Recovery Drinks (Protein Shakes)

Learn how to make delicious tasting shakes that will fulfill your post-workout nutrition needs…that are cheap too!

Today’s blog post is on post-exercise recovery shakes.

I’m going to explain a bit about what I know about recovery shakes, why I use the one that I do, and then a few alternatives.

There are many options for post-exercise nutrition out there. Most of the products, I would not use. I have luckily come across a combination that is: a) budget friendly b) high quality c) gives you what you need, d) tastes great!

Reasons I don’t use products are (obviously): a) they are expensive b) they are low quality c) they either give you too much stuff (junk/fillers) or not enough (what you’re actually looking for.)

Here is what I use:

Kaizen Natural Whey Vanilla Protein
Orange Gatorade Powder


Why? Well, the Kaizen Natural Whey is cheap (approx $30.00 for a tub), tastes great mixed with Gatorade (like orange creamsicle), and is high quality New Zealand whey protein. From what I understand, New Zealand has the best dairy in the world due to very tight regulations, as such, whey from New Zealand is supposedly free of the antibiotics and hormones that you may find in whey from other dairy producing countries. Kaizen is also a reputable brand, and a friend of a friend of mine owns or operates the company or something…so it must be good. Anyway, it’s also widely available: I find it at Save-On Foods in Vancouver, and Thrifty Foods in Victoria. It’s also sweetened with a natural sweetener called stevia (rather than an artificial sweetener like aspartame or surcalose). Plus! If you’re environmentally conscious, the packaging is sustainable.

Kaizen Whey weblink:
There is a whey isolate available. I’m not sure if it matters unless you are lactose intolerant. It’s chocolate or strawberry-banana, which doesn’t taste as good…so I don’t buy it.
Why Gatorade powder? Well one, it helps the whole drink taste delicious. And two, it will help your body replenish carbohydrate stores after a workout, practice, or game. It will also help you retain water (helps you rehydrate), due to the electrolytes in the mixture.
The mixture together gives you roughly the optimal ratio of macronutrients for recovery (3:1 Protein:Carbs=optimal…2:1 Protein:Carbs=Jason’s drink). If you want the optimal ratio, just adjust the ratio of whey to gatorade.

Some other options to consider are:

-Biosteel’s Recovery Mix – Pros: Good ratios of macronutrients, excellent quality or ingredients. Cons: Expensive, and difficult to find in Canada.

-Vega Sport Protein Mix and Gatorade mix – Pros: Vegan (if you’re a vegan), includes BCAA’s, L-glutamine, and a few other helper ingredients that are good for you. Cons: Expensive, causes really stink gas, difficult to mix

Jason’s Post-Exercise Mix:

One Scoop of Kaizen Natural Whey Vanilla Protein

3 tsp Orange Gatorade Power
Place the whey and Gatorade powder in a mason jar (or if you’re not hipster/westcoast enough… in a protein shaker). Go to the gym. Bang out a great workout. Then mix in some water to your powder mixture and marvel at how delicious your cheap and nutritional recovery drink is.

A Note on other recovery drinks
Here’s why I don’t like most recovery drinks on the market:
Most other recovery drinks (and pre and during mixes for that matter) I don’t like because they contain aspartame or sucralose. These are artificial sweeteners. They are basically chemicals that can’t be used by your body, and are potentially carcinogenic.They used to sweeten food without adding calories. However, athletes need calories! Why would you give them to an athlete when they need the carbohydrates for their sport or exercise?! Plus, I find that I have a mild allergic reactions to anything with artificial sweeteners. So I don’t even consider anything with sucralose or aspartame in it. Don’t be fooled by high prices…I’ve seen some very expensive protein powders still contain artificial sweeteners.


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Jason at Train 2.0

2.0 was born from the belief that 1.0 isn't good enough. The way we're approaching coaching, training, and development for hockey needs to be rethought. My own lessons have led me to rethink the way it's being done and I can't help but write about it. I'm writing for my 12, 13, 14, 15 year old self who didn't have this resource. I'm writing for parents who are putting their dollars and trust in coaches who are wasting all of it. I'm writing because I hope it can make a difference.

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