Anyone who has ever taken protein shakes before heading tot he gym knows the best thing you can ever take beforehand is a Muscle Milk. OK, well there are some that deride it, but that is like dissing on Gatorade if you are a football player – no one takes you seriously. I have only had one complaint with Muscle Milk – no caffeine.
While I have not seen any caffeinated Muscle Milk, the people behind it, CytoSport, have released something that works just as well for hard cardio in the gym – Fast Twitch. Unfortunately it is not in nearly as cool as container as their other products, but for powering into and recovering from intense cardio, I am very impressed.
Fast Twitch describes a certain kind of muscle fibers, that control something or another – really don’t know or care. I dont even know what that has to do with workout drinks, but apparently they do. According to their site, “the nitric oxide enhancing system in Fast Twitch provides important nutrients to enhance blood flow and oxygen delivery to exercising muscle that help speed the recovery process”. I have no clue what that means either. I would call shenanigans on the whole thing, except this drink truly is a killer in the gym.
For being a plain ol’ PET bottle, they really pushed this to the extreme. Firstly, it is a big 20oz bottle, although it still fits into a stationary bike cup holder pretty easily. It is very busy – but they pushed all the important information tot eh top, and let the unimportant stuff blend into the background. The bottle is widemouthed, so it is supremely easy to suck down – and the printing is very nicely done too. They handily list the caffeine (twice!) as well as other nutrients in a very easy to read fashion. While they did not go out on a limb with design or uniqueness, they made a pet bottle function about as well as one possibly can.
They did a great job here with the flavor too. The one I picked up is flavored purple; not grape – but actually purple flavored. If you have recently eaten a purple otter pop you will know what I am talking about. This does not taste grapey or even berry – just purple and yummy. When compared to other purple flavored sport drinks, this easily kicks Powerade and Gatorade’s ass. This is the same sort of flavor, only Fast Twitch is less sweet and more salty – really refreshing me on the treadmill. I loved how this was not sticky, and was so easy to guzzle down in the middle of a hard workout.
Of course, I would not get near this if I wasn’t working out. There is something about the saltiness and medicinal tinge which always is off putting if you have it while just hanging around. But if you are in the middle of doing sweaty physical stuff, it is sweet sweet nectar.
This is one of the more powerful and near perfect recovery drinks I have tried – and I have tried a lot. there is a good 200mg caffeine boost in here, enough to help recover as well as get a good dose while working out. While I still don’t buy the whole nictric oxide thing, I can tell you that it absolutely hydrates and boosts stamina. All this for a zero calorie drink that also packs in good workout stuff too.
The other good things I found in here was a nicely sized dose of creatine and L-Arganine. The arganine, Citruline and betaine is supposed to speed up your metabolism – but i dont think it is in a strong enough dose to work for you. I certainly did not feel the usual thermogenic heat I get after drinking something high in those three nutrients. To help the boost they also pump a bunch of vitamin B, taurine an glucurolactone.
While Muscle Milk might be everyone’s favorite in the free weight side of the gym, Fast Twitch certainly has what it takes to comfortably take over the cardio side as well.