recovery shake vs protein shake

When to choose a recovery shake over a protein shake?

It’s a question we are frequently asked. When is a protein shake enough? When do you need the extra carbs? What else are you getting from a recovery shake?
Well, first things first. Just like with protein shakes, not all recovery shakes are created equal. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a recovery shake that does not include nutrient-void corn starch (aka maltodextrin) as the main carbohydrate base (yuk). And trust us: we’ve done the research. It’s one of the reasons we created Motion Nutrition. The Motion Nutrition Organic Post-Workout Recovery shake is a blend of nutrient-dense carbohydrates, complete proteins (either from whey or from a vegan blend of pea and rice), natural sources of electrolytes and antioxidants, and finally strong immune system boosters. The idea with a recovery shake is that it provides you with a full body refuel. The carbohydrates are there to replenish glycogen levels (the fuel your muscles burn), and the protein is there to help rebuild muscle damage. After a tough workout, your immune system can be depleted, and you’re likely to be dehydrated. A comprehensive recovery shake such as Motion Nutrition’s should address all these issues.

So what’s best for you: a Recovery shake or a Protein shake?

To answer this question properly, you should ask yourself a few subset questions:
  1. How hard do you train? A gruelling session will deplete glycogen levels, whereas a protein shake will be enough after hitting the gym for a quick lunch time sesh’.
  2. When do you train? And more to the point, when is your next meal? If you train straight after work, and you then need to commute home and start making dinner, a protein shake alone may not be enough post-workout fuel.
  3. What are your training goals? If your main goal is to lose fat, protein shakes are probably your post-workout drink of choice (but bear in mind question number 2). If you’re happy with your weight, and need to make sure you get enough fuel, try opting for a recovery blend.

Special case: if you’re building a chest like Jonny Bravo

If your goal is to pack on the pounds and look like He-Man, you deserve a whole paragraph to yourself (we couldn’t simply squeeze you into our bullet-point list (we tried, you didn’t fit, #swole)). Here’s a little trick for you that we recommend to our movie-star clients who need to bulk up fast (for real). In your Motion Shaker, blend one scoop of Post-Workout Recovery with one scoop of Organic Pure Whey Protein. This is a guaranteed fix-it-all bulking-season mega-recovery byebye-DOMS smoothie. It works, we promise. (If you’re serious about growing biceps like Thor, you’ll want to add in our Mind & Body Creatine to your daily routine, too. You can thank us later.)

So now you know:

When it comes to choosing between a recovery shake and a protein shake, it all comes down to:
  • Intensity of training,
  • Timing of training vs timing of meals,
  • Type of training and outcome goals (we see you, Jonny Bravo).