For a guy who wakes up at 4:00 in the morning to be at the gym at 5:00, I sure as hell have a lot of trouble getting to sleep.
Now, I’ve always used a casein protein of some sort as my last meal of the night. The reason for it being to prevent overnight catabolism of lean muscle, which is bound to happen when you don’t eat for eight hours. When I found out GNC had a casein with an “herbal relaxation complex,” I was curious.
To help with my sleep, I already use ZMA, but I was at least willing to give it a shot (since I’m a gold card member and get buy one, get one half off).
Part of the “BEYOND RAW” series of GNC supplements, I have to say “Re-Feed” does exactly what the name leads you to believe. Packing 25 grams of protein per serving (2 scoops), it also has L-Leucine and Fenucreek, two muscle building blocks to fight your body’s want/need to find energy sources to build while you’re sleeping. The five grams of L-Glutamine also help in recovery from a day of killing it in the gym.
With the “herbal relaxation complex,” it’s chock full of valerian root, as well as other plant extracts, so there is nothing habit-forming like you’d get from a sleeping pill. That was my biggest concern before buying, but GNC is very good about being transparent on their nutrition labels and ingredients lists.
With 10 oz. of milk, it gives a thicker texture than most casein blends. I tend to make it with an extra cup of ice and a banana, since potassium also has been linked to restful sleep. The result is an amazing shake with great consistency.
The only complaint I have is the lack of flavor options. Currently, it only comes in chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Of those two, I highly recommend the vanilla ice cream, which tastes quite a bit like Breyer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream to me. The chocolate is a little bitter for my taste. Hopefully they come up with a few more options (including my favorite option when available; cookies & cream).
At $49.99 for a 2 1/2 lbs. tub, I recommend it for those who are SERIOUS about building muscle. Otherwise, there are other brands out there that’ll suit your needs (Dymatize has a great one, as we’ve said before). If you’re a gold card member, it’s only $39.99. Even then, I’d wait until you need something else to take advantage of the buy one, get one half off of anything in the store (basically) before trying it out.