Vital Performance Recover by Vital Proteins is a flavoured nutrition supplement product that is designed to be a post-workout recovery drink.
This is pretty clear from the name, but also from the ingredient list which we’re going to cover in a little more detail, and then discuss ingredient by ingredient.
About Vital Performance Recover
Vital Performance Recover is a single product and thus a single use – they’re single-use containers.
This does mean it compares slightly differently to a post-workout powder that you would mix yourself, like the Performance Lab SPORT Post, or even a protein powder.
The ingredients present a really interesting mix and we don’t review pre-made supplements like this often, so it’s going to be a thought-provoking one!
Read on if you’re interested in how to recover from a workout, and if/how Vital Performance Recover can help!
Vital Performance Recover Supplement Facts
The most important key facts are going to be on the ingredient label, so we’re including that for your reference.
There’s a lot you can learn from this label, so you can give it a read. We’re going to discuss each ingredient for its effects and role anyway.
This is a liquid product and is sold by the bottle, which is going to mean you don’t have much control over dosage. Also, it produces some economy questions we’ll discuss later on.
Directions for Use
This is one of the easiest directions for use you’ll ever see on a supplement: drink it.
It’s a single serving and sold one serving at a time, so you’re going to just pop the lid and drink it.
It’s going to handle everything else since it’s pre-mixed, has a set dose, and is convenient for use.
Obviously, as a post-recovery supplement it should be consumed after a workout for the best results.
What is in it?
Vitamins and Minerals:
This product contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, which is an important aspect of what it does for your health.
We’re going to outline the basics and discuss their key benefits, but consider that these could be consumed easily elsewhere. And with a few exceptions for specific combos!
Vitamin B complex:
B vitamins are included because they’re crucial for energy metabolism and you’re probably not getting enough.
This supplementary intake is pretty good since it allows you to top up and maintain your metabolic health in the aftermath of a tough workout.
These are a good inclusion and the doses here are pretty standard for the market, getting around 50% of your RDA for the key essential B vitamins.
This is perhaps the most important ingredient in the vitamin complex because it combines with collagen peptides very well.
Vitamin C is crucial for collagen synthesis in the body and the proper use of it in the tissues like muscles, tendons, and bones.
These are the key recovery benefits of this product. And the synergies between vitamin C and collagen peptides really do a ton of the work in your recovery after a workout.
Great ingredient, great combo – though we would like to see more than 50% of your RDA in this product!
Magnesium, Potassium, and Sodium (Electrolyte complex):
This electrolyte complex is relatively weak compared to some we’ve seen on the market. Especially since it is a key part of rehydration after a workout.
There is only one other pro-hydration ingredient in this product (taurine), so we’d like to see a more potent electrolyte mix.
The Potassium content is very low, which is a concern since potassium is one of the most important electrolytes for health and rehydration.
As a result, this product misses a trick.
This is perhaps the best part of the product, since it is one of the scientifically verified choices and probably the most powerful ingredient.
Collagen is a protein that does a ton of different things in the body from muscular health, to tendon strengthening, to maintaining bones and skin.
These are cool benefits and we definitely like them, especially since most people don’t get collagen into their diets nowadays.
The benefits are wide and the dosage here is pretty good. Though it does seem like one of the outstanding ingredients, of which there aren’t many.
This is a good choice, but it would likely be better combined with a protein powder than in a post-workout amino acid drink.
A great ingredient, but perhaps not enough to carry the whole product – yet to be seen!
This is an interesting choice, because it’s only really useful during deficiency states.
While this can be useful to avoid acute deficiency after a workout, it’s not going to be a huge player in recovery. And could easily be consumed from food or other sources.
If anything, glutamine makes more sense before/during exercise to improve endurance performance.
It is useful to keep glutamine levels up during recovery, but the effects of post-exercise glutamine aren’t necessarily more effective just by being sooner than food sources.
Overall, not the best ingredient and a little confused!
Taurine is most useful for its rehydration effects, but it’s not a significant benefit to the way you recover otherwise.
It’s an interesting inclusion but would probably be better replaced with effective electrolyte/hydration support.
The effects of taurine are positive, but they aren’t really packing the same punch that something like creatine, glycine/glycerol, or a salt complex would.
It’s a good choice but it does feel like it should be secondary to something more powerful.
Proprietary Blend: Ingredient Choices
BCAAs (role of ratios)
This is a sub-group of essential amino acids that are arguably some of the most important – especially Leucine.
The problem with this product is that there’s not a clear measure of how much you’re getting.
Both the total BCAA content and the ratio of Leucine, Valine and Isoleucine just isn’t clear.
A good ratio of 2-3 parts leucine for each part valine and isoleucine mirrors the body’s needs. However, we have no way of knowing if that’s what’s in Vital Performance Recover.
This concerns us because the total BCAA content and ratio is an important way of comparing it to other products on the market. Or figuring out if it’s going to be effective.
You want a dose somewhere around 3-6g with a 2:1:1 or 3:1:1 ratio, but this product just isn’t clear about its content.
All of which means we don’t know how effective the BCAA inclusion is at all!
Proprietary blends suck, and even more so in compounds like BCAAs or caffeine where dosages are key!
Amino Acid Complex
This is a compound that is primarily useful for its contribution to your overall Dopamine levels.
It’s one of the raw materials your body is going to need, and it is used to produce dopamine in the body.
