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If you want to be an elite athlete you need to consistently perform at a high level on and off the field. In order to perform your best you need to train vigorously so that your body is used to tough conditions. And when you’re training hard, recovery is critical to make sure you can properly build muscle, prevent injuries, and keep your mind sharp. You probably already know this though…and that’s why you are here looking for recovery tools to help take your game to the next level. Being such a crucial aspect of training and gameplay, many different companies have released products aimed at helping athletes recover. But which ones are worth it? I’ve worked with both amateur and pro athletes for many years and have experimented with countless recovery products. So I’ll save you the trouble of searching and fill you in on my top 11 favorite recovery tools for athletes.

What are the best recovery tools for athletes?

No Days Wasted Hydration Replenisher 3

Best Overall: No Days Wasted Hydration

  • Vegan and Natural

  • Replaces Electrolytes

  • Tastes Great!

Firefly portable recovery device

Best for Portable Recovery: Firefly Recovery

  • Increases Circulation

  • Creates 3x Faster Recovery

  • Portable

Beam dream powder in a mug Infront of the bag it comes in

Best for Sleep Recovery: Beam Dream

  • All Natural

  • No Grogginess

  • GF, DF, Vegan, Non-GMO

Theragun Mini

Best for Muscle Recovery: Theragun Mini 2.0

  • Transportable

  • 2hr Batter Life

  • Bluetooth App

Honey Stinger Energy Chews

Best for Runners: Honey Stinger Energy Chews

  • Taste Great

  • Quick Energy

  • Simple Ingredients

Plunge Cold Tub

Best for Cold Water Recovery: Plunge Cold Tub

  • Included Spa Cover

  • Cooling to 39 Degrees

  • Ozone Sanitation

True All Day Knit Golf Cleats

Best for Pain Relief: Icy Hot Advanced Cream

  • Fast Acting

  • Cooling

  • Works on Muscles and Joints

Chirp Wheel

Best for Stretching: Chirp Wheel

  • Thick Cushioning

  • Improves Flexibility

  • Reduces Back Pain

Whoop Strap

Best for Recovery Tracking: Whoop Strap

  • In-Depth Feedback

  • Simple Design

  • Optimal Sleep

Helix BedroomPhotos 11 750x750

Best for Heat Recovery: Reviv Sauna Blanket

  • Up to 176 Degrees

  • Portable

  • Detoxifying

Whey Protein

Best for Muscle Development: Sculpt Nation Whey Protein

  • Great Price

  • BCAA’s

  • Subscription Available

Best Overall: No Days Wasted Hydration

  No Days Wasted Hydration Replenisher 3 Hydration is one of, if not the most important factors when it comes to workout recovery. Proper hydration helps to aid recovery by pushing toxins out of the body, delivering nutrients to cells, and regulating your body temperature. In order to keep your body properly hydrated it’s important to replace electrolytes that you lose via sweat during exercise and No Days Wasted is packed with plenty of electrolytes to help direct water and nutrients within your body. On top of that, their unique blend contains immunity-boosting ingredients like Vitamin C, D, and Zinc. That’s why I love No Days Wasted because they give you two great benefits in one product. Also, their flavors taste great and are much lower in sugar compared to brands like Liquid I.V.

Best Portable Recovery Device: Firefly Recovery

Firefly portable recovery device
Recovery is something that you should be prioritizing all the time no matter where you are. That’s why the Firefly portable recovery device is at the top of my list of the best recovery tools. If you have ever had electrical stimulation (e-stim) therapy then you will appreciate the Firefly greatly. Firefly is essentially e-stim therapy on the go. All you have to do is strap these little devices to the outside of your knee so that the center of the device is perfectly aligned over the little bump also known as your peroneal nerve and then click the plus sign to turn them on. From there the device will send small electrical pulses which will stimulate your nerve and increase blood flow throughout your legs all the way down to your foot. The increased blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients will be flowing through your muscles reducing soreness and lowering inflammation to help you get ready for your next workout faster.


Best for Sleep Recovery: Beam Dream Powder

  Beam dream powder in a mug Infront of the bag it comes in The only other aspect of recovery that competes with hydration is sleep. During sleep, our bodies de-stress, repair muscles, and burn fat. This makes sleep essential for performing your best and maintaining a lean body. Beam Dream powder is the perfect way to ensure you are getting the rest you need each and every night. Their blend is composed of 5 natural ingredients proven to help you sleep with none of the next-day grogginess of other sleep remedies. Their original flavor tastes like a cinnamon hot chocolate but they offer 4 additional flavors for those interested. If you struggle with getting a good night’s rest, this is almost a no-brainer. The Guys List also offers a discount code for your first purchase, check it out here!

