TOP 13 Best Recovery Drinks & Supplements for Runners with Reviews 2021

Jeff Baldelli
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If you are a regular runner, you have probably found that not having the proper recovery drink after a hard run can really take a toll on your body and it can even lead to the dreaded runner hangover (read: heavy legs).

Whether you like protein shakes or gels, we reviewed the best 13 Recovery Drinks & Supplements for you including some of the best recovery protein shaker cups on the market in 2019.

We also included some useful tips on how to choose the best recovery drinks or supplements.

NameCategoryProduct
PacificHealth Endurox R4Best OverallPacificHealth Endurox R4
Vega Sport RecoveryBudget PickVega Sport Recovery
Harmless Harvest Organic 100 Percent Raw Coconut WaterUpgrade PickHarmless Harvest Organic 100 Percent Raw Coconut Water

1. PacificHealth Endurox R4

Our rating: 9 / 10

PacificHealth Endurox R4

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Pros:

  • Great taste with no aftertaste
  • Great addition to your daily workout nutrition to facilitate muscle repair and recovery
  • Mixes easily with water or milk
  • Contains carbohydrates electrolytes and amino acids to support muscle protein synthesis
  • Features high-quality protein including WPC and WPI
  • One of the best tasting recovery drinks out there

Cons:

  • Very high sodium content: 320mg per serving

The PacificHealth Endurox R4 is without a doubt the best recovery drink on the market. It is largely comprised of WPC (Waxy Maize) and WPI (Whey Protein Isolate), the highest quality protein you can buy. It also has the anabolic amino acids L-Argenine and Taurine to potentiate the potency of the protein.

PacificHealth Endurox R4 is a great post-workout recovery drink for your active body. It is loaded with recovery nutrients including carbohydrates amino acids and Electrolytes.

Bloating Gas and GI Distress are common side effects after intense muscle training sessions. The PacificHealth Endurox R4 is a great choice for post-workout recovery because it features high levels of WPC and WPI, which limits the amount of protein your body absorbs. This results in a reduced amount of GI distress after exercise.

2. Vega Sport Recovery

Our rating: 8 / 10

Vega Sport Recovery

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Pros:

  • The powder is light and mixes easily.
  • Texture is smooth and not gritty in the least.
  • The caramel flavor is rich and decadent.
  • Money back guarantee.

Cons:

  • The flavor is a little artificial in my opinion.
  • It’s a little chalky. Perhaps from the probiotics.
  • Some have complained of the mix not dissolving as easily as other brands.

Vega Sport Recovery is unflavored, but doesn't contain the chalky texture of other unflavored recovery drinks.

Conclusion:

The major purpose of Recovery Drink is to provide the body a quality nutrition during, or after the exercise with the aim of restoring the body in muscle synthesis, and energy production. The Athletic body needs a quality nutrition, but sometimes it’s not very well provided by the diet alone. Quality nutrition contributes to restoring the body and rejuvenate it to work harder and more efficiently during the next exercises. In fact, the future of your workout depends greatly on the quality of recovery and nutrition support you’ve received.

3. SKRATCH LABS Sport Hydration Drink Mix

Our rating: 8 / 10

SKRATCH LABS Sport Hydration Drink Mix

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Pros:

  • We take things a step further by going organic and using only premium sports sourced ingredients, like coconut water and matcha green tea.
  • We created our recovery drinks exclusively for athletes and sports performance, we believe in fueling your body using 100% natural ingredients and organic produce.
  • It helps your body replenish its natural nutrients, electrolytes, and water lost in effort.
  • These post workout drinks are designed for endurance athletes that need some additional help recovering after a grueling workout or event.
  • We created a list of some of the best sports hydration drinks. Let’s take a look at our top picks.

Cons:

  • It tends to taste on the sweet side.

Made in USA.

This is a great tasting drink mix. The most impressive thing about it is that it has a lot of organic ingredients.

It uses different organic fruits and different vegetables so you aren’t getting some of the other types of vitamins that you might be getting in a different drink.

