Recovery Drink: Which Should I Use?
I actually get the question about which muscle recovery drink to use a lot. I am no expert! However, I have done quite a bit of research because I am extremely conscious of what goes into my body; knowingly and unknowingly.
Recovery Drink Ratio
The most important factor of any muscle recovery drink, including P90X’s Recovery Drink, is the 4 to 1 ratio (4:1). 4 parts carbohydrates to 1 part protein taken within an hour of finishing your workout. That’s the magic ratio and the magic window of time you need to take it in. From that, there are so many possibilities. Do I use whey protein? Do I use soy protein or pea protein because I’m a vegan? Do I use sucrose, fructose, or a non-sugar based carbohydrate? Do I use something with creatine in it?
The last question above is a pretty common one; with regards to recovery drinks or otherwise. Is creatine important for muscle recovery, or should it be taken before a workout for best results? Creatine is an energy compound. It’s primarily found in the skeletal muscles and is naturally occurring in our bodies (more so in meat-eaters). It’s also something that gets extracted quicker when we are not working out much, or at all. Some experts say it is healthy and safe as a supplement. The supplement may help build muscle quicker than without. It may even help with certain types of muscle recovery. Other experts insist that if it were meant to be, our bodies would have ways to produce extra when needed. Therefore, these experts say you should not take supplemental creatine.
Honestly, I think glutamine is a better choice for muscle recovery than creatine. I have based this on my own research. However, I do not use either of these supplements myself. To be fair, I am also down with a Plyometric-based injury for the next 3–6 months.
Research to Exhaustion
If you decide to use any of these supplements, please research them until you are satisfied. Make your own decisions based on your findings and do not let non-medical friends sway you easily. Most of the stuff out there has not had long-term effects testing at this point. Also, be aware that the FDA does not regulate supplements, so just about anything goes.
Be smart. Try to see through the marketing hype. Always listen to your body. If your body reacts poorly to a new supplement, discontinue immediately. To help figure out which new supplement it is that you are reacting to, only introduce 1 new supplement at a time. Wait at least 2 weeks, preferably 4 weeks, before adding another new supplement to your diet.