by Jacob Sisson
With cyclocross’ short efforts, you might not think recovery drinks are important for the ‘crosser. But the intense training efforts and common back-to-back race days make proper recovery a top priority for the serious athlete. Recovery drinks can be a convenient aid in quick recovery.
Preference for sports nutrition products generally comes down to a matter of taste. When I first opened my can of Tropical Escape recovery drink from Fluid, I was instantly brought back to my sugar-crazed youth. Fluid’s aroma has an uncanny resemblance to that of ground up Sweet Tarts and Pixie Stix. But how was the taste, I asked myself. Turns out, the more I drink Fluid, the more I have come to enjoy it. My first impression of Fluid’s flavor was that it was slightly artificial, but as I fiddled with the concentrations, it grew on me. Maybe this is just the inner preteen in me screaming for more sugar and more video games, but if it keeps him quiet and out of my hair, then that’s certainly a bonus.
What makes up Fluid and what are the benefits? First off, Fluid is a recovery drink, so it’s got ample amounts of protein to help your sore and achy muscles feel better and get back to their peak faster. Fluid, like many other protein supplements, uses whey protein isolate as its main source. Whey protein is a byproduct of cheese production and the human body uses whey proteins more efficiently than any other protein in the diet. Whey protein is useful in the production of lean muscle mass. Fluid also contains Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), which is a key anti-oxidant.
Another boast of Fluid is a very large amount of L-Glutamine. What the heck is that? It’s one of the 20 amino acids required by the human body. There’s a lot of complex biochemistry that goes into Glutamine (we can drop the L because the D form of Glutamine is not biologically active), including nitrogen transport, protein breakdown, etc, but, simply put, Glutamine has benefits across the board. It should be noted, first and foremost, that there is an extraordinarily high amount of Glutamine in your body at one time, and also that Glutamine is not an essential amino acid, meaning that your body is capable of synthesizing its own Glutamine if it needs to. Glutamine is also highly common in the diet, with most meats and many vegetables providing a good source of the amino acid. Since Glutamine exists in such high amounts, however, toxicity is almost never an issue, and 2.5 grams of Glutamine can only help replenish stores that have been cut into through exercise. Also, it is worth noting that the typical diet takes in about four times the amount of Glutamine present in one serving of Fluid in a normal day.
Lastly, it’s worth noting that Fluid uses only all-natural ingredients, which is probably a good thing if it becomes part of your post-workout routine.
For those of us who like to pretend we make our living racing in cyclocross, the benefits of a solid recovery drink are invaluable. With many of us doing the Saturday Sunday double, if you’ve put a lot into your first day effort, Fluid recovery drinks may be the key to getting back the winning edge on day two. Fluid could move into the position of an essential addition to your race day gear.
In terms of recovery, Fluid has many key nutrients that will help cyclocross racers of all levels return quickly to their best. As always, taste is one of the largest factors in selecting nutrition products, and for me, this product is a hit. Those of you who may have grown up before sugar and sweets had permeated the food industry may not enjoy the sweet taste of Fluid’s Tropical Escape offering, but there is also the Berry Treasure option for you to try, which was our other testers’ preferred choice.
At $29.99 for a prescribed 16 serving can, the price per serving is on par with other brands. All in all, sound nutritional value and a distinct taste make Fluid a good option after a hard day’s work out on the cyclocross course.
Fluid Recovery Drink:
Size: 24 ounces (16 servings)
Flavor options: Tropical Escape, Berry Treasure
Single serving packages available for $2.89
More info: livefluid.com
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