LOVE LIFE SUPPLEMENTS REFUEL REVIEW
Love Life Supplements are on something of a run, after releasing a string of high quality supplements in the last two years.
Today their latest, Refuel, goes under the microscope to see if it can continue this spree.
Refuel is a post-workout supplement designed to be used alongside their superb Primal One whey protein, but does it deliver…?
Well, before we get stuck into the facts, it’s important to realize that Refuel isn’t a typical post workout supplement. You won’t find a blend of amino acids here. Instead, LLS market this as a ‘perfect’ post-workout whey protein shake, so you’ll get protein, carbs and fats instead of betaine, creatine, etc.
I’ll be breaking it all down in my comprehensive Refuel review today, looking at every ingredient and assessing whether it’s as good as it claims to be. No supplement has ever received a 5 star rating from me – can this be the first?
As always, I incorporated Refuel into my own training routine prior to this review, so what you’ll see here is not only a scientific review, but also first-hand experience of Refuel in action.
LOVE LIFE SUPPLEMENTS REFUEL – THE GOOD
Refuel has a LOT of good points.
First, the macronutrient breakdown of Refuel is EXCELLENT. There are 22 grams of protein, 43 grams of carbohydrates, and 0.8 grams of fat in each serving. As far as post workout recovery shakes go, this hits the target!
Also, the main form of protein is whey protein isolate (grass fed, no less). Just like their other products, LLS have spared no expense with the ingredients.
The amount of protein in each shake (22g) is right in the sweet spot for triggering maximal muscle growth after a workout. A 2014 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that 20-24 grams of protein is ideal for creating the maximum anabolic response, with a dose of 40g only slightly better despite being twice the size. (1)
Refuel also packs an impressive 4 grams of leucine into each serving. Leucine is the powerhouse of the three BCAAs, as it’s responsible for interacting with mTOR and starting the muscle building process. Leucine levels are massively reduced immediately after training, and if the body is lacking dietary protein to build new lean muscle it switches off mTOR.
The moment we consume leucine, however, mTOR is re-activated. A 2011 study showed that getting optimal post-workout leucine can even substitute for sub-optimal total protein intake! (2)
Leucine becomes even more important as we grow older, too. This was first shown in a 2005 trial, then confirmed again in a 2014 study published in Nutrition Journal which found that consuming whey protein with additional leucine spiked muscle protein synthesis considerably higher than protein alone. (3, 4)
This is fantastic news for Refuel.
An average whey protein supplement packs about 1-2 grams of leucine per serving, but Refuel provides a huge 4 grams. If you know your supplement info, you know that’s awesome.
Now let’s talk about the CARBS.
When you review as many supplements as I have, you expect post-workout supplements to rely heavily on poorly constructed carbohydrate blends because, well, they’re cheap as f**k. This usually means a sack full of sugar which requires a Pic N’ Mix scoop.
That’s not the case with Refuel.
As mentioned above, Love Life Supplements do not skimp on ingredients. Each shake gives you 43 grams of carbohydrates in the form of gluten free waxy maize starch and oat flour. This high quality approach has become their “thing” over the last couple of years. It’s damn refreshing, because there are too many poor supplements on the market.
Also, 43 grams is a great serving SIZE.
Back in the days when mass gainers were all the rage, bodybuilders believed they needed an avalanche of carbohydrates after training to spike MPS (muscle protein synthesis). Guys would eat 80 grams, 90 grams, and even 100 grams of carbs straight after a workout then leave the gym feeling like a bloated rhinoceros!
However, science now shows this isn’t necessary.
A 2010 study published in the American Journal of Physiology confirmed that a serving half this size will create the same anabolic response so, like protein, there appears to be a “sweet spot” for post-workout carbohydrates and it means you don’t need to drink a huge shake after the gym. (5)
The inclusion of digestive enzymes (DigeZyme) is a nice touch, as it’ll help the body to digest more of the nutrition on offer here.
The Refuel formula also comes with a large serving of essential amino acids.
Unlike BCAAs, EAAs are deemed “essential” because the body does not know how to produce them, therefore they must be consumed through diet. They offer a range of benefits including improved joint support, to immune system function, to reducing inflammation, to even better hair and skin.
People often focus only on BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) because they’re more closely to building muscle, but this is a huge mistake!
It’s quite challenging to obtain the full spectrum of amino acids from diet alone, and if you’re deficient in any of them long-term you’ll significantly harm your muscle building potential.
LLS REFUEL – THE BAD
There is no creatine in Refuel and I consider this a glaring error.
After all, this is a post-workout supplement. Given creatine’s proven effectiveness for increasing strengthand muscle size, it seems like they missed an easy slam dunk here. (6)
Of course, creatine is incredibly cheap and most of you will already supplement it directly anyway, but it would have made Refuel super convenient if they’d thrown 5 grams of creatine monohydrate in each serving.
But here’s the thing..
I usually tear products to shreds in this part of reviews, so Refuel has come through fairly unscathed.
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 brands over the next couple of years.
Their unique selling point is that of a premium supplement brand, and they only use top of the range ingredients. With so many dirt cheap supplement brands peddling absolute nonsense, that’s f**king refreshing.
Refuel gets 4 stars from me today, making it the joint-best post workout supplement on the website.
You can try Refuel by picking it up directly from LLS 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)