Today's best rest day supplements unlock a massive anabolic opportunity.
The moment you stop exercising, your body switches from a catabolic state (tissue breakdown) to an anabolic state (tissue building).
The anabolic boost lasts longer than you might think: Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) remains elevated up to 36 hours after exercise.1
That means for the best possible fitness gains, athletes must nourish muscles immediately after exercise (post-workout supplements) and on the day that follows (rest day supplements).
This guide details the best rest day supplements and how they work to boost athletes' muscle recovery by:
- Trickle-charging energy-drained muscles gradually over the course of rest day, so you can go into your next workout at 100% power
- Loading muscles with foundational sport nutrients for muscle growth, strength and endurance that work best when taken every day
- Regulating muscle growth and repair while you rest. Some rest day supplements stimulate muscle stem cells and anabolic hormones
- Soothing muscles and supporting deep sleep, maximizing your growth and recovery to the fullest extent overnight
For the best results, rest day supplements are curated for potency, combined for synergy, and taken as part of a consistent daily muscle loading regimen.
The 5 best rest day supplements you can take in 2020 include:
- Creatine – Recharges muscles at rest with ATP energy for a powerful return to athletics
- Beta Alanine – Loads muscle with carnosine on rest day to increase reps and extend endurance on training day
- Iron – Helps restore a crucial sport nutrition mineral that is depleted by intense training
- Tart Cherry – Natural melatonin for deep anabolic sleep plus research-backed muscle recovery benefits
- Protein – Nourishes muscles for recovery and growth during rest day downtime and sleep
Let’s further discuss how each of these rest day supplement ingredients works, and highlight the top products that deliver their greatest benefits.
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Best Individual Supplements on Rest Days
Creatine is a foundational sport nutrition supplement.
It is highly regarded for its role in maximizing muscle reserves of adensosine triphosphate (ATP) energy, which in turn enhances performance across high-intensity exercises like strength training and sprinting.
Creatine is one of the most extensively researched sport nutrients.
One review analyzed 300 research studies on creatine as a sport nutrient. The study authors linked creatine to several significant athletic enhancements, including for:2
- Strength: 15% increase in maximal strength during training
- High Performance: 5% increase in sprinting performance
- Endurance: 15% increase in performance a series of sprints
Researchers have proposed that creatine is the most effective ergogenic sport nutrient for boosting high-intensity exercise capacity and increasing lean muscle mass in conjunction with training.3
Here’s the challenge with creatine: You need to be taking it every single day and maintain ideal levels in muscle in order to reap creatine's full benefits.
For this reason, Creatine is our top rest day supplement overall.
Take creatine twice on rest day. Steadily recharge and maintain your muscles' ATP energy reserves for an explosive return to action.
Take creatine every day over time, and load muscle with supercharged energy. Shatter your athletic performance limitations and elevate to next-level fitness.
Best Creatine on Rest Days: Creapure® pH10
The consistent daily creatine required for muscle-charging results is sometimes associated with bloating and gastric distress.Creatine digestive side effects can make rest day not so restful.
Creapure® ph10 is a special 99.5% pure form of creatine monohydrate made to superior standards of quality. Its pH-balancing nutrition technology enhances bioavailability while reducing bloating and gastric distress.
A crucial sport nutrient amino acid for athletes, beta alanine works by boosting carnosine levels in muscle by up to 80%.4
Carnosine in turn works by buffering the muscles from lactic acid.
Lactic acid accumulates in muscles during exercise. When enough lactic acid builds up, muscles fail and the athlete is exhausted.
Researchers have suggested that beta alanine's muscle-buffering benefits may help athletes to:
- Extend the time it takes for an athlete to experience exhaustion5
- Improve power output of cyclists while they are sprinting6
- Enable athletes to hit higher training volumes during resistance training7
- Improve muscular endurance and increase capacity for high-intensity exercise8
Researchers have suggested beta-alanine appears to directly improve intracellular buffering capacity during exercise, and may enhance athletic performance.9
The strongest beta alanine research suggests it is most effective at enhancing performance when it is taken every day, including rest day, in split doses throughout the day.
