What is recovery protein?
Recovery protein shakes usually contain a blend of fast protein sources like whey protein with a majority of fast carbs like dextrose, waxy maize starch and maltodextrin. Sometimes brands will include extra anabolic enhancers like more amino acids and creatine.
The objective with recovery protein, as you might expect, is to refuel depleted muscles as quickly as possible post-workout. This is why whey and high GI carb sources go hand in hand. The high GI carbs like dextrose raise insulin levels to hasten the process of glycogen (energy) replenishment. With whey in the mix amino acids are shuttled through to help rebuild torn muscle fibres.
You’ll notice that relative to other protein supplements recovery formulas are cheaper. This is because they’re usually carb loaded with over two-thirds of the ingredients being made up from (cheaper) carb sources. If you study the nutritionals you’ll notice they’re akin to heavyweight gainers. The only major difference is that gainers often use a mixed protein blend and include lower GI carb sources like fine oats.
If a recovery formula suits your requirements you could save money by researching and trialing a heavyweight gainer. You would simply need to reduce the serving size to get the same benefits.
Introducing fast or even a mixed blend of carbs post-workout is essential for rejuvenating fatigued muscles. In our experience they dramatically help to shorten the recovery window, and in our view they help to maintain the overall energy feel good factor, especially after intense cardio activity.
If you're still not sure, you can find a supplement that will suit your goals with our protein finder.