Homemade Recovery Drink Recipe?

I went away with chocolate milk and expensive recovery drinks and now my post-ride recovery drink is

  • 12oz milk (skim or lactose free, or whatever is in the fridge)
  • 3 Tablespoons TANG

This is right about the 4:1 Carb:Protein ratio and costs about 20-40¢ per drink for me where I live.
And tastes just like a dreamsicle… mmm I’m craving it already :yum:

Nutrition Facts w/ Skim Milk:
Calories: 338
Fat: 0g
Sodium: 247.5mg
Carbs: 54g
Protein: 12g

Glycogen replenishement even with delayed uptake is at normal levels by 8 hours Muscle glycogen storage following prolonged exercise: effect of timing of ingestion of high glycemic index food - PubMed

That’s interesting. So, you are saying the main priority in that 30min window is carb replenishment rather than muscle repair? Therefore, right after a ride, get the carbs you need in, ensure you have some protein (4:1 ratio) to maximise the absorbtion of those carbs. You can have the big share of protein later and still have the same muscle repair benefits. Did I get this right?

I think the 20g comes from the supposed maximum absorption rates of protein. I’ve no idea does this stack up (so much protein info is outdated, yet retained by broscience) on latest research.

Again, a long time since I looked into it, but when I was strength training (probably 20 years ago), the advice was 20g of (whey) protein straight after a gym session.

Yes, you understood correctly. From my understanding to get the best recovery for your next workout it’s best to focus on carb replenishment as soon as you finish.

I’m no scientist, just expressing how I understand all the research I’ve done on the topic. And I definitely notice the difference too. For me carb replenishment is way more important than protein. But, for me, I don’t notice any effect of the protein. But I still feel it’s important. Kinda like carbs help raise my ceiling, but protein lessens chance of digging a hole. Malnutrition is also a form of over training that often get over looked.

Of course everyone’s situation is unique. I do multiple 3-5hr rides a week. If I were riding for less time I wouldn’t worry about it. Just depends how you need to recover for the load you are doing.

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Amber Pierce from episode 193 uses Lemonlime Gatorade & vanilla protein powder, which tastes like keylime pie. Special Guest: Amber Pierce – Ask a Cycling Coach 193 - #96 by ambermalika

Most sports drinks (those designed to drink during exercise - not before or after) have figured out the need to include multiple sources of carbohydrate (CHO). This helps optimize absorption, and Gatorade (original basic formula you can get in cheap powder form) does get it right. (Clif does too.) So, you can likely add plain whey (Bob’s Red Mill or Tera’s Whey mix/dissolve well) to your current hydration mix to make a recovery shake. Just calculate how many grams CHO per scoop, so you can get a final ratio of 4:1 grams of CHO to grams of protein. Keep in mind this doesn’t have to be big on total calories; just 200 or so with the 4:1 ratio is enough to signal the recovery cascade.


OK, I’m confused by the ratio calculations. I like to use the Glacier Cherry powdered Gatorade mix (12oz serving is 22g CHO, 90cal). Check! I also like the ON brand Gold Standard 100% Whey (1 scoop is 24g protein, 2g CHO). If we are doing a 4:1 ratio based on grams is that not going to be 48oz of mixed Gatorade to one scoop of Whey protein? There is no way to confine this ratio using gatorade and whey protein to 200cals. Can you provide a little more help here with this? Thanks

Just make your scoop size smaller. Start with half or quarter scoop of protein and see where that puts you.

Sorry if I misunderstand the question. Just finished a long ride so not completely here. :joy:

200 calories would be 50 grams of protien and carbs. So 4 to one would be 10g protien and 40g carbs. I would figure out how many much in a each serving and go from there

2% milk, chocolate sauce, a tbsp of peanut butter protein powder, and if it’s in the morning I add a shot of espresso. I’ll throw in a banana if we have any kicking around.

I was over analyzing I guess, huh? I was making a 4:1 ration out of servings not grams. Thanks for the clarification.


Lance King

I’ve been enjoying the TR-suggested recovery smoothies. Some fresh ginger in there makes for a refreshing kick.

Genuine curiousity here: what makes this better than chocolate milk if they have the same carb:protein mix?

I do both. But mine have about 400 calories… 20 grams of protien and 80 carbs

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Part of it for me is the taste. I prefer the taste. I will defer to chocolate milk though at times and not feel bad about it. If you go to Skratch’s site they have an explanation why it is better.

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I just buy whey protein isolate from a bulk supplement site and mix that with other things, helps a lot.

Dunno about ratios or actual benefit…

2 teaspoons of ovaltine, 2-3 teaspoons of dark-roasted brewer’s malt barley [powder], in ~10oz full cream milk.
Chocolate malt with extra malt. [2kg of brewers malt costs about 16 Australian micro-pesos]

Given I barely eat other than a main meal each day, the milk alone is a significant protein bump, add whatever small amounts of protein and other goodies from the ovaltine & malt…

I put a cup of oatmeal in the blender first and blend it on its own so it becomes a powder → add (almond or low fat) milk → 1 or 2 scoops of protein powder (vanilla) → chopped up (frozen) banana → 1/2 tsp of cinnamon → pinch of salt → blend 20 sec… et voila

Has anybody tried this stuff?

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This was a good post for us cycling geeks. But in the end the marginal gains come from consistent programed training. Yes, recovery is a part of it. But the easy answer is this eat a well balanced diet of real food and will be ok. Supplements are just that a supplement to the well balanced diet but if you are eating well you dont need to supplement your diet in most cases. Hmmm Now for recovery drinks yes the window exists but it NEVER closes. Yep. So like TR Coach Chad says you need to think fueling beyond the first 30-60minutes. Team Sky now INEOS team nutrionist said that they fuel based on the next workouts requirements. But it is fun for us cycling geeks to hem and haw about this supplement and that supplement it´s okay but in the end it puts the money in the pockets of the supplement companies. I too am a victim is this supplement cycle of maddness. Eat a well balanced diet spend money on during race fuels gels bars and energy drinks.Eat healthy and focused. The extra cash is saved for one of those kool gadets we cyclists need or want.
I will leave you with two final points to chew on 1. if you listen to most of the pros that TR interviews when asked about their nutrition plan off the bike they really dont have one they say for the most part they eat healthy and within limits. 2. Miguel Indurain never fretted about all this madness hard work talent and the Mediterrean Diet.
keep the rubber side down and enjoy.

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