A Dysfunctional Recovery Drink REVIEW
If you’re like me and are an international blogging superstar, jet-setting the globe spreading joy to the ignorant masses…you need the best fuel for your post workout body. Make no mistake that there are a million vendors out the who have something to sell to cure what ails you. And while there is indeed a lot of good out there, there is also a whole lot of unmitigated garbage. Allow my personal experiences to guide you as we look at some of the top names in sports recovery drinks that have crossed my path.
P90X Recovery Drink ( aka. Results & Recovery Formula )
Average cost: $50
If you’re on the P90X, Insanity, Asylum, or anything that Beachbody offers then you’ve no doubt heard about their Recovery Formula about a million times…unless you watch with the volume off. Right up front let me repeat, I am NOT a Beachbody coach. Too many reviews of this are from people who are so I thought I’d get that out of the way.
Still, the product itself is good. It has the two big hitters: Glutamine and Creatine which make it stand above most products when it comes to recovery. It also has about 10g of protein per serving which is an acceptable amount to get the job done. If you’re familiar with the training style of P90X, you may want to supplement that amount a bit more which is ironic considering what it is meant for. Seriously, try doing Chest and Back and being content with a paltry 10g.
P90X recovery Formula also packs a whopping 750% of your vitamin C. Not that I have a problem with that, as anti-oxidant intake should be higher than the “recommended” levels anyway. But I’d opt to go lower on the C, up the protein and take an Ester C ( high quality version ) supplement. But that’s also me nitpicking too.
Overall this is good stuff and you’d likely be very satisfied with it. But at $50 a pop plus $7 shipping and handling there’s absolutely better options out there for your dollar.
PROS: Beneficial ingredients such as Creatine. You’ll also feel good inside knowing you obeyed Tony.
CONS: Price very high.
Ensure Muscle Health Revigor
Cost: Don’t Care. Wouldn’t take it if it was free.
Ensure’s big sell here is the ingredient HMB ( beta hydroxy betamethyl buterate ) which apparently is a big name in helping prevent muscle protein breakdown. It’s a great idea, but unfortunately this products benefits stop right there dead in its tracks.
What lifts my butt off the can is the 20g of sugar and 11g of fat per serving which no doubt adds to the whopping 350 calories. I guess that’s considered a step up as the regular variety has an abhorrent 26g of sugar. Unlike other products that would use natural sugars like stevia, honey, or fruit sugars, this uses the ultimate toxic no-no: High Fructose Corn Syrup. What the hell man?! Seriously, have an ice cream sandwich because you’ll get the same benefits. While it does have 12g of protein, I highly doubt it is of high quality considering that this seems to be designed as a cheap and easy food alternative for chemo patients.
If I had to say one good thing it would be that this comes in bottles so it would be handy in a pinch for runners who need a fast calorie hit. But as a daily recovery drink for home workouts this stuff is just utterly wrong on so many levels. If you hate your body this much, just go drink water from a ditch in Mexico.
PROS: Acceptable for a pre-race/marathon energy bump if nothing else is available.
CONS: High Fructose Corn Syrup and an ingredients list that reads like a chemistry project. No freaking way is this good for daily training or even your health in general.
VEGA Recovery Accelerator
In a world of poseurs when it comes to being “natural”, VEGA is the real deal. As the name suggests, this is an all-natural, plant based formula which packs a whollop when it comes to recovery and does so with an approach unique to itself. If Ensure is the Yin of ingredients, VEGA is the Yang.
Right away you’ll notice big hitters like Maca, ginger, tumeric and glucosamine. These are unsung heroes when it comes to healing the insides and I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen anyone else utilize them.
If I had one complaint it would be the anemic 4g of protein per serving. That aside this stuff rocks the house and is untouched when it comes to aiding inflamation pain and electrolyte replacement. And it’s only 80 calories a shot! But you might want to add a wee bit of your preferred protein supplement to make it a perfect 10. My experience with this has shown that my joints survive Insanity/Asylum level workouts day after day where other recovery formulas just don’t hold up. Clearly this works. This also comes in natural Acai and Lemon flavor which are extremely tasty without being nauseatingly sweet.
PROS: All-natural means just that. Ingredients list is 100% real stuff that noticeably drops recovery time and really helps joint pain like no others do. Price is reasonable considering what you’re buying. Out of every option THIS is my go-to favorite every time.
CONS: Protein a mite low.
BIO-X Nitro Rush ( and other nitro products in general )
Welcome to the crazy mixed up world of nitro-enhancers where truth is often clouded by marketing where companies promise to do just about everything from make you look like the Hulk or to ( no kidding here ) expand your penis size by 2 inches. Seriously, what the hell am I going to do with a 4 inch penis??
To clarify, nitro enhancers don’t actually contain nitro ( good thing! ) but rather encourage your body to produce it’s own by means of specific chains of amino acids. They allow your muscles to more readily accept nutrients by expanding vessels and for some people it feels as if your muscles are fuller. I would recommend using this or any other nitro product with a broader-recovery drink to make sure you’re not lacking in some area.
When I first got into regular fitness I admit that I tried my luck with a few nitro products and my results were well, interesting. While I did get fuller muscles, the ingredients in this stuff made me mentally feel like absolute crap. No change in the penis either. While Nitro-Rush is made from a reputable company, Bio-X, I nonetheless have reservations about using something like this long term.
PROS: Does indeed speed recovery. Gives you a good pump, but only while you’re using it.
CONS: Zero protein. I doubt 90% of the claims of these products.
