- Optimal 3:1 Carbohydrate:Protein ratio supporting easiest digestion, and optimal carbohydrate synthesis
- Highest quality Pea Protein - rich in the essential amino acids, leucine, iso-leucine and valine
- Fast-acting high GI Carbohydrates
- Glutamine for muscle/immune protection
- D-Ribose for cellular regeneration
- Part of the TORQ Recovery System
- Add to Oat (preferred), Almond, or Soy Milk
TORQ Vegan Recovery Drink is a highly advanced post-exercise nutritional drink formulation that has been designed to Rehydrate, Refuel, Repair and Recharge your fatigued physiology after heavy exercise. We call these the 4 R’s.
We consider TORQ’s non-vegan whey-based Recovery Drink to be the most thorough and effective formulation of its kind on the market today and our Vegan version shares the same technology. We will not compromise, which is why we have used the highest quality plant-based Pea Protein rather than lower quality less effective plant protein sources. D-Ribose and L-Glutamine are extremely potent micronutrients which add unrivaled fortification to these recovery blends.
Like our whey-based recovery drink, TORQ Vegan Recovery represents a 3:1 blend of carbohydrates and high quality protein. It is generally accepted that consuming carbohydrates and protein at a 3:1 ratio immediately after exercise will speed up glycogen synthesis. In other words, the addition of high quality protein will help you to store carbohydrate more effectively than consuming carbohydrate alone. It is also generally accepted that Pea Protein is the closest (in terms of quality and functionality) plant-based protein to Whey Protein. It’s the fastest acting, most soluble and most readily absorbed/synthesized of the plant proteins, thus it provides the amino acids necessary for muscle repair with little delay.
The Creamy Cocoa version is designed to be added to Oat Milk. You can add it to Rice Milk, Almond Milk or Soy Milk if you want, but we advise the use of Oat Milk, as this is the product we based our formulation upon.
Simply pour 400ml of Oat Milk into your TORQ Mixer Bottle, add 5 level scoops of powder, screw the top on to your mixer bottle, shake vigorously and enjoy! A 1.5Kg pouch of Creamy Cocoa TORQ Vegan Recovery powder will give you 15 serves. The 500g pouch provides 5 post exercise meals.
In this section we cover the benefits, properties and ingredients used within this product in detail…
Hydration: It goes without saying that rehydration is an important part of the recovery process and the fluid (Oat Milk or Orange Juice) you mix with the powder to make your drink will clearly help with this process. In situations where fluid losses are particularly high, your TORQ Vegan Recovery Drink will not provide sufficient fluid to comprehensively rehydrate you, so you should continue to drink plenty of fluids after your recovery drink has been consumed. Remember that comprehensive rehydration in exceptional circumstances also includes replacing lost electrolytes to restore homeostatic balance, so you might want to consider consuming TORQ Hydration after your recovery drink when dehydration is extreme.
Refueling/Replenishing Carbohydrate Stores: The body has a very limited amount of carbohydrate, stored in the muscles and liver. In total these carbohydrate stores equate to around 5% of the body’s total energy stores, however carbohydrate is the preferred fuel source and during exercise can equate to over 50% (or more) of total energy expended, depending on the intensity and duration of the exercise. These limited stores combined with a limited capacity to absorb and use carbohydrate during exercise can result in them becoming almost completely depleted during an intense endurance training session or competition.
Once depleted, the body can replenish these stores to full resting levels within around 24 hours providing sufficient carbohydrate is taken in, however this process can take much longer if inadequate carbohydrate is consumed and attention isn’t paid towards the timing of the carbohydrate ingestion.
Post-exercise, there are two main phases to replenishing carbohydrate stores. Initially there is a very rapid phase which occurs independently of the hormone insulin and lasts around 30-60 minutes and this is followed by a much slower insulin-dependent phase which can last several hours. During this initial phase, the body is able to rapidly convert carbohydrate into glycogen thanks to the activity of the exercise-dependent Glut-4 transporter which works in a similar way to insulin. This, in combination with an increased exercise-induced insulin sensitivity, aiding the storage process further, makes it absolutely vital that the correct calories are consumed within the brief post-exercise window. Delaying carbohydrate intake by 2 hours or more has been shown to reduce the rate of carbohydrate storage (re-synthesis) by 50%, which is not advisable with another competition or hard training session looming! It is therefore important to consume TORQ Vegan Recovery as soon as possible after exercise (we recommend within 15 minutes).
