Mike's Muscle Recovery beverage



I was intrigued reading the section The Majic Mix in chapter 6, Food for the Long Hall of The Complete Book of Long-Distance Cycling by Edmund R. Burke, PhD, and Ed Pavelka. It briefly described a mixture of specific Amino Acids and Carbohydrates that caused your body to produce more Glycogen.
  That sounded good to me. Commuting sometimes makes my muscles tired!
So I immediatly ordered a copy of Edmund R. Burke's book Optimal Muscle Performance and Recovery from roadbikerider.com.

As I read it I took notes of what should be in my majic recovery drink. I shortly figured out that Edmund already had a comercial product out called R4. So I started checking my notes against R4. I came pretty close. The last column in the table below compares my formula to R4.

My Formula

I revised my formula in 2006 and changed the Mg component to Mg Citrate and added Ca Citrate. Below is the recipe I've been using. If you would like the full spreadsheet to calculate changes, you can get it here. Just change the number of units of each ingredient in the yellow boxes at the top. One sheet on the spreadsheet is a printable recipe page. The spreadsheet works with excel, OpenOffice.org, and gnumeric. It should work with anything that suports excel spreadsheets.

Also included on the spreadsheet is my version of Accelerade drink.

Here's the recipe I'm using now. I usually leave the Vitamin E out. It is expensive, and doesn't disolve well. I just take some Vitamin E jell caps with it. The recipe makes about 50% more than my old one. I still add only 1 packet of flavoring, but the Citrates in it add some tartness. It tastes good (to me at least).

Whey Arginine Vitamin E Vitamin C Mg Citrate Ca Citrate Glucose
Fructose Sucrose Lite Salt Salt
9 S 6 tsp 6 tsp 2 tsp 10 tsp 1 tsp 6 C 0 T 7 T 1 tsp 1 tsp


S Scoops
the R4 scoop is 60 cc
the Whey scoop is 90 cc
T Tablespoons
tsp teaspoons


Here's what I use.
Flavor Unsweetened Lemonade mix for 2 quarts
Whey Now Foods Unflavored Whey Protein Isolate #2172 or #2174
E Now Foods E Powder #0940
C Now Foods Ascorbic Acid #0790
Mg Now Foods Magnesium Citrate #1295
Mg Now Foods Calcium Citrate #1240
Arg Now Foods L-Arginine Powder #0210
Glucose Now Foods Dextrose
Lite Salt Morton Lite Salt

Portions and measurements

My base recipe is for the equivelant of 2 R4 scoops (60 cc scoop) because that's what they list their contents by.

I use a 25 cc scoop that came with GatorAde mix to measure my servings. My mix seems to lower volume than their's. I'm not sure why.
lbs. body weight 120 160 190 220+
60 cc Scoops R4 1 2 3 4
25 cc Scoops of My mix 1.5 3 4.5 6


So far I tried Kool-Ade and Wyler's Lemonaid mixes as well as an orange mix and instant coffee as flavorings. So far, I like the lemonade falvor best. I actually LIKE it.

My original recipe used 1 scoop of GatorAde to provide flavor, as well as some of the sugars and salts. That recipe had more sugars in it. If you want to try that, just put in one scoop of GatorAde mix per serving and leave out 1/2 of the Lite Salt.

It seemed like coffee flavor would be good. I'll try it again later, maybe with more instant coffee.

You could used some of the flavored versions of whey protein on the market, but be carefull, the Amino Acid contents are not the same. I chose this whey protein isolate carefully.


I no longer put in the dry Vitamin E. It is very expensive and doesn't mix that well with the water. I now just take my vitamin E in jell caps when I drink my mix.

I have tried cutting the Glucose (Dextrose) with powered sugar (sucrose) from the grocery store. I'm not sure how much effect it has. It is cheaper. It should absorb somewhat more slowly into the blood, but that's not necessiarly a good thing. Here we want to get the sugars into the blood quickly for conversion to Glycogen in that important few hours after exercise.

I have also tried adding other things like MSM. I suppose you could add anything you like; more vitamins maybe.

How Does It Work?

I'm very happy with my formula. My commute is only 11 miles, but as I said before, my muscles were feeling fatigued last year. I've been drinking it each morning when I get to work and each evening when I get home and I've never had a tired muscle all year.

One might expect that taking that much sugar would cause a sugar high followed by a crash, but that doesn't seem to happen. I don't get drowsy in the mornings at work. After lunch is a different story. I conclude that the mixture is doing its job and rapidly converting the sugars to glycogen and my blood sugar doesn't do any wild swings.

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