4. BODY ARMOR Sports Drinks Variety Pack 16 oz bottle

Our rating: 8 / 10

BODY ARMOR Sports Drinks Variety Pack 16 oz bottle

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Pros:

  • Variety pack
  • 24 packs per case
  • Gives you a good flavor variety to try
  • Easy to grab and go when you need some quick nutrition to get you through a workout
  • Tasty flavors available

Cons:

  • Sports drink may not be sufficient for longer training days.

Being able to hit your target heart rate range and sustain it is a prime goal for running. The goal is to achieve your target heart rate range the entire workout and allowing your body adapt to the stress overload by building muscle and burning fat.

Body Armor Sport drink has been considered as one of the best recovery drinks for runners due to the fact that it contains all the nutrients that runner’s need after a workout.

You would perform much better in your next workout if you can get 123 rapid-chairing of fluids after your workout. This is the reason why professional athletes are taking a sports drink like BODYARMOR because it will keep their body fluids and rehydrate them right away.

5. Vega One Organic Meal Replacement Plant Based Protein Powder

Our rating: 8 / 10

Vega One Organic Meal Replacement Plant Based Protein Powder

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Pros:

  • Consistent serving size.
  • Vitamins, Antioxidants, Essential Nutrients, Fiber, and Protein is a combination that is hard to argue with
  • Tasty
  • Texture
  • Satisfying
  • Great on the taste buds
  • Not chalky or gritty like some meal replacements
  • Organic, pure, no additives
  • Lots of variety

Cons:

  • The banana flavor absolutely tastes like banana laffy taffy. Not everyone’s favorite
  • Some people may find it to be too sweet
  • The fruit punch flavor seemed artificial to some
  • Can be quite expensive

If you are looking for the best meal replacement on my list of the best meal replacement powders to incorporate into your diet, then you will not be disappointed with Vega One. This is one of the best Meal Replacement Powders for a balanced plant based meal.

You can follow the suggested serving suggestions or you can modify the serving suggestions to fit your daily requirements.

Easily digested and organic, Vega One has a little bit of something for everyone.

6. Science in Sport Rego Rapid Recovery Protein Shake Powder

Our rating: 8 / 10

Science in Sport Rego Rapid Recovery Protein Shake Powder

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Pros:

  • Great price
  • Mixes well with water
  • Tastes pretty good.
  • Can be mixed into oatmeal, yogurt, etc
  • Many people have seen considerable muscle mass gains
  • Great for CrossFit
  • Helps endurance
  • Low sugar
  • No artificial additives

Cons:

  • Taste takes some getting used to
  • Some contain gluten and soy
  • Taste takes some getting used to
  • Some contain gluten and soy

This is a great product for anyone who wants to recover from a tough CrossFit workout or long run. And it's also an inexpensive product for people on a budget who may be taking their training and recovery seriously.

CocoaPro is also good for anyone with a taste for chocolate flavors. Many people have seen continual muscle gains, improved endurance and increased overall strength.

The benefits of this recovery shake are several. First, it contains a good dose of high-quality protein that reaches muscles rapidly, even immediately after a workout, to keep them healthy and growing. It also contains a decent amount of vitamins and minerals, like Calcium and Potassium. (this is a welcomed addition for many people who have a hard time ingesting enough vitamins via food.)

7. Organic Valley

Our rating: 8 / 10

Organic Valley

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Pros:

  • Lactose-free
  • No synthetic growth hormones
  • Gluten-free
  • Kosher
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Great rich taste
  • North America’s number one dairy brand and has been for more than 40 years
  • Contains 2.5 times more calcium
  • Contains 9 essential nutrients including protein
  • A consumable USDA organic food product

This is a great protein-packed drink for a very good price. It’s got the same great taste as the Organic Valley® Farms Organic Milk and you could find some organic Hershey’s chocolate syrup to add to your own chocolate milk.