So there is a well-established need for carbohydrate post exercise, but how much is required and in what form? Due to the limited time-frame in which the body is able to rapidly store carbohydrate after exercise, it pays to make maximum use of this time and get carbohydrate into the body as quickly as possible. The most effective way to do this is by ingesting some fast absorbing high GI (Gylcaemic Index) forms of carbohydrate to ensure that it is delivered into the system quickly. High GI carbohydrates not only cause a rapid rise in blood sugar by delivering carbohydrate quickly, but also after the initial ‘insulin independent’ stage of recovery, it provokes a rapid release of insulin (the hormone responsible for the storage of carbohydrate) which further aids in the replenishment of the body’s stores of carbohydrate. The Creamy Cocoa TORQ Vegan Recovery contains a combination of Maltodextrin and Dextrose, both of which are high GI carbohydrates. The Robust & Fruity blend contains high GI Maltodextrin, but also utilises the Fructose from the orange juice base you mix the powder with and this provides another set of benefits. Fructose isn’t high GI, but it is absorbed through the intestinal wall by a different transporter to Maltodextrin meaning that the combined effect is actually better than using high GI carbohydrates alone. These are referred to as Multiple-Transportable Carbohydrates and it’s the basis on which all of our Vegan TORQ Fuelling System products are formulated, as well as our highly effective regular non-vegan TORQ Recovery product.
The role of Pea Protein in TORQ Vegan Recovery: Prolonged endurance exercise not only causes a strain on the body’s carbohydrate stores, but also induces muscle damage and causes a breakdown of proteins within the body. The addition of protein to a recovery drink can not only prevent the breakdown occurring, but also increases the rate of post exercise muscle synthesis, having an anabolic effect through offering substrate for muscle repair and aiding training adaptation.
Pea Protein Isolate is a protein sourced from pea seeds, rich in the essential amino acids, leucine, iso-leucine and valine. These essential amino acids play a vital role in the regulation of muscle protein synthesis (building) and therefore creates a positive NET protein balance. Pea Protein Isolate shares similar digestion kinetics (rate of digestion) to whey based protein sources and therefore, can be found readily available in the blood soon after digestion allowing a more robust anabolic environment. Thus, leading to improved recovery of both muscle fibers, energy producing apparatus and enzymes. Due to this rich protein sourced from vegetable extract, it is perfectly suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Pea Protein Isolate has been shown to have similar branched chain amino acid profile to whey based protein sources, whilst also maintaining a similar rate of digestion. Research from Koopman et al., (2007) noted that protein synthesis of young males was 20% higher following ingestion of a leucine enriched protein-carbohydrate beverage compared to non-leucine enriched carbohydrate-protein beverage thus, highlighting the importance of branched chain amino acid availability on recovery. This high branched chain amino acid profile coupled with high rate of digestion allows for re-stimulation of muscle protein synthesis (building) in the hours after exercise stimulating a positive NET protein balance allowing for optimal recovery. During exercise, muscle protein synthesis and degradation (breakdown) signalling factors are initiated and due to this, it is important that there is sufficient protein available to allow for the recovery/adaptation process following exercise.
TORQ Vegan Recovery’s unique micronutrients: It is TORQ’s unique use of D-Ribose and L-Glutamine that sets it apart from other recovery products on the market. L-Glutamine helps to protect the muscles from catabolic (muscle degrading) processes after exercise and also strengthens the immune system. D-Ribose re-charges the muscle cells after exercise so that they have the energy to contract to their full potential within 24 hours, a process that would take up to 3 days without supplemental Ribose. These are particularly expensive ingredients and it is not unusual for nutrition companies to either avoid using these expensive ingredients altogether or claim that their products contain important components like these, whilst providing too small a dose to have a significant effect. We do not believe in compromise, so every serving of TORQ recovery contains a dose of D-Ribose and L-Glutamine that has been verified by the available research (see references).
