Recovery drinks

Do you have a general recommendation for when cyclists should utilize a recovery drink after a training session? I currently use the Scratch vegan recovery mix when my rides hit about 1,500 calories burned but do I need to think about other factors like shorter higher intensity sessions?

Is there a simple rule to follow?

In general, I’d recommend a recovery drink or a good recovery snack after anything other than a recovery ride.

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I’ve always tried to use real food as a recovery unless it was several hours away or I had another event the same day. You should be able to be fully fueled up in 24 hours with good meal choices, IMHO

I am a big fan of real whole food as post ride recovery - either as a snack or a meal. The only time I recommend powders or shakes is if you are on the go away from a snack or meal OR coming off a long hard ride 3+ hour and need to replenish 1,800kJ’s ++

Here is out Post Ride Nutrition Video you may find helpful and informative:


It’s hard to believe given the marketing but absolutely true that whole food works as good as a commercial recovery shake. The only advantage the latter has is convenience.

James RDN :slight_smile: :grinning:


I’ve found that good ole chocolate milk (Hersey’s chocholate syrup and whole milk) works just as well as any recovery drink on the market and is significantly less expensive.

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I think the answer is it doesn’t make a difference. There’s this concept of an "anabolic window" where you’re better off taking protein within 30-45 mins but reasearch says it doesn’t exist
Also personally, I have supplemented with protein shakes for a long time, and have not found putting additional time between my workout and protein (taking it straight away vs taking it 1-2 hours later) to have any significant effect. I would add that I disagree with anyone saying adding a shake won’t make a difference, if you go to continue a workout program and your muscles have not significantly recovered because they haven’t had the fuel they need to rebuild, of course it’s going to be harder?

I would say do what’s most convenient. Good luck with your plan!

+1 for chocolate milk. The ratios are bang on and it’s like 3$ for 2L