Friday, September 18, 2015

APX Chocolate Post-Workout Recovery Drink

While at the Triathlon Classic Expo a week ago (11 September 2015), I stopped by the APX display to chat with Jeff, and to let him know I still loved his product. (For those of you who did the race, APX was the course sports drink.)

But something was different.  Next to the familiar APX bags with flavors of Tangerine, Pomegranate and Ruby Red Grapefruit was a new one: Chocolate!  And it's the first flavor in an entirely new APX product line: Post-Workout Recovery Drink.  It is so new, it wasn't on the APX website when I started writing this review (it is now).

While the existing line of Carbohydrate & Electrolyte Replacement drinks is focused on what your body uses in the short term, the new Post-Workout Recovery drink focuses on what your muscles need to recover and prepare for the next workout: Protein (whey isolate) and L-Glutamine, with dextrose and flavors added.

You may recall from my prior post reviewing the APX Carbohydrate & Electrolyte Replacement drinks, it took me years to find a sports drink my stomach would tolerate under all conditions.  I've had a similar journey with protein supplements, but the result has been that I've been using no protein supplements at all.  I tried over a dozen different protein products, and they either disagreed with my stomach, or were priced well outside my budget.

Jeff assured me the APX approach is different.  The drink is tailored for post-workout recovery, a time when the body is uniquely able to rapidly absorb and use protein.  This drink is not intended as a supplement outside of exercise.

While the bag size is the same, protein is less dense, so a larger scoop is needed per serving, meaning fewer servings per bag.  Another difference is the amount of water used per serving.  Here's the comparison:

APX Product Comparison (as of 19 September 2015)
Product Water Added Per Serving Servings Per Bag Cost Per Bag (MSRP) Cost Per Serving
Carb & Electrolyte Replacement Drink 20 oz 26 $22.99 $0.88
Post-Workout Recovery Drink 8 oz 13 $25.99 $2.00

Jeff was kind enough to give me a bag to try, and I finished it just before writing this review.

My first 8 oz serving (not post-workout) was to check for taste and how well it mixes. Unlike many other chocolate protein drinks, it tastes fine when mixed with room-temperature water, though APX does suggest Almond Milk as an alternative. I've often had to use chilled water with other products, or add them to a fruit smoothie, to mask a poor flavor. And again, unlike many other protein supplements, the APX mixed completely with only moderate shaking.

My next test was a triple serving (24 oz) taken immediately after a hard run last Monday, and my stomach wasn't particularly happy with it. About 12 hours later I tried another 8 oz serving, and my stomach was fine with it. I then tried a single serving immediately after a lighter work-out, again with no issues. I wondered if using a full bottle (triple serving) was the problem, so yesterday I repeated the hard run test with a single recommended serving, and my stomach was fine with it. However, my legs weren't too happy about doing two hard runs that close together.

I don't think it would be fair for me to try to judge the effectiveness of a supplement in just one week, but with such a simple list of ingredients, I see no reason for the APX Post-Workout Recovery drink to not work every bit as well as other protein supplements on the market.

When used according to the directions, the APX Post-Workout Recovery Drink has become the only protein drink I can tolerate immediately post-workout. I'll be using it going forward.

UPDATE 19 SEP 2015: Corrected pricing.

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