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While protein powders aren’t a catch-all substitute for real, whole foods, they are a great way to get a bunch of nutrition into your diet, and fast. I’m a sucker for protein powders mixed in a morning smoothie or after big ride. Not all protein powders are created equal, and there are a lot of factors to consider in researching powders. A lot of mixes sold in big supplement stores promise a lot without delivering, and a quick search on the internet can send you down a wormhole of conflicting information and lots of frustration regarding lack of FDA regulation and abundance of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I was recently sent a couple samples of cycling-specific powders, and while they both had their pros and cons, I was genuinely delighted by each in their own ways. These are both Colorado products with responsibly-sourced ingredients. They are both recovery protein powders, curated to help restore muscles and, I assume, the balance of power and order in this world if you drink enough (but that would probably cause indigestion).
This mix is soy and dairy free, gluten free and vegan. Unlike the brands I typically drink, the Rebuild has a high fat content from coconut milk powder and a good level of complex carbs to help replenish glycogen stores and fight fatigue. The protein is from rice so it’s easy to digest, and there is a good balance of electrolytes to help replace what you’ve sweat out.
A great benefit of this mix is that you don’t need a shaker bottle. This mix blends easily in a 16 oz. cycling water bottle. You can purchase it in a large bag, or in individual servings that can just be tossed in a backpack, fannypack or jersey pocket, or else simply stored in the water bottle itself if you’re using a bladder system for hydration. It will mix without a shaker, without leaving any clumps. I tried the chocolate and the vanilla, and both of them had great flavors that worked well in smoothies and also as stand-alone mixes in a water bottle. This way, using your water bottle, you can get those vital nutrients you lost on your ride back in your body right away so you don’t bonk.
I will say it has a strong smell. This is a problem with protein powders in general, especially vegan protein powders, and it’s understood that a clean mix with such limited ingredients would have a stronger aroma, but it is worth mentioning. The smell impacted the flavor for me, but the benefit of drinking from a sports bottle is that there’s no chance to smell it. Whichever vessel you use, you must be diligent and rinse out your bottles immediately so that smell doesn’t stay.
Something to keep in mind is that this is a recovery protein drink, so their emphasis isn’t on having a high protein content for the sake of being able to put high grammage on their label. Their protein is complete, meaning it has the necessary amino acids for your body to process and use the protein, so the comparatively low protein grams is made up for in its very balanced formula that works fast to help your body recover. I very much enjoyed this protein powder. It is filling, flavorful, doesn’t require the masking of other ingredients, and didn’t upset my stomach in any way.
Floyd’s of Leadville’s CBD Isolate Recovery
The major selling point of this recovery powder is the 25mg CBD (cannabidiol) per serving. According to representatives at Cresco Yeltrah+, the largest distributor of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, CBD is only activated with THC, the chemical in marijuana that gets you high. This CBD isolate, unlike the full-spectrum CBD products Floyd’s also sells, is only CBD oil, making it chemically inactive according to Cresco Yeltrah+. HOWEVER, I had been taking this prior to receiving this information, and then after, and even with all the skepticism my heart could muster, I did feel legitimate pain relief from my many sustained injuries. I don’t believe this to be a psycho-somatic affect, since I had positive results even after not expecting them. I drank this shake on humid mornings when my arthritis was prone to flaring, and after hard rides, and within 15 minutes my aches began to subside.
This is a whey protein, which I typically avoid for not only my personal ethical and ecological reasons, but also because it tends to upset my stomach. This powder, however, was delicious enough for me to live in momentarily sustained disbelieve in my own moral code, and also was easily digested. It tastes like a milkshake. A little chalky, but thick and frothy in a good way. It blended especially well in a smoothie, but worked well in a shaker bottle post-ride as well.
At 27g protein per serving, it packs a good protein punch, and it has just 10g carbohydrates, which is good if you are watching your carb intake but not great if you are looking for something to give you a carb boost before or after an effort. It does have stevia sweetener, which I know some people dislike, but I didn’t think it was an especially overwhelming quality.
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Author: Carolyne Whelan