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6 Vitamins and Supplements To Aid Muscle Recovery

Muscle and tissue injuries are common when indulging in sports or workouts. Many people with joint problems too can face muscle injuries and need to work on muscle recovery to support the joint. Apart from medicines and physical therapy, vitamins, and supplements aid muscle recovery.

Several studies have confirmed that micronutrients and certain vitamins and supplements play an important role in improving health, exercise adaptation, and recovery, particularly in athletes.1 Some studies have also shown the importance of certain dietary supplements including vitamin C, D, omega-3, curcumin, and anti-inflammatory supplements can help prevent and reduce exercise-induced muscle damage, delayed onset muscle soreness, and aid in faster muscle recovery after sports and exercise.2

Muscle Recovery

Those involved in exercises can experience muscle injury and muscle soreness due to the strain by mechanical stress and inflammatory response. Muscle strain is also common on beginning a workout after a long break, after trying a new exercise, or when you push yourself a little too much on some days. While pain due to muscle soreness is mild, last for two to three days, and usually feel better on continuing light exercises. Vitamins and supplements to aid muscle recovery can help speed up the recovery process. Sports injuries like ligament or meniscal tears are common during high intensity or twisting, sudden movement, or in contact sports. Pain from an injury is localized, can be unbearable at times, may affect the range of movement of the joint, and often last longer than a week. It is best to seek a medical opinion when an injury is suspected to formulate a treatment and exercise plan. However, vitamins and supplements to aid muscle recovery will be of great help during this phase

6 Vitamins and Supplements To Aid Muscle Recovery

While most vitamins and micronutrients can be obtained through a healthy, balanced diet, in some cases supplementation can prove to be more beneficial. Here are some of the best vitamins and supplements to aid muscle recovery.

  1. Vitamin D

    Vitamin D plays an important role in bone metabolism and processes of immune function and inflammation. In muscle recovery, vitamin D plays an active role in protein synthesis, and muscle inflammatory response, and helps regulation of muscle function. It can be considered an important vitamin to aid muscle recovery.

    Vitamin D deficiency affects athletic performance due to inadequate recovery. In elder adults, performing resistance training, vitamin D supplementation showed greater improvement in strength/cross-sectional area than in younger people. Studies have concluded that vitamin D is effective in cases of deficiency or when there is a muscular commitment like high-intensity exercises.3

  2. Vitamin E

    Vitamin E is known for its anti-inflammatory effects and is popularly used to control inflammation and promote health.

    A 2020 study was done to find the effect of vitamin E on inflammatory marker C-Reactive Protein (CRP). The results were favorable and showed a reduction in CRP with α-tocopherol, especially at the dosage of ≥ 500 mg/day, alone or in combination with γ-tocopherol.4

  3. Vitamin C

    Vitamin C is popular for its role in repair function and can be one of the vitamins and supplements to aid muscle recovery. It aids in collagen formation, which plays an important role in connective tissue. It also protects muscles from damage from free radicals.

    A 2006 study suggested that pretreatment with vitamin C can reduce muscle soreness, delay increase in inflammatory marker creatine kinase, and prevent blood glutathione oxidation.5

    A 2021 review of studies found that in a few studies chronic supplementation with vitamin C or vitamin E has shown beneficial effects on muscle soreness after eccentric exercise and needs more research.6

  4. Vitamin B Complex

    Vitamin B complex helps in producing energy and the fuel to help the repair function. They also help the metabolism of amino acids, thus helping in protein synthesis and muscle repair. This makes them an essential vitamin to aid muscle recovery.

    Some studies have shown that exercises increase the requirement of some B vitamins and athletes with poor dietary intake or restricted intakes of certain food groups should consider supplementation.7

  5. Omega-3

    Omega-3 is known for its cardio protective effects but it can be beneficial in muscle recovery as well.

    A 2020 study stated that fish oils rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are known to improve the recovery of muscular performance and reduce post-exercise muscle soreness. The study concluded that supplementation of 6g/day of fish oil optimized the recovery of jump performance and muscle soreness that occurred after bouts of exercise.8

    As exercise-induced muscle damage results in muscle inflammation, loss of strength, and muscle soreness and hence causes exercise avoidance, omega- 3 can prove beneficial. A 2021 study concluded that 4-week supplementation can reduce exercise-induced muscle damage to some extent.9

  6. Anti-oxidant Supplements

    Antioxidant-rich foods and supplements have proved to be beneficial for various health conditions and can also aid muscle recovery.

    A 2019 review states that long-term consumption of antioxidant-rich foods like tart cherry juice, pomegranate juice, beetroot juice, and watermelon juice and chronic supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, creatine, and vitamin D3 can help reduce exercise-induced muscle damage and improve muscle function.10

    Other promising supplements to aid muscle recovery include ginseng, curcumin, pineapple-derived proteases, ginger, taurine, β-hydroxy-β-methyl butyrate, and caffeine.

    A 2021 study has concluded that multiple nutrient supplements can promote and aid muscle recovery, and liver and kidney function by reducing damage and improving clearance of metabolic products after exercising under heat. Thus vitamins and supplements to aid muscle recovery can be beneficial for those trying to overcome muscle injury or damage after exercising.11


As a part of the diet, nutrients that aid muscle recovery mainly include proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Plan healthy meals with a proper mix of these nutrients and include plenty of water.

Include protein-rich foods, fiber foods, fruits, and vegetables rich in vitamin B and C, along with milk and dairy rich in calcium and vitamin D.

Probiotics are also considered essential to aid muscle recovery and can be included in the diet or taken as supplements.

Micronutrients like calcium, zinc, and magnesium play an important role in muscle recovery. Include foods rich in these minerals and consider supplementation, as necessary. In addition, the vitamins and supplements to aid muscle recovery can help maintain muscle health and make it easy to resume the exercise regimen at the earliest.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 10, 2022

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