This dietary supplement strategy helps to consistently load and sustain muscle carnosine levels – for maximum buffering performance in your next session.
As a rest day supplement specifically, beta alanine helps to restore optimal carnosine levels to muscles that have been depleted by exercise.
Best Beta Alanine on Rest Days: SR CarnoSyn®
SR CarnoSyn® is bioengineered beta-alanine designed to max-out muscle carnosine for superior athletic performance and growth.
Taken in 2 split servings on rest day, SR CarnoSyn®’s sustained-release formula gradually raises and maintains muscle carnosine for up to 12 hours.
SR CarnoSyn®’s extended muscle nourishment and ultraclean design also eliminates the unpleasant pins-and-needles (parasthesia) that some people experience when taking beta alanine.
The body requires iron for healthy growth and performance.
However, researchers have suggested that exercise can negatively effect iron status: Athletes tend to have lower iron levels than sedentary individuals.10
While all athletes may be susceptible to low iron levels, the risk appears to be greater for long-distance runners and aerobic athletes, female athletes, and vegetarian athletes.11
Low iron can present performance concerns, since iron supports bioactivities crucial for athletics, including:12
- Oxygen transport
- Oxygen storage
- Energy production
Proper iron balance is essential for not just maintaining homeostasis, immune function and health, but for athletic performance as well.
Iron is a sensible rest day supplement for athletes. However, it is best taken in low-dose form.
Low-dose iron best counterbalances mild exercise-induced iron depletions, while avoiding high-dose iron gastrointestinal side effects and potential risks.
Best Iron on Rest Days: NutriGenesis®
Performance Lab® NutriGenesis® Iron is bioengineered with whole-food cofactors that optimize absorption, digestive comfort and ultimate benefits.
Because it is lab-grown on cultures, NutriGenesis® Iron is the cleanest, most ethical and eco-friendly form of iron (along with other vitamins, minerals and amino acids) that you can take.
NutriGenesis® Iron makes it easy for athletes to restore and sustain ideal iron levels required for health and performance.
Montmorency Tart Cherry
One of the most effective ways to maximize muscle growth and recovery is to get a great night's sleep.
Montmorency Tart Cherry might just be the ideal natural sleep aid for athletes seeking to maximize gains on rest day.
Tart cherry helps athletes with:
Natural melatonin: Tart cherry supplies a small amount of melatonin, enough to induce deep, muscle-regenerative sleep without the groggy side effects associated with synthetic melatonin megadoses.13
Joint comfort: Athletes who train hard may end up with joint aches at night, which in turn disrupt sleep and anabolic processes. Researchers have suggested that tart cherry fruit antioxidants may be an effective natural way to soothe joint aches.14
Muscle recovery: The best tart cherry form on the market has been shown in multiple human clinical research trials to support muscle recovery in a number of different ways.
Best Tart Cherry on Rest Days: CherryPURE®
CherryPURE® is a pure, 100% natural and additive-free Montmorency tart cherry powder extract concentrated to 50:1 potency (far more potent than cherries in your diet).
CherryPURE® is the only type of tart cherry that is backed by human research for muscle recovery.
Researchers have suggested that CherryPURE® may help with:15
- Improving muscle recovery
- Reducing sore muscles after training
- Minimizing some markers of muscle damage
With versatile support for sleep and muscle recovery, Montmorency Tart Cherry is a secret weapon rest day supplement for athletes who are seeking maximum muscle growth at night and intensified training energy the next day.
Since the anabolic window may remain open up to 36 hours after exercise, it is important to continue feeding your muscles protein on rest day.
Experts have suggested that athletes consider the following protein guidelines:16
- Consume 1.4–2.0 g protein per kg body weight every day, including rest day
- Total protein is best consumed in split doses at regular intervals, 3-4 times per day
- Taking 30-40 g of protein immediately before sleep can optimize muscle protein synthesis (MPS) overnight
Taking protein on rest day helps you get the consistent daily intake associated with the best research-backed muscle gains.