This is a neurotransmitter that improves mood and helps support mental wellbeing.
Through its effects on mood and fatigue, it could help you recover, but it’s pretty tentative in a post-workout product.
This would be a good secondary ingredient, but this product doesn’t pack much of a punch with primary ingredients, so it’s a bit of a waste.
This is an essential amino acid, but it’s an example of something you can get elsewhere – like food – and won’t really benefit from supplementing.
There’s no clear indication that this is going to help you recover, or that you need to supplement it when diet could easily provide histidine.
This is a part of the SAMe complex and it is another essential amino acid.
It’s another ingredient that would make some sense for health and wellbeing if it was a secondary choice. But, this product doesn’t have a strong enough primary ingredient to make this a good choice.
Methionine is a reasonable choice and part of the amino acids you need in your diet. But you can get them from food and they’re not going to directly improve your exercise performance.
This is an awesome amino acid for supporting mood and focus, which is useful after a workout to restore your energy levels.
It also helps regulate mood so, unlike a stimulant, it’s not going to disturb sleep quality.
This can help even you out after a workout, but it won’t be comparable to something simple like a green tea.
It’s a good choice but the overall psychological effects of this product are relatively gentle, so we’re not sold on that aspect.
Vital Performance Recover Formula Analysis
To an extent, this product will offer benefits in a few key areas. There’s a huge drop off between the main benefits – collagen-induced recovery – and other effects like rehydration and mineral replenishment.
It’s effectively a collagen drink with some secondary benefits that are pretty weak by comparison.
Obviously, this is fine if you’re specifically looking for support for muscles, joints, and bones – but that’s possible without spending $5 for a bottle of collagen water.
The main benefits are useful – combining vitamin C and collagen is great. However, we think there should be more vitamin C and more potassium to support the best possible synergy, which would be easy for this product.
The inclusion of key amino acids is pretty good, too, but many of them are hidden behind a proprietary blend.
This includes the branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) which are some of the most important amino acids in this product.
Overall, this is an expensive product that does some awesome things relatively well, but could easily be so much better.
It does feel like this product has one trick and it doesn’t do that optimally.
The benefits are there, it’s just disappointing that it could be so much better with a few small tweaks and some smarter ingredient choices.
Also, if manufacturers would stop hiding important dosages behind proprietary blends that would be great.
Vital Proteins Performance Recovery Benefits
The main benefits here are collagen related: support for the muscles, joints, and bones.
These are great if you’re concerned with them – either recovering from an injury or if you’re training for longevity and healthy aging.
Equally, if you’re doing strength training for a sport, this could be a decent choice.
Collagen peptides do a lot, and the amino acids in this product can be quite handy.
The vitamins and minerals are quite useful, but not the most potent on the market. And nothing you couldn’t get from market alternatives and eating your veggies!
Who Takes It?
Treat this product like a collagen peptide drink, first and foremost. If you’re looking to support muscles and joints after a workout, this is the kind of thing you should be looking at.
We will say, however, that there are likely alternatives on the market you could use that do this at least as well with less cost.
For example, you could buy powdered collagen and mix it with a high-quality mid-digesting protein source like Performance Lab Protein.
The combination of protein and collagen peptides is superior since it reduces the risk of collagen peptide breakdown to cover muscular protein needs.
This lets it work more effectively for things like joints, which is what it’s for.
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Any Potential Side Effects from Vital Performance Recovery?
You’re not likely to get any side effects from this product. It’s a combination of things you’re already getting from food, just in higher concentrations.
If you have any personal intolerances to the ingredients we’ve mentioned, discuss it with your doctor or give this product a miss.
There’s no way of knowing your individual medical history, but your medical professional does, so stick with their advice.
- Collagen peptides are awesome
- Vitamin and mineral complex is pretty good
- Post-workout amino acids can be a useful addition
- Collagen peptides are better as part of a larger protein intake
- Vitamins and minerals are a little under-dosed for some of their uses in this product
- We have no idea if the amino acid content/ratios are effective because of the proprietary blend!
- Very expensive
Price & Buying Info
Despite the benefits of the product and the relatively interesting approach it takes, there’s no way this is going to compare well with any other product on the market.
It’s a per-bottle product which would be fine, except the bottles are $5 each.
Let’s just quickly run the maths on that compared to our favorite post-workout product, the Performance Lab SPORT Post.
The former is $5 per serving, while you get roughly 20-25 capsules of the latter for that same $5.
Clearly, the price of this product is going to be huge, which also includes some convenience issues.
We like capsules and powders since they introduce some convenience, but this product doesn’t offer that.
There are some serious logistical challenges to this product, even if we do like some aspects of its design!
Vital Performance Recovery Review
This product strikes us as a combination of wasted potential and extremely weird logistics.
Ordering a $5 bottle is a huge expense and, on top of that, it’s got a design that seems massively confused.
The choice of collagen peptides is awesome. However, the actual implementation is lacking when the synergies are weak, and the secondary ingredients are either unclear or poorly selected.
The result is a product with a flash of brilliance, surrounded by much less impressive ingredients, doses, and manufacturing practices.
Strip away the proprietary blends, change some ingredients, and increase the potassium/vitamin C content and this could be a great choice.
It’d still be overpriced, and maybe still inferior to alternatives, but it would be better.
As it stands, this product is probably a 3/5 at best, and even then a hugely costly one!