At the end of each P90X or Insanity Workout, you’ll see either Tony Horton or Shaun T tell you to drink your Recovery Formula, and then they’ll grin and take a swig from their glass of exactly that. ‘Results and Recovery‘ formula sounds pretty good, but what does it do, exactly, and why should you drink it? Is it meant to just hydrate you, or is it some fancy kind of protein shake, or what? Should you invest in this drink, or give it a pass? Well, today we’re going to look into the science behind this drink, and give you the low down. So read on!
First off, let’s take a look at some of the basics of muscle growth, since you can’t understand what the R&R drink does without understanding the processes it’s affecting. A muscle is built of protein (amino acid chains), a ton of water, some glycogen and minerals, and that’s roughly about it. When you exercise, two things happen: protein synthesis where more amino acid chains are recruited to help build more muscle fibers, and protein breakdown, where those very amino acid chains are stripped away. Why are they stripped away? To allow room for change in your system: a marathon runner will have a different physique then a weight lifter, and that’s because protein breakdown allows their body to rebuild their muscles to fit the world they’re seeking to adapt to.
So what we want is more protein synthesis, and less protein breakdown in order to build bigger muscles. If you have more synthesis than breakdown, you get bigger muscles. So does that mean we should only strive to enhance muscle synthesis? No. We need to do our best to inhibit protein breakdown AS WELL as encourage the recruitment of amino acid chains.
What does this all have to do with the R&R drink? Simple. Protein and carbs have different effects on your muscles when you consume them after a workout. If you consume nothing at all, then your body will break down more than it rebuilds, as it consumes existing nutrients in your system to power itself. If however you choose to consume protein, this will enhance the protein synthesis. Makes sense, right? If you eat protein, there is more protein to use in building muscle. However, protein has no effect on protein breakdown. If you eat carbs, however, you will trigger an insulin response as your system uses insulin to store the glycogen in your muscles. This insulin surge will inhibit the protein breakdown. So is one better than the other? Yes. Protein consumption is better that mere carb consumption–but protein AND carb consumption is the best all round.
Which is where the R&R drink comes in. Check the ingredients label. Each serving of R&R formula has about 40g of carbs, and 10g of protein, following the established 4:1 ration for optimum usage. This enhances protein synthesis, inhibits protein breakdown, and restores your glycogen levels for greater energy in your next workout. All of which, as you can now see, are truly excellent things 😉