Recovery Drinks

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Sift through these recovery nutrition facts before sipping up.

Optimize your body's recovery process by refueling within 15 to 45 minutes of a workout. Reason being, according to David Pearson, director of strength research at Ball State University, is that "the membranes—the outer covering on the muscle—seem to receive carbohydrates and protein more," and those macronutrients are used to restore energy and repair muscle tissue.

The muscles' ability to uptake nutrients also facilitates hypertrophy. In other words, says New York Giants nutrition consultant Heidi Skolnik, "If you're really trying to get big, [take] in some protein with the carbohydrate." You can conveniently down both in liquid form via a recovery drink.

Here's a list of top options.

Muscle Milk RTD []
Flavor: Root Beer Float $3.89/box
Calories: 330 // Carbs: 13g // Fat: 16g // Protein: 32g
The lowdown: lactose-free; formulated with complex, low-sugar and low-glycemic- index carbs, as well as EvoPro, a balanced protein that supports lean muscle

Myoplex RTD []
Flavor: Chocolate Fudge $11.99/4 pack
Calories: 310 // Carbs: 20g // Fat: 7g // Protein: 43g
The lowdown: packs 43 grams of protein per serving; can also be used as a meal replacement

Luna Sport []
Flavor: Strawberry Banana $19.99/12 servings
Calories: 120 // Carbs: 22g // Fat: <.5g // Protein: 8g
The lowdown: specifically proportioned for female athletes; contains calcium, iron and B vitamins

Gatorade Protein Recovery Shake []
Flavor: Vanilla $2.99/can
Calories: 270 // Carbs: 44g // Fat: 1g // Protein: 20g
The lowdown: provides 20 grams of milk protein isolate, along with 45 grams of carbs to enhance use of amino acids

Designer Whey Protein Blitz []
Flavor: Punch $3.99/bottle
Calories: 120 // Carbs: 1g // Fat: 0g // Protein: 30g
The lowdown: a full 30 grams of protein; printed on the label is the address of a website where you can scope out a weight-gaining program

Cytomax Recovery []
Flavor: Mountain Mocha $37.57/12 servings
Calories: 350 // Carbs: 20g // Fat: 18g // Protein: 26g
The lowdown: powder mix; contains lean lipids, special fats that promote protein synthesis

Clif Shot Recovery []
Flavor: French Vanilla $1.69 per packet
Calories: 150 // Carbs: 31g // Fat: 0g // Protein: 6g
The lowdown: made with more than 70 percent organic ingredients; includes L-Glutamine and whey protein isolate

Powerbar Recovery []
Flavor: Orange $12.99 for one canister
Calories: 180// Carbs: 40g // Fat: 0g // Protein: 6g
The lowdown: contains potassium and sodium, electrolytes needed during and after activity to help regulate fluid balance


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