After a long, extensive ride on the bike, a recovery drink can make a pretty big difference. There are a lot of riders who might not necessarily consider recovery drinks at first, but then they give them a try, and they exceed expectations.
What are the best post cycling recovery drinks available on the market today? Whether a person is purchasing something that is already created, or coming up with their own concoction, it makes sense to be smart about recovery. With different types of rides out there, it is easy to find something that works for any situation.
1. Nuun Hydration Electrolyte Tablets
For riders who are looking for something that they can use every single day, these Nuun Hydration Electrolyte Tablets (Amazon) are the perfect solution for that. They are just a few calories, and they provide all the electrolytes a rider needs to bounce back in a big way.
Getting sodium, potassium, and magnesium back into the body is a big deal, and they are easy to carry around so that a rider is never left without them.
Available in over 13 flavors now, shoppers can find exactly what tastes the best to them. It is easy to mix into water and have something right after the ride.
The formula can help to fight off any levels of heat dehydration, which is perfect for those who might not necessarily be in the habit of consuming a drink after a ride. This creates a little bit of a healthier habit, all while doing it in a tasty way.
Pretty fairly priced and readily available, there are a lot of imitators trying to offer virtually the same thing. What Nuun has been able to pull off as a company is pretty remarkable, and they are constantly making adjustments and coming out with new flavors to keep customers satisfied.
- Easy to carry around.
- Multiple flavor options.
- Some flavors are pretty lackluster.
- Competitors are starting to undercut their price.
2. GU Hydration Drink Mix
GU Hydration Mix (Amazon) has quickly become one of the most trusted names in recovery drinks overall. They can help keep people hydrated before riding, and they certainly help after as well. Portable tubes make it very easy to fit into any pocket, and riders can be on their way.
What makes GU a little bit different from others is that it has a primary focus on sodium. It is the main electrolyte that is lost in sweat, and it is crucial to replace that to fight off dehydration.
For some athletes, they really need something like this to help them out, which is why GU has taken off.
Most riders end up giving GU Hydration drink mix a try at some point. Maybe it does not end up being the option for them, but the reviews make a lot of people feel like they can bounce back in a quick way.
Athletes are always looking for some type of badge, and this is what the best way to get it.
- Very portable.
- Numerous flavors.
- A focus on sodium.
- Might not be as well-rounded other options.
- Does not sit well with some people in their body.
Cherry Active (Amazon) is yet another option that can help out a lot of cyclists out there. It is filled with antioxidants, and since it is naturally flavored, a lot of people like to stick with this as a recovery drink.
Even though people use it for a bunch of different options, there are quite a few people who will use it as a recovery drink that works for them.
Studies have shown that the reason why this works so well after exercise is that it is very high in potassium naturally. It can create electrical impulses throughout the body, and there are numerous other benefits as well.
From better blood pressure to full muscle recovery, having a lot of cherry juice in the body helps.
The best idea is for many cyclists out there is to give it a try once, and see if it works for them. Some might start sticking with CherryActive every single day, while others will find it to be a little lackluster.
Since it is one of the most natural options available, it is always worth giving a try once.
- Made of natural cherry juice.
- Multiple benefits.
- High in potassium.
- Not solely made for exercise recovering.
- Not all bodies react to it the same.
4. Floyd’s of Leadville CBD Recovery Protein
Right after a pretty intense ride, there are quite a few people who are looking for carbohydrates, proteins, and a steady amount of fluid.
Being able to rehydrate smartly can help people bounce back as they should, and repair any muscles in the body that might be struggling a bit.
What Floyd’s of Leadville gets right is that a lot of people might not have too much of an appetite when it comes to finishing up a ride. That is where a protein drink acts as more than a drink, as it is a meal replacement in a lot of ways as well.
This dietary supplement is completely natural, very low in sugar, and packs a lot of punch in general. There is a total of 27 g of protein per serving, and 8.5 g of branched chain amino acids.
This is going to help people have their muscles recover as they should, and people can get ready for the next ride which could be as soon as the next day.
The 25 mg of CBD also works in an effective manner. It is going to cut down on overall inflammation, and even help with relaxation. Racers who are trying to come down from a pretty intense ride will love having this option.
- Great amount of protein.
