How Necessary is the P90X Recovery Drink?

By Nancy Andrews

P90X Recovery Drink

Sep 12th, 2010 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: P90X FAQ, Supplements

Perhaps there is no question that is more often asked or more heatedly debated than the questions that ask if the P90X recovery drink is really needed when doing the P90X program.

Here’s where I stand.  I actually put off getting the recovery drink for the first two weeks of the program and I definitely made some progress.  Moreover, I was afraid of the recovery drink because it has so much carb in it.  And like many of you, I wondered if the drink was worth the cost.  When you calculate it, the recovery drink costs about $1.76 (unless you are a club member and then it costs about $1.58 per drink).

I decided to buy the recovery drink after 2 weeks but I made some modifications.  First, I use only half a serving.  Then I supplement it with 10 grams of vanilla whey protein powder (I admit I use Body Fortress brand which is very good but also pretty cheap over at Walmart) and some lower sugar orange juice.  I also add about an ounce of coconut kefir for the probiotics and the MCFAs.  (I get that at Whole Foods.)  I also boost the vitamins in it by adding a package of Emergin C (Tangerine flavor) which is a buffered form of vitamin C and has a nice serving of ‘B’ vitamins and several minerals in it.  Place it all in a mixer and you have a recovery drink that is also a meal replacement shake.  The ratio of carbs to protein does change to about 3 to 1 which based on some research I’ve done, looks to be still in a very favorable range.  It costs me about $1.00 which is pretty cheap for a nutritious meal.  Also the taste is really good.  It tastes like an Orange Julius drink.

I use this recovery – meal replacement shake after all the weight based workouts, after plyometrics and sometimes after Kempo.  I make a different shake on yoga days that is lower carb.  And my results have really taken off.  I not only have been seeing huge figure improvements but I’m getting stronger all the time.  It’s clear to me that despite the added carbs (which can be a problem when your main goal is to lose body fat), I’m losing more fat and building muscle at a rate significantly greater than what I saw during my 1st 2 weeks.  So my vote is for the recovery drink – modified for my needs – for greatest results.

My hubby Bob does take his recovery drink straight (no mixing in additional protein).  It works for him because men have more muscle mass than women so the extra carbs are no problem.  He also says he can feel the difference when he takes it regularly and when we occassionally run out.  So bottom line is that I’m not going to say you can’t get good results without it but if you are really in this for a huge transformation, I recommend it highly.

Find out more about the P90X Recovery drink here.

p90xrecovery lg How Necessary is the P90X Recovery Drink?

On a final note, what you need may be different from me.  Do be sure you get enough protein and if you are not completely sure what that should be, read my article on protein requirements.


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  1. Hello,
    I enjoyed reading your article and am considering your method with the recovery formular. I would like to know what type of shake you put together after your yoga excercises. Also my workout schedule is 1st thing in the morning. After the recovery drink, should I have breakfast approx. 1 hour later? The reason for my question you stated it could be a meal as well.

    I look forward to hearing from you.


  2. Hi Kathy,

    I workout fairly early in the morning. I take a light shake when I rise and then a protein shake after. I’ve posted a sample of how I eat over at (our forums area). One thing that I find with the P90X eating guide is that it calculates too many calories for women. If you want to lose weight don’t eat more than 10x your weight in calories.

  3. Hi, Nancy!

    My husband and I are about to start P90X next week. We are trying to figure out this whole recovery drink. Both of us want to minimize soreness, but are on way too tight of a budget to spend a total of $100/month on the P90X recovery drink since both of us would be using it. We also have different goals from using P90X. I want to lose weight, he wants to build muscle. Any ideas on creating a homemade recovery “concoction” without using the P90X mix at all?

  4. Hi Patrice,

    I like Xtend for both men and women. It’s a little cheaper than P90X results and recovery but what I really like is how it helps you recover. P90X R&R drink relies on sugar to force protein into your muscles. This works but it also shuts down your fat burning. I consider it ‘old school’ and not all that effective unless you are like my husband who needs the calories (his metabolism after doing 3 rounds of P90X is sky high). But for men or women looking for fat loss, Xtend which is a branched chain plus glutamine amino acid blend, gets your muscles exactly what they need to start the recovery process immediately (much faster than P90X R&R) and does it at zero calories. Plus it has an ingredient called citruline malate which really takes away muscle soreness.

    I actually take Xtend first thing when I get up in the morning to take my body out of the catabolic state it is in (we are all in a catabolic – muscle wasting – state when we wake up because we have not eaten in 6 – 8 hours). I take a scoop pre workout and sometimes post workout. This product has really helped me lean out and loose the last (and hardest) few pounds of fat I needed to take off.

    I just got a personal message from a guy I coach praising the Xtend product and this is from a guy who says he rarely takes any supplements. I highly recommend this one product.

    Now if you don’t want to buy anything you can’t find at the grocery store, then go with 1% milk. It’s not as effective but it’s better than nothing. However, the results you get will be dependent on how you eat. If you haven’t read my write up on what you should eat at, please do so as the P90X nutrition plan calculates way too many calories for women.

    Good luck!


  5. The P90x recovery drink has creatine in it, which is what you are more than likely feeling making you stronger and less sore. A good alternative to this would be to go get some good creatine (German Creatine Powder), and add a serving in to your protein shake and cycle how often you add it in (3 months on, 1 off). This will be essentially the same thing as the P90x recovery drink without the cost.

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