Best Protein on Rest Days: Oryzatein®
Oryzatein® is a clean vegan protein powder that has a unique advantage over other forms:
- Oryzatein® is the first rice protein shown in clinical research to help build muscle as effectively as whey protein.17
Plus, Oryzatein® leucine (the amino acid most strongly associated with muscle growth) absorbs considerably faster than the leucine found in whey protein.
Best Supplement on Rest Days Overall: Performance Lab® SPORT Maintain
A revolutionary rest-day supplement, SPORT Maintain supplies three of the best rest day sport nutrients in their most effective forms:
- Creapure® pH10 Creatine, 3000 mg
- SR Carnosyn® Beta Alanine, 1600 mg
- NutriGenesis® Iron, 2.5 mg
These three sport nutrients combine into an efficient-yet-potent stack for maximizing anabolism on your rest day.
Together in SPORT Maintain, creatine, beta alanine and iron work to:
- Restore depleted muscles with crucial sports nutrients*
- Enhance muscle growth and recovery on rest day*
- Extend muscle nourishment up to 12 hours*
- Support muscle strength, endurance and power*
- Prime muscles for a bigger, stronger next session*
- Ensure daily muscle loading required for peak performance*
And, because they are in ultramodern form, these crucial sport nutrients are more effective, cleaner and healthier for long-term use than ever before. Additional features:
- Minimum effective dosing; calibrated to eliminate the need for cycling
- 100% plant-based, prebiotic-infused NutriCaps® from pullulan (fermented tapioca)
- Ultraclean design: 100% free of artificial colors, additives and synthetics
If you’re looking to max-out recovery and muscle growth on rest day, Performance Lab® SPORT Maintain is the single best supplement you can take.
Take it every rest day to turn passive downtime into active preparation – and return to form faster and stronger.
Best Tart Cherry Supplement on Rest Days: Performance Lab® Sleep
Performance Lab® Sleep is an ultramodern sleep aid that can help maximize rest day's anabolic potential.
- CherryPURE® Montmorency tart cherry, 500 mg
- TryptoPure™ L-Tryptophan, 250 mg
- Magnesium Complex: NutriGenesis® Magnesium, Magnesium Bisglycinate, Magnesium Taurate, 100 mg
This streamlined formula is great for sleep on both training day and rest day because it delivers a range of benefits that match well with athletes' needs:
- Supplies the best form of tart cherry: CherryPURE®
- Supports sleep, muscle comfort and muscle recovery*
- Hastens sleep onset by relaxing muscles and nerves*
- Helps to extend the deepest anabolic sleep phases*
- Soothes muscle spasms, aches and involuntary twitches*
- Safe, non-habit-forming support – no groggy side effects*
Take Performance Lab® Sleep as part of your rest day regimen, and enhance your muscle recovery from many different angles.
Best Protein Powder on Rest Days: Performance Lab® Protein
SPORT Protein is a clean, delicious and vegan-friendly protein powder that's ideal for feeding muscles on rest day.
SPORT Protein delivers the world's cleanest protein powder: Oryzatein® (Certified Organic Brown Rice (Oryza sativa) Protein Concentrate.
This ultramodern, vegan-friendly rice protein has been shown in research to help build muscle as effectively as whey protein. Plus, Oryzatein® leucine absorbs 30% faster than whey.
Taking SPORT Protein on rest day helps to:
- Improve muscle strength, power and endurance*
- Support peak overall athletic performance*
- Promote healthy muscle recovery and robust growth*
- Amplify all muscle-building and fitness regimen results*
SPORT Protein also tastes amazing: 100% naturally flavored with organic cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon yacon monk fruit and stevia.
Take SPORT Protein anytime on rest day, even at bedtime.
Performance Lab® SPORT Maintain is the overall best rest day supplement of 2020.
With Creapure pH10®, SR CarnoSyn® and NutriGenesis® innovations, it restores depleted muscles better and longer than any other product – feeding anabolic activity for up to 12 hours on rest day.
Take SPORT Maintain in vegan-friendly NutriCaps® to promote faster recovery, bigger growth and stronger performance in your next session.
Stack it with Performance Lab® Sleep and Performance Lab® SPORT Protein to get additional rest day benefits for muscle growth, comfort, recovery and more.
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