Reviews

EVLution Nutrition Recover Mode: An Evidence-Based Review

Recover Mode is a post-workout recovery supplement by EVLution Nutrition.  In short, it’s a supplement that’s supposed to enhance various aspects of recovery, ultimately making you get the most out of each and every workout.  But the question is…does it work?

EVLution Nutrition Recover Mode

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Recover Mode Claims

As EVL puts it, Recover Mode is meant to:

  • Replenish
  • Repair
  • Rebuild

But that actually doesn’t do this extensive and all encompassing formula as much credit as it actually deserves.  We appreciate the humility, but Recover Mode just about everything you need to not only support recovery, but actually put on some solid muscle and increase your physical performance as well…

But let’s get into the ingredient profile before we go drawing conclusions, shall we?

Recover Mode Ingredients

Recovery Mode packs a total of 12 active ingredients, all of which are useful in some respect and all which contribute to the efficacy of the formula as a whole…

L-Leucine

Leucine is often referred to as the “most important” of the Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) because it is the only one that directly stimulates muscle protein synthesis via activation of the enzyme, mTOR.

In fact, there’s really no evidence that either of the other BCAAs, Isoleucine and Valine, really do much in terms of building muscle.  They’re just kind of packed in there since they share a common “branched chain” structure with Leucine.

Regardless of chemical structure, however, there’s no denying that Leucine is the most important if building muscle is your goal.  You may have heard that “BCAAs are useless if you’re taking in enough protein”.  Yes, that’s true, but it’s also true that most people have no idea how much protein they should really be taking in to acheive their fitness goals.  If that’s the case, then Leucine is actually quite useful.

It’s a great supplement to ensure optimal muscle protein synthesis when you really need it (like immediately after a workout when you haven’t eaten protein in a while and your body’s requirement is increased.

The clinical range for Leucine is around 3-5 grams.  EVL has the amount of Leucine in Recovery mode listed at 2.5 grams.

L-Isoleucine

As mentioned above, Isoleucine is just one of the BCAAs, along with Leucine and Valine.  Unlike Leucine, however, Isoleucine does not stimulate muscle protein synthesis to any significant degree.

There is some preliminary evidence which suggests that Isoleucine can augment glucose uptake into muscle cells, but the degree to which it facilitates such a process is unknown (untested in humans).

The real reason EVL has included Isoleucine in the Recover Mode formula is simply because it’s one of the BCAAs, not because it actually does something.  Still, as long as it doesn’t come at the expense of Leucine, there’s nothing wrong with Isoleucine.

Unfortunately, with only 2.5g of Leucine per serving, it looks like it may at the expense of Leucine.

L-Valine

Valine, like Isoleucine, is pretty much useless in terms of building muscle.  In fact, Valine doesn’t really seem to do much of anything except maybe block Tryptophan absorption into the brain via competing for the same transporter.

Some scientists have speculated that Valine may reduce fatigue caused by Serotonin (because Tryptophan is a precursor to Serotonin), but there is no research which indicates Valine is any better at this than the other BCAAs.

Recover Mode contains 1.25 grams of Valine.

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine Monohydrate is considered the gold standard of Creatine supplements simply because it has been studied the most extensively and, so far, no other form of Creatine has proven more effective.

Creatine Monohydrate, at doses ranging from 3-10g/day, has been shown to

  • increase strength and power
  • enhance muscular endurance
  • increase muscle size
  • favorably enhance aspects of recovery

And plenty of other great stuff…

The point is that Creatine is hands down the most reliable, thoroughly researched muscle-building supplement there is.  It’s also entirely safe, even at high doses for a long period of time.

Recovery Mode contains 2250 mg of Creatine Monohydrate.

Creatine HCl

Creatine HCl is a close second to Creatine Monohydrate.  It hasn’t been studied nearly as extensively, but logic suggests that upon reaching the stomach, Creatine HCl loses it’s HCl and is reduced the basic Creatine molecule anyway.  This is simply because the stomach is abundant in Hydrocholric Acid (HCl) so the HCl portion of the Creatine HCl molecule should dissociate pretty quickly.

There’s a lot of hype out there about Creatine HCl.  Unfortunately, due to statements made by certain people with PhDs who are just trying to make a quick buck off a more expensive form of Creatine, many people are under the impression that Creatine HCl is better than Creatine Monohydrate.  To be clear, it is not.  There is absolutely no evidence suggesting that it is.

Still, the 750 mg of Creatine HCl in Recover Mode definitely helps because it brings the total Creatine content up to 3 grams which is, after all, a clinical dose.

L-Glutamine

Glutamine is…interesting, but kind of a disappointment when you take a look at the research.  After years of being touted for everything from muscle-building to performance enhancement, people are finally starting to realize that Glutamine actually doesn’t do most of the things supplement companies say it does.

We wrote on article on Glutamine that you should probably read if you’re interested in learning more about why it’s not that great, but if you don’t feel reading that, the main point is the importance of Glutamine as a supplement is ultra-inflated by supplement companies who are stuck in the 90s and early 2000s.