Cost: Your health
What the hell are we? Children? If you’re giving your all at the gym and still consuming colored sugar water as your recovery fuel then good luck with your next cancer check you ignorant hick. If this is your way of being hydrated then I’m surprised you’re not pissing kidney stones.
Like Ensure, Gatorade commits the unforgivable sin by using HFCS. They just lie to your face and mask it under different names: Sucrose Syrup and Glucose-Fructose Syrup. The rest of the ingredients are barely different from a can of Pepsi and that means this is nothing more than non-carbonated soda. The only people using this crud are people who in my opinion have bought into Quaker’s advertising machine hook, line and sinker. Gatorade has no protein, no natural ingredients, and has positively no health benefits. Use this after a hard weight training workout and your muscles will hate your stinking guts the next day. Seriously, if you need to hydrate then grow the heck up and have a glass of water.
PROS: If I was stuck in the Sahara desert I would absolutely have a Gatorade.
CONS: As a muscle recovery agent, this is less than worthless. Have a glass of salt water for better results.
February 22, 2016 at
Do you still recommend Vega One as the Shakeology alternate? Shakeology wreaks havoc o my husband’s digestive system. And have you tried the Vega Sports Performance Protein.
PS:Oh and I’m on Day 1 of X2. Some of those moves are not possible :) Looking forward to the journey on this one.
February 22, 2016 at
Yes, I still recommend Vega. I also like the Performance Protein and my wife who also has a sensitive digestive system has no issues with it whatsoever.
May 26, 2014 at
I’m currently doing a round of insanity and I have a tub of the recovery accelerator, the tiny tub of Hydrator and also the pre-workout packets. I know, sounds like a I’m a junkie who just handed over his paycheck to the Vega dealer on the street corner. Anyway, If I had to pick one that stands out to me, it’s the Hydrator. For 3 days I was using just water and about halfway through each workout, my body was completely drained. I actually scarfed down a banana at one point during a water break … lucky I didn’t choke, since I was panting uncontrollably. I got the Hydrator on day 4 and was sipping it throughout the workout and felt more energized and I was able to get through it. Of course I was still getting tired, but didn’t feel completely depleted. I’ll probably ditch the pre-workout drink, as I’m not so sure I’m getting anything out of it that a banana and cup o’ joe couldn’t do, but the Hydrator and Accelerator will continue to be part of my routine.
Love your reviews and I appreciate your sense of humor! Looking forward to more …
June 28, 2016 at
I hear ya about feeling completely drained in the middle of a workout.
I’m trying out Intermittent Fasting since 6 weeks and I train in a fasted state.
What gets me through? Water with freshly squeezed lemon and a pinch of sea salt!
I swear it works! Easy on my wallet too :)
April 16, 2014 at
I’m using Vega accelerator on your recommendation! Is it still your favourite? Do you use it regularly after every workout or just the weight lifting ones?
April 16, 2014 at
Still lovin’ it! I use it primarily on the workouts I know I’m going to get a pummelling such as Asylum or Body Beast.
August 3, 2014 at
Love your style Parrot but you forgot to mention that the Vega accelerator tastes like an old fart. The apple berry flavor is not good, but it seems to work well!
February 10, 2014 at
Do you find a recovery drink necessary for T25 workouts? It seems like it might be overkill when I’m only doing 25 minutes a day.
February 10, 2014 at
It wouldn’t hurt to have a little recovery drink, but any of these items might be overkill. Sometimes the best recovery drink can be a natural cup of chocolate milk ( real chocolate mink mind you, not Quick! ). A decent diet would cover over any perceived benefits of a recovery drink for short 30 min workouts unless you’re destroying muscles on the bench press.
Mauricio Morales K
January 18, 2014 at
I like your honest take in the p90x recovery drink, it’s one of those things that’s not nearly as good as they say it is but also not nearly as bad as the haters proclaim. It’s just a good drink, tastes good, KINDA works and you know….. that’s it.
November 8, 2013 at
Another great recovery drink is http://mighty-sport.com – incredible ingredients loaded in there.
October 31, 2012 at
What are your thoughts on Shakeology? Is it worth it?
November 1, 2012 at
I haven’t been able to personally use Shakeology, but the ingredients suggest it is a premiere product in every sense. I liken it to Vega One supplement:
So yes, I think all-natural products like Shakeology are definitely worth the money.
November 2, 2012 at
Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
January 6, 2015 at
I just purchased the P90 and look forward to getting started on the program. I want to get the most out of the program but as you mentioned the Shakeology looks to be good but expensive. I feel the same way. I would like a more reasonably priced alternative. I know you mentioned the Vega One. Do you have any other suggestions or do you think the Vega One is still the best alternative. If it is, which one of the Vega One products would be the closest in content. I am looking for a meal replacement drink to use once a day 5 days a week while either for breakfast or lunch at work. (It looks like the Vega One products – All in One, Protein and Plants, and Nutritional Shake has more protein in them than the Shakeology. Is that extra amount needed?) I am new to all of this so I am still learining and have to take into account my own body and tastes. Any suggestions you have (or others here in this forum would be greatly appreciated.
January 6, 2015 at
Still a pretty big advocate of Vega One as the Shakeology alternative. I also like the Pre-Workout formula as a killer energy/recovery drink.
July 2, 2015 at
Thanks. I was able to try the Shakeology and I didn’t feel it was worth the high price tag. I did follow your recommendation and I too now use Vega One and like it.
June 12, 2012 at
Check out accelerade, same as recovery without the creatine:
June 14, 2012 at
I prefer endurox, made by the same company: