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.