After releasing a string of high quality products in the last two years, Love Life Supplements have established themselves as one of the UK’s premium brands
Today their latest, Refuel, goes under the microscope to see if it can continue this hot streak.
This is a post-workout supplement which is intended to be used alongside their superb Primal One whey protein.
Interestingly, Refuel isn’t a typical post workout supplement. Usually in a post-workout you’ll find a blend of creatine, BCAAs, and other ingredients aimed at recovery.
LLS have gone a different route. Refuel is marketed as a ‘perfect’ post-workout protein shake, delivering the optimal amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats to enhance muscle protein synthesis.
My offiial Refuel review will break this all down, and we’ll see if Love Life Supplements can become the first brand to ever get a 5 star review from me! As always, I actually used this product alongside my own training prior to this review, so what you’ll see here is not only a scientific review, but also first-hand experience of the product in action.
LOVE LIFE SUPPLEMENTS REFUEL – THE GOOD
Refuel has a LOT of good points.
LLS have a reputation for using high quality ingredients in all of their supplements, and Refuel follows suit. The main protein source here is grass-fed whey protein isolate!
The macronutrient breakdown is also top notch – each scoop contains 22 grams of protein, 43 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.8 grams of fat. As far as post workout recovery shakes go, those numbers are superb!
The amount of protein in each shake (22g) falls into the ‘sweet spot’ for triggering maximal muscle protein synthesis after a workout. You see, a 2014 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that 20 grams of protein is ideal for creating the optimal anabolic response, performing almost as well as a dose twice the size! (1)
Refuel also packs an impressive 4 grams of leucine into each serving. This is great news! Leucine is the powerhouse of the three BCAAs because it is responsible for directly interacting with mTOR and signalling the body to begin the muscle building process.
But here’s the thing…
Immediately after training our leucine levels are very low, and if the body is severely lacking dietary protein to build new lean muscle it switches off mTOR. When we consume leucine, mTOR is re-activated. That makes it a FANTASTIC ingredient to take immediately after you finish training.
Interestingly, a 2011 study showed that getting optimal post-workout leucine can even substitute for sub-optimal protein intake! This was first shown in a 2005 trial, then re-confirmed in a 2014 study published in Nutrition Journal where researchers showed consuming whey protein with additional leucine spiked muscle protein synthesis considerably higher than protein alone. (2, 3, 4)
This is fantastic news for Refuel because they’ve gone “all in” on this this ingredient. A typical whey protein supplement has 1-2 grams of leucine in each serving, but Refuel provides a huge 4 grams.
That is awesome and will lead to some great results.
Now let’s talk about the CARBS.
When you review as many supplements as I have, you come to expect that post-workout recovery supplements use absolutley s**t carbohydrate blends. Usually it’s pure sugar, and the scoop is so big it resembles a Pic n’ Mix.
Once again, Love Life Supplements have out-done themselves.
Every scoop of Refuel gives you 43 grams of carbohydrates in the form of gluten free waxy maize starch and oat flour.
The high quality approach has become their “thing” over the last couple of years, and it’s very refreshing because there are too many supplement manufacturers who deliberately cut corners to keep production costs low.
Also, 43 grams is a GREAT serving size.
Back in the 80s and 90s, bodybuilders believed they needed an avalanche of carbohydrates after training to spike MPS (muscle protein synthesis) so would throw down mass gainer supplements immediately after training containing 80 grams, 90 grams, and even 100 grams of carbs then leave the gym feeling like a bloated rhino!
Thankfully, modern science shows this isn’t necessary.
A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Physiology confirmed that, like protein, there appears to be a “sweet spot” for post-workout carbohydrates, with a serving of just 30 grams capable of creating the same anabolic response as a whopping 90 grams! (5)
The inclusion of digestive enzymes (DigeZyme) is another nice touch, because this will help the body to digest more of the nutrition on offer here.
On top of this, Refuel also comes with a very large serving of essential amino acids.
EAAs are amino acids which the body is incapable of producing on its own. They offer a wide range of health benefits including improved joint support, to immune system function, to reducing inflammation, to stronger hair and healthier skin.
People often make the mistake of thinking only about BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) because they’re heavily involved in the muscle building process, but if you are deficient in ANY of the full spectrum of amino acids (BCAAs or not) this will significantly harm your long-term muscle building potential.
LOVE LIFE SUPPLEMENTS REFUEL – THE BAD
There is no creatine in Refuel, and I consider this a glaring error.
After all, this is a post-workout supplement and given creatine’s proven effectiveness for increasing strength and size it seems like they missed an easy slam dunk here. (6)
Perhaps I’m being too harsh, it’s incredibly cheap and most of you will already supplement it directly anyway.
However, 5 grams of creatine monohydrate would have made Refuel even better.
(I think that’s the shortest “bad” section I’ve ever written!)
LOVE LIFE SUPPLEMENTS REFUEL REVIEW – THE FINAL VERDICT!
Refuel is a tremendous post-workout shake.
And Love Life Supplements are definitely a company on the rise.
In the last two years they’ve released a series of high quality products, and I expect them to become one of the UK’s main supplement brands over the next couple of years.
The unique selling point of LLS is that they only use top of the range ingredients, and Refuel continues this trend, sparing no expense to deliver a first class post-workout formula that will help you pack on lean muscle. With so many dirt cheap supplement brands out there peddling absolute nonsense, I find this attention to the finest quality ingredients very refreshing.
Refuel gets an incredible 4 star rating from me today – making it the joint-best post workout supplement I’ve ever reviewed!
You can try Refuel by getting it directly from Love Life Supplements here.
- 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).