I have to confess I am not, like many of you a scientific cyclist. I have always been of the belief that the gels, drinks and protein based recovery products are not for me, that the marginal gains will come after I stop drinking as much beer or eating as many burgers, that the 4-5 lbs I need to loose are the secret to improving my performance so when I was contacted recently by My Protein to try their chocolate flavoured recovery shake I was sceptical but intrigued. I set about thinking how an unscientific amateur cyclist with a love of beer could test such a product and then the answer came. Now I do a lot of night riding, it works with having a young family, it appeals to my sense of excitement and it usually involves us stopping at the pub for a couple of cheeky beers at the end of each ride. I will then come home, shower and fall asleep whilst cursing my nettle rash. The night is usually fitful and with an early start at work the next morning I usually leave the house feeling groggy.
A bit of research showed that taking the protien shake after exercise and before bed was going to speed my recovery and the lethargy in the morning would be reduced. I sceptically took on the challenge of ensuring I had a protein shake after each night ride.
How did I get on? Well I was amazed. I carried on my routine.. Ride, Beer Protein Shake, Bed for 4 weeks, each time taking the shake after getting in and before going to bed. The results led to a noticeable improvement in how I felt in the morning but sadly not to much affect on the going to sleep bitand it tasted chocolately too!
In summary, it has clear benefits and is cheeper than buying chicken breasts, it di not make me faster but it did make me feel a little more human the next day. Next experiment is to cut out the beer too, but that might be a while
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