- CBD works as it should.
- Branched chain amino acids are effective.
- Not everyone loves CBD products.
- A little expensive.
6. Torq Recovery Drink
A whey-based option that a lot of cyclists have learned to like is the Torq Recovery Drink (Amazon). It has some micronutrients in it that can really help riders out, including an amino acid called L-Glutamine and a natural occurring sugar called D-Ribose.
Having these nutrients in the drink can help out a lot, and there is the recovery plus option that has beta alanine, HMB, and sodium phosphate.
The recovery drink can work well for riders in the winter, as it is prepared hot. Those riding in the summer might not like the way that they need to heat it up to use, but it is still a very effective option if people want to go in that direction.
- Warms a body up in the winter.
- Strong amino acids.
- A good mix of nutrients.
- Warm drink does not help in the summer.
- Hard to find in stock at times.
7. Science in Sport recovery post workout
A protein drink that includes 23 g of carbohydrates and 20 g of soy protein isolate, SIS Recovery Drink (Amazon) has put out one of the best options available for shoppers right now.
Cyclists can use this and benefit greatly, but it works for all different types of athletes as well. It speeds up the recovery process, allows cyclists to get their body back into working shape, and is safe for just about any type of stomach out there.
One of the biggest problems that some riders will run into is that certain recovery drink solutions have lactose in it. With soy protein isolate formulation, it is lactose free.
It is also very easy for people to consume, even for a vegetarian since it is gluten-free. Along with helping so many different people out, it comes in a variety of common flavors that make it easy to mix things into the daily routine.
Not everyone will end up being a fan of the recovery drink, simply because it is a little more on the expensive side.
However, cyclists love that there is so much included, and they do not have to feel like they are spending a ton of money overall for the value.
- Trusted name in the industry.
- Very easy to digest.
- Healthy even for people with lactose and gluten issues.
- A little expensive.
- Soy protein is not preferred by all.
8. XTEND Sport BC AAA muscle recovery and electrolytes powder
One of the most affordable and well reviewed recovery drink options out there for riders comes from XTEND (Amazon). This is a company that has always focused on providing affordable solutions for all types of riders, and it can work for other athletes as well.
It has a perfect build for athletes looking for something that is sugar-free and helpful with muscle recovery and growth. This is about hydration more than anything, as it provides all the nutrients a person can ask for.
Listed at an affordable price, it is certainly very easy to get branch chain amino acids back into the body. The best thing is, athletes do not have to worry about any sugars, calories, or carbohydrates slowing them down.
If there is one thing that some shoppers like to see, it is getting more flavors added to the mix. They have been a bit limited over the years, and having a bit more variety would help considerably.
- Very highly reviewed over the years.
- Extremely affordable.
- Works for multiple sports and activities.
- Flavor choices are limited.
- Not the most accurate taste overall.
9. Chocolate Milk
It might sound pretty indulgent to go with something like chocolate milk (Amazon) after a ride, but there are a lot of people who swear by it.
Cyclists who have consumed chocolate milk in the past have really felt like it is the right move for them overall, and they start to make it part of the routine.
Having chocolate milk is going to provide a great source of protein, carbohydrates, and B vitamins.
It also tastes pretty good, which is never a bad thing to have when a person might not have the appetite to drink too much. A tasty snack that is also helping out is hard to beat.
It might not be the healthiest as far as calories and sugar is concerned, but most riders are going to be able to be just fine with something like this.
It is really just a matter of finding a balance, and only drinking chocolate milk as a recovery drink. Drinking it too much, each and every day, could cause some issues.
- Very tasty for most.
- Easy to prepare.
- Easy to drink too many calories/sugar.
- Needs to stay relatively cold.
10. Homemade recovery drinks
Not really interested in paying for something that is pre-made? Homemade recovery drinks might be the solution that makes sense for some riders.
They are able to dictate exactly what goes into their drink, and they can have complete control overall. This is great news for riders who do not want to be told what to do, and really want to have something that they can enjoy.
One popular option is to use some whey protein mixed with peanut butter and a banana. They are all pretty easy to mix together, and it tastes good to the vast majority of people.
Benefits Of Post Cycling Recovery Drink?
