Why Recovery Drinks Matter


This guy didn’t have his recovery drink…

If you have ever completed a workout in your life with another individual… you have probably heard them mutter something about a recovery drink.  If you don’t know what a recovery drink is… it’s supposed to be a drink consumed within 45 minutes of your workout that helps your body “recover”.

Well, what the hell does that mean?  For some it’s an excuse to drink a tasty but mostly ineffective chocolate milk drink and call it “recovery”.  The bottom line is that you should take your recovery drink seriously because IT WILL have an impact on several things.  Read further for the truth about recovery drinks and why recovery drinks matter.

Why Recovery Drinks Matter

First, let’s define recovery and a recovery drink.  A recovery drink is a drink that can be consumed intra-workout (meaning during your workout) or shortly after (within 45 minutes).  It typically should have components that help your body recovery from your workout and/or provide needed sugars during your workout if you are starting to “bonk”.

Your recovery drink is your second most important meal of the day (the first being a nutrient/protein rich meal or supplement).  If you complete a tough workout, a recovery drink will do two things:

  1. Your recovery drink will give you energy post workout and help you from feeling exhausted
  2. Your recovery drink will replenish muscles for the next days workout and optimize the muscle repair/recovery process

Lastly, you have to EARN your recovery drink.  Don’t expect to do a half-assed or short workout and need a recovery drink.  A good recovery drink will have carbs and even sugar in it (this is the one time I will tell you to consume sugar), and so having that after a light workout will only negate the calories burned from the workout.

On the flip side, a good recovery drink that is EARNED will help to keep your metabolism going and keep you burning fat.

Why Recovery Drinks Matter

Option 1: Advanced Workouts

Advanced workouts are defined as either high intensity weight lifting/body weight resistance workouts over 30 minutes.

Here you will want three things:  Carbs + Protein + Creatine.

Carbs:  Here is where you want sugar (fast absorbing carbs) to get into your body for immediate delivery to the muscle.  This helps to replenish the fuel that makes your muscles move and lift heavy things.

Creatine: Like carbs, you need to refuel muscles and creatine is critical in this equation.

Protein: Either consumed intra-workout in a BCAA or in your recovery drink, some extra protein will always help maintain the muscle.

What I Use:

Max Mass Gaining:  I use the Beast Stack products Fuel Shot (carbs), Harcore Base Shake (protein), and Max Creatine.  This is a high calorie, high carb, high protein mix that is ideal for adding muscle mass.  This is perfect if you are trying to gain that muscle mass or you are a “hard gainer”… but will not work for cutting.

Maintenance or Cutting:  I use P90X Results & Recovery, protein powder (ON Vanilla Whey Isolate from Costco), and Max Creatine.  This is a moderate calorie, moderate carb, high protein mix that is perfect for maintaining or building some muscles….  and cutting fat.

Option 2: Intermediate Workouts

Intermediate workouts are mostly cardio or light lifting workouts over 30 minutes.  If you don’t know whether you are doing intermediate or advanced workouts… you are probably doing intermediate workouts.  Running is an intermediate workout for example.

Here you will want two things:  Carbs + Some Protein

Carbs:  You want sugar (fast absorbing carbs) to get into your body for immediate delivery to the muscle.  This helps to replenish the fuel that makes your muscles move and have endurance during an intermediate workout.

Protein: Drinking some protein in your recovery drink will help to maintain muscle.

What I Use:

I cut out the high sugar recovery drinks and go for something balanced.  This is where I combine my dense nutritional meal of Shakeology with my recovery as it has an equal amount of carbs and protein.  This is the perfect recovery drink for a intermediate workout and gets you that shot of compact nutrients right when your body is absorbing everything it can.

Shakeology is the perfect recovery drink for intermediate workouts.

Another alternative is something like a half cup of orange juice mixed with water and protein powder.

Why Recovery Drinks Matter

So there you have it.  Recovery drinks are the bomb… especially after a hard workout when you know you have earned it.  I use it as my little post workout treat to myself.  A good recovery drink will help you not only get results, but give you the energy to keep going the next day.  They are critical to your fitness and should be taken seriously.  Now you know why recovery drinks matter.

The days of chocolate milk recoveries are numbered for you if you are serious about getting in bad ass shape.  Step up your game and step up your results…  a solid recovery drink is a great way to do so.

Ryan GillespieRyan Gillespie
P90X Certified Trainer / Diamond Beachbody Coach

I currently live in sunny San Diego California and work with people around the country and Internationally on their health and fitness goals. Join my Free Beachbody Team, follow me on Facebook, or friend me on Facebook to join my Free Accountability and Support group. Start today!

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