I have been writing a blog long enough that I can dig through some of my posts and pull out a post for a “throw back Thursday”. Additionally I have reviewed a ton of stuff during this time and while some things wear out or are versioned and retired (clothes and shoes) or were a bust and are never used again (EnergyBits) Others just keep going and are used over and over (ProWash). With that in mind I was drawn back to something I had used a lot of in the past and had just forgotten about; RecoverEase!
So rather than rewrite here is the post I posted in July 2008…over 6 years ago! As a disclaimer, back then I applied for some free samples. This time around I purchased them. Do they still work…yes they do!
Note Where possible I have updated links from the original post as they were broken, this is the link to the original review. Also this post has a new photo.
I first came across RECOVER-ease through therundown.net; pitched as used by Michelle Barton and Keira Henninger two Southern California ultra runners who are tearing up the local 50k and 50 mile trail races and Rob Cowan who had a monster 2007 race season completing 27 races of marathon distance or longer (in fact most were longer!). As well as the eternally attractive offer of "Free Samples",(Marcy!) I fired off a quick email. Within a week my freebies were delivered and I was good to go. I received from memory about forty tablets split into blisters of four.
So first here’s the sciencey stuff. RecoverEase is a proprietary blend of L-glutamine, L-leucine, L-valine, L-isoleucine, papain,bromelain, beta-sitosterol and bioflavonoids, the serving size is 4 tablets and equals 2900mg. And here’s the marketing blurb: Accelerates tissue repair, Reduces muscle soreness, Reduces muscle breakdown, Improves hormone function. Also it contains no stimulants hormones or USOC/IOC/NCAA banned substances. Of course as a supplement none of this has been evaluated by the FDA.
Here's the science pitch:
BCAAs & Glutamine: The proper 3:1:1 patent-pending balance of BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) with Glutamine (in a patent-pending research-proven 3:2 total AA ratio) benefits athletes by maintaining immune function and reducing URTIs (upper respiratory tract infections).
Beta-sitosterol: Normalizes the ratio of cortisol (a stress hormone) with DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), to reduce muscle breakdown & accelerate connective tissue repair (muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage).
Proteolytic Enzymes & Flavonoids:Reduce inflammation and oxidative free radical damage, resulting in less exercise-induced tissue damage, accelerated rates of tissue repair, and reduced post-exercise pain & stiffness.
Ok so this is my translation based on some web research:
- L-glutamine is a non-essential amino acid it has for the last 10-15 years been associated with muscle growth and development
- L-leucine is an essential amino acid which has been shown to slow the degradation of muscle tissue by increasing the synthesis of muscle proteins
- L-Valine is considered critical to glucose metabolism, protein synthesis, and regulation of the immune system. It is needed for muscle metabolism and tissue repair
- L-Isoleucine is important in hemoglobulin synthesis and in the regulation of blood sugar and energy levels. It also increases endurance.
- Papain is a protein-cleaving enzyme derived from papaya and certain other plants, it has multiple uses but for our purposes it effect on inflammatory processes are the more pertinent
- Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found naturally in the juice and stems of pineapples. Called a proteolytic enzyme, bromelain is believed to help with the digestion of protein
- Beta-sitosterol appears to reduce cholesterol levels by blocking absorption of cholesterol, the purported benefits of Beta-sitosterol include boosting immunity and normalizing blood sugar, relieving inflammation, healing ulcers, enhancing uterine tone, and alleviating cramps. However, these health benefits of beta-sitosterol have not been substantiated by scientific evidence.
- Bioflavonoids are a class of water-soluble plant pigments. While they are not considered essential, they do support health as anti-inflammatory, antihistaminic, and anti-viral agents
Some other information: there are 8 essential amino acids + 14 non-essential amino acids that can be fabricated by the human body from the eight essential amino acids. From these 22 amino acids, being combined & arranged into varying specific chains, all amino acids are fabricated by the human body. Simplistically the distinction between essential and non-essential amino acids is that the human body can produce some amino acids from other amino acids. There are also conditionally essential amino acids that under certain conditions (hard exercise) that cannot be fabricated in sufficient quantities from other aminos. All essential amino acids may be obtained from plant sources.
So if you read through the list of ingredients there is an emphasis on amino acids; good for muscle development and recovery, protein digestion, boosted immunity and anti inflammatory properties.
My usage: I have slowly used up my free batch. I took 8 tablets after my century (read 88 miles) bike ride and the next day had zero aches and pains the same for several 50 mile bike rides. I have typically taken 4 tablets after long runs (which in fairness aren’t that long) ranging from 10 –15 miles and have had little or no soreness etc the next day, having said that I do make an effort to stretch before and after a run and have been giving my foam roller some summer lovin’.
My conclusion: I have to say I am impressed, while there is no golden bullet for recovery; this seems to come pretty close, minimized soreness, aches and pains after long runs/rides is always a benefit allowing you to turnaround quickly and get out training again. Previously I was taking Recoverite from Hammer Nutrition which I think is a great product with the exception that its taste is really, well to be honest, not good, additionally there several other advantages of tablets; easy transportation, no need for refrigeration and quickness. I definitely recommend that you check them out, at a minimum to see if they are still sending out samples, to see if they will work for you.