We all need it, and we spend one-third of our lives doing it, but why exactly is sleep so important? As it turns out, our bodies remain quite busy while we’re in bed. Sleep is essential to protect mental and physical health and general quality of life. When we sleep, the body repairs damaged muscles and tissues and promotes new growth, while also storing memories and processing information in the brain, as well as releasing important hormones that regulate the body’s normal functions.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for good health in general, including tissue repair and recovery; but sometimes those much-needed zzz’s can be elusive:
- Seven of 10 adults experience so much daily stress that it disrupts their nightly sleep.2
- Two-thirds of athletes report worse than normal sleep the night before a competition, and the number of players who report sleep disturbances doubles in-season compared to off-season.3
- Student athletes who sleep less than eight hours per night are 1.7 times as likely to suffer an injury.4
RecoveryPro is a unique blend of whey protein, tryptophan, a natural-source of GABA (PharmaGABA®), and well-absorbed magnesium bisglycinate in a chocolate-flavored powder that mixes easily in water and tastes great hot or cold.
When taken before bedtime, RecoveryPro:
- Supports restful sleep‡
- Optimizes nighttime muscle recovery‡
- Enhances lean muscle mass‡
- Lowers cortisol to modulate stress‡
Who can benefit from RecoveryPro?
- Athletes of all types – from elite athletes to high school athletes to weekend warriors
- Anyone who has trouble sleeping‡
- Individuals who need help coping with stress‡
- The elderly or anyone who needs muscle-strengthening support‡
Four unique ingredients
- High in cysteine, an amino acid that increases glutathione levels and is linked to performance improvements‡
- Great source of branched-chain amino acids needed for muscle repair‡
- Nighttime consumption – clinically studied to help moderate stress, improve morning alertness, and support memory‡
- A calming brain neurotransmitter, it acts like a brake during times of runaway stress‡
- Supports restful sleep‡
- Induces a relaxed but focused state of mind‡
- When combined with whey protein before bed, it promotes lean muscle mass‡
- A crucial factor in the production of ATP, which provides energy for muscles‡
- Promotes restful sleep‡
- Relaxes smooth and skeletal muscle‡
- Research indicates that a low magnesium level contributes to a low melatonin level*
Tryptophan – Enhances sleep and helps manage stress*
- Increases serotonin levels to promote restful sleep, manage stress, and decrease sugar cravings‡
- Contains pyridoxal 5'-phosphate, the active form of vitamin B6 and the necessary cofactor for the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin.
What is the science behind the ingredients in RecoveryPro?
Protein, when taken prior to sleep, has been shown to increase muscle mass and strength. Studies on protein consumed prior to bedtime show it also supports restful sleep, moderates stress, improves morning alertness, and benefits cognitive function.‡ Although protein alone has been shown to improve sleep quality and recovery, it’s benefits increase when taken in conjunction with other well-known ingredients – the amino acid tryptophan and the neurotransmitter GABA.‡
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid, meaning our bodies don’t make it, so it must be provided through the diet and supplementation. Tryptophan is mentioned every year at Thanksgiving, because turkey is a great source of tryptophan. Tryptophan’s path to sleep support isn’t quite as direct as the Thanksgiving nap connection might lead you to believe. Tryptophan is necessary to create the brain chemical serotonin, which promotes relaxation, improved sleep quality, and feelings of well-being.‡ In turn, serotonin is used by the body to create melatonin, the hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle and signals the body to start shutting down for the day.
In one study, consumption of a tryptophan supplement prior to bedtime improved mental alertness the next morning, presumably by improving sleep.‡5 In participants with a history of poor sleep, this translated to improved behavioral performance.‡
In a second study, high tryptophan amounts in the presence of a whey-based protein compared to a casein diet significantly increased blood levels of tryptophan.‡ In stressed-out participants who had the higher tryptophan protein, cortisol levels also decreased while coping improved (as measured by improved mood under stress).‡6
And in a third study, also comparing protein and tryptophan to a casein diet, participants in the “vulnerable to stress” group who took alpha-lactalbumin experienced improved cognitive function (memory) under stress.‡7
A natural source of GABA (PharmaGABA) has been shown to promote restful sleep, which in turn can support athletic performance.‡ In a 2016 randomized, placebo-controlled trial, a small group of poor sleepers were given either 100 mg of PharmaGABA (the amount in one serving of RecoveryPro) or a placebo 30 minutes before bedtime for one week. After a one-week washout period, the protocol was reversed. As measured by EEG, there was a significant decrease in the time it took to fall asleep in the group taking PharmaGABA compared to when they took the placebo.‡8
A clinical study found this form of GABA increases the production of alpha waves in the brain, creating a profound sense of physical relaxation while maintaining mental focus.‡9 In contrast, the stress-related beta waves in the brain were decreased.* In addition to changes in brain waves, PharmaGABA has been shown to produce relaxation, as evidenced by increased levels of salivary secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) in a group of volunteers placed in a stressful situtation.*9
In a recent study on the effect of nutrient supplementation on muscle mass, 21 males, average age 39.5 years, who did not exercise regularly, were given a daily dose of 10 grams of whey protein or 10 grams of whey protein plus 100 mg of PharmaGABA for 12 weeks. Subjects took the supplement within 15 minutes of completing exercise training or before bedtime on non-exercise days.
