Recovery drinks can be a bit of a mouthful – either super sweet and sickly, or so chalky they leave you wandering whether you'd just downed a shot of dried milk powder. How does Bam's All Natural Milk Drink compare then?
On the face of it, pretty well. The 330mm cartons are just big enough to leave you feeling refreshed (especially if you can get them refrigerated in advance), without being so much that you end up bloated or full – you'll certainly have enough room left for a proper post-exercise feed.
There are two flavours available at the moment – chocolate and banana. Bam is going for the all-natural appeal, so their ingredients lists are pretty short. Whole milk is used, along with either cocoa powder or banana puree, then honey, cornflour and natural flavourings.
This means there's nothing artificial in there, no refined sugars, and they're good for vegetarians too.
The flavours also achieve the right balance of taste. They're sweet, without being overpowering, and flavoursome without being too strong. While the banana tastes smooth, there's a slight hint of chalky-maltyness from the chocolate, but it's still more palatable than some other chocolate milk recovery drinks we've tried.
Milk is one of the unsung heroes of muscle recovery, so with more than 90% milk content the Bam milk drinks are going to help in some respect. Their nutritional figures are decent, though if you're looking for serious technical nutrition you might want to look elsewhere.
For example, the 11g of protein per 330ml serving is pretty good, but others have more (for comparison, OTE's Soya recovery drink has 23g per 300ml serving). One thing that's also worth noting is that while the sugar isn't refined, there's still a fair bit in there – around 28g per serving, compared with only 11g in the equivalent OTE Soya recovery drink. While they both have reasonably similar carbohydrate levels, the majority of Bam's are sugars, while only half of OTE's are.
All this said, the jury is still out about what constitutes a good recovery drink. There's a lot of money in sports nutrition, with plenty of brands promoting the consumption of their products. However there are plenty of other people out there suggesting that just plain milk can out perform others. Bam seems to be targeting this as a more all-round mid/post exercise drink, rather than a hardcore post-workout, muscle repairing/building/bulking shake.
Cutting to the chase, if you're looking for the most technical recovery drink out there, this is never going to be it. But if you want a quick and easy way to replenish some protein and carbohydrates during or after exercise, Bam's All Natural Milk may well offer plenty of benefits. While it may not dominate in nutritional content, it's tastier than many others out there, so we found ourselves far more likely to drink it.