Homemade Recovery Drinks

Homemade Recovery Drinks.
28th March 2009.
Jim Ley, Jibbering.com
part of Sports.

Post Exercise Recovery Drinks

An important part of succesful recovery after a hard workout, or race, is to recover well, and ensure that body is re-supplied with everything it spent, and is set up to rebuild itself stronger than before.

There are many commercial products available, in a variety of types, in coming up with a recipe of my own I looked at the alternatives. The alternatives come in a number of different types pre-mixed "Milkshakes" targetted at at the sports market, sports powders which are mixed up to create a recovery drink, or simple regular milkshakes not targetted at the sports market.

The research essentially points to a mix of proteins and carbohydrate being important, most popularly in a something around 3 carb to 1 protein ratio. Many other ingredients are also touted to have different benefits, different sources of proteins and carbohydrates are also chosen.

The Ingredients

Of the milkshake based products, it is the milk obviously providing the protein. In the powders there are two main types on over, Soy Isolate, and Whey Isolate. Hammer's ReGo product uses Whey, and they cite its high BV(biological value as the reason, suggesting that it makes it more readily available to the body in the recovery time where time is of the essence. ScienceInSports ReGo uses Soy Protein, but gives the same reason, despite Soy's lower BV. Cow milk protein comes in between the two.
The milkshake products, tend to use Sugar, Glucose, Fructose mixes, and fruit juices themselves as the carbohydrate source. The powders all use either just maltodextrin, or a mixture of maltodextin and fructose. The argument for maltodextrin is one of its high glycaemic index so it is radpidly absorbed by the body.
An amino acid, many powders are supplemented with this, it's used both in muscles and in the immune system, various research shows it to be effective (e.g.this).
Salts, again used to replace the salts lost during the workout, these are common to all the powdered forms, and all the pre-made drinks.
Various anti-oxidants are touted, Hammer uses l-Carnosine, others mostly use Vitamin E and C.
A sugar, used in the creation ATP, has possibly been shown to be beneficial pre and post Anaerobic work-outs, most of the research I've seen suggests a 5g dose, but none of the recovery products have more than 3g.
Amino acids Leucine, Iso-Leucine and Valine, slow muscle breakdown and building
HMB (Hydroxymethyl Butyrate)
Slows muscle breakdown and enhances building, could be similar in function to the Leucine in the BCAA as it's just a metabolite.

My Recovery Recipe

I take all my drinks unflavoured, if you want to add flavouring such as cocoa etc. you can. It has a 2.6:1 ratio of carbs to protein, which I find works well for me, as well as glutamine and HMB for recovery. I normally take around 50g post exercise.


Specific Recipes

Below are approximations to various recipes of commercially available products if you know that they work for you, and want to have a recipe similar. I also note the comparitive saving of creating your own.

The majority of ingredients are priced from either MyProtein.co.uk (please use my referal code MP107371 to get 5% off and earn me some points.) or from Tesco supermarket, and were correct as of the date above. The prices of the branded product was from their own website, or store.

Zipvit Recovery Rapide Chocolate


The most expensive element of this is the colostrum, and it's not a direct replacement, the only Colostrum I could find available was different to that used by ZipVit - the ZipVit recovery drink has substantial amounts of fat (13grams per 70g serving) I don't know any reported benefits from this fat, and I believe it's purely a byproduct of the cheaper colostrum and cocoa used. My recipe does not have this much fat.

SiS Rego Recovery


Nothing but basic carbohydrate and protein mix here, but unusually uses Soy protein rather than whey.