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Importance of a Recovery Drink

While in France, I got a chance to sit down and talk with Steve Edwards, a nutrition and fitness expert who has helped developed many of Beachbody’s top programs, including the new P90X2 coming out this Fall, and one of the topics we got on was the importance of a post workout recovery drink. Someone in the group asked Steve about what they could tell customers of theirs who wanted advice on how to get beyond a plateau, and he really started going in depth about why recovery drinks are crucial to success and making progress. Now I’ve been using the P90X Recovery Formula for a few years now, and even though I knew it was important, I didn’t know it was THAT important, and it makes sense because I’ve had some excellent P90X results.

Why is a recovery drink important? First of all, let me explain that if you don’t know how to push yourself and are doing rather light workouts, a recovery drink isn’t going to be very beneficial for you. However, every single one of you should be really pushing yourself to maximize results, so therefore you should be using a recovery drink like the P90X Recovery Formula. What happens is that when you work out hard, you deplete your glycogen stores. Glycogen serves as a form of energy that fuels your workouts and once it’s depleted, it needs to be restored, meaning you need to take in a fast digesting carbohydrate like sugar. Yes, believe it or not, it’s actually very beneficial to take in sugar post workout, ONLY if you get in an excellent workout. It’s interesting because I always thought that taking in sugar lead to fat gain, but that’s not the case after a tough workout because that sugar is immediately soaked up into the muscles, replenishing those glycogen stores. However, sugar alone isn’t going to do the job, and that’s where the Recovery Formula comes in to play. It’s important to have a combination of sugar and muscle healing ingredients like glutamine, creatine, protein, and arginine, because the sugar carries them to the muscle cells quickly, allowing for proper recovery. If you don’t take in a post workout recovery drink, then the body will target muscle for energy, leading to muscle breakdown and slowing your progress.

It’s important to note, though, that there are certain workouts and times where the Recovery Formula isn’t the most beneficial. The first being if it’s a light workout like X Stretch or a short, low moderate intensity cardio. Because you’re not depleting your glycogen stores, there is no need for a recovery drink. Next, many people who are very overweight and just starting a program like P90X might feel like they are really pushing themselves and depleting their glycogen stores, when in reality they might be winded just because they’re overweight. If this is the case, you might want to stick to half a serving instead of a full one. Now you might be wondering how do you know how much you should take. One of the ways to know if you depleted your glycogen stores is by how you feel after the workout. If you feel tired, completely exhausted, and your muscles feel very weak, then you’re going to want to take in a full serving of Recovery Formula. However, if you feel just a little wore out, maybe you want to stick with just a half serving.

Remember, taking a post workout recovery drink is very important for your progress. If you have very intense workouts and are depleting glycogen stores, it’s absolutely crucial that you take in something like the P90X Recovery Formula directly following the workout. The rule is to take it within the hour following the workout, but to be safe, just take it right after you finish. The Recovery Formula is what I’ve been using for a few years and the one I recommend the most. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at


  1. good refresher on the Recovery Drink! I love the stuff!

  2. I started using P90X Results and Recovery Formula on your recommendation and Tony Horton’s. This stuff makes a difference and it really does taste terrific.

  3. Simon /

    Hey Josh,

    For me to get hold of the P90X recovery drink I have to get it imported to the UK, which is fine. However, due to the cost it’s either the recovery drink or Shakeology. I currently get Shakeology imported and I love it! Which would you pick if you could only have 1?


  4. Samuel /

    Should I take some Recovery formula after ab ripper x?
    (I do my workout in the morning and ab ripper in the evening)

  5. @Samuel. No, take it after the morning workout if it’s an intense one.

  6. @Simon. They both are so important, but I would definitely go with Shakeology if I could only have one.

  7. Great post Josh. Agree…drink it, knew it was important, but love ready WHY it’s so important again. Great stuff. Thx.

  8. Josh,

    I’ve been using GNC’s Amplified Wheybolic Extreme 60 for a while. The thing is, the stuff is 70 bucks–a hell of a lot for 3 lb. worth of supplements. But, it has 60g of protein per serving (I’m trying to gain mass). My question is, do I need to have that much protein in a supplement, and do you think I’m paying too much?

  9. @Dan. If it’s something that’s very high quality, I never mind paying that much for it, but the thing is, that’s not something I know too much about unfortunately. Most products like that, though, usually aren’t high quality.

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