Look who’s staging a comeback — and what better way to do it than with a comeback supplement – a post workout product!
To say MusclePharm has had a rough couple of years would be an understatement, the brand has been mired in endless executive turnover, SEC charges against said executives, as well as a couple lawsuits (one of them finally settled).
By the end of 2016, The Athlete’s Company looked like it was on its last leg… but that isn’t exactly the case, since new management stepped in and sought to restore MusclePharm to its previous glory.
Hastening the return to credibility, MusclePharm has released a brand new version of its post workout formula Recon, fully decked out and packing a punch. Recon is the first product released under MP’s new Legacy Series.
We’ve got more details to come on Recon, but first, take a moment to check the best deal and sign up for alerts from PricePlow:
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Note: As we publish this, there are some stores that still have the old holdout ingredients, so check the labels at the stores!
You can also check out MusclePharm.com where the new version of Recon will debut ahead of the stores.
Our take is this: MusclePharm is a publicly-held company, and there will always be corporate drama. Our opinion about the company’s revamp will come down to the ingredients. If they’re well-dosed, research-backed, or bring something unique to the table, we’re interested. So let’s focus on the formulas for now.
Compared to the original formula, the new Recon is considerable different, and in our opinions, for the better! Whereas the predecessor was loaded with all sorts of proprietary blends, the new recon is transparently labeled and incredibly well-dosed.
The old vs. the new:
Now let’s break down the new 2017 formula:
Premium Nutrient Peptide Delivery Blend
Developed by Glanbia Nutritionals, GroPlex™ is a trademarked proprietary blend of dairy peptides and proteins. This unique combination helps stimulate the body’s insulin response, elevating insulin levels in the body.
You’re probably wondering why in the world you’d want to do that, when there’s so many products out there that are designed to regulate or modulate the body’s insulin response.
It all comes down to nutrient absorption.
Following a workout is a prime time to shuttle valuable nutrients (like the ones in Recon) into working muscles to kickstart the repair and recovery process. This is an industry first, from what we know of this cutting-edge ingredient.
One of the best things you can have following a workout to replenish depleted glycogen stores is carbs, and that’s exactly what we have in Carb10™. This new age “functional carb” is a non-GMO carbohydrate derived from Pisum Sativum (peas!).
Due to its low osmolality, Carb10™ is absorbed quickly in the body providing a fast acting energy source with no known GI distress. Although it’s digested quickly, the molecule size is relatively large, meaning it’s broken down rather slowly in the small intestine for a prolonged release of energy.
Carb10™ also has a minimal effect on blood sugar or insulin, and when compared to maltodextrin in a clinical study, participants had an 82% lower insulin response and 27% lower blood sugar response.
Since Carb10™ won’t really do much for insulin spiking, pairing it with GroPlex™ is the perfect 1-2 punch for enhanced glycogen replenishment following a workout – without getting too bloated.
Strength & Power Maximizing Complex
Creatine Monohydrate (5g)
The OG strength builder in the bodybuilding supplement realm, creatine monohydrate is a time-tested staple. It’s great for everything — strength, power, performance, lean mass, and more!
You know it, you love it, and you’re getting the fully clinically studied dose of 5g in each serving. In years past, MP probably would have included a “matrix” of creatine to try and be fancy or trendy, not here. They’ve gone with the tried and true form of creatine that always delivers. Maybe things are looking better for The Athlete’s Company?!
Most of us know that leucine is the most anabolic of the branched chain amino acids (BCAAs), primarily due to its activation of the anabolic mTOR pathway.[3,4] As you know, mTOR activation stimulates muscle protein synthesis, but it can also stimulate insulin secretion.
With that spike in insulin, comes increased nutrient absorption at the right time, i.e. post workout, when there’s less likely of a chance for fat storage in lieu of muscle building.
Glutamine needs little introduction, it’s one of those age-old ingredients that purported to enhance recovery following a gruesome workout.
However, the stomach gets greedy and usually consumes all of the glutamine before it gets to the intestines for absorption and transport to weary muscles, where it’s really needed. L-Alanine can help improve absorption, but we don’t have any here…
The 3g dose of L-Glutamine is commendable, and might help somewhat with recovery, but given what we know about the stomach, we’re not sure much benefit we’re getting from the dose..
Recovery Antioxidant Profile
Tart cherry’s benefits on post workout soreness are well documented. It has also been shown to improve strength recovery in the hours following a workout.
