Intense exercise can come with one big downside… the struggle for your muscles and body to recover quickly enough to continue your fitness regime. It’s no good reaching ambitious exercise targets one day if your body is too strained to allow you to train the next day, or the next.
That’s where Men’s Health Lab Active Recovery comes in. Produced by the popular Men’s Health magazine, in partnership with Omega Pharma, it promises to aid your exercise recovery and allow you back to the gym faster with a one-a-day effervescent tablet.
How does it do that? Let’s take a look at the ingredients…
Magnesium, 400mg, primary ingredient
Men’s Health Lab promotes magnesium for normal electrolyte balance and muscle function and it is a powerhouse mineral. Magnesium is lost via sweat, so supplementation after exercise is particularly useful. In fact, a lack of magnesium is the second most common deficiency in the developed world.
Magnesium is a vital component of more than 300 chemical processes in the body, and particularly helps to protect the muscles. Indeed, the ability to contract and relax the muscles is highly dependent on how much magnesium is available in the body.
It is also directly responsible for the delivery of energy available to your muscles. Magnesium triggers enzymes in the body that produce the neurotransmitter ATP (adenosine triphosphate). When ATP is broken down by the body, it releases energy that is then used by the muscles. The harder or more you exercise, the quicker your body burns up that energy. If your body doesn’t get enough magnesium to replace the ATP, you can experience poor energy levels and issues with muscle function.
A clinical study also demonstrated that magnesium can help to relax muscles and reduce exercise-related muscle cramps.
Magnesium is also implicated in cardiac health, nerve function, as well as the ability to regulate blood pressure, the interactions of hormones, and much more.
It can also help to protect bone density (prolonged deficiency can weaken bones) and therefore avoid stress fractures, a common injury when following a high-impact exercise programme. It has also been shown to boost total and free testosterone, also a boon to athletes and body builders alike.
Supplementing magnesium, therefore, is a good idea, especially for athletes and those doing regular intense exercise. Particularly so, considering the foods we eat aren’t usually high in magnesium.
The dose here – 400mg – is pretty high. The standard dose is usually around 300mg for men, but as discussed, men undertaking regular exercise may benefit from additional quantities.
As we’ve already seen with Men’s Health Lab Energy Release, the manufacturer appears to be a fan of B-vitamins. Included here are Vitamin B1; Riboflavin (B2); Niacin (B3); Pantothenic acid (B5); B6; Biotin (B7); Folic Acid (B9), and B12. A lack of B vitamins may lead to cramps and muscle aches.
A Special Word For:
Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, helps to process the build-up of lactic acid which is created during intense exercise. Lactic acid serves no useful purpose for exercise performance and can cause muscle soreness after exercise, as well as muscle fatigue.
Thiamin helps to tackle this build up. A Dutch study noted that athletes deprived of thiamin suffered from poor exercise performance and greater lactic acid build-up. A Japanese study also concluded that increased thiamin supplementation could be helpful in tackling fatigue from exercise. Note, however, that the study suggested a high supplementation dose of 100 mg/day of thiamine. Men’s Health Lab Active Recovery includes just 3.3mg, though it is 300% of Reference Intake.
Pantothenic acid (B5)
Studies show a shortage of Pantothenic acid (B5) may increase joint stiffness and pain. B5 can also help with wound healing.
Vitamin B6 and B12 are considered particularly useful both pre or post workout for their role in the creation of anti-inflammatory compounds to aid tissue repair.
- Men’s Health Lab Active Recovery uses tried and tested ingredients that have been studied and proved effective for muscle recovery and bone health after exercise
- Particularly targeted to men following intense exercise regimes
- They are suitable for vegans and vegetarians
- They contain no artificial colours or lactose
- As well as helping the muscles to recover quicker, Men’s Health Lab promises that the folic acid, niacin and riboflavin included here will also help to reduce fatigue and tiredness
- Note that the dosages of all ingredients in Men’s Health Lab Active Recovery exceed the Reference Intake (RI) for each nutrient, in some cases contributing as much as 300% of the RI. RI replaced Guideline Daily Amounts (GDA). They are, however, calculated using the requirements for an average woman and not a man, and not one undertaking intense exercise. Men’s Health Lab insists all vitamins have been scientifically tested and are safe.
- Magnesium citrate is the premium form of magnesium for supplementation. Men’s Health Lab Active Recovery uses magnesium carbonate instead, though this is a decent and popular alternative
- A standard dose is anything from 200-400mg so Men’s Health Lab Active Recovery’s 400mg is on the higher side.
- We couldn’t find any user reviews for this product as yet
How to Take
Take one tablet a day dissolved in water, take when needed
Safety/ Side Effects
Men’s Health Lab states that its vitamin range has no known side effects when taken as instructed
Does It Work?
It’s hard to give a definitive answer on whether Men’s Health Lab Active Recovery works when there don’t seem to be any customer reviews available to assess its success by. However, judging by the ingredients, we’ll go as far as to say that it *should* work.
A supplement to help your body recover after intense exercise is a good idea and it’s nice to see that it only contains natural ingredients and nutrients that are important for the body. Men’s Health Lab Active Recovery doesn’t rely on gimmicks but instead uses a combination of tried and tested ingredients that may well help you get back to the gym sooner.
Where to Buy
Buy from Boots, Amazon, Holland & Barrett and more.