Best Protein Recovery Drinks For Runners

The Winners

Best overall protein recovery drink: 

Endurox R4 Post Workout Rrecovery (Amazon Link)

12 Week HMTP v1.1

Created By An RRCA Level 2 Running Coach!


Best Overall protein recovery bar (Amazon Link)

Protein Crisp Bar (Amazon Link)


Best Protein Recovery Products For Runners

Yeti Tumbler 2

Tight schedules and heavy training loads make protein bars and drinks convenient choices for those in need of muscle recovery. The ‘magic window’ to consume your protein shake or bar is fifteen to thirty minutes after finishing your run, but the sooner the better. Dieticians say protein will significantly speed up your recovery after a long run.

Make sure you’re hydrating lots and not skimping on the carbs.
But don’t overdo it! 10 to 25 grams of protein is more than enough. And keep an
eye on your ratios. Carbohydrate-to-protein ratios of 4:1 or 3:1 are best. That
means it should have 3 to 4 times higher the amount of protein compared to the amount of carbohydrates.

This list of the 10 best recovery protein snacks for runners is a great support tool for your training goals. Let’s take a look.

This post includes affiliate links for which, LERK Publishing, LLC., may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase.

Skratch Labs Recovery Drink With Chocolate


With a 4:1 carb-to-protein ratio, simple ingredients, and no artificial sweeteners, Skratch Labs Recovery Drink is our number one choice. This drink is the real deal: designed especially for post-run muscle recovery with the recommended ratio.

It’s easy on the stomach because it contains both probiotics and lactase for those who are lactose intolerant. With a creamy chocolate milk taste that mixes well, your muscle will have no trouble recovering and training again tomorrow. 

It comes in three flavors: Chocolate, Coffee, and Horchata. (Amazon Links)

Iconic Protein Drink


This drink is perfect for those who don’t want quite so many calories but still want that high protein count. Iconic’s Protein Drink tastes great and consistently rates well among buyers. Keto-friendly, with 0 grams of sugar, this protein shake is made with milk from grass-fed cows.

This protein drink contains a healthy dose of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. It’s lactose, gluten, soy, carrageenan-free, and full of amino acids and BCAA’s that offer you excellent muscle recovery. This is undoubtedly one of the cleanest protein recovery shakes on the market.

Vega Sport Vegan Protein Bar


Vega is well known for its delicious protein powders, but these protein bars have just the right protein-to-carb ratio. Not only that, but they contain 3.5 grams of BCAA’s, which will help with your muscle recovery, as well as tart cherry. This natural ingredient decreases muscle inflammation.

Vega’s sports bars are vegan, gluten, and dairy-free and have a similar flavor profile to the Clif Builder’s bar. Although they might be a little on the dry side, so keep a glass of water handy. 

Other Flavors:

Runner's Recovery Mix


Runner’s Recovery Mix does it all. Not only will it restore your electrolytes, but it’s chock full of vitamins and minerals. The BCAA’s and EFA’s it contains will give your body everything it needs to recover your muscles from a long run.

Each serving contains 210 calories, 23 grams of protein, and 24 grams of carbohydrate. The taste is not the best, but most health-conscious runners will consider this a win because it has only 3 grams of sugar. 

BSN Syntha-6 Protein Crisp (Peanut Butter)


With 20 grams of protein, 2-4 grams of sugar, and 240 calories, these bars are perfect for your post-training regime. They offer an excellent source of just the right amount of energy, and the carb-to-protein ratio is decent. However, they are a little high on the calorie count, so save them for those high-intensity or long runs. 

Their taste is not the best, but it’s similar to other protein bars and comes in many different flavors that are all gluten-free.

Other Flavors:

Shanti Recovery Bar (White Chocolate)


This plant-protein-based bar is an excellent option for those looking for a protein bar that’s paleo-friendly, organic, gluten-free, and zero sugar. Depending on the flavor, Shanti’s Recovery Bar line offers 10-17 grams of protein. These bars are nutrient-dense and full of prebiotics and macronutrients that will boost your performance and aid your recovery. 

The Mango cashew turmeric recovery bar has 17 grams of protein, 24 carbs, and 230 calories. And best of all, it was designed by two enthusiastic athletic chefs who know just what you need after a long run.

Other Flavors:

Endurox R4 Post Workout Recovery Drink Mix


Like the Skratch Labs Recovery drink above, this recovery drink from Endurox has the correct carb-to-protein ratio (4:1) that’s guaranteed to speed up your muscle recovery after those intense runs.

Endurox boasts that its products are backed by science with a 55% increase in endurance during day-after workouts. But it’s not all good news. With 39 grams of sugar, it’s undoubtedly one of the sweetest products on this list. And although they use natural whey protein, which is recommended for runners, the chemical taste will turn some buyers off.

Other Flavors:

Quest Protein Bar


From an ingredient point of view, Quest’s protein bars are some of the better protein bars on the market. 

High in protein but low in carbohydrate, these bars are chewy and crunchy – they almost feel like a forbidden treat. They come in many flavors, such as apple pie and oatmeal chocolate chip, but the chocolate chip cookie dough is our favorite.

That being said, the ingredients in these bars are more extensive than those on a few of the other bars on this list, and the high fiber can leave some stomachs upset.

CLIF Builders Protein Bar


These protein bars pack a punch. Each 68-gram bar gives your body 20 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrates, and 280 calories. But unlike a few other mixes and bars on this list, CLIF Builders lack L-glutamine, creatine, and BCAA’s. This means they might not be the best recovery option on this list, especially given the high-calorie count. 

That being said, they taste good, include 13 essential vitamins and minerals, are made with non-GMO ingredients, and have a low glycemic index. These certainly are a quick and easy way to get protein after a long run. 

Muscle Milk Original Protein Shake


Muscle milk has long been considered a go-to recovery protein drink for all kinds of workouts. With 34 grams of protein, it certainly offers one of the highest protein counts on this list. If your an endurance runner training for a marathon or a trail run, this will undoubtedly refuel you with its 320 calories.

Muscle milk uses whey protein powder, only 5 grams of sugar, and it tastes great… or at least it used to. Many buyers loved the taste of Muscle Milk until they changed their formula in recent years. 

This is one of my favorite protein shakes. 

Best Protein Recovery Drinks For Runners

Coach Scott