“Recovery drinks” are designed to do just that; help your body to recover after exercise. They contain carbohydrate to both replace what you’ve used during exercise and to help balance cortisol levels, which becomes elevated during exercise and can remain elevated for many hours afterward (depending on intensity and duration).

Cortisol is catabolic, i.e. it causes muscle protein breakdown, so reducing cortisol levels makes sense if you want to increase muscle protein synthesis and aid speedy recovery. Studies have shown that adding protein to a carbohydrate drink can significantly increase the cortisol blunting effect and so many recovery drinks now contain a mixture of both carbohydrate and protein, with a typical ratio of around 4:1.

However, many specific sports drinks contain hefty amounts of simple sugars and additives, which is why I’d rather prepare my own. The following recipe is quick to prepare and sweet enough, in my opinion, despite containing no sugar!

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen Sliced Banana (Nutrition highlights: carbohydrate, potassium, magnesium)
  • 150ml Almond Milk (Nutrition highlights: calcium, potassium, magnesium, carbohydrate)
  • 120ml Coconut Water (Nutrition highlights: sodium, potassium)
  • 1 tsp. Cocoa Powder (Nutrition highlights: magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium)
  • 2 tsps. Almond Nut Butter (Nutrition highlights: calcium, protein, magnesium, essential fatty acids – omega 6)
  • 1 tsp Lucuma (Nutrition Highlights: B vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron)
  • ¼ tsp Sea-salt (Nutrition highlights: sodium!)

Note: To make your drink more protein-rich you could add a plant-based protein powder such as hemp, pea, rice or soy – these are easy to blend and assimilate.