Nutrition review: Post-run

USN Diet Whey protein bar 

Taste: 4.5

Texture: 4

Effect: 3.5

Ease to consume: 4.5

Comments: This bar tastes almost guiltily indulgent and satisfies any sugar cravings you may have. With the appearance and taste of a more sinful chocolate bar, it is worth keeping a stash of these for the dark days. It has a decent hit of protein at 15g a bar therefore is a good way to bump up your intake. Watch the sugar content however, perhaps keeping these as a treat rather than part of your everyday diet.  

Upbeat High Protein Drink

Taste: 4.5

Texture: 4.5

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 4.5

Comments: Available in strawberry or mango & passion fruit flavours, this milky protein drink goes down a treat at just 150 calories and 20g of protein a pop. It tastes like a more natural post-sport recovery drink, almost like a fruit smoothie. It's also low fat at 2g a bottle. 

SIS Rego Rapid Recovery 

Taste: 4

Texture: 3.5

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 4

Comments: We tested the chocolate flavour, the benchmark flavour of recovery drinks and this is a good one. It's definitely chocolaty and strikes a decent balance between genuine and synthetic flavour that many powder drinks get wrong. It mixes well and is very drinkable, even when gulped down immediately after an intense circuits class. It's a soya based protein used in this, which may or not effect your choice depending on what your stance is in the whey V's soya debate. But if you're looking for a soya specific recovery drink, then this could well be your answer. 

PHD Woman Support & Recovery 

Taste: 3

Texture: 3

Effect: 3.5

Ease to consume: 3

Comments: At only 105 calories per serving, this is designed to support 'active women' who are watching their intake. The shake is to be taken both pre and post workout to support recovery and help maintain and aid muscle tone. Each serving contains 20g of protein and is fortified with vitamins and minerals specifically catered to women. Available in three flavours, we preferred the chocolate cookie option. However all flavours are ultra sweet and don't blend as efficiently other shakes. 

PHD Protein Flapjack 

Taste: 4

Texture: 2

Effect: 2

Ease to consume: 2

Comments: This fruity bar has a nice taste – but it's chewy, perhaps too chewy, so be prepared to put in some effort (and be happy to dislodge the sticky chunks left in your teeth afterwards). It's dense, too, which makes it one of the more filling bars on test. 

PHD Recovery 2:1

Taste: 1

Texture: 4

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 3

Comments: Everything about the Phd Recovery - 2:1 is positive, the blend of ingredients (2:1 instead of the standard 3:1 ratio), the effect and results, the way it mixes, all of it, apart from the taste. Avoid the lemon barley flavour that we tested, it's incredibly sweet and makes it very difficult to drink. 

That aside, the only other comment is that it's got creatine in it, which depending on your training habits might make a difference in choosing it. 

Multipower Fit Protein Flapjack

Taste: 3

Texture: 3.5

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 3.5

Comments: For a flapjack this has a big dose of protein with each bar packing 18g, it also provides 33g of carbohydrates so for on-the-go recovery you can't really beat it. The flavour is good, although ultra sweet so prepare for a slight sugar rush. The texture is dense but moreish. 

Mule Bar Refuel 

Taste: 3

Texture: 3.5

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 3.5

Comments: A substantial refuel bar, these will certainly keep you going. Made from natural and entirely fair-trade ingredients, they are a wholesome option. Each bar also gives a decent dose of whey protein at 13g a hit and is made of 23% dates. The taste however is slightly mild and doesn't provide the chocolaty hit of some other brands, (although this taste often comes at the cost of more synthetic ingredients), so for a more natural choice this is certainly worth sampling. 

Maxifuel Recovermax

Taste: 3.5

Texture: 3.5

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 4

Comments: With the classic 3:1 carbohydrate to protein blend this is an easy drinking lightweight recovery product. At 55g of carbohydrate per serving it's on the higher end of carb intake so perhaps best suited following endurance training. It's available in strawberry and orange varieties - we preferred the strawberry. The only complaint with this is that each serving consists of three-scoops of the blend which doesn't feel like the most economical solution to recovery. The ingredient list is also a little heavily packed with less than natural sounding substances.     

