Recovery drinks are useful after a strenuous ride or race. They provide an immediate hit of protein and carbohydrates to replenish tired muscles and are a smarter choice than a slab of cake. Torq's Performance Recovery Drink features all the recovery and training benefit claims you'd expect, and is easy to mix, easy on the stomach and in this Cookies & Cream flavour, extremely tasty.
I've been testing the Torq Performance Recovery Drink for a good few months now, using it after cyclo-cross races and regular training rides. I ride my bike every day so being fresh and ready to go the following day is paramount for testing bikes. As well as a healthy and nutritionally balanced diet, a recovery drink is a good way of easily getting some protein and carbohydrate into the body immediately after a ride. It's especially handy when driving home after a race, when it might be a couple of hours before you're able to cook a meal.
While I can't write this review from a scientific standing, I did feel slightly better after a hard race, particularly a couple of hours later when the fatigue really starts to set in. And the next morning tired legs weren't quite as unwilling to cooperate on a ride. The recovery drink also delays the onset of hunger as well, which again is useful on the drive home from a race, stopping you reaching for a cake or chocolate bar.
Mixing the drink is easy. Inside the pouch is a scoop and it's simply a case of measuring out the number of scoops you need based on your weight, using the neat table on the back of the packaging. A 125g serving in 500ml of water provides 83g of carbs, 27.5g of protein and 447 calories, with just 0.3g fat. The powder dissolves easily in the bottle and it's really easy to shake up into a satisfying drink.
The drink lists whey protein isolate, skimmed milk powder, maltodextrin, fructose, L-glutamine and D-ribose among its ingredients. Torq claims the mix of glucose polymers, fructose and whey protein isolate provides the quick absorption of carbs that your body craves immediately after a ride or race, and the mix of vitamins and minerals help repair muscles.
The packaging is worth a mention. Torq's recovery powder used to be delivered in tubs, but now they come in a resealable pouch, which uses 80 per cent less material and so is better for the environment. I've found the packaging also takes up less space on the kitchen shelf and it can be more easily packed away in a bag if you're travelling to a race or cycling event for the weekend.
As well as the Cookies & Cream flavour I tested (delicious, I should add, works better than it sounds), there is Strawberries & Cream, Banana & Mango, Mandarin Yoghurt and Chocolate Mint. Something for all taste buds. It's important that a recovery drink is palatable, otherwise you're going to be less inclined to want to drink it. Torq has a knack of trying slightly unusual flavours, but typically pulls them off really well.
Very tasty and easy to mix recovery drink
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Make and model: Torq Recovery Drink
Size tested: 1.5kg
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Torq says: "TORQ recovery is a highly advanced post-exercise nutritional drink formulation that has been designed to repair, recharge and refuel fatigued muscle tissue after heavy exercise. TORQ's unique matrix of Glucose Polymers, Fructose and Whey Protein Isolate stimulate the rapid absorption of carbohydrate to re-stock vital glycogen stores. TORQ's active ingredients, D-Ribose, L-Glutamine and blend of carefully selected vitamins and minerals work together to repair and recharge over-stressed muscle fibres. We believe TORQ recovery to be the most thorough and effective formulation of its kind on the market today - yet we flavour it NATURALLY and use no colours or artificial sweeteners. There is not a single ingredient within TORQ recovery's formulation that isn't derived from a NATURAL source, or doesn't naturally-occur within the human body."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Whey Protein Isolate
Ribose, Glutamine, Vitamins and Minerals
No Colours, Artificial Sweeteners or Preservatives
Hard to support without any scientific testing, but does appear to provide some assistance to tired legs after races.
Milk is cheaper but the Torq recovery drink is packed with loads of useful ingredients and it's low on fat.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Used after races or hard rides it does help to refuel tired muscles but it's not a magic bullet, tired legs will still be tired if you push them hard, but it certainly helps.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Easy to mix and very tasty.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Expensive if you use it all the time.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It's not cheap if you use it all the time, but save it for races and hard rides and it'll go a long way.
Age: 31 Height: 180cm Weight: 67kg
I usually ride: My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, touring, mountain biking
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.