Further information on L-Glutamine: Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body, in a large part because it is needed a lot by the brain, intestines, kidneys, lungs and immune system and also because you can manufacture your own. It is actually termed a ‘non-essential amino acid’, but this can be misleading, because under times of high physiological stress, if you leave your body to produce its own supply, it will break down muscle tissue in order to make it available.
Logic dictates that this is not desirable when you are a training athlete. Therefore, supplementation with L-Glutamine immediately after exercise stops the body scavenging for an alternative supply and eating into your well-earned muscle. It also ensures that plenty of L-Glutamine is available to fuel the immune system. Numerous studies have considered the effects of L-Glutamine supplementation on immune function and although the findings are mixed, there appears to be enough evidence to support its worth (18,20). TORQ Vegan recovery contains the full research-recommended dose (6 grams) of L-Glutamine. Further information about L-Glutamine can be found HERE.
Further information on D-Ribose: Ribose is present within every living cell of the body and is used to manufacture ATP (the energy currency of the cell) from scratch. Whilst the body can manufacture its own ribose from glucose, this requires energy and is a very slow process. Research into ribose supplementation (17,18) has proven that taking as little as 3-5grams per day will return cellular levels of ATP to normal within 6-22 hours of exhaustive exercise. Without supplementation, this is likely to take between 26 and 93 hours (this represents a 340-430% improvement in cellular recovery when supplementing with ribose).
Every cell in your body contains ATP (adinosine triphosphate), an energy-rich compound that provides virtually all the energy needed to function on a second-by-second basis. When ATP is broken down into ADP + Pi (adinosine diphosphate + inorganic phosphate) energy is released and this is used to power all our bodily functions. Naturally then, it is the breakdown of ATP within the cells of the working muscles that provides the energy for exercise. Without it you wouldn’t be going anywhere!
It is through the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat and protein that ADP + Pi is reformed to make ATP. This ATP is then available to be used for muscular contraction. As the muscle uses it, once again it will break down to ADP + Pi and so it goes on. When exercising, this cycle rapidly and continually takes place in order to satisfy the substantial turnover of energy required.
Research has shown that after maximal high load exercise, the pools of ATP and ADP + Pi in skeletal muscle cells are reduced by as much as 20-28 percent. The mechanisms behind this are rather complex and involve the loss of a compound called AMP (adinosine monophosphate), however, the net effect is that the overall pools of ATP and ADP + Pi within each cell is reduced, which seriously limits their energy potential. It doesn’t matter how much carbohydrate you ram into your body, if these nucleotide levels are low, you’re not going to have the raw materials available to produce power effectively. To further compound the problem, once AMP has left the cell, there’s no getting it back and so ATP and ADP + Pi levels will remain low, perhaps sinking further if another high intensity bout of exercise is experienced.
It’s worth noting that most of the studies in the Sports Science arena have tested D-Ribose supplementation in relation to improvements in muscular power and they have drawn a blank. This is correct and there’s no evidence that D-Ribose will make you stronger. Its effects on cellular recovery (returning strength levels to normal after heavy exercise) however cannot be denied – it’s a physiological fact and it’s the inclusion of this amazing nutrient into TORQ Recovery Drink’s formulation that provides it with a very unique and valuable edge. TORQ Recovery Drink contains the full research-recommended dose of D-Ribose (3-5 grams depending on body size). 3% of TORQ Recovery’s ingredient matrix is D-Ribose. For further information on D-Ribose, click HERE.
Continued Carbohydrate Consumption: In order to ensure maximum re-synthesis (storage) rates, research has pointed towards consuming around 1-1.2grams per kg body weight immediately after exercise. Anymore is unlikely to offer any further benefit and any less and it will potentially compromise the effectiveness of your recovery. This initial feed should then be followed up with regular carbohydrate feeding in frequent doses afterwards. There are a variety of regular low fat, high carbohydrate food choices that will enable you to achieve the desired amount of carbohydrate, but we do have a few products in our portfolio that will give you a helping hand. Use these products for pure convenience, or in situations where your exercise load is particularly high and you need specific tools to assist with the recovery process.
