sleep:

Even though we’ve all heard that 7-9 hours of sleep is a typical adult need, 35.2% of all adults in the U.S. report averaging less than 7 hours per night. Additional statistics show that 34% of active duty military service members report insufficient sleep and women have a lifetime risk of insomnia that is as much as 40% higher than men.

Sleep is quite a complex thing, as many brain and body changes occur during normal, restful sleep. There can be some trial-and-error involved in finding the best support or combo to alleviate occasional restlessness and sleepless nights. GABA and L-theanine are a good place to start if quieting the mind is a priority. For an uptight or tense body, consider Magnesium Citrate and 5-HTP WORx. It is important to discuss supplementation for sleep with a qualified healthcare professional if you are taking any medications, especially those for anxiety, depression or other neurological conditions (Parkinson’s, Alzheimers, etc.).

As always, please take the necessary precautions before adding supplementation to your health and wellness regimen.

This blog was written by Dr. Stephanie Nishek, please click here to learn more about the author.