Mark Wolff’s alias of the fitness freak, doesn’t only apply to how he trains; but more importantly how he fuels! He has a really incredible recovery drink (which can be used during endurance exercise as well), which features both 32Gi Recover and TrueStart Coffee. Hear more on our latest podcast.
That’s right, you’re listening to 32Gi Sports Nutrition with myself, Mr Active, David Katz and Mark Wolff and we’ve got a great topic for you today. Mark always does this fantastic drink, recovery drink mostly, where he combines the 32Gi Recover with the TrueStart coffee which is also fantastic. It is the most delicious thing and it has some fantastic benefits. Mark, welcome onto the podcast, as always. I know you’re notorious for mixing up fantastic recovery drinks and this one is simple yet very effective.
Mark Wolff: Yes Dave, I love having an ice-cold shake at the end of a very long, hot training session. I don’t just mix things together for taste, I mix things together because I’m looking at the functional properties of it, in other words, how is it going to help me.
The perfect recovery for fasted (all) athletes
It’s no secret that I do a lot of fasted training, so recovery is very, very crucial to me. When I go out on a long, hard session and it’s been hours out in the sun, there’s a couple of things that I look at when I return.
The first thing is obviously, from a recovery aspect, I look at getting protein into my system, I look at glycogen replenishment, and obviously I look at rehydration, stabilising my blood sugar.
Those are the aspects that I generally focus on and I try to do it in the most, put it this way, the healthiest possible way. I like to mix nutrient dense if I possibly can. If I look at combining the chocolate Recover with the TrueStart, it’s just one of those that I don’t have to actually take my time to prepare. I can prepare it before I go and stick it in the fridge and when I come back it’s already done and ready to drink.
A lot of people ask me why do I do that, and it’s quite simple. I’ve got protein, I’ve got carbohydrates and I’ve got caffeine. From a recovery perspective, yes, I do need protein in the system, it also helps satiate me, it keeps me feeling a little bit stable, and it takes away a bit of the hunger cravings for later on.
Obviously the carbohydrates help with replenishing my glycogen stores and stabilising my blood sugar. A lot of people don’t realise this, but if you add caffeine to a carbohydrate post-exercise, it can help speed up your glycogen stores for up to 59% faster.
Caffeine does have a benefit post-exercise. The reason I use TrueStart is because it’s measured caffeine. I know exactly how much caffeine is in the coffee, and I know exactly how much coffee then to add to my shake. It is a very, very carefully thought out little shake, but I must admit, it’s an absolute dessert. It’s a mochaccino, it tastes delicious and it’s got all the properties I need to quickly get an immediate recovery.
How to adapt Mark’s “mochaccino” to suit you
DK: Mark, it’s using the Recover product, of course TrueStart, people have varied diets. Some people are looking for more carbs in a recovery, some people are more protein, others want dairy. I know you just use water, what are additives that people could use, say if someone wanted to make it a bit more carb or protein based?
MW: Look, I think when I do a recovery shake and I’m talking about smoothies and people that follow me on Instagram know that I post pictures of smoothies all the time. I come up with various recipes; I try and keep them as healthy as possible. I always start with a protein content. I need to know how much protein I’m going to take per serving. Yes, there’s a variety of proteins you can utilise. I stick to a vegetable protein.
I am lactose intolerant; I do not do well with whey protein. If you’re not lactose intolerant, there’s nothing wrong with taking in a whey protein, of course, so I stick to plant based proteins at the moment. I do use a pea protein isolate, 32Gi Recover is a pea protein isolate combined with a carbohydrate. I take a measured amount, it can be anywhere between maybe 15-25g of protein maximum, because you’re not really going to absorb much more than that.
Great recovery smoothie additive options
I then look at what carbohydrates I’m going to add to mix and generally I go with a healthy carb first. It could be spinach, I sometimes add some mango, sometimes frozen banana, sometimes papaya, blueberries. I then look at saying, okay, what good fats can I add in there? Sometimes I blend an avocado into it or half an avocado into that mix. With the fruit people think it doesn’t sound too good, but let me tell you, it gives it a nice thick, creamy taste. You won’t taste the avocado; you’ll definitely taste the actual sweetness of the smoothie.
Then I generally add in some healthy fats and proteins in the form of a nut butter. If I’m really depleted and I need a little bit extra sugar into my system, I’ll probably add some raw honey. Then I look at other additives such as glutamine and I actually also add collagen in. I’m getting old, so I like to look after my joints, I eat collagen as well. Those are the things that I generally mix into the smoothie.
As far as the liquid goes, I generally add in an almond or a coconut or rice milk, again, I don’t use dairy because I’m lactose intolerant, so that’s what I stick to. It works extremely well and to add a little bit more antioxidant to the meal, sometimes I’ll add in either some more greens and some raw cocoa or cacao which just enriches it a little bit more. That’s generally how I make up a smoothie.
There’s so many different varieties, but that’s something that again, if you’ve got a blender, it’s quick and it’s easy and it can be very, very healthy. If you don’t want a shake, then obviously there are plenty of other options from a meal point of view, it just takes more time and preparation to make it.
DK: Mark, generally it is a recovery thing to have within that golden hour, but at the same time, people are doing these long endurance events; be it mountain biking, be it road cycling, be it even just hiking or the likes of the two big ultras we have in South Africa, the Two Oceans or Comrades. I know in those instances it’s that basic combination of Recover and TrueStart, you’ve utilised, you’ve tested it on the elite athletes and it could be a very good thing to have during a race as well?
Recover & TrueStart – more than a recovery combo
MW: It works phenomenally well during a race. We know that a 1:3 protein to carb ratio can help delay the onset of fatigue, it works extremely well. I utilise that exact mix for Comrades Marathon runners, it’s mostly what I’ve set the guys en route. They’ve got the carbs in their system, they’ve got protein in their system, plus they’ve got the caffeine.
In an endurance event, you want to stay awake, you want to stay alert, but again, caffeine has to be measured caffeine. You can’t be guessing how much caffeine is in a particular product, you need to know exactly how much is in there and how much you’re going to be taking per hour. Obviously we measure that out specifically per an individual. Yes, before, during, after, absolutely nothing wrong with blending those together. It’s a very versatile mix.
DK: Mark, sounds fantastic and that mochaccino sounds very good. Not only fantastic in terms of recovery and what it will do for you, but also for a lot of people, is it about taste. Thanks for your time and we’ll catch up with you again soon right here on 32Gi Sports Nutrition.