I agree with those who suggest that in most cases, assuming the person in question eats a sensible, well-balanced diet and stays well hydrated, recovery beverages following intense resistance training aren’t necessary.
If they are consumed, read the label carefully for total calorie content, fat content, simple sugar content and source of protein. I also agree that whey protein is most readily absorbed and assimilated.
“Necessary?” Generally speaking NO. I just sat in on a webinar on this very subject. The speaker was Nancy Clark a renowned sports nutritionist and author. The gist of the webinar was that in most (if not all) cases, an “engineered” recovery meal or snack (which would include manufactured recovery beverages) are NOT necessary. What is necessary (or at least highly recommended) in the case of high-intensity, or long endurance workouts or competitions is that some sort of a recovery snack or meal is taken in.
While not “necessary,” of course, what is important after a high-intensity workout or competition is that you intake a recovery snack or meal that does the job. As Ms. Clark recommended, a combination of a carbohydrate for replenishing the depleted glycogen stores, and protein for repair to the muscles. The bottom-line is that whatever recovery snack or meal that a person takes in is entirely up to them (it’s more a matter of taste, and budget) – whether it is a commercial recovery drink, manufactured recovery snack, or actual food intended to enhance recovery. What’s most important is that they intake something to aid in recovery from their high-intensity workout.
I hope this helps.
Generally speaking, for most people, it’s a good idea. Mostly because we have trouble getting the nutrients we need to fully recover from an intense workout. A recovery shake or smoothie can help until you get actual food into your body.
That being said, be sure to have a doctor, nutritionist, dietician, certified health coach, etc., go over sound nutritional practices for you based on your current health and training objectives.
Oh, and I do have a recovery smoothie that is berry based on intense workout days =)