Meet the Lab Rat aka The Healthy Librarian's Husband
Brendan Brazier's Lemon-Lime Recovery Drink--Lab Rat's Version mixed with a Green Smoothie
"After a particularly draining workout, one that has depleted glycogen stores, these recovery drinks are ideal to replenish and rebuild.
After a run that lasts longer than an hour, a particularly hard weight training session, or any activity that is beyond what our body is accustomed to, you need to ingest the correct ratio of carbohydrate to protein to help speed recovery.
The ideal ratio is four grams of carbohydrate for every gram of protein.
Have a recovery drink within 45 minutes of completing your exercise session."
-Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman triathlete, and author of "Thrive: the Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life" and "Thrive Fitness: the Vegan-Based Training Program for Maximum Strength, Health, and Fitness"-
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As promised, I've finally convinced my husband to review his favorite sport recovery drink ala Brendan's Brazier's, "Thrive Fitness"
So, without further introduction---Enjoy!!!
Anyone for a Homemade Post-Exercise Recovery Drink? I Definitely Noticed the Benefits!
The “Lab Rat” Speaks
Well, after much pushing, prodding and other forms of mental and physical abuse, I have finally succumbed to the “wishes” of the Healthy Librarian (HL) and started some posts of my own.
For those that don’t know of me, I’m the HL’s husband, the one she has occasionally referred to as “The Lab Rat (LR).”
Why the Lab Rat? Because I’m the one who is asked (forced?) to try all the new and different things that the HL comes up with.
You know: “Hey LR. Try this spoiled food and see if it makes you sick.” “Hey LR. See how much raw kale you can eat in a half-hour and see if it makes you sick.” “Hey LR…” Okay, you get the picture. Read more about the Lab Rat, here!
My first post is going to be about Brendan Brazier’s “Long Workout or Race Recovery Drinks” taken from his book, Thrive Fitness.
Now, Brendan is a professional Ironman Triathlete; I’m just your normal idiot guy. My athletic claim to fame is that I’ve been a runner since high school. I’ve run a bunch of marathons over the years (nothing earth shattering), 4 ultramarathons—two 50k and two JFK 50 milers, and used to do triathlons (been a long time since one of those) including four half-ironmans.
My athletic game now consists of running 3-4 times per week (fitness level but always staying in shape for my 10-mile birthday run that I’ve done since I turned 30—haven’t missed one yet), yoga class 1-2 times per week, biking 1-2 times per week, swimming 1-2 times per week, online poker many times per week...
Now, that probably sounds like a lot but I don’t do ALL of that stuff in a typical week. Oh yeah, I forgot--weights 2-4 times per week. It varies depending upon how I feel, how much golf I’m playing, the weather (I’m not as dedicated as I used to be about running in bad weather), my mood, how nice the HL has been to me, etc. Where was I? Oh yes—let’s start a new paragraph.
Thrive Fitness by Brendan Brazier. I heard about this book from, who else but the HL. I believe she heard about it from Alex or Rip Esselstyn or someone. I’ve started using one of his recipes for “Long Workout or Race Recovery Drinks.” I believe I feel better and recover faster since using this drink. I try to have it following most workouts. The recipe I have used so far is from page 190 of his book (I’ll talk about my variations later). Here it is:
Lemon-Lime Recovery Drink
4 large Medjool dates
2 cups water
1 tbsp hemp protein
1 tbsp ground salba
2 tbsp sprouted buckwheat (or substitute cooked)
Juice from ½ lemon
Juice from ¼ lime
½ tsp lemon zest
1 tsp ground dulse flakes
1 tsp maca
1 tsp greens powder (chlorella or spirulina)
Blend all the ingredients together in a blender
Makes 1 large or 2 small servings.
Nutrient Count for the entire Lemon Lime Recovery recipe--made exactly as shown. It changes if you substitute a Green Smoothie for the water--or use brown rice protein (has a higher protein content) or if you use a higher protein content hemp protein powder.
