make own protein recovery

This picture has nothing to do with making your own protein recovery drink. I just thought it was cool.

I’m tired of paying so much for my recovery drinks. I train so much and consume so much that it gets really expensive. But modern recovery drinks really do have good science to back them up. The ratio of carbs to protein, the mix of carb types, the amino acid profile of the proteins, etc. have evidence of faster recovery. It’s not purely a gimmick.

My two go-to have been Biotest Surge Recovery and Optimum Nutrition 2:1:1. They are solid products and taste great (especially the biotest). But they aren’t cheap and they also have other additives in them I want to avoid.

So I set about to make my own.

My rules:

  • it had to have essentially the same profile as the mentioned alternatives
  • it had to be powder (portable, can store for a long time, just add water)
  • it had to be cheaper than the mentioned alternatives
  • it had to have almost zero additives
  • it had to not taste like an ash tray
  • it had to mix well in just a normal shaker bottle

Here’s what I came up with. Very simple.

Mix two type of carbs:  1 scoop maltodextrin and 1 scoop dextrose.  Add 1 scoop whey.  Ratio of twice the carbs to the protein.

If you buy the right sizes, you can just dump the entire packages together to save time.  But you do need to mix it well in your tub and use a large storage bin.

Simple right?  So what brands did I use?

Specific Choices

Two types of carbs and one type of protein:

Maltodextrin Dextrose

Clean Whey Protein (the purest and cheapest – no flavor)

This comes to 6.2 pounds for $49.80 as of this writing. That’s $8.03 per pound. And just as importantly, NO ADDED JUNK.

This has essentially the exact same profile as popular products like

  • Biotest SURGE Recovery ($11.60 a pound – 44% more expensive)
  • Optimum Nutrition 2:1:1 Recovery ($9.34 a pound – 16% more expensive)

Both of these are great products, and I’ve used them, BUT they have a lot of additives. Not only do I not want added chemicals in my supplements, but it also means you are paying for them (even though it’s a small amount of added chemicals, they add to the weight and so it means the cost per pound of the goodness is actually higher than calculated).

I have to say though, that the Biotest product just tastes damn good.  The ON doesn’t taste too bad but it’s not great.  And my homemade version has little taste at all.  Really bland.  But it doesn’t taste like an ash tray.



  • if you are fat, then make the mix with 1 scoop maltodextrin, 1 scoop dextrose, 2 scoops protein; that means you are doing 1:1 carbs:protein
  • for better taste, use an actual blender and add some berries; that will increase the carbs a bit but not much
  • even though I think chocolate milk has an excellent profile for recovery, is convenient, and is very affordable, I seem to have a slight allergy to milk and so can only handle grass-fed milk in quantities. So for me, that increases the cost and ruins the convenience factor. But for you, that might be the best thing.

Try it.  Then let me know what you think.  Or if you have a better alternative, chime in with your recipe.

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