Kyoku Recovery Product: Long Review

Kyoku Recovery Product: Long Review – by Guitar Ted

Cyclists don’t make power out of nothing, and this is the reason companies like Kyoku exist. They specifically are focused on nutrition to help aid in post-exercise recovery. The theory being that a faster and more complete recovery for athletes can allow for higher performance metrics to be obtained over a shorter period of time.

Tin box and brochure from Kyoku
The initial shipment of shake packets comes in this impressive tin which Kyoku urges you to use to keep future monthly shake shipments in.

Kyoku reached out to Riding Gravel and asked us if we were interested in using their Recovery Product system for a review. They sent out a kit over the Summer and I used the product after long rides and test sessions over the past month and a half. Before I get into how it worked and my impressions of the product, let’s take a closer look at Kyoku and what they are offering here.

What It Is: Most training information we see these days stresses the importance of recovery, especially up through the first 30 minutes after a training session. This is where Kyoku focuses their efforts. When you engage with their site, you are asked to take a brief survey to help Kyoku tailor their powdered shake formula using proteins and plant based nutrition which Kyoku takes great pains in making sure are pure and sourced responsibly.

A table showing results of Guitar Ted's survey based on Kyoku's questions.
These are the survey results I got after taking a brief survey on Kyoku’s site.

After you have taken this survey you can sign up for their service which delivers your customized recovery shake mix to your door on a monthly basis. Each shake costs about $3.75, and can vary slightly depending on you personal mix ingredients.

Close up of a Kyoku shake packet, encouraging card, and brochure.
The shake packets look like this. Encouragement cards and a brochure are also included.

First Impressions: My shake mix was based upon an average person’s needs and sent to my doorstep. Upon opening the box, I was greeted by a metal tin containing the approximately 24 shake packets. The overall presentation is personalized and very impressive. Okay then, time to get to some riding!

Ride Performance: To get a read on what Kyoku was or wasn’t doing for me, I tried it after several rides in a row and then tried recovering without it for several rides to see if I noted any differences. Generally, I would imagine our bodies need a few weeks of each program to see differences clearly. However; my supply of this shake mix was limited, so I did a shorter term test. That said, I did notice less inflammation, less soreness, and less fatigue post-ride days when I used the Kyoku product. So, to answer the question, “Does it work?“, I am convinced the answer is yes. I also imagine that had I went through the survey process and had gotten a customized formula I would have noted even better results.

My experiences with the Kyoku plant based formula was good in terms of results, but there were a few things that I wasn’t ready for, and that I wish could be improved. For starters this powdered formula is difficult to mix into water. Kyoku suggests mixing the shake mix in 16 ounces of water. I did not quite understand that to really get the Kyoku powdered mix integrated into water, you need a blender or like device. Otherwise you will experience dry, unmixed clumps of the shake mix which is quite unpleasant. Okay, I am a rookie at this shake mix regimen. That’s on me. My wife, who uses a similar product for her nutrition, set me straight. From that point on my mixing regimen was set straight.

Encouragement card found in the tin of shake packets from Kyoku
Kyoku sprinkled these little ‘encouragement cards’ throughout the box of shake packets.

Straight up, the mix I received was palatable, but had a strong ‘plant taste‘ , for lack of a better term. Again, my wife stepped in showing me how Kyoku even suggests different ways to introduce flavor by adding fruit and vegetables to modify the taste experience. Once again, this rookie had a lot to learn.

At The Finish: My thought is that a recovery product like Kyoku is a great way to not only reach your cycling goals faster, but it is just a better, cleaner way to eat for better health. In these times, going in this direction is understandably desirable, but leaving that behind, I felt the Kyoku product can be used as a daily enhancement to life as a cyclist. In other words, you don’t have to be gearing up to do some big-mileage event to benefit from what Kyoku has to offer. The everyday cyclists stands to benefit as much or more, in my opinion.

That said, specifically to Kyoku, I would like to see a bit more guidance to those ‘rookies’ out there that maybe are not adept at mixing and making things taste better. I was fortunate to have my wife guide me to a better experience. Not everyone has that resource. Otherwise I see what Kyoku is doing as impressive. Personalized in every way, impressive in presentation, and the end results are there to be enjoyed. While a monthly subscription type model may not appeal to everyone, it does make things more convenient. It’s one less thing to think about when you go to the grocery store.

For more on Kyoku recovery product, see their site here:

Note: Kyoku sent over their product for recovery to Riding Gravel at no charge. We were not paid nor bribed for this review and we always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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4 thoughts on “Kyoku Recovery Product: Long Review

  1. You said you felt better post-ride using this product. What’s your normal post-ride food/drink that you were comparing it to?

    1. @Lyford – Good question. I wasn’t using a specific product line for recovery. I generally would have plenty of water, a fried egg or peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or in some cases I would have skipped doing anything out of just being too tired to bother. Having the Kyoku product provided me with a simple means to just get the job done without bothering about what to do. Just mix and drink. Done.

      In some ways having a pre-planned system which is relatively easy to use (if you have a mixer/blender) makes deciding what to do one less thing you have to think about. Many times after rides “thinking” is not what I want to put effort into. I just want to relax.

      Obviously, that’s my take on things, and again- I am not training for anything specific. I just ride for testing for this site and for enjoyment. Someone more disciplined may already be “on it”, as it were, concerning a regimen for post ride recovery. Their take on things may be slightly different than mine is. My point is that any cyclist can benefit from something like this Kyoku product.

  2. I noticed an improvement in my recovery when I got more disciplined about immediate post-ride refueling. I don’t use any specific recovery products. I try to make a blender drink before I head out so it’s ready as soon as I finish the ride. Mine usually start with a ripe banana and some whey protein and then whatever else appeals at the moment — cocoa, cinnamon, nut butter, maple syrup, other fruit, etc. It’s nice to get back to the car, open the cooler, and have that waiting for me.

    There’s data that almost any food is better than none immediately after a long ride.

  3. Kyoku is great – I have been using it post ride for years and absolutely love it! Same issue as you though – it is tough to find ways to make it taste better… Would you mind sharing some of your go-to recipes?

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