After an intense workout, runners need a drink that’s capable of speeding their recovery. Although water will rehydrate the runner or athlete, it’s not going to replace the minerals the runner may have lost or restore their glucose levels. For that, the athlete or runner is going to need to purchase the best recovery drink they can buy.
A drink that fits their lifestyle, their workout regimen and hopefully, one that tastes great as well. We’ve found a few of these drinks that we think are the best, so we’ve decided to share them with all of our readers. Hopefully, the following drinks will help to keep athletes at the top of their game.
Quick Summary of Recovery Drinks
FitAid Recovery-Blend Drink
Runners and other athletes are always on the lookout for a recovery drink that’s capable of restoring electrolytes, speed muscle recovery and boost their energy levels back up to pre-workout levels. Fortunately, this drink is capable of giving the athlete everything they need and it does it without containing any of the junk that many other recovery-drinks put in their formula. This is a lightly carbonated citrus drink that’s ready to give the athlete the edge he or she needs to compete at an extremely high level.
The best way to review this product is to simply let our readers know some of the nutrients that this drink can give them when they have a can. Each can provide the athlete with 45-calories, 11-grams of carbohydrates, 50mg of vitamin C, 200 Internation Units of vitamin D3, 40 IU of vitamin E, 30mg of calcium, and 60mg of potassium. It also has several B-vitamins, Omega 3s, magnesium, and biotin. It’s a drink that supplies Quercetin, CoQ10, electrolytes, and Tumeric as well to provide anti-inflammatory benefits to the athlete.
This drink also features 45-grams of caffeine that’s sourced from natural sources including green tea. This product is also natural sweeteners with 9-grams of Blue Agave to help the athlete recoup some of the glycogen that’s they’ve depleted, so they can recover faster than with other drinks. And because it has a citrus taste to it, most athletes are going to love drinking this drink not only after workouts but for other times as well.
If there’s one complaint that some people might have about this drink, it’s that this product might not be suitable for people who are sensitive to caffeine. Although none of the caffeine in this is derived from artificial sources, some consumers might still be sensitive to it. If that’s a concern, then the athlete might want to try one of the other recovery drinks on our list.
- It’s full of electrolytes and B-vitamins.
- It has natural caffeine.
- It doesn’t have artificial flavors or colors.
- It might not be suitable for people sensitive to caffeine.
PacificHealth Endurox R4 Post-Workout Drink Mix
Athletes looking to improve their recovery levels and quickly replace lost muscular glucose might want to take a closer look at this product. This product is capable of doing this using a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio that helps to speed up muscle recovery. Studies have shown that the faster that muscles can recover lost glucose levels the faster they can recover, and this product is designed to do just that.
The amount of carbohydrates in a recovery drink isn’t the only important thing for consumers to consider, however. They also have to consider the quality of the carbohydrates that are used in the drink. Some of the ingredients that can be found in this drink include dextrose, whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate, maltodextrin, fructose, sucrose, citric acid, beet juice, sunflower oil, and natural flavors.
Each serving of this drink provides 270-calories, 52-grams of carbohydrates, 13-grams of protein, 90mg of calcium, 215 IU of vitamin E, 220mg of sodium, 180mg of potassium, 115mg of magnesium, 420mg of L-Glutamine, and 250mg of vitamin C. Of course, that’s per serving if the athlete mixes the drink up the way it’s supposed to be mixed which is 2 rounded scoops of this powder in 12-ounces of water.
Overall, we think that this is an incredible recovery drink, but we can’t say we’re exactly enthusiastic about the way this product tasted. The orange flavor tasted a little tangy to us, so we didn’t find it acceptable, but some people may disagree with our assessment. Regardless of the dispute over the taste, however, we feel that few recovery drinks increase muscular glucose levels faster than this one. It is an exceptional product. It helps muscles to recover faster, gives muscles the nutrition it needs for the rebuilding process, and may also help with post-workout muscle soreness.
- It has a 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio for increased recovery.
- The taste could’ve been a little bit better.
TriFuel 3-In-1 Endurance Electrolyte Enhanced Drink
Even though this recovery drink is more expensive than just about any of the other drinks we’ve reviewed, we still think that this is a quality product. It’s a product that’s designed to be a 3-in-1 product that improves endurance, improves recovery, and improves hydration levels. This is a drink that’s designed to also help improve the athletes’ mental clarity and eliminate muscle sourness. That’s a tall order for any recovery drink to fulfill, but surprisingly, this product manages all of it quite well.
This is a product that’s made in the United States and an FDA-registered production facility, so consumers can rest assured that they’re getting a quality product made with some of the best ingredients in the world. Consumers can also rest assured that this product isn’t made with a lot of fillers or unnecessary ingredients. It just delivers the nutrition that hard-working athletes need and nothing more.
