We've tested various products from Swiss manufacturer Sponser Sport Food, mostly aimed at providing energy during a ride. Sponser Recovery Shake, as the name suggests, is designed for use after a ride, with a mix of proteins and carbohydrates plus various minerals and vitamins to help your muscles rebuild and recover.
As with most recovery drinks, Sponser Recovery Shake comes in powder form which you then mix with water or milk. The main ingredients include whey protein, sucrose, fructose, skimmed milk powder and maltodextrin. The ingredient list also includes protein hydrolysates (effectively proteins that have gone through a process to make them easier to absorb) which in this product are derived from potato, egg and casein (from milk).
The energy content of 100g of Recovery Shake power is 375kcal or 1590 kJ, of which carbs make up 70g, proteins 22g, fibre 2.5g and fat 0.6g. The packaging on the tub recommends mixing 40g of power with 300ml of milk, to create a recovery drink providing 250 kcal and around 40g of carb and 18g of protein. This gives a carb-to-protein ratio of almost 2:1.
As you might expect, the texture and taste is very much like a 'normal' milkshake, although not as sweet and very slightly bitter. This shake is available in banana, chocolate and vanilla flavours. We tested the banana flavour. Mixed with milk, it's very pleasant and refreshing, and easy to drink after a 100-mile sportive or an intensive interval session on the rollers.
Looking at price, a 800g tub of powder (enough for twenty drinks using the recommended 40g serving) costs £20 from the Sponser Uk website. Not cheap at first glance, but this compares well against similar products like SIS Rego Rapid Recovery with whey (where a 1600g tub of powder making 30 drinks with a 7:4 carb-to-protein mix costs £48) and for Goodness Shakes Recovery Drink (where a 1440g tub of powder making twenty 500ml drinks with a 3:1 carb-to-protein mix costs £32).
Specifically-designed recovery drinks are not essential (after a long ride you can help your muscles rebuild and recover by stretching properly and eating something like a bowl of muesli) but they can help you benefit more from training and improve your overall performance, so on that basis I'd recommend Sponser Recovery Shake as well worth adding to your nutritional armoury.
Recovery drink with a mix of proteins and carbohydrates to help rebuild muscles after exertion. Nice-tasting and reasonably priced too.
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Make and model: Sponser Recovery shake
Size tested: Chocolate
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?
This product is a recovery drink, designed to help muscles recover and repair after exertion. The Sponser Uk website highlights these advantages: 'Supports all aspects of recovery: Glycogen replacement, muscle repair and rebuilding, and immune system reinforcement; Combines a variety of high quality proteins and carbohydrates for immediate and longer term recovery; Enriched with vitamins and minerals; Works well served hot or cold!'
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Sponser Uk website goes on to say: 'Sponser Recovery Shake is a balanced combination of carbohydrates, high quality proteins and essential vitamins and minerals. Sponser Recovery Shake is based on both casein and whey proteins which are released at different rates, so there is a constant supply of protein available for immediate muscle repair and for later muscle building. These concentrated, high quality (25% BCAA) and natural proteins support muscle growth and the immune system. Calcium caseinate also supplies easily absorbable calcium and provides a prolonged flow of amino acids, which increases protein synthesis. At the same time, the short, medium, and long chain carbohydrates ensure a staggered release of energy and increase glycogen storage. Sponser Recovery Shake's unique formula both raises the amino acid and glucose concentration in the blood and improves the ability of cells to absorb them, encouraging faster muscle repair, faster glycogen replacement and a faster recovery.'
Unlike energy products, where you can more easily gauge performance, it's hard to tell if a recovery product is working or not. However, it is possible to confirm that the taste and texture are very good and this drink has no ill-effects on the stomach.
Recovery drinks are not cheap compared to carb-only energy drinks, and Sponser Recovery Shake is good value compared to similar products from other manufacturers.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Although it's hard to gauge just how much muscles might be recovering after drinking this product compared to similar drinks from other manufacturers, we can definitely say the ingredients list ticks all the boxes. This drink is nice-tasting and reasonably priced too, so earns a score of 8.
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,