I’ve tried a few products when it comes to post-ride beverages, and Endurance Recovery Mix is on par with my all time favorite of chocolate milk. There was nothing better than a glass or two of that creamy goodness after a hard workout. In fact, chocolate milk is so good I could finish a gallon of it in a day. But that’s when I’d go from being an athlete to a glutton and all of the work I would put in on the bike would be for naught after a choco-bender.
So chocolate milk had to go.
In giving up chocolate milk, or most dairy for that matter, I still needed something that tasted good and gave me the nutrients I needed after exercise. I like to eat a meal after a workout, so this would be a compliment to that, and I would not be fully relying on the drink for recovery nutrition.
For some time I forewent any sort of recovery beverage and relied only on what I ate to make up for what I lost while exercising. But there’s something about a tasty drink that is so much more enticing than eating. It takes no effort to get down your throat and you can usually go with something sweet, which is all you want after pedaling your brains out for a few hours.
I then came across Olly Nutrition’s Workout Smoothie and used that for some time. It gets the job done, from the perspective of ingredients, but the taste always left something to be desired. I went with their chocolate and peanut butter workout mix, and usually had to add a few squirts of chocolate syrup to get much flavor out of it.
To mix the Olly Workout Smoothie I would put it in a Ball glass jar and shake it up. I was often left with thick sediment at the bottom though, and the drink got thicker the closer I got to the end.
Olly is one step closer, but not quite there in regards to taste vs. performance.
Let’s talk Skratch.
Endurance Recovery Mix was developed because the founders of Skratch Labs were tired of the tasteless and processed snake oil other nutrition companies were putting on the market. How many times have you checked out a product to only find ingredients you can’t pronounce? Probably too many times to count.
So they developed a recovery drink that not only claims to taste great, but also gives your body what it needs after a hard workout. What they ended up with was a recovery drink that contained a 5 to 1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein. They found that this mix of carbohydrates is perfect for replenishing exhausted muscles after a workout and helping them rebuild for the next outing. It’s also important to mention that this product is developed for endurance athletes and not the body building types.
From the moment I clicked ‘checkout’ on their website, I had high hopes for the Skratch Labs Endurance Recovery Mix. I love their regular exercise drink mix and have used it exclusively while training, exercising, or doing anything that makes me sweat over the last three years. They’ve managed to balance the taste of the drink to its usefulness, so you actually want to drink it.
When the Recovery mix finally arrived, I forced myself outside on a winter ride so I could use it after without feeling guilty about being lazy.
I went with the same Ball jar shake technique, and when adding it to the jar, noticed it was a finer powder than other mixes I’ve used. This makes it easier to dissolve the mix and while shaking it did get a bit frothy – similar to what happens if you shake up chocolate milk. This is because the Recovery Mix actually contains milk, alongside only a few other ingredients.
As I mentioned before, the taste is phenomenal. In a blind taste test I could be easily tricked into thinking it was my beloved chocolate milk. But this comes without all of the excess dairy and only gives you what you need.
I’m not going to make some statements that Skratch Labs will give you mad improvements in power and performance the next day, or that you won’t be sore, or some other outlandish claim. What this product does is give your body the nutrients you need after a workout so that it can properly replenish and recover. The taste is there so you enjoy it and so you don’t have to suffer while trying to drink it. It also has no unnecessary ingredients, meaning you aren’t putting a bunch of weird emulsifiers and preservatives into your body that won’t do any good. The simple, natural ingredients make it is easy on your stomach – something runners and mountain bikers will appreciate after being bounced around all day.
Here’s the actual ingredients list for the chocolate Endurance Recovery Mix:
- Cane Sugar
- Whole Milk
- Non-Fat Milk
- Dextrose (sugar)
- Cocoa Powder
- Cocoa Extract
- Vanilla Extract
And that’s it. The Vanilla mix is exactly the same, just without the cocoa powder (only 6 ingredients!), and coffee swaps out the cocoa for coffee extract.
The Bottom Line
The Skratch Labs Recovery Mix is perfect under two situations – when you’re strapped for time and need to get some fuel back in your body, or as an accompaniment to your typical post-workout meal. I’ll typically drink it right when I get home from a ride. It’s easy to make and digest and gives me time to put away my bike, clean up, and start cooking without worrying about taking to long to get something in.