Making a recovery drink from powders

Hi there, I am trying to create my own recovery drink as they are pretty expensive. I’ve already got my whey protein, but am not sure what type of carbohydrate powder to get, maltodextrin, dextrin etc? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks. @chad

1 Like

If your whey protein is unflavoured, I’d just use a standard carbohydrate drink mix, the same you’d use for hard efforts on the bike.

Personally I add Instant Oats like this one since it has more nutrients than just sugar. However it releases slowly, so I wouldn’t recommend taking it between back to back races or workouts. In that case I’d have mainly maltodextrin and little protein as the guys recommended in a recent podcast.

1 Like

I have been going down this road of “X is too expensive, what about Y?” for a while now. At the moment, I am using whey protein and table sugar, usually with a dash of salt. I was using Gatorade powder before that, but from what I can tell Gatorade is not far off from the 50/50 glucose/fructose mix you’d get with table sugar. On top of that, I am not convinced that for recovery specifically, there is any reason to favor a different ratio than 50/50.

@palfreytom, this is a really good question for @Nate_Pearson since he’s actually sourced these ingredients before.


I prefer to eat some food rather than making a drink. I prepare an overnight oats with apples, soy milk, cinnamon, cardamom, dates, banana, hemp, flax and chia seeds. So much more satisfying than knocking back a drink.

1 Like

My go to is powdered lemon-lime gatorade, plus ~10-15 grams of vanilla whey protein.

As noted above…there is certainly something to be said for real food. For me though…usually will have at least hlf a bottle of left over gatorade from my workout. I just dump in a half scoop of protein, a few ice cubes, and take a few minutes tk relax/drink/cool down/dink around on my phone before i hop in the shower. I’ll make a real meal after I’m cleaned up.

Also…the argument AGAINST real food is that it needs to be digested. You wont be able to process the carbs/protein before the recommended recovery window for nutrients ends.


After any workout thats not a 100% recovery ride I use sis rego, you can generally find tubs of it for a fairly decent price and the flavour (chocolate) seems to work for me. You want something that is absorbed as fast as possible for right after your workouts.

After that I will make a meal or something but the drink is always immediately after the ride.

1 Like

Would love you to nudge @Nate_Pearson to weigh in on this and provide an answer!

I’m also very interested to hear if the recovery drink changes depending on whether or not he adds a strength routine onto the end of the ride as he’s mentioned before.

I do 2:1 of maltodextrin to fructose. You can buy it on bulk on Amazon.

Then a 4:1 of carbs to protein

Boom, you just saved a lot of money.

There are probably some marginal gains and convince you could get from another recovery shake (taste being a big plus) but if you want to save money this will get you most of the way there.

I might do more protein after my weight session depending on how much protein I’m consuming that day. I just saw a study that showed that your protein timing intake isn’t that important for weight training, as long as you get enough protein each day.


Am I reading correctly 4:1 protein to carbs or should it be carbs to protein. Just seems like a lot of protein.

1 Like

according to Brad Schonfeld it isn’t also for cycling intervals… though I tend to feel better with a hefty dose of protein and carbs straight after.

Lemon lime gatorade (plus some maltodextrin) mixed with vanilla whey is great. Very key lime pieish. Kinda.

4 parts carb to 1 protein, I don’t think your kidneys would thank you if it was the other way around :+1:

1 Like

Sounds similar to a combination Amber described on one of her first podcast appearances–lime drink mix of your choice (I use Skratch) and unflavored whey protein mixed for a 4:1 carb:protein ratio. And it is reasonably close to key lime pie flavor.

When traveling, premix in snack sized zipper bags for portability and convenience. Just pour in a spare bottle, add cold water, shake, drink.

I buy whey protein and maltodextrin from bulkpowders or mmsports. It’s very cheap and it’s great to have one of those when you get back from a hard training session to start the recovery immediately and fuel the depleted glycogen. I also buy maltodextrin/dextrose powder and add fructose to use as high carb (50 g per bottle) sports drink. I’m saving a ton of money by buying it like this instead of ready to go products from sis, enervit, maurten.

1 Like

What carb does everyone use for the 4:1 recovery?

1 Like

Sugar + banana + frozen mango or strawberries + oatmeal + skim milk + whey protein. (in Nutribullet)

Usually targeting 60-150g of carbs post-workout with 25-40g protein.