Some of the benefits of drinking a recovery drink might not be noticeable right away. The good news is that as time goes on, people start to realize just how much value they bring to the table.
Fights off bad diet decisions
It is very easy to grab something quick and efficient after a ride, but it can also lead to some pretty poor diet decisions overall.
For example, eating a snack that is unhealthy and filled with some simple sugars might help at least a little bit, but not to the point that it is going to really provide the type of benefits a person should be looking for.
Take the time to have a recovery drink planned out, and there will be less temptation. Since most of these drinks are also going to be pretty filling, it makes sense to go with something like this instead of possibly getting a drink that is not filling in the slightest.
Easy to Consume
Whether a person is sitting around, driving home, or really doing anything after a ride, it is so much easier to drink something instead of preparing and eating a meal.
Riders can pick up a bottle and drink things with one hand, and they are never distracted in the slightest. There is no rush to consume the drink as quickly as possible, as people can pace themselves in the best way.
Easy on the Body
Recovery drinks are pretty easy for people to consume and not feel like they are putting the body through a lot of trouble. There are some complex foods out there that might end up forcing the person to throw them back up after a long and intensive ride.
While there are some people who have adverse reactions to recovery drinks, most people are going to find something that works for them and makes them feel like they are very comfortable and fully recovered overall.
Keep that in mind, because the last thing anybody wants to do is eat something that is going to put them in a poor situation overall. Recovery drinks tend to be that much better.
What is the best setup for a recovery drink after a long ride?
Recovery drinks should have more carbohydrates and proteins in them, as it is more important after a ride overall. While protein-heavy options do provide some level of nutrients that will help with repair, it does not replenish energy.
Energy is needed after such a long ride, and while the calories can get there a bit high, that is one reason why a lot of good recovery drinks do not have a high amount of protein and carbohydrates.
When people do that, they can start to overcompensate the amount of calories that they burn off, and their workouts end up leaving them with less than optimal results.
Every company does things a little bit differently with their recovery drink, so shop around and see what works best for the body overall. It might not be a definite answer right away, but people start to discover what exactly is going on.
Why is it so important to have a post cycling recovery drink?
Way too many people still try to get by with doing nothing after a long ride. Maybe they will get something to eat at some point, or they will sip some water.
While that is better than nothing, there are still many things that riders are missing out on. Failure to keep up with proper recovery is going to set some riders back in a way that they do not want to have to deal with.
Instead of being able to ride every single day, it becomes that much more of a struggle.
What type of schedule should a person follow after a tough cycling ride?
Recovery drinks are great, and consuming things at the right time can help even more. That is why a lot of riders will follow a fairly strict schedule as far as what to do after writing a ton of miles at once.
Step One: Hydration
Just a few minutes after the ride, it is all about hydration more than anything. There is a lot of lost fluid, especially if the conditions are a little hot.
Some people do this with just water, while others will use a sports recovery drink that will help to replenish some of the muscle glycogen as well.
Having a recovery drink that has carbohydrates and proteins inside will help to grow muscle and cut down on the chances of injury.
How much fluid is enough? Start at least with a few cups, and go from there. A lot of it depends on how much sweat a rider produces, as they need to replenish all the lost fluids that they have.
Step Two: Carbohydrates and Proteins
This can start with step one, but part two is definitely all about carbohydrates and proteins. A lot of people will get these carbohydrates and proteins from recovery drinks, but there are some snacks out there that can provide some value as well.
Recovery drinks are much more convenient, and they really help people out who might not have the stomach to eat anything too heavy.
Step Three: Full Meal
Eventually, riders will want to have a full meal to complete their recovery process. This can happen two or three hours after a ride, but it is important to get some of those nutrients from foods that can’t be found in any recovery drink.
Protein, complex carbohydrates, and more make up some healthy choices for riders to consider. Getting fruits and vegetables also help, as they provide a lot of vitamins and minerals that keep a body going.
Final Thoughts on Cycling Recovery Drinks
With so many different options out there, the most important thing is to find something that is enjoyable and gets the job done. Ultimately, if a person can’t deal with drinking something in particular, they are going to find it very difficult to get into a routine.
Riders begin to have a pretty good understanding of their body, and what works for them might not work for everyone else. Take the time to gather some feedback from the body overall, and everything will start to be just fine.