Love Life Supplements Refuel Review
They say great things come in small packages…
The classic Mini, for instance.
Or pint-sized action hero Tom Cruise.
And now you can add another item to the list – Love Life Supplements Refuel.
This expertly designed post workout recovery shake hit the supplement market in 2018 and represents the latest in a string of powerful releases from this hugely innovative UK-based supplement manufacturer.
But how does it compare to other great post workout supplements?
You’re about to find out, because it’s time for my official Love Life Supplements Refuel review. I’ll be breaking down this product to give you the details on what’s included, why it’s included, and if it could have been better.
Of course, my supplement rating system has a tradition of being harsher than Scrooge on Christmas morning and no product has ever kept all five stars intact. As always, I actually incorporate the full product into my own training routine before I post a review, so what you’ll see here is a first-hand experience of extensive usage.
So let’s see how LLS Refuel gets on…
LLS Refuel Review – The Good
As always, I’ll start with the good points about the product.
And in the case of Refuel, I’m happy to say that there are a considerable number of them.
First up, the macronutrient breakdown is excellent. Each serving provides you with:
- 22.2g protein
- 43g carbohydrates
- 0.8g fat
As far as post-workout recovery goes, that’s covering all the bases as well as they need to be covered.
The primary form of protein used here is whey protein isolate (grass fed, no less), which is a great start.
The amount of protein-per-shake is also right on the money.
A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that consuming 20 grams of whey protein after training was ideal for stimulating muscle protein synthesis (muscle growth). With results for a double-sized 40g serving only slightly better despite being twice as large, 20g appears to be the “sweet spot” for maximizing both your lean muscle gains, and your whey protein supplement’s lifespan. (1)
This also packs an impressive punch with 4 grams of leucine.
Leucine is the powerhouse of BCAAs, responsible for interacting with mTOR. If you’re familiar with bodybuilding supplements, you’ll already have heard of mTOR as it’s often referred to as “the switch” for the muscle building process.
Basically, if we’ve killed a gym session and leucine levels have massively declined, the body signals mTOR that there is a lack of dietary protein to build new lean tissue, and we switch off mTOR. But the moment we consume additional leucine, mTOR is activated again and we “switch on” muscle protein synthesis.
It’s literally the key to muscle building, as was demonstrated in a startling 2014 study where researchers found that optimal post workout leucine can even compensate for a sub-optimal total protein intake! In short, this trial suggested that even if you don’t consume enough post-workout protein, you can still stimulate muscle protein synthesis providing enough leucine is contained within your serving. (2)
Leucine becomes particularly important as we grow older, too.
This was first shown in a 2005 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, where older trainees required a dose of leucine considerably higher than that found in most whey protein drinks in order to stimulate muscle growth. Also, an interesting 2014 trial published in Nutrition Journal found that when subjects consumed a post workout serving of either milk protein vs whey protein with added leucine, the group who took the whey with added leucine saw a significant spike in muscle protein synthesis. (3, 4)
In order to maximize the potential results here, we should be looking for a dose of 2+ grams of leucine after training.
An average serving of whey protein contains 1-2 grams of leucine per shake, so it’s a great move by LLS to pack 4 grams into Refuel, and one I’m sure the readers of my blog will appreciate!
The carbohydrates are also a show-stealer.
Reviewing as many supplements as I do, I have come to expect post workout tubs (much like mass gainer products) to rely heavily on poorly constructed carbohydrate formulas in a bid to cut costs.
Usually this means banging in 60g+ carbs per shake, making a serving so big it requires a Pic N’ Mix scoop, and each drink so thick you need a spoon. The bulk of those carbs are usually sugar, too.
That’s not the case with LLS Refuel.
Much like their previous releases, once again they have put great care into developing a formula that stays away from the conventional pitfalls of the supplement industry.
Inside Refuel, you’ll find 43 grams of post-workout carbohydrates in the form of gluten free waxy maize starch and oat flour.
If you’re a fan of trendy fitness buzzwords, things don’t come much “cleaner” than that.
It’s quite common for some gym goers to scoff a huge serving of carbs after training in a bid to increase muscle protein synthesis, leading to the belief that we need servings of 80, 90, or even 100 grams of post-workout carbs to see results.
But this is false.
A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Physiology made some interesting findings upon examining the effects of carbohydrates on muscle growth. (5)
During the trial, researchers had trainees consume either 30g whey protein with 30g carbohydrates or 30g whey protein with 90g carbohydrates. Contrary to popular belief, they found that the higher serving of carbohydrates provided no greater anabolic response.