Each serving of this drink delivers 1,584mg of five key electrolytes, 6,000mg of BCAA-Complex, 2,120mg of Anti-Fatigue Complex, 30-grams of a Carbohydrate Complex, and 4,500mg of an Endurance Complex. The ingredients used to create these complexes include sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, L-Glutamine, L-Arginine, vitamin C, vitamin E, L-Theanine, and L-Leucine. Each serving provides the athlete with 112 calories and 30-grams of carbohydrates.
Because this product contains 2,000 mg of L-Citrulline Malate, it helps to delay the onset of fatigue during heavy training regimens. This ingredient also helps to speed up the recovery process of muscles and to reduce soreness in the muscles. And because this product uses easy-to-digest carbohydrates, this product isn’t likely to hurt a person’s stomach the way that some other recovery drinks tend to do. This product also comes in one of two great tasting flavors. The two flavors that this product is available in is lemon-lime and wild berry. This is a great product that some people are going to want to add to their post-workout or post-run routine.
- It provides a good boost of electrolytes.
- It’s made with high-quality ingredients.
- This product is a bit expensive.
A Guide To Recovery Drinks
Most recovery drinks are designed to not only help the athlete hydrated after an intense run or workout routine, but also to replace some of the important nutrients that they use or lose during these intense activities. This usually involves not only replacing the glycogen in the muscles but also replacing lost electrolytes. This helps to speed the recovery process and results in not only improved muscle repair but also reduced muscle soreness.
Unfortunately, not all recovery drinks are made the same. Some of them are made with too much sugar too much caffeine or have other undesirable ingredients in them. Therefore, the consumer has to be extremely careful about which ones they choose and which ones they decide to leave on the shelf. To help our readers pinpoint some of the ingredients that they should be looking for when choosing the best recovery drinks for their needs, we’ve whipped up the following guide.
Calculate The Number Of Carbs Needed
The first goal of any recovery drink is to give the athlete carbohydrates so they can return their stores of glycogen to normal. This begs the question: how many carbs does the athlete need the energy drink to have, and to answer that question the athlete needs to consider their weight. As a rule, athletes should consume approximately 1.5-grams of high-glycemic carbs for every 1-kg of body weight they have.
For example, if the athlete is 180-pounds (approximately 81.64 Kg), then the athlete is going to want to consume 122.46-grams of carbohydrates. Of course, this doesn’t have to be precise, but it does provide a range that the athlete can aim towards.
What types of carbohydrates should the athlete expect in their recovery drink? The two major ones are dextrose and maltodextrin, those are the carbohydrates that are most easily absorbed by the athlete and what every recovery drink should have in its formulation.
Ensure It Has Electrolytes
The athlete should also make sure their recovery drink has the electrolytes they need it to have. Electrolytes include calcium, potassium, and sodium. These nutrients are important for the proper functioning of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system. The nervous system is also heavily reliant on electrolytes. Unfortunately, athletes lose a lot of electrolytes during the workout process, so they need to be promptly replaced after heavy physical activity.
Don’t Forget The Protein
The athlete also needs to make sure that their recovery drink has enough protein in it, preferably a fast-digesting protein that will speed the amino acids to the muscles that they need and do it quickly. Getting the right amino acids to the muscles quickly and efficiently will allow them to rebuild stronger after each workout. The amount of protein the athlete needs, however, will vary from one person to the next. A body-builder will need a higher dose of protein than a runner, for example.
How can a person determine how much protein they need their recovery drink to have? Well, if the athlete is a runner, then they should make sure that they have approximately 20-25 grams of protein in their recovery drink—more if they feel they need it. On the other hand, if the athlete is doing muscle-building activities, then they might want to go with 1-gram of protein for every 4-grams of carbohydrates found in the drink. One of the most frequently used forms of protein is Whey protein. That’s because it provides all the amino acids that muscles need for recovery.
Other Quality Ingredients To Look For
The above ingredients form the base of any quality recovery drink. However, some people might want to look for a product that adds a few more nutrients to their base. If that’s the case, then the athlete might want to look over the following list of nutrients to see if perhaps they want them in their next recovery drink formulation. Although we’re a bit limited on space, the following ingredients all have nutritional benefits that the athlete might want to consider when purchasing their next drink.
- American Ginseng
- B-Complex Vitamins
- Vitamins C, D, & E
- Milk Thistle
Ingredients To Avoid
Now that we’ve covered some of the essential nutrients found in some of the best recovery drinks, it’s time to turn our attention to the ingredients the athlete doesn’t want to find in their drink. The following ingredients should never be found on the ingredient’s list of a recovery drink and if they do, then the athlete might want to find a different brand.
- Artificial Colors or Flavors
- Artificial Preservatives
- Refined White Sugar
- Excess Caffeine Levels