You Can’t Fully Recover Without a Recovery Drink

P90X recovery drinkOver the years I’ve been a coach, I’ve heard complaints from some new clients that can basically be summed up like this: “I’ve done 90 days non-stop of P90X (or 60 days of Insanity), and while I’ve had some success, why don’t I have the ripped look? Where are my RESULTS? Where are my ABS?!?!”

After extensive talks, I found one thing they all had in common. What was missing from their first round was always the same – lack of a recovery drink. I explain that a recovery drink is so important that without it, people are not really maximizing their time and effort spent in intense workouts. The problem is not with the workout, it’s with the diet – or the supplements to be more precise.

The Post Workout Period

Imagine this: you’re renovating your house for an addition. First, you would have to knock out an old wall to open up a room. Next, you’d have to frame the new addition by adding studs and, finally, you would place drywall over the frame for the new walls. But imagine if you tried to skip the studs or the drywall. Without framing, the new addition would be blown over in a high wind, and without the drywall the room might be a little drafty!

For our body, the studs are carbs and the drywall is protein. During exercise (and immediately afterwards), our muscle carbohydrate stores (glycogen) and our muscle protein structures break down. The immune system then comes in to clean up the mess. Finally, signals are generated to tell the body to rebuild. However, as I hope you’re now beginning to understand, without the proper protein and carbohydrate raw materials in your bloodstream, this rebuilding can’t take place. You’ll be left with starved muscles that never reached their real potential.

Window Of Opportunity

Another simple analogy: You have a dried up sponge that has been sitting in the sun for days. In order to fully restore the sponge, the best and quickest way would be to soak the sponge in a bucket of water right away. If you just sprinkled water on it periodically, the sponge might bounce back somewhat – in 2 or 3 days!

It’s the same case for your muscles. The best way to “bounce back” your muscle is by drenching the cells with a high sugar/carb content immediately after workout. Failure to do so would make the recovery process take days or even weeks, and muscle soreness would be inevitable. How are you supposed to work out the next day or the next 2 days when your muscles are still tired and sore?

The P90X Recovery Drink

Luckily for us, Beachbody has its very own recovery drink “P90X® Results and Recovery” (P90X RD), created by Mark Sisson, a world class nutritionist and founder of Primal Blueprint Diet. It’s what I use exclusively now. The RD has 40 g of simple carb and 10 gram of protein. The RD formula also has other ingredients like:

  1. Glutamine: a major role in protein synthesis
  2. Arginine: plays an important role in cell division, the healing of wounds, immune function, and the release of hormones
  3. The new & improved drink is Glucose based, which makes the absorption much faster and efficient, thus it serves its purpose well.

I would still recommend taking a scoop of whey (around 18-25 g) about 30-45 min after consuming the P90X RD.

Other ‘cheaper’ Alternatives:

  1. Low fat chocolate milk: if you could get carb-protein ratio close together, that’d be great. But this is the case where you get what you pay for. Taking low fat chocolate milk is better than nothing, but not as good as the P90X RD, so do not complain when you do not get the result like your friends who invest more money on the RD
  2. Gatorade: the carb-protein ratio is a bit off here, and you’d end up paying close to a tub of P90X RD if you drink Gatorade daily. But is it a great alternative when you ran out of the RD and need to get something quicl from the store.

You could read more on post workout nutrition by getting a copy of Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition by John Ivy & Robert Portman