Amino Acid products are still under a lot of scrutiny in our industry due to some outrageous claims, outdated studies, and under-dosed products. While it is true, most of us can achieve all the amino acids we need with a well-balanced diet, both BCAA (branched chain amino acids) and EAA (essential amino acids) play a key role in muscle protein synthesis, muscle rebuilding, and general recovery. In early 2018 the supplement industry shifted its focus to EAA’s or EAA/BCAA combos rather than just BCAA’s. Most of these products are more than just aminos; many contain adaptogens, sleep enhancers, and other performance enhancing products that take amino acids to the next level.
This new wave of amino acid products is highlighted by Virtus Sports Nutrition’s new amino acid combo product RI’KEVERE (pronounced Recovery as we will call it). Recovery is more than just an amino acid product; it’s a comprehensive amino acid, electrolyte, recovery and power performance enhancer, capped off by bioavailability enhancers to ensure you’re getting everything the label claims. Modern Athletic Health had the chance to sample both flavors of Recovery and review our experience with the product. Check out the detailed review below including our full write up of the MASSIVE list of ingredients included in this Recovery!
Ri’kevere is offered in two flavors as of right now.
Strawberry Banana: We were a little scared to try the Strawberry Banana flavor because it isn’t usually a flavor you think of when dealing with thin, water-based supplements. Usually when you see strawberry banana, you think of a protein, weight gainer, or meal replacement supplement because of its close ties to a thicker, milkshake consistency. Virtus Sports Nutrition may have changed the game with their strawberry banana flavored RI’KEVERE. The flavor tastes EXACTLY like a thin version of a smoothie with NO artificial aftertaste. More often than not, both strawberry and banana flavors are hard to stomach because they rarely ever taste “natural”. Virtus nailed this combo better than most smoothie makers do.
Merica Pop: As if the Strawberry Banana wasn’t impressive enough, Merica Pop tastes exactly what you would imagine. Imagine yourself sipping on a melted bomb pop on a hot summer day; Merica pop is just that with a hint more sweetness. Merica Pop quenches your thirst while providing the right amount of sweetness to curb your cravings. Pouring this over shaved ice or turning it into ice cubes might make for another delicious way to enjoy your favorite supplement or low-calorie beverage!
As with all amino acid products we like to double check the mixability, because let’s face it, most aminos don’t mix well. Recovery is made with Compound Solutions’ patented Instamino’s-- which we have seen before and loved. As expected, Recovery passed the stir test (which we stir the aminos with a spoon in water instead of shaking on a bottle) and left little to no residue on the bottom of the glass. Even in smaller amounts of water, the Instamino’s mix up amazingly well; along with the other ingredients in this product.
Much like their pre-workout Kronos, Recovery boasts an impressive ingredient list that covers the entire intra-workout spectrum. In one scoop (12 grams) you are getting 5 different supplementation aspects ranging from electrolytes, to bioavailability enhancers, to crucial muscle repairing EAA’s. Let’s dive into each category in Recovery and find out a little more about what makes this such a comprehensive intra workout supplement.
Vitamins and minerals:
We all know B Vitamins and electrolytes play a crucial role in muscle function and overall health and wellness. Recovery added 100% of your DV (daily value) of Vitamins B3, B6, and B12 in just one scoop. Normally, we see an overabundance, sometimes ranging in the 1000% range of these daily vitamins. Sometimes less is more and realistically those high amounts won’t make you feel any better than a standard 100%. Kudos to Virtus for putting a calculated amount into Recovery instead of loading it up and putting those flashy numbers on the label. Recovery also comes with 100mg of sodium, 99mg of Potassium, and 100mg of Magnesium, all important to muscle function, cognition, and everyday health and wellness. We have seen a recent trend showing pre and intra workout products using electrolytes more frequently and applaud Virtus for getting on board.
Anabolic Muscle Rebuilding Complex:
• HICA-750mg: Hica, or more commonly referred to as Leucic acid, is a metabolite of the amino acid Leucine. Leucine is more commonly known as the driving force behind muscle protein synthesis. Studies suggest that HICA provides users with anti-cataboliceffects in as little as 1-1.5g per day while also showing promise for lean body mass, lowered fat mass, and increases in recovery. HICA has been thought to be more potent by itself than BCAA’s with regards to muscle sparing and anti-catabolism.