HL's Note: What the Lab Rat forgot to mention is that this drink will keep you comfortably FULL FOR HOURS! You might even skip lunch--it's that crazy filling! And instead of an afternoon nap after a long workout in the heat of the summer, LR is now mowing the lawn, trimming the shrubs, & sealing the driveway. Yeah, I love this stuff!
What the Heck is This Stuff?
I asked the same questions: what in the heck are maca, dulse and chlorella? I knew about hemp protein, salba, and the others.
Here’s the low down taken from Brendan’s book (I am giving you only the basics as he writes a whole bunch more. Those who want more detail can check it out in his book.
Hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 and omega 6. When pressed, the seed becomes hemp powder and oil. The powder is then milled finer and the result is hemp protein. The protein present in hemp is complete. Since it contains all 10 essential amino acids, it boosts the immune system and hastens recovery.
Maca is a root vegetable native to the high Andes of Bolivia and Peru. Maca curtails the effects of stress by aiding the regeneration of the adrenal glands. It helps lower cortisol levels which improve sleep quality. It also increases energy by means of nourishment, not stimulation.
Salba is an heirloom variety of chia seed grown in the Amazon basin in Peru. The seeds are high in magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron and can effectively replenish minerals used in muscle contractions and lost in sweat. Salba is packed with antioxidants and contains about 20 percent high-quality protein. Read more about chia seed here and here.
Dulse is one of the sea vegetables (nori and kelp are others). It contains about 10 times the calcium as cow’s milk and more iron than red meat. Dulse (and the others) is the richest known source of naturally occurring electrolytes.
Chlorella is a green algae that contains 65 percent protein, essential fatty acids, and many vitamins, minerals and enzymes. It contains vitamin B12, a good one for vegetarians and vegans. Chlorella also contains all 10 of the essential amino acids.
Buckwheat is not actually wheat and it's gluten-free; it's a seed in the rhubarb family that contains 8 essential amino acids, including high amounts of the often-elusive tryptophan--a precursor to the mood enhancing neurotransmitter, serotonin. It's a great source of protein, and high in vitamin E, B, calcium, and manganese. If you sprout it, instead of cook it--it digests more efficiently without causing any insulin spikes or crashes. Brazier is a big fan of buckwheat. The Lab Rat likes it sprouted--the Healthy Librarian prefers hers cooked.
Where to Buy This Crazy Stuff: Check around! Whole Foods will be the most expensive. Chlorella powder is REALLY expensive & we found the Sun Chlorella brand a little cheaper through Vitacost.
Here's How It Looks Cooked--On Top of Soy Yogurt
Lab Rat variations:
I’m going to be switching from hemp protein to a vegan rice protein that I’ve used before and that the HL likes a lot—much less expensive, more protein per serving, blends better into the drink(s), etc. The brand I use is Nutribiotic Rice Protein. I probably bought it from Vitacost.com.
We use Chia powder from Navitas Naturals. Salba is great but doesn’t grind well in a blender (I’ve ground it in a coffee grinder but it’s a pain) and therefore clogs Clean Kanteen openings or other water bottle openings. The HL says it’s okay so who am I to argue.
I like sprouted buckwheat versus the cooked variety. I sprout several other seeds so adding buckwheat to the mix was easy. I’ll do a post one of these days on sprouting but I buy my stuff from The Sprout People (sproutpeople.com). Nice site with great products and how-to information.
Sometimes, instead of 2 cups of water I will substitute one cup of my green smoothie (extra smoothie stored in a Nalgeen in the refrigerator). I figure why not some extra kick.
Hope this was helpful. Direct any feedback to the HL. Thanks for reading!
Give it a try & report back! I know there are some serious athletes & exercisers out there.
Hey, Son #2, give it a try after your next soccer game!
The Lab Rat Didn't Make His Recovery Drink on Our Kentucky Vacation--He Noticed the Difference!
The Lab Rat, the Healthy Librarian, & Son #2--3 Orange Shirts & 3 Subarus