VitaCherry®, developed by FutureCeuticals, is chock full of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which help combat inflammation. High doses of antioxidants also help limit muscular damage during workouts and speed recovery from your weight room beatdown.[9,10]
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (150mg)
N-Acetyl L-Cysteine (NAC) is the rate-limiting amino acid in the synthesis of Glutathione, a non-essential amino acid that scavenges free radicals from the body, making it a powerful antioxidant.[11,12]
Additionally, NAC is also widely regarded for its antioxidant and liver protecting benefits.[28,29,30]
NAC seems to come and go in pre workout supplements once in awhile, but post-workout seems to be a smarter place to put it.
“But muh carbs!”
Many of you may be disappointed that this doesn’t have as many carbs in it. The response is two-fold:
- this is a lower-carb way to get a similar insulin spike
- You can always add your own carbs. The “glucose polymers” in the original Re-Con are just maltodextrin, which you can get for literally less than half a penny per carb as shown on our maltodextrin page. So do you really need to throw tons of money at a supplement loaded with it??
MusclePharm went all out with the reformulation of Recon, they didn’t just repackage the old version and modify the doses. They looked to create a truly effective product that brought something new and effective to the industry:
”Definitely the house-favorite of the legacy MusclePharm products, we wanted to make sure this version was an upgrade over what was previously produced. The idea behind this version was, rather than just simply provide high potencies of amino acids or recreate the makeup of the previous version, to both harness and capitalize on the post-workout insulin spike and the multitude of benefits it can offer. This is why we anchored this product with the ever-versatile new ingredient, GroPlex.
Outside of the bioavailability and muscle building benefits of a protein peptide, GroPlex also stimulates that insulin spike, doubling baseline serum insulin levels in as little as 15 minutes, expediting nutrient delivery and promoting muscle protein synthesis. Couple that with key ingredients to benefit from that spike, such as creatine, glutamine, and leucine, and muscle soreness can be reduced while muscle growth can be increased.
But beyond just the aspect of rebuilding muscle, we wanted the term of recovery to be all-encompassing. This includes joint soreness, inflammation, and boosting immunity. In recognition of this, we included the 15x more concentrated VitaCherry Sport, specific for a promoting a healthy inflammatory response.”
The new version of Recon will debut in two flavors: Fruit Punch and Orange Cream.
When asked, why they chose these two flavors in particular, MusclePharm added:
”We wanted the product flavor profile to be great both as a standalone as well as something that compliments a protein well. That is why we went with Orange Cream as one of the flavors, adding it to a vanilla protein is incredible!”
Is MusclePharm back 100%…that remains to be seen. However, this first re-release for The Athlete’s Company shows great promise and could help right some of the “wrongs” that people have felt over the past few years.
The new installment of Recon is a breath of fresh air for a company that had lost its way, but now it seems that the right people are in place calling the shots and MP may be back on the road to greatness.
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- Newsholme P, et al. New insights into amino acid metabolism, beta-cell function and diabetes. Clin Sci (Lond). (2005)
- Bowtell JL, et al. Effect of oral glutamine on whole body carbohydrate storage during recovery from exhaustive exercise. J Appl Physiol. (1999)
- Hoffman, J; L-alanyl-L-glutamine Ingestion Maintains Performance during a Competitive Basketball Game. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 9.1 (2012)
- Howatson G, McHugh MP, Hill JA, Brouner J, Jewell AP, van Someren KA, Shave RE, Howatson SA. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2010 Dec;20(6):843-52. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19883392
- Bowtell JL, Sumners DP, Dyer A, Fox P, Mileva KN. Montmorency tart cherry juice reduces muscle damage caused by intensive strength exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2011;43:1544-1551. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21233776
- Cassidy A, Rogers G, Peterson JJ, Dwyer JT, Lin H, Jacques PF; Higher dietary anthocyanin and flavonol intakes are associated with anti-inflammatory effects in a population of US adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):172-81. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26016863
- Winterbourn CC1, Metodiewa D; The reaction of superoxide with reduced glutathione . Arch Biochem Biophys. (1994)
- Cardey B1, Foley S, Enescu M; Mechanism of thiol oxidation by the superoxide radical . J Phys Chem A. (2007)
- Ozaras R1, et al; N-acetylcysteine attenuates alcohol-induced oxidative stress in the rat. World J Gastroenterol. (2003)
- Caro AA1, et al; N-acetylcysteine inhibits the up-regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis genes in livers from rats fed ethanol chronically . Alcohol Clin Exp Res. (2014)
- Aydin S1, et al; N-acetylcysteine reduced the effect of ethanol on antioxidant system in rat plasma and brain tissue . Tohoku J Exp Med. (2002)