Mmm... Chocolatey.

OK.  So we all know that getting the right foods down after a hard ride is pretty important to recovery.  But sometimes it’s hard.  Not because mixing a bottle of the stuff is difficult, but because you don’t want to drink a thick, snynthetic-tasting brew.  Gu’s recovery brews have worked well for me in the past- but were never something I really looked forward to.  Until now.

Designed to be ingested as soon as possible after a ride (ideally within 30 minutes), recovery drinks help to replace some of the energy that is hard to take on during hard efforts as well as to provide the nutrients needed to help muscles rebuild.  To that end, Gu have included built the following into their Recovery Brew:

  • Protein – GU Recovery Brew is full of whey protein isolate for speedy recovery of muscule fibers
  • Amino Acids – Arginine and Glutamine promote recovery by diminishing the negative effects of intense training and supporting a strong immune system.
  • Carbohydrates – Both simple and complex carbs (and lots of ‘em!) in optimal balance will re-fuel your competitive fire and get you back to training and racing on schedule.
  • Antioxidants – Over 100% daily allowances of vitamins C and E in every serving. Your free radicals will hate us!

Does it work?  I certainly feel better on back-to-back riding days when rides are quickly followed by a Recovery Brew.  How does it taste?  Pretty awesome.  Unlike fruity flavors, which can be an odd match with heavy-tasting milk-derived whey proteins, the Chocolate Smoothie flavor works, well, like milk and chocolate.  In fact, while Recovery Brew tastes good mixed with water, it’s even better in milk or better still in a cup of coffee.  Yup: energy, protein, and caffeine.  Everything I need to keep my legs happy and post-ride afternoons productive.  About $32 for either a dozen single-serve packets or a 14-serving tub.




  1. No thanks…I’ll stick with chocolate milk for my recovery drink. It is less expensive, easy to get at any local grocery, likely tastes better and a lot of recent research indicates it is at least as good as (if not) better than most of these fabricated recovery drinks.

  2. I’m with Matt. Guessing GU wants $2+ for a single packet. You can get a half gallon of chocolate milk for nearly the same price and it’s probably better for you.

  3. I’ve also been testing it out after some big rides, and I can say with 100% certainty that I feel better with the GU Recovery than just chocolate milk. You are correct though, I’m sure chocolate milk is cheaper.

  4. Matt,

    Though you’re right about the benefits of chocolate milk, my impression (and Zach’s) is that the Gu Recovery Brew does take it up a notch. One thing that the Brew absolutely has over chocolate milk is the ability to leave it in a hot car- chugging sour milk can be pretty unpleasant…


  5. Chocolate milk for recovery… I have a hard time believing a study that was sponsored and paid for by the national dairy council as having any credibility. That’s like Camel saying they conducted a study showing you cigarettes are good for you.

  6. ChainEnvy,
    Believing research funded by the dairy industry is still better than buying into the marketing B.S. that is printed on recovery drink packaging. At least there was actual scientific research done, by educated third party. There were studies done by Universities in Texas, Conneticut, Indiana, Washington and one done in the UK funded by Mars UK and Runners World. Yes most were funded partially by the dairy industry but data is data and the studies never said Gatorade, Endurox, GU or whoever were not good. The study just said that milk is as good and is another option. If you have the cash to throw down on your favorite recovery drink and think it tastes good…..good for you. I’m sticking with chocolate milk as long as my kids don’t drink it all on me.

    I usually ride from home so there is a nice cold half gallon of chocolate milk waiting for me when I get in the door. If I do take my car to meet for a group ride there is always a convenience store within minutes where I can pick up a pint and drink it on the way home.

  7. “Data is data” isn’t the case – poorly run studies can EASILY be tweaked in favor of a particular outcome. Serving milk cold and the other recovery drinks warm… not mixing the recovery drinks well enough… changing the amount of time after exercise or the amount of exercise… selecting who gets what… Unless it’s a double blind, independently funded study, that data is ALWAYS going to be suspect – just like the marketing. Try both and decide for yourself.

    That is, unless you also believe all the “scientific” studies brought out by the oil industry about how oil is nonpolluting, the earth is cooling, the oil spill in the gulf caused no damage to fisheries, etc. etc….

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