TORQ Organic Energy represents an easy way of increasing the carbohydrate content of food. This product is available separately and forms part of the TORQ Recovery System. TORQ Energy Organic, often dubbed ‘the invisible calorie’ is compact/concentrated in nature and has no flavor, so can be added to any kind of food to boost the carbohydrate content. Try adding it to a glass of fruit juice for instance, coffee, or even a cup of soup.
Therefore, after consuming your recovery drink, aim to consume between 1-1.2 grams of carbohydrate per hour for 3-4 hours. Research has also shown frequent (every 15-30 minutes) provision of carbohydrate after exercise further stimulates the re-synthesis of the body’s stores of carbohydrate better than at longer intervals, so little and often will help aid the recovery process.
The research is clear, fueling with carbohydrate and ensuring that you consume a recovery drink immediately after exercise will not only boost performance and assist in the overall recovery process, but it will also support your immune system, leaving you less vulnerable to infection.
According to research by Gleeson and Bishop (2000) carbohydrate becomes an important fuel for the immune system cells which can increase tenfold during and post exercise when compared with resting conditions. These immune system cells are boosted by the body to help immunity at this vulnerable time and Carbohydrate supports their effectiveness. Also, according to Cupps and Fauci (1982) cortisol, a stress hormone that is linked to immunosuppression, is inhibited by the presence of Carbohydrate.
Ed Burke (2002) dedicates 2 pages of his book ‘Serious Cycling’ to the role that fueling with carbohydrate during exercise plays in strengthening the immune system. Talking of researcher Dr Nieman, he says:
“Our research shows that sports drinks not only provide carbohydrate energy during exercise, but support the link between sports drinks and less stress on the immune system. Carbohydrate drinks of about 6 to 10% carbohydrate (TORQ Energy Drink is within this range) will not eliminate the stress of cycling, but our research and work of others show they can reduce the increase of several by-products of stress and hard exercise.”
In cooler conditions, when drinking an energy drink is less desirable, as our Fueling System suggests, carbohydrate can be delivered in more appropriate concentrated forms like our Energy Gels, Energy Bars and Energy Chews.
All of this points to ensuring that you maintain good fueling practices and that you feed immediately with Carbohydrate immediately after exercise. TORQ Recovery Drink provides this carbohydrate, along with a potent dose of Glutamine, which has also been found to assist and support the immune system following exercise.
The role of Glutamine is an interesting one and again Gleeson and Bishop discuss this. Glutamine is a non-essential amino acid, meaning that the human body can produce it on demand without having to source it from the diet and therefore it will remain at consistent baseline concentrations to support normal immune function. During the stress of higher load exercise however, the demand for glutamine utilization may exceed the body’s production capabilities. Blood glutamine concentrations can be decreased by up to 20% below baseline following prolonged or strenuous exercise and will normally take around 24 hours to recover fully – and can take even longer if training loads are exceptionally high. Also, these percentage reductions can further increase if athletes experience exceptionally high training loads. This has lead some researchers to re-label Glutamine as ‘conditionally-essential’ rather than ‘non-essential’ because there are times when supplementation is beneficial and one of these occasions is post exercise.
Again, Cupps and Fauci (1982) assert that Glutamine availability is suppressed in the absence of Carbohydrate – in other words, Carbohydrate consumption during exercise increases Glutamine availability. Paradoxically therefore, the more diligently you fuel with Carbohydrate and pay attention to your recovery nutrition, the less important Glutamine supplementation becomes, because the presence of Carbohydrate reduces the drain on Glutamine reserves. That said, the term ‘heavy exercise’ is quite broad and even with the most diligent of fuelling practices some training sessions have the potential to leave you exceptionally drained. To this end, our TORQ Recovery Drink doesn’t only contain a substantial serving of fast-delivery carbohydrate, but also a research-recommended dose of Glutamine. We call it ‘belt and braces’.
If you are interested in learning more, we have created the definitive guide to help you understand what your immune system is, how it works, how to strengthen it and how to fight infection effectively should your immune defenses be breached. Click HERE for further information.