Both groups participated in twice-weekly, 60-minute strength-training sessions that consisted of leg presses, leg extensions, leg curls, chest presses, and pull-downs. Total body lean muscle mass increased significantly in the whey protein plus PharmaGABA group compared to the whey-only group.‡10
Magnesium depletion is associated with a low melatonin level and disruptions in melatonin circadian rhythms.‡11 Thus, supplementation with magnesium will likely increase melatonin levels and/or improve circadian rhythms.‡
A study of older adults – in which half reported difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep – showed that supplementation with magnesium had a significant positive impact on sleep time, sleep quality, and melatonin concentration.‡12Magnesium also appears to be positively associated with increased muscle mass and strength, as found in a study of women of all ages.‡13 And in a double-blind study of 25 professional male volleyball players, 350 mg of magnesium daily for four weeks significantly reduced lactic acid production compared to the placebo group.‡14 May 21, 2021 • Joel Totoro, RD
- National Sleep Foundation: Sleep in America Poll. https://sleepfoundation.org/media-center/press-release/annual-sleep-america-poll-exploring-connections-communications-technology-use- [Accessed 2.7.18]
- Anxiety and Stress Association of America. Stress and anxiety interfere with sleep. https://adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/stress-and-anxiety-interfere [Accessed 2.7.18]
- Juliff L, Halson S, Peiffer J. Understanding sleep disturbance in athletes prior to important competitions. J Sci Med Sport 2015;18(1):13-18.
- Milewski M, Skaggs D, Bishop G, et al. Chronic lack of sleep is associated with increased sports injuries in adolescent athletes. J Pediatr Orthop 2014;34(2):129-133.
- Markus C, Jonkman L, Lammers J, et al. Evening intake of alpha-lactalbumin increases plasma tryptophan availability and improves morning alertness and brain measures of attention. Am J Clin Nutr 2005;81(5):1026-1033.
- Markus C, Olivier B, Panhuysen G, et al. The bovine protein alpha-lactalbumin increases the plasma ratio of tryptophan to the other large neutral amino acids, and in vulnerable subjects raises brain serotonin activity, reduces cortisol concentration, and improves mood under stress. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71(6):1536-1544.
- Markus C, Olivier B, deHaan E. Whey protein rich in alpha-lactalbumin increases the ratio of plasma tryptophan to the sum of the other large neutral amino acids and improves cognitive performance in stress-vulnerable subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;75(6):1051-1056.
- Yamatsu A, Yamashita Y, Pandharipande T, et al. Effect of oral gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration on sleep and its absorption in humans. Food Sci Biotechnol 2016;25:547-551.
- Abdou A, Higashiguchi S, Horie K, et al. Relaxation and immunity enhancement effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) administration in humans. BioFactors 2006;26:201-208.
- Sakashita M, Nakamura U, Maru I, et al. Combined oral intake of GABA with whey protein improves lean mass in resistance-trained men. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2016;48(5 Suppl 1):54.
- Durlach J, Pagès N, Bac P, et al. Biorhythms and possible central regulation of magnesium status, phototherapy, darkness therapy and chronopathological forms of magnesium depletion. Magnes Res 2002;15(1-2):49-66.
- Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, et al. The effect of magnesium supplementation . . .: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Med Res Sci 2012;17(12):1161-1169.
- Welch A, Kelaiditi E, Jennings A, et al. Dietary magnesium is positively associated with skeletal muscle power and indices of muscle mass and may attenuate the association between circulating C-reactive protein and muscle mass in women. J Bone Miner Res 2016;31(2):317-325.
- Setaro L, Santos-Silva P, Nakano E, et al. Magnesium status and the physical performance of volleyball players: effects of magnesium supplementation. J Sport Sci 2014;32(5):438-445.