• L-Dopa-100mg: derived from the velvet bean, or Mucuna pruriens, L-Dopa has been shown to be a precursor to dopamine, adrenalin, and noradrenaline. Studies suggest that L-Dopa has the ability to affect cognition, influence libido, and improve mood. Some studies also suggest that L-Dopa has the ability to lower post workout cortisol, the stress hormone.
Essential 4:1:1 BCAA/EAA Matrix-7,775mg
While we know by now BCAA’s by themselves are really only good for anti-catabolism in protein deficient individuals, when combined with EAA they make a pretty solid team; especially fermented aminos. Not only does the combination of fermented aminos create less particles and residue in your cup, they are also a “cleaner” form of amino acids. For those that do not know, most amino acid products are derived from hair, skin, or feathers, of humans or animals. Fermented vegan aminos are derived from corn or other plants and are not processed in old outdated ways. Each scoop of Recovery is packed with over 7g of amino acids that can help stimulate muscle protein synthesis and start the recovery process before your workout even ends!
Power and Endurance Recovery Matrix-1000mg:
Simply put, Peak O2 by compound solutions is one of the top ingredients in the supplement industry today. Peak O2 is a combination of 6 carefully selected adaptogens that help you to have more power, improved recovery, longer workouts, better performance, and improved strength. While it may seem strange, these adaptogens are all derived from various types of mushrooms, meaning Peak O2 is 100% USDA certified organic, vegan, all natural, and non-GMO while also including powerful antioxidants as well! This ingredient is safe, and has been shown to improve your performance in as little as 7-days. Clearly one of our favorite ingredients from Compound Solutions.
Nutrient Bioavailability and Electrolyte Replenishment Matrix-399mg:
As we mentioned above, Virtus included Sodium, Magnesium, and Potassium into Recovery, but also added freeze dried coconut water into the mix as well! Studies show that coconut water has substantially more electrolytes than the leading “sports drink” while also containing much less sugar. As we stated above, this ingredient is crucial to help your muscles function properly while also allowing for improved cognition, body functions, and prevention of muscle cramps.
Last but not least, our favorite absorption aid, Astragin. We have seen this in countless products on the market and feel it is the best bioavailability enhancer the market has seen to date. Just 25mg of Astragin has been shown to increase bioavailability and absorption of amino acids, minerals, vitamins, and other ingredients that it is paired with. Astragin prevents the loss and break down of ingredients as it enters the GI tract and ensures your muscles and body gets everything it needs to perform at its peak.
Price: Virtus Sports Nutrition is running a great deal on not just Recovery, but all of their products right now! If you head over to https://virtussportsnutrition.com/shop/ and use code VIRTUS30 at checkout, you are going to save 30% off your ENTIRE order! That brings Recovery down to $34.99 for a 30 serving tub of this top-rated recovery product of 2018! While you’re over there, checkout some of their other great products like Kronos, the comprehensive pre-workout experience or their all-in-one weight loss product, Helio.
Where most intra-workouts fall short, Recovery finishes the job. Most amino acid-based products focus on just that, often leaving out other important ingredients that fully encompass what intra-workout supplements are supposed to do. Recovery is full of both BCAA’s and EAA’s, while also packed with powerful recovery enhancers, adaptogens, endurance boosters, electrolytes and bioavailability increasers. Here is what we noticed from our usage:
• Increased endurance/number of reps done. (both aerobic and anaerobic endurance)
• Longer workouts with ease-felt fresh at the beginning of each new exercise
• Reduced time between sets
• Reduced DOMS and muscle soreness eliminated quicker
• Reduction of cramping/muscle spasms
• Overall improved recovery
• Slight increase in pump/water retention
• Improved effects of other supplements taken with Recovery (more energy, mental clarity, focus, etc.)
These were just a few of the effects we noticed while using Recovery over the course of a couple weeks!
With 3 patented ingredients and a list of other clinically studied and dosed ingredients, Recovery is the real deal when looking to take your workouts to the next level. Not only does the product do exactly what the labels claim, but Virtus made the small things, such as flavor, mixability, and small serving size (12g) a priority as well. We can see Recovery gain popularity quickly and become one of the top intra-workout products before 2018 is over. Head on over to www.virtussportsnutrition.com today and don’t forget the code Virtus30 at checkout to get a 30% discount on your whole order. Don’t get caught up in the hyper of overpriced and under dosed amino acid products, get true recovery today with Virtus Sports Nutrition’s Recovery.