Advanced Post-Workout Recovery

Excellent source of muscle-recovery compounds

I’m very impressed by Carbon Recovery. It has a huge dose on BCAAs supported by other amino acids. It’s easy to use and keeps the ingredient profile simple and effective.

  • Ingredient Quality
  • Safety
  • Ease of Use
  • Price and Availability

World-class bodybuilder and powerlifter Layne Norton has finally released his own supplement line: Carbon, by Layne Norton.

Norton has been a prominent face in competitive athletics for years as a coach, professional natural bodybuilder, and researcher.

With that kind of credibility, I was curious to see how Norton’s Carbon line stacked up against the competition. Let’s take a look at Carbon Recover.

What’s In It?

I was happy to see Norton decided to focus on simplicity and proven ingredients over complicated blends. There are just 6 ingredients in high doses.


In addition to being the most prominent amino acid used in muscle growth, BCAAs also help with energy levels and stimulating initial protein synthesis, critical for recovery. [2]

Citrulline Malate – 3 grams

Citrulline malate is a stable form of the amino acid citrulline. Citrulline belongs to the non-protein class on amino acids, which means it’s not used for direct muscle growth. Instead, citrulline boosts blood flow and nitric oxide levels, which floods muscles with nutrients and oxygen for regeneration. [3]

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate – 1 gram

This is a form of the amino acid carnitine, which is generally found in fat-burning supplements. However, combining carnitine with L-tartrate has been shown to decrease delayed onset muscle soreness. [4]

Tart Cherry Juice

Cherries contain high levels of antioxidants, and the juice acts as an anti-inflammatory. While studies are sparse, initial research shows cherry juice aids in muscle function recovery. [5]

How Much Does It Cost?

Carbon Recovery is a relatively new product, so it isn’t available form many retailers, just for now. It costs $33 for 30 servings.

That’s a rather high price for a BCAA recovery product. Hopefully as more stores begin to sell Carbon Recover the price will go down.

How Do You Take It?

There aren’t any funky ingredients, so dosage is pretty straightforward: Mix 1 scoop with 10-12 ounces of water and consume during or immediately after training.

Carbon Recovery is available in two flavors: blueberry pomegranate and sour apple. I tried the blueberry pomegranate and thought it tasted fine, without any weird aftertaste.

Is It Worth It?

I’m very impressed by Carbon Recovery. It has a huge dose of BCAAs supported by other amino acids. It’s easy to use and keeps the ingredient profile simple and effective.

However, I’m going to hold off on making it my main recovery powder until it’s more widely available and affordable. I highly recommend Carbon by Layne Norton: Recovery, but wait until you can get it cheaper.

[1] Shimomura Y, Murakami T, Naoya Nakai N, Nagasaki M, Harris RA (2004). “Exercise Promotes BCAA Catabolism: Effects of BCAA Supplementation on Skeletal Muscle during Exercise”. J. Nutr. 134 (6): 1583S–1587S.

[2] L-Leucine. Layne E. Norton, Donald K. Layman. “Leucine Regulates Translation Initiation of Protein Synthesis in Skeletal Muscle after Exercise.”

[3] Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. “Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22.

[4] Parandak K, et al. “The effect of two-week L-carnitine supplementation on exercise -induced oxidative stress and muscle damage.” Asian J Sports Med. 2014 Jun;5(2):123-8.