8. Harmless Harvest Organic 100 Percent Raw Coconut Water

Our rating: 7 / 10

Harmless Harvest Organic 100 Percent Raw Coconut Water

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Pros:

  • 100% Natural and Organic
  • No Chemicals or Preservatives
  • Not Expensive

Cons:

  • Expensive Per Can – You might have to buy in bulk to save money.
  • Best Place to Buy: Harmless Harvest's Official Website
  • Intro:

Of course, coconut water is one of the best sources of natural electrolytes – a much better option to traditional sports drinks. The coconut water, which is mostly unprocessed, is one of the healthiest, natural beverages on the planet, with 400 milligrams of potassium, the most of any fruit juice. This, combined with 13 minerals and nine amino acids, ensures that the body maintains its fluid balance. Plus, the water is harvested naturally and is 100% organic.

Review:

  • CLASS = "right-middle column"
  • Pasteurization destroys enzymes and diminishes quality. The enzymes in coconut water remain intact because it is not pasteurized.
  • Harmless Harvest water has a shelf-life of over two years. Harmless Harvest water does not carry an expiration date because the natural freshness of the water prevents any spoilage. Other coconut brands have an expiration date due to the addition of chemicals or other unnatural preservatives.

9. Legion Recharge Post Workout Supplement

Our rating: 6 / 10

Legion Recharge Post Workout Supplement

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Can you imagine a recovery drink that tastes like a watermelon smoothie? I can’t think of many things better. This is why I am so excited for the new Legion Recharge supplement.

This is Legion’s first creatine formula. It is a supercharged recovery drink that includes creatine, HMB, and amino acids.

The formula works to optimize muscle repair and accelerates your muscle’s ability to grow bigger and stronger. It has been specifically designed as a recovery formula for athletes. It works great in both the gym and on the playing field, including:

The formula works to optimize muscle repair and accelerates your muscle’s ability to grow bigger and stronger. It has been specifically designed as a recovery formula for athletes. It works great in both the gym and on the playing field, including:

10. Gaia Herbs Turmeric Boost Restore Supplement

Our rating: 6 / 10

Gaia Herbs Turmeric Boost Restore Supplement

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Pros:

  • Contains turmeric, digestive enzymes, prebiotics
  • 500 mg of turmeric in just three gummies
  • No added sugar
  • This product is gluten, yeast, sugar, dairy and wheat free
  • Non GMO
  • Contains no artificial colors or flavors
  • Great for inflammatory response
  • Product contains bioflavonoid blend
  • Price is reasonable
  • Available in most health food stores

Cons:

  • Amount of turmeric is limited
  • Some people may want more prebiotics
  • One customer was unhappy with the taste
  • Some people may not like the idea of taking gummies

If you’re looking for a natural anti-inflammatory supplement, this could be a good choice for you. It contains curcumin and curcuminoids, which are chemical compounds derived from turmeric.

Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and also has antioxidant properties. Since curcumin and curcuminoids work in the body as antioxidants, they may help to neutralize free radicals that damage tissues in the body (and can cause inflammation).

Many people take turmeric as a dietary supplement because it can help to improve their digestion and prevent bloating and gas.

11. GU Energy Recovery Protein Drink Mix

Our rating: 5 / 10

GU Energy Recovery Protein Drink Mix

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Pros:

  • 30g of fast digesting whey protein, 4g of sugar, + electrolytes to help your body’s recovery process from workouts faster
  • Sweetened with a touch of cane sugar for a more natural taste
  • Easy to mix and sweeten with water or milk
  • May also be used as a pre-workout powder
  • 30 servings per container
  • Manufactured in an FDA inspected facility and are certified kosher
  • Available in a variety of delicious flavors, including dark chocolate, coffee, strawberry, and unflavored

Cons:

  • Can be a little difficult to find depending on where you live
  • Can’t be added to a protein shake in large quantities

Overall, Solaray Arginine Caps is the best arginine supplement on the market. It is available in four different flavors. It is easily flavored and mixes easy with most liquids. At a price of less than two dollars per serving, this is one of the most affordable high quality and highly effective arginine supplements available on the market.