The truth is that supplementing with Glutamine is pretty useless except in instances of exercise exceeding 2 hours or so in duration.  This is the point when the bodys Glutamine stores become depleted and supplementing with Glutamine may support immune health if that’s the case.

But again, unless you’re exercising for hours at a time, you can probably do with it.  Recover Mode contains 3 grams, more than most Glutamine-containing supplements but still a lot less than what has been used in studies (10-15 g/day).

Beta-Alanine

Beta-Alanine is a precursor to Carnosine, a dipeptide (consisting of Beta-Alanine and Histidine) which accumulates in muscle tissue and has been shown to reduce acidosis and muscular fatigue.

You see, Carnosine reduces the amount of Lactic Acid that is able to build-up in muscle tissue during exercise, resulting in better muscular endurance.  Although Carnosine consists of two amino acids (Beta-Alanine and Histidine), Beta-Alanine is considered the “rate-limiting factor”, meaning you don’t have to worry about Histidine, just Beta-Alanine.

Beta-Alanine supplementation alone, in the amount of 3-6 g/day, has been shown to significantly increase muscular endurance in as little as 2 weeks.  The absolute lowest dose shown to still result in Carnosine accumulation is 1.6 g/day which is probably the reason why EVL uses that exact dose in Recover Mode.

Betaine Anhydrous

Betaine is an osmolyte (capable of increasing the amount of water in cells and expanding their size) which has been shown to increase strength and power output as well as enhance certain aspects of recovery.

The exact mechanism by which Betaine works is unknown but it has actually been studied fairly extensively and has consistently proven effective.  For that reason, it makes sense to supplement with Betaine if you’re concerned with building muscle and recovering better from exercise.

Here’s the thing though…

Almost every study has used a dose of 2.5 g/day and EVL only uses 1.5 g/serving in Recover Mode.

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate

L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT) is a quickly absorbed form of L-Carnitine which has been researched fairly extensively with regards to exercise.  Specifically, LCLT has been shown to reduce oxidative damage and increase muscle oxygenation, ultimately enhancing exercise recovery and possibly exercise performance as well.

The clinical range for LCLT is 1-2 g, so EVL is right on the money with Recover Mode (which contains 1 gram per serving).

L-Taurine

Taurine is a unique amino acid with anti-oxidant properties which make it useful for a variety of purposes.  In the context of Recover Mode, Taurine enhances exercise recovery similarly to L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, by limiting oxidation in muscle tissue.

It has been shown to enahnce exercise performance in one study, but has failed elsewhere, so it’s not considered entirely reliable for that.  Still, as an exercise recovery supplement, Taurine is great!

EVL lists the amount of Taurine at 1 g/serving.  This is technically within the clinical range.

Calci-K

Calci-K is a registered trademark of Albion Minerals which manufacturers and distributes it mostly to supplement companies and manufacturers who use it in products such as Recover Mode.

It’s simply a complex of Calcium, Phosphorus, and Potassium which of course has a wide variety of potential applications.  In the context of Recover Mode, Calci-K serves a source of electrolytes (Calcium, Phosphorus, and Potassium are all electrolytes).

As with any source of electrolytes, the most likely people to benefit are those who engage in long-duration, high-intensity exercise, especially in hot climates.  In such instances, Calci-K may help to replenish lost electrolytes and maintain optimal muscle function.

If you just hit the gym for an hour or two a day in the AC, you probably won’t notice much of a difference from supplementing with electrolytes.  This mixture can also be replicated for dirt cheap, so it’s not really worth a whole lot in our view but it doesn’t hurt the Recover Mode formula either, so whatever…

Black Pepper Extract

Black Pepper extract contains a molecule called Piperine which has been shown to increase the absorption of other nutrients ingested alongside it by activating certain digestive enzymes and slowing intestinal transport.

It hasn’t been studies in conjunction with every other ingredient in Recover Mode, of course, but logic suggests that it doesn’t hurt.

Recover Mode Ingredient Takeaway

When you step back and look at the ingredient profile of Recover Mode, there’s no doubt about it.  This is one of the most complete, well-formulated post-workout supplement there is.  A little more Creatine wouldn’t hurt, but overall the formula is quite well-rounded.

Is Recover Mode Safe?

Of course.  None of the ingredients in Recover Mode are stimulants so that pretty much removes the likelihood of any negative side effects completely.  You can take Recover Mode 5 times a day and nothing would go wrong…But that’d be a waste of money so don’t do it if you like not wasting your money.  One serving is really all you need…

What To Stack It With

Naturally, Recover Mode would stack well with any simiarly well-rounded pre-workout supplement, such as those that can be found on our Best Pre-Workout Supplements list.  It would be pointless to stack it with any other recovery-type supplements since Recover Mode alone provides just about everything you could possibly need to enhance your exercise recovery all-around.

Where To Buy

Recover Mode is currently only available at EVlution’s home site, EVLNutriton.com.

The Bottom Line

If you’re looking for something that will:

  • Reduce Soreness And Speed Up Recovery
  • Build Muscle
  • Increase Strength/Performance

Than you’ll want to give Recover Mode a shot.  This is definitely one of the Best Post-Workout Recovery Supplements we’ve seen so far.

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