Review: Klean Athlete recovery drink mix & whey protein isolate

Klean Athlete Klean Recovery drink mix review

Among the many things I nerd out over, nutrition is pretty high on the list. So when a product claims to have a very clean ingredients list while being effective, it piques my curiosity. Such was the case with Klean Athlete, which builds “clean” right into the brand name.

The line’s premise is optimizing performance and recovery without using any banned or questionable substances. Everything they offer is NSF Certified for Sport (which means it’s also tested for purity and content), and everything’s made in labs where parent company Douglass Laboratories has control over the manufacturing process.

Klean Athlete offers a range of pills and supplements, but I tested two of the more common items found any any endurance athlete’s cupboard: a recovery drink and whey protein isolate. The latter is just that, straight whey isolate. The former mixes carbs, whey protein isolate and -remember how I said there where no questionable ingredients?- hydrolyzed marine protein from salmon…

Klean Athlete Klean Recovery drink mix review

Klean Recovery only comes in one flavor, Milk Chocolate, which tastes like Nestle Quik. True, chocolate milk has been shown to boost recovery, too, but if you want a faster acting protein and more specific carbohydrate blend to maximize performance (or just minimize lactose), then a scientifically formulated product like this makes more sense. Generally speaking, whey isolate has very low levels of lactose and fat compared to other milk-based proteins, and here it’s combined with that other protein.

Why salmon protein? Klean’s rep replied with this:

In terms of why a fish-based protein is used, Klean Recovery uses a special Norwegian salmon protein isolate that is extracted through a natural process, so that functional and nutritional properties are preserved. It’s then hydrolyzed so that it contains oligopeptides and peptides with a low molecular weight to allow for faster nitrogen assimilation in the body, when compared to whey protein. This allows for greater amounts of amino acids to be absorbed when compared with other protein sources. The hydrolyzed salmon protein has a neutral taste and smell, allowing Klean Recovery to have an awesome milk chocolate flavor.

The first part of that is what separates this recovery drink from anything else on the market. But it’s the last part that could make or break the review.

I’m happy to say that, upon opening the bag and smelling it I was generally aware that fish protein had been used, but it was neither olfactorily offensive nor could I taste it. Like she said, it tasted just like delicious chocolate milk.

Klean Recovery has a 4:1 carb:protein ratio, using non-GMO maltodextrin and fructose for the carbs and Dutch process cocoa for the chocolate flavor. They even opt for sunflower lecithin as a flow agent (prevents clumping) rather than soy lecithin, which I appreciate. In fact, I appreciate the overall simplicity of the ingredients list.

I admit it’s almost completely subjective as to how well a recovery drink works since I have not the budget for blood work. At least if it tastes good (it did), I’m more likely to choose it. I can say it mixes easily, resulted in no fishy burps or gassy/gastric issues, and I felt great on subsequent training rides and workouts. So, if you’re normally one to use recovery drinks, this one’s worth a try.

Each resealable pouch contains 20 servings and retails for $49.00. The Klean Isolate has no added flavors, sweeteners or anything else, making it a great way to add protein to smoothies, oatmeal or just combine with whole milk for an easy pre-bedtime protein boost. It runs $48.00 per 20-serving bag (~ $2.50/serving).

They also offer a Train & Complete bundle that includes both of these products plus their Klean Endurance ribose chewable tablets (instant cellular energy) and Klean Electrolytes (capsules with sodium chloride and chelates of magnesium, potassium and calcium, plus B6). Order all four in any quantities of each that you want and they knock 20% off the purchase price and ship for free.

KleanAthlete.com

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JBikes
JBikes
7 years ago

As an alpine hiker, I’ll admit the first thing I thought of was that it was a poop bag for emergency haunted cyclists that want to leave no trace.

Hey, we’ve all been there.

h
h
7 years ago

if you actually nerd out about nutrition than you know animal products are terrible for your body and the environment said body inhabits.

JR
JR
3 years ago
Reply to  h

And what study would you like to site to support your asinine vegetarian comment

Durianrider
Durianrider
7 years ago

“salmon protein” lol!

Ive been a PT since 1999 and Ive NEVER seen a protein deficiency cause someone to get dropped on a climb. Its always lack of sugar, water or they run out of gears when the gradient gets even hotter.

I mean who eats such little food in a day that they would have to supplement protein? Ive ridden 6545km in a month and on around 50g of protein. No stims. My friends in their 60’s smashed a world record by running around Australia in 2013. They both ran a marathon each and every day. 100% on a vegan diet based on raw fruits and veg. No caffeine, pain killers etc.

Also protein makes one whey more. Pun intended. Not sure of any cyclists who need to gain weight to climb better.

Also the environment disasters that the farmed and wild salmon industry creates. Im surprised a quality site ilke BR would advertise such an unethical product.

Ben
Ben
7 years ago

If you want a natural, ‘clean’ energy product check out Torq Canada

Sardinien
Sardinien
7 years ago

after almost 20 years of sport life I yet have to find a supplement that truly works better than pure and simple rest. And this salmon protein stuff will be no different….

enrique
enrique
7 years ago

(deleted)

Neil
Neil
7 years ago

i’ve been using Klean Recovery for the whole of last season and the current one
it has worked way better than a lot of recovery products out in the market which i tried.
i don’t know about whey versus salmon or any other ingredient. i’ve used it long enough and tried other products on the market to confidently say that it really works well for me. may be it varies from person to person.

unethical aspect of this – killing a cow to make your burger or BBQ is ethical but fish extract in this isn’t? that is a debate no one can win. can the whole world live off of plant food? guess that’s a debate for a different forum 🙂

time to ride my bike!

C
C
7 years ago

The fact that Klean Athlete’s entire line is NSF Certified for Sport (tested for banned substances, purity and content) is worth something to me, especially given all the tainted supplement scandals in recent years.

H
H
7 years ago

I have been a long distance triathlete for 5 years and tried many kind of recovery product before this.
KA’s Recovery was the first and only one that does not make me any GI issues, especially after a long (5+hrs) training day. Not to mention that the NSF certification is not something that you see on every recovery product nowdays.

Autumn
Autumn
11 months ago

Appreciate the review. People need to take this for what it is, a presentation of the pros and cons of a product, and not the reviewer forcing them into any kind of decision. I’ve been using KA vitamins, will likely try other products because as a person with many digestive disorders knowing exactly what’s in my supplements is absolutely necessary. Thanks!