Much like post-workout protein, it seems that the body has it’s own “sweet spot” for post-workout carbohydrates when it comes to building muscle, rendering excessive doses no more beneficial. Thirty grams was as effective as a dose three times it’s size, meaning there’s no need to wolf down a full bowl of pasta and leave the gym feeling like a bloated rhino.
The inclusion of DigeZyme is a nice touch, too, as this will improve the digestion rate of more nutrients.
The blend carries a hefty serving of essential amino acids (EAAs – deemed ‘essential’ because the body cannot create them), which offer a host of benefits from joint support, improved immune system, better hair/skin, anti-inflammation and many more.
People often focus only on BCAAs because they’re linked directly to muscle growth.
I consider this a mistake.
As I mentioned in my earlier review of LLS’ essential amino acid solo supplement, I’m a big fan of EAAs and I believe if you’re making the effort to supplement with BCAAs you should simply replace that with an EAA product. Because if your diet is deficient in any of the essential amino acids, even if it’s not one of the big three, no lean muscle will be built!
Most people are unaware, and I put this down to the fact that there’s still lots of nonsensical advice out there regarding BCAAs and EAAs in general.
Like this article from MyProtein, which suggests that you can consume EAAs during intermittent fasting because they won’t break your fast. Newsflash: the reason it says no calories is because industry regulations state manufacturers cannot list the calorie content of incomplete proteins (i.e. individual amino acids). I covered this here. So if you’ve been “supping BCAAs all day” like the fitness magazine adverts say, you’ve actually been breaking your own fast.
Refuel is a great way to cover all the bases here, without even realizing you’re doing it.
I’m not going to mention it…
I’m not going to mention it…
Okay, I have to mention it!
If there was an award for logo re-branding of the decade, these guys would have won it. The name Love Life Supplements sums up their approach to nutrition, but it’s quite a mouthful. So the first time I saw this new lean logo, and then realized they’d managed to fit the letters “LLS” into a heart shape, it blew my mind.
LLS Refuel Review – The Bad
No supplement is perfect.
However, the good points far outweigh the bad in Refuel.
My main gripe is that there is no creatine included in the product. For a post-workout supplement, I consider creatine a must-have ingredient because years of studies have shown it to be useful for increasing strength, power and muscle size. (6)
Perhaps I’m being harsh, as creatine is very cheap to pick up anyway, but it’s my job to be harsh.
As far as bad points go, though, this is far from a fatal blow.
In this section I’m usually tearing a product to shreds and this ends up considerably longer than the “good” section. Here’s an example. So taking that into consideration, I’m pleased to say Refuel came through fairly unscathed!
Love Life Supplements Refuel Review – The Final Verdict
Does Refuel continue the fine line of products released so far by Love Life Supplements, or does it become the first in their range to fail to deliver the goods?
I’m pleased to say I was very happy with Refuel.
This belongs right up there with the top post-workout supplements on the marketplace, and contains a far superior science-based formula than that offered by many so-called industry leading supplement companies.
It builds upon the already promising line-up LLS have put together. These guys are establishing a solid reputation as the manufacturer who produce supplements with the absolute highest quality ingredients (no fillers, no cheap junk you’ll find thrown in to other products) and this is a brand I encourage you to keep a close eye on in future because they’re going from strength to strength.
If you want to try Refuel, go here.
Enjoyed my Love Life Supplements Refuel review? Share it with others. I’ll see you next time!
- Witard, O. C., et al. Myofibrillar muscle protein synthesis rates subsequent to a meal in response to increasing doses of whey protein at rest and after resistance exercise. Am J Clin Nutr. (2014)
- Churchward-Venne, T. A., et al. Leucine supplementation of a low-protein mixed macronutrient beverage enhances myofibrillar protein synthesis in young men: a double-blind, randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. (2014)
- Katsanos, Christos, S., et al. Aging is associated with diminished accretion of muscle proteins after the ingestion of a small bolus of essential amino acids. Am J Clin Nutr. (2005)
- Luiking, Y. C., et al. Postprandial muscle protein synthesis is higher after a high whey protein, leucine-enriched supplement than after a dairy-like product in healthy older people: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition Journal. (2014)
- Glynn, E. L., et al. Muscle Protein Breakdown Has A Minor Role In The Protein Anabolic Response To Essential Amino Acid And Carbohydrate Intake Following Resistance Exercise. Am J Physiol. (2010)
- Rawson, E. S., et al. Effects of creatine supplementation and resistance training on muscle strength and weightlifting performance. J Strength Cond Res. (2003)