Chocolate-flavoured recovery drinks: 3 of the best reviewed

These chocolate-flavoured, muscle-repairing, glycogen-refuelling powders all require mixing with water. But that’s where the similarities end. James Witts tests three

Credit: The Secret Studio

Secret Training Stealth Vegan



Veganism is on the up with the market for meat-free foods worth £572million in 2017. The progressive Tim Lawson, founder of Secret Training and formerly of SiS, has tapped into this growing demand with this recovery drink product delivering a textbook 20g of protein with every serving, as well as 19.5g carbs and 1.3g of fat for a 170cal hit. Being vegan, the traditional whey protein’s been replaced with a pea and rice protein mix. Yes, carb-heavy rice actually features around 10% protein, which is separated, powdered and used to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. The pea addition provides the missing essential amino acids, but there’s definitely a hint of pea through the mint choc. Some will enjoy it, others will consume purely for muscle repair. The bag comes with a neat clip-closure to retain freshness.

Verdict: Well-thought-out recovery drink; maybe too pea for some! 80%

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Skratch Labs Recovery Mix


What a truly delicious drink this is. But a recovery drink containing caffeine? That’s madness. Or perhaps not. A 2008 study by noted physiologist John Hawley studied the impact of taking caffeine with carbs post-exercise because previous studies had shown an increase in levels of blood glucose… and Hawley found the same with muscle glycogen levels – 60% higher in the caffeine/carb group than the carb-only group. Then again, Hawley’s caffeine dose came in significantly higher than the 45mg per serving here. So that coffee extract could purely be for taste rather than ergogenic reasons, which is no bad thing for evening sessions. As for protein, that varies between 8-16g depending on scoops, and comes from milk. Its moderate protein content could be to make way for the 35g
of carbs.

Verdict: More protein than the ideal but it just edges the win thanks to its coffee taste 84%

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OTE Chocolate Soya


OTE have pleased vegan and vegetarian triathletes with this extremely tasty chocolate number. In fact, it’s one of the most delicious recovery drinks we’ve tried. So, delightful on the palate, but what about exhausted muscles? Each 52g serving provides 18.6g carbs, just 0.5g of fat and 25g of essential proteins including leucine, one of the key amino acids involved in muscle protein synthesis. But as its order in the ingredients list highlights (near the end) its concentration levels are lower in soy than, say, whey. The impact this has on muscle repair is impossible to judge in real life. What’s clearer is that it features the nine amino acids the body can’t produce by itself, but there are concerns, and studies, that soy can impact a person’s thyroid function. But the levels talked about shouldn’t put you off.

Verdict: Supremely delicious hit of protein; great for vegans/vegetarians; jury out on soy 83%


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