Best for Muscle Recovery: Theragun Mini 2.0

Theragun Mini Theragun is a brand that may need no introduction since you have probably heard about your favorite athlete using it via their social media or advertising. Honestly, it’s easy to see why the brand is so popular and the Theragun Mini in particular. To start, athletes are constantly traveling and the Theragun Mini fits perfectly into luggage, it has long-lasting battery life, and Bluetooth capabilities to connect to your phone. If you can’t go get a massage then the Theragun Mini 2.0 is your next best option.

Best for Runners: Honey Stinger Energy Chews

Honey Stinger Energy Chews For endurance athletes replenishing carbohydrates is crucial. They are your body’s energy source and are significantly depleted on long runs, swims, or bike rides. Honey Stinger Energy Chews are a delicious, sweet snack that is perfect to give you the boost you need to get through your workout or competition. They are quick to go down as well so they won’t take away from your focus or routine.

Best for Cold Therapy: Plunge Cold Tub

  The Plunge

Cold therapy has been on the rise as it helps to burn fat, reduce inflammation post-workout, boost your immune system, boost your energy, and improve sleep. With all these benefits it’s clear that cold therapy is a great sports recovery tool for athletes but also a great injury prevention tool for athletes. That is why we recommend the best cold tub around, the Plunge. Their tub goes all the way down to 39 degrees Fahrenheit with clean, filtered water. Their tub is super versatile as it can be used both outdoors and indoors making it an easy addition to any home. Although this easily comes in as the most expensive tool on our list, it’s definitely worth it and we also have Plunge discount codes to help you save a couple hundred bucks!

Best for Stretching: Chirp Wheel 4 Pack

Chirp WheelStretching and massaging your muscles is essential for proper recovery, injury prevention, and getting the most out of your training. The Chirp 4 wheel pack is easy to travel with and each wheel is perfect for different reasons. The 12” and 10” wheels are great to get a good stretch in and to start getting loose pre or post-workout while the smaller 6” and 4” wheels allow for targeted muscle relaxation to relieve tough knots. Each chirp wheel is designed to be durable and hold up to 500 lbs with a comfortable foam exterior and spine cut out to protect your back.

Best for Recovery Tracking: Whoop Strap

Whoop Strap

Whoop has been blowing up over the past few years with countless podcast hosts and health experts raving about their Whoop Strap. The strap is worn on your arm and is discrete and lightweight. It is connected to an app that can monitor your workouts and sleep quality along with a variety of other data sources to provide you with a recovery score. Whoops app, which can only be used with the strap, is one of the most comprehensive workout, health, and recovery tracking tools on the market. You can’t improve what you can’t track so if you’re serious about improving your recovery and athletic performance picking up a Whoop Strap is a must.

Best for Heat Recovery: Helix Sauna Blanket

Helix Sauna Blanket

Saunas are amazing tools for recovery but it can be hard to find one on the go, and putting one in your home may not be an option..not to mention can be very expensive. The Helix Sauna Blanket solves all of these issues. It can be folded up and taken anywhere and only costs a fraction of the price of a fully built-in sauna. The Helix Sauna Blanket can help speed up recovery, improve sleep, and relax your muscles to keep you feeling your best.

Best for Muscle Development: Sculpt Nation Whey Protein

Whey Protein

Protein powder is an essential part of any athlete’s arsenal. Protein is essential for the repair and growth of our muscles but getting the proper amount in, especially for very active athletes, can be challenging. That’s where protein powder comes in. With powerful BCAA’s Sculpt Nation’s whey protein will help protect and build your muscles so you recover quicker and can workout harder. You can also setup your order to be a subscription-based plan so you never have to even think about reordering and you always have it, right when you need it.

Recovery Tool FAQs

What are the four R’s of recovery nutrition for athletes?

The 4 R’s that athletes need to keep in mind when looking to get the best possible rehydrate, refuel, repair, and rest. If you prioritize these aspects post workout your body will most effectively recover and repair muscles.

What is passive recovery for athletes?

Passive recovery involves resting for a long time after a strenuous exercise or activity. This means a quiet place to sit and relax to let your body slowly heal.

What can I do for active recovery?

Active recovery involves low-level cardio exercise such as walking, swimming, or yoga that will keep your body moving without too much effort or an increase in heart rate.

Is a sauna or ice bath better for recovery?

Many studies show that saunas are great recovery tools and can boost cardiovascular health, while ice baths/cold therapy better treat the muscles to help promote muscle recovery and more gains. Both are great options it just depends on your sport and desired outcome.

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John Shackleton, the wellness guy, is the Head Performance Coach for Villanova Men's Basketball. John is our trusted source for all health & nutrition information. Check out more that he has written for The Guy's List and follow his socials linked on his author page!

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