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Are Recovery Drinks Important?

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You may have heard others saying that you need a recovery drink after your workouts, or simply the other side of the track where folks do not believe in them at all.  Which ever side you are on, let me share with you my thoughts on this topic as I have tried a few and have some experience in this during my years of working out.

Let’s first look into what your body does need after a hard workout.  During a hard workout such as P90X, Insanity or any of the very intense workout programs out there, your body burns blood sugar and glycogen.  If you really go hard your body could deplete itself of both, and without refueling the body you will not start the proper recovery your body needs.  This could result in extra soreness, reduce the effectiveness of your hard workout, or even fatigue.  Within 1 hour after your hard workout,  your body is very receptive to nutrients to replenish itself which is really needed.  By taking in the right combination of Carbs and Protein your body will start the needed recovery process and feed the body to help build lean muscle.  A 4:1 ratio of Carbs to Protein is what many experts feel is the correct mix, but the most recent reports I have read believe 2:1 is more inline especially with the shorter workouts.  Whatever ratio you believe in it is important to have something that will help hydration, replenish glycogen to restore muscle, and help optimize muscle repair.

I truly believe after trying recovery drinks and going without them that I feel less sore and more fresh the next day when taking something than not.

When should you take a recovery formula?  My advice is after a really hard workout.  If you are not going hard or for some reason do not give it everything you have, I would say you do not need it.  Again it is there when your body is low on Blood Sugar and Glycogen so you have to work hard to get there.  Say you go for a light jog or walk, or even do some Yoga, you probably do not need any.

What kinds are out there?  There are many just Google it and you will see.  A real cheap and easy way to get something in your body that can help is low fat chocolate milk — yup that is better than nothing in most cases.  I have tried some from GNC and 2 different ones from Beachbody (P90X, and the latest one called Beachbody Performance Recover).  Taste is something that is individual so try some different ones and take the test yourself to see if you do notice a difference, and which ones work better for you.

—Mike

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