Product Review: Fluid Sports Nutrition Cinnamon Vanilla Vegan Recovery Drink

Art’s Cyclery is not an olympic training center, nor a professional sports research lab, so quantifying the effects of one nutritional product over another will always be somewhat subjective. We don’t perform max-effort-to-exhaustion treadmill tests the day after a hard training effort. We can tell you how we feel on an evening ride after getting in a lunch ride the same day. We also know which products we like, and which sit on the shelves.


Photo: Ian Matteson

You may think that we use any and all recovery product sent our way, but you would be wrong. While there is a stack of nutritional drink mixes within easy reach, there are many cans that have long since passed their expiration date. Several popular, big name products sit gathering dust, unused after the initial disappointing ingestion. This is resolutely not the case with the latest recovery mix to come through the office. Lasting all of a few days, our tub of Fluid Sports Nutrition Cinnamon Vanilla Vegan Recovery Drink received enthusiastic double-thumbs ups from all testers.

Richard Smith, Fluid’s founder and CEO, was concerned that his vegetarian and vegan friends couldn’t use the original whey-based Fluid Recovery. Committing himself to finding a solution, Richard finally settled on peas as a source of protein. Pea protein contains all essential amino acids, making it a “complete protein.” It’s high in arginine, lysine, and phenylalanine, which are important for immune function, heart health, calcium absorption, and inflammation reduction. With no soy, lactose (whey-based Fluid is lactose-free too), or glutens, pea protein digests easily without causing belly bloat. It’s also the most hypoallergenic protein out there, making it safe for almost everyone. Slower digesting than whey, pea protein won’t get into your muscles quite as quickly, so you may want to adjust your schedule to ingest it as soon as possible.

Previously, our gold standard for flavor was Fluid’s Chocolate Wave Recovery Drink. While it’s still at the top spot on the podium, Chocolate Wave now shares the honor with Cinnamon Vanilla. Some drink mixes are overly sweet, some taste “fake” (you know it when you taste it), and some are just plain gross. Fluid’s Vegan Recovery is a treat, no two ways about it. If you’ve ever had California-style horchata, you know just what Fluid Cinnamon Vanilla Recovery tastes like. Fluid’s slightly creamy, perfectly sweet, and cinnamonly-spicy drink mix is delicious just with water, but a splash of almond milk really makes it shine. Knowing that a cold shaker of this stuff sits waiting for you is enough to provide all the motivation needed to push it harder on your ride: It’s simply scrumptious.

Photo: Ian Matteson

Not only is Fluid’s Cinnamon Vanilla Vegan Recovery delicious, but it does its job excellently. Fluid and other reputable nutrition brands claim that the 3:1 carb to protein ratio maximizes lean muscle mass recovery, and effectively restocks muscle glycogen without the possibility of excess carbs being stored as fat, as some research shows that 4:1 ratios are prone to do. From experience, we’re sold on the effectiveness of Fluid Recovery, enjoying plenty of soreness-free next-day workouts. Consuming Fluid Vegan Recovery after the day’s first spin resulted in fresher legs and more power on tap for the evening ride. We didn’t notice much, if any, difference in performance between whey-based Chocolate Wave and pea-based Vanilla Cinnamon. The bottom line for recovery drinks is taste, and everyone at Art’s has been raving about Cinnamon Vanilla since it hit our warehouse.

Fluid scored a bullseye with Vegan Cinnamon Vanilla Recovery. Very effective, exceptionally tasty, and made with high quality ingredients, this is our new favorite recovery drink.