High 5 Protein Recovery

Taste: 4

Texture: 3.5

Effect: 4.5

Ease to consume: 4

Comments: Containing carbs and whey protein this gives you just what your body needs post-run for optimal recovery. All natural flavours and no artificial preservatives make up this shake. The taste is great and lighter than some shakes on the market. It's available in three flavours - chocolate is our favourite. 

Fuel Instant porridge 

Taste: 3

Texture: 3

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 4.5

Comments: Handy pre-packed porridge pots, just add hot water, stir and they're ready to go. Each pot contains around 19g of protein to keep you going for longer and is slightly under 400 calories a portion. The sugar content is high so these are best consumed before or after particularly tough sessions.

Fuel Breakfast Milk

Taste: 3.5

Texture: 4

Effect: 3

Ease to consume: 4

Comments: Low fat with 20g of protein per serving these make for an energy boosting breakfast. High in carbs (sugar) but packed with fortified vitamins one of these is just what you need post tough workout. They're ready to consume immediately so ideal when you're on the go. 

For Goodness Shakes 3:1 Recovery 

Taste: 4.5

Texture: 4

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 4

Comments: For Goodness Shakes have been a favourite recovery drink on the market for a while now and it's clear to see why - the taste is great and they come portioned out and ready to drink. Each shake provides a 3:1 carbs to protein ratio, they hit 52g of carbohydrate and 17g of whey protein per drink However they are relatively high in calories, at around 300 each with the second item on the ingredient list being sugar, so perhaps not the best option for anyone try to lose weight or cut down on sugar. They're still available in the three trademark milkshake flavours: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. 

Active Woman Refuel

Taste: 4

Texture: 3.5

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 4

Comments: Designed for women this provides a lower fat and calorie option for post-workout recovery. At around 100 calories and less than 1g of fat per serving it's a lot lighter on the waistline than many other shake options.  The shake is also packed with vitamins including C, E and B12 as well as folic acid to ensure you are good to go for your next workout. The taste is good and shake is light so goes down easily. 

Biosynergy whey better

Taste: 3.5

Texture: 3.5

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 3.5

Comments: All about lean muscle, this shake gives the highest dose of protein compared to any other variety at 26g per serving with zero fat and zero carbs. Therefore it is best suited to those looking to shift some fat, repair muscle or gain definition, it also comes in at just over 100 calories. Due to the zero fat or carb content however the blend contains a number of artificial flavourings and sweeteners. The taste and texture is also more similar to that of a juice rather than a typical shake. 

OTE recovery drink

Taste: 4.5

Texture: 4.5

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 4.5

Comments: Although only available in classic chocolate flavour, OTE’s recovery drink was our favourite tasting so far. The shake is available in either whey or soya protein varieties  - catering for vegetarians or the lactose intolerant and it comes in pre-portioned easy access sachets. Each drink weighs in at under 200 calories with 25g of protein. Finally it is free from artificial sweeteners, colours and preservatives, win – win all round.

 

Multipower Power Layer Bar

Taste: 4.5

Texture: 4

Effect: 3

Ease to consume: 4

Comments: Sticky, indulgent and delicious this has more the taste and texture of a chocolate bar as opposed to standard nutrition bars, with layers of chocolate, caramel, crispies and nuts. Each bar contains approximately 20g of protein and 24g of carbohydrates so can be consumed before or after training. At 240 calories and 8.1g of fat in a serving it is worth keeping an eye on your intake of these and perhaps saving them in the draw for those days when you're after a treat.

LA Muscie Norateen Bar

Taste: 4

Texture: 4

Effect: 4

Ease to consume: 3

It tastes like chocolate, dark chocolate, which is a great starting point for this bar. It's not too sickly sweet, but sweet enough for it feel like you're getting a treat as well as the other benefits. It's a pretty dense bar and you certainly don't want to eat it with your fingers as it's pretty sticky, but it's got 16g of protein per bar and has the added boost of some creatine too, for those who would want it. 

A useful one to keep spare in the gym bag, just in case.