Recovery and Protein

👉 Recovery Guide: Calculate your optimal recovery yourself

With 4 simple questions, we calculate what your ideal recovery is to get the most out of your training. Even with a short extensive ride, you can build your fitness. With the right recovery recipe, we build towards your fitness peak! 👇

What makes a recovery shake a true recovery drink?

Lists of the top 5 recovery drinks and commercial pitches about the benefits of a recovery shake abound. But how do you know which is the best recovery shake for you as a cyclist or endurance athlete? What criteria should the perfect recovery shake for endurance athletes meet? We asked nutrition experts and professional cyclists like Wout van Aert, Stijn Devolder, and Mathieu van der Poel. Together, we developed the Pro Elite Recovery shake: the flagship product of Neapharma.

1. What do you use a recovery shake for?

Before you start looking for the perfect recovery shake, you first need to know what you want to achieve with it. A recovery shake has three main goals:

  1. Muscle recovery and building: Proteins repair your muscles after exertion and help you build muscles more quickly.
  2. Replenishing reserves: Through sweat, you lose essential minerals. To maintain peak performance, these need to be replenished.
  3. Condition building: Focusing on muscle recovery and muscle building is essential for sustainable improvement in your fitness.

The best recovery shakes not only provide proteins but also sufficient carbohydrates. This provides extra energy for a faster and more effective recovery.

2. What can you expect?

1. Look for whey protein concentrate.

Wei is de meest kwaliteitsvolle eiwitbron ter wereld. Geen enkel eiwit heeft meer kracht om je spieren zo snel en effectief te herstellen. Kijk niet alleen naar de totale hoeveelheid eiwit, maar vooral naar de hoeveelheid wei-eiwit.

De beste recovery shakes bevatten meer dan 45 gram eiwit waarvan minstens 25 gram wei-eiwit.

2. Quality first: How much leucine?

Forget other super amino acids: long live leucine! Branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs are often wrongly attributed various positive properties. However, according to recent studies, there is only one super amino acid with the power to stimulate muscle growth and recovery, and that is leucine. Research has long shown that leucine amino acid is the primary driver for muscle recovery and muscle building.

  • The more leucine, the better. The best recovery shakes contain at least 5 grams of leucine, with the ideal being 6 grams.
  • Does your shake also contain 2 to 3 grams of isoleucine (obviously from the leucine family)? Then you’ve got the ideal recovery drink. Isoleucine has a similar effect to leucine and can be absorbed simultaneously without limiting the effect of leucine and vice versa.
  • The only other amino acid that can be in your recovery shake is valine, which stimulates your muscles to absorb amino acids. To a lesser extent, but in combination with leucine, it is certainly a nice addition for a noticeable effect.

3. The right creatine solution

Most recovery shakes do not typically contain creatine, but if you are considering one that does, it’s important to pay attention to whether it includes “buffered creatine.” Buffered creatine refers to creatine with an additional protective layer against the acids in your body. This double buffer helps ensure that the creatine is effectively absorbed. Without this buffer, creatine can break down too quickly, leading to up to 60% less creatine absorption. If you decide to include creatine in your recovery shake, opt for one with buffered creatine for better absorption and effectiveness.

3. All-in-one Recovery

For a complete and sustainable recovery after an effort, your recovery shake should also contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients are depleted through sweating and need to be replenished regularly. (Note: You sweat more than you think, even on cold days!)

  • When these nutrients are consumed immediately after the exertion – within the first half hour – they are most easily absorbed by the body.
  • Look for these important minerals: chlorine, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, zinc.
  • Search for these important vitamins: B1, B12, B2, B6, C.

Deze vitaminen zullen jouw energieniveau snel verhogen: binnen een half uur na het drinken van de shake voel je de boost.

4. The ultimate check: a neutral pH.

A neutral pH is the standard for premium recovery shakes. It proves that no additional flavorings or acids have been added. This makes the shake extremely easy to digest, even after intense exertion. Moreover, nutrients with a neutral pH are absorbed much more easily by your body, allowing you to feel the effects faster and stronger.

Studies prove: professional athletes who regularly use the Pro Elite Recovery shake experience a noticeable increase in fitness, strength, and endurance.

5. Why an all-in-one recovery shake is not always the best choice

After a light training of less than two hours, there are no deficiencies in nutrients in a healthy body. In this case, a complete recovery shake is not necessary, and only leucine is sufficient to recover and build your muscles. Moreover, with prolonged use (from 3 weeks onwards), you will also notice that leucine improves your condition. Since pure leucine is then the best choice, we have also developed it in capsule form, and it is much cheaper than the Recovery Shakes.

Did you know? Because leucine is by far the most expensive ingredient in your recovery shake, many commercial brands do not use enough of it, rendering their shakes ineffective. On the other hand, some brands choose not to sell leucine separately but only in expensive recovery shakes.

Because at Neapharma, we use only the best ingredients in the highest doses, the Pro-elite Recovery shake contains 6 grams of leucine per 100 grams of powder: the maximum your body can absorb in an hour.