Texture / Consistency / Thickness of the Product:

This product mixes easily into water or most other liquids. It doesn’t foam much, but it does cause the liquid to turn sort of cloudy. The flavor is very noticeable, but not too strong.

12. Labrada Nutrition BCAA Power Post Workout Supplement

Our rating: 4 / 10

Labrada Nutrition BCAA Power Post Workout Supplement

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Pros:

  • Enhanced absorption and digestion process.
  • Helps in muscle recovery after a tough workout.
  • Increase strength, endurance, and stability of muscles.
  • Made from natural ingredients and offers 100% money back guarantee.

Cons:

  • Might be expensive for some.

Labrada Nutrition BCAA Power is a top selling recovery supplement. The company has been around since 1980 and uses the latest advancements in organic science to provide effective and natural bodybuilding products. Labrada Nutrition BCAA Power contains free form Branched chain amino acids along with electrolytes for faster and complete utilization allowing you to get the most out of your workout.

This BCAA supplement also has an impressive formula which includes vitamins, performance enhancers and antioxidants that further promotes a faster recovery.

Hence, this high-quality BCAA supplement is definitely the best BCAA powder in the trading market. If you are a CrossFit enthusiast or a person who exercises for fitness, then Labrada Nutrition BCAA Power is possibly the best BCAA drink that you can try.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best recovery drink for runners?

When you run, your muscles need an enormous amount of carbs and protein to repair the damage that you've just done. Recovery shakes and smoothies are specially formulated to provide the proteins and carbs that you need. They are not a substitute for a healthy balanced diet but they can play an important role in helping you recover from your workouts.

What is the best supplement for runners?

Nutrition is an essential part of training for successful running, as well as for long-term recovery and maintenance of good health. In order to ensure that you get the most from your training, your daily diet should be well-rounded, healthy, and contain the right amount of calories, carbohydrates, and protein.

An extensive variety of products is available on the market today. Some products may add essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, while others are designed as post-workout snacks or pills. The following list includes the best and most recommended recovery products for runners for anyone who wants to take their fitness goals to the next level.

What is the best supplement for workout recovery?

Recovery supplements remain somewhat controversial among bodybuilders and other athletes. Many swear by protein powders and other supplements, while others prefer to take it easy. There is a lot of conflicting information out there and it’s hard to know exactly what you should rely on. In this article we’ll take a look at some popular supplement choices and try to separate the myths from the reality.

Recovery is a very subjective thing, so what works for one person isn’t going to necessarily work for you. Also, what happens intra-workout is a bit different than what happens post-workout. Let’s take a look at the different supplement choices and see if we can clear the air a little bit and see what works and what doesn’t..

Should I drink protein shakes on recovery days?

The answer is up to you. I know a lot of CrossFitters who do and I think that’s a great habit to get into. Protein helps to transport nutrients across cell membranes and when you work out, your cells are actually damaged and in need of quick recovery. Protein is also crucial for building muscle, as are carbohydrates, which you will also want to take in on your off days.

Conclusion

Did you know that your performance and recovery are directly affected by the foods you eat before and after you exercise?

Instead of just choosing the first pre-workout or recovery drink you find in the supplement store, you should consider the following factors to determine which recovery drink is really the best for your workout.

Let’s take a look at the main factors to consider when choosing a recovery drink for runners:

  • Why are protein shakes and recovery drinks necessary?
  • How to choose the best recovery drink
  • How much protein, carbohydrates, and calories
  • Which nutrients must a Recovery Drink contain
  • Recovery drink and protein powder post workout recipes
  • Other beverage ingredients for recovery

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
PacificHealth Endurox R4Best OverallPacificHealth Endurox R4
Vega Sport RecoveryBudget PickVega Sport Recovery
Harmless Harvest Organic 100 Percent Raw Coconut WaterUpgrade PickHarmless Harvest Organic 100 Percent Raw Coconut Water