Efficacy test of Recovery

High intensity exercise requires the maximum involvement of nearly all body systems, and for this reason it produces a lot of stress to the horse. Among the modifications produced by rigorous exercise, we can find a marked reduction in energy storage in the muscles, a large quantity of metabolic waste which induces an increase in hepatic metabolism , inflammation responses of the soft tissue and muscular micro-injuries which require repair and restructuring of the tissue. What is more, some kinds of exercise as well as some medical treatments induce a marked loss of electrolytes. The above mentioned modifications together with some others, cause a delay of a few hours to several days to get fully recovered.

The modifications mentioned above are well known to everybody and it would be very beneficial to be able to reduce to a maximum level the harmful effects which they produce and to be able to shorten the recovery time after great exertion. If these objectives can be accomplished then the sporting life of a horse will be lengthened and there will be less risk of suffering from injuries. RECOVERY® is a product developed with the objective of restoring energy and electrolytes and of lessening fatigue and restoring muscular tissue.

To assess whether RECOVERY® produces some positive effect in the recovery of sport horses after hard exertion.

Materials and Methods
Four male horses with an average age of 3 years and 464 kg of body weight. They were considered at first time as a “Control group” and later, after three weeks of administering Recovery as “Treated group”.
The exercise test was done on a Treadmill and the hemograms and enzymograms were done with an Abbott Aerocet auto-analyzer.
The test consists of a pre-warming up of 1 min. at 1.7 m/s and 4 mins at 4 m/s. Then it continues with stages of 1 min. duration and increasing speeds of 1 m/s until fatigue is reached. The post-exercise recovery consists of 4 min. at 4 m/s and 1 min at 1.7 m/s. All exercises were done with a slope of 3%.
In order to develop the best way of measuring the excellence of the product when the horses were considered as a “Control group”, two tests of maximum effort were done with 72 hour of difference between them. In this way an important physical exertion was generated with a low risk of suffering injuries from over-exhaustion. The administering of Recovery was made according to the prescribed doses for the product within 30 min. of post-exercise, as well as at 24, 48 and 72 hours thereafter. Sampling consisted in taking blood from jugular vein prior to testing at 1 min., 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours post-exercise.

Results and debate
Changes in metabolites: Lactic acid is the main metabolite generated during high intensity exercise and for that reason it was decided to analyze it. In table 1 a significant lactic acid increase can be observed, in control and in treated animals as well one minute after ending exercise.
A significant reduction in lactic acid is also observed 24 hours post-exertion in those horses which received Recovery. Lactacidaemia does not only depend on the intensity and duration of the exercises but also on the muscular pattern and on the relation of capillaries/muscular fiber that each horse has. The observed concentrations were not as high as those observed after races in thoroughbred horses (there are records of up to 22/25 mmol/L), but they show that the exercise was really severe. On the other hand, the lactate values 24 hours after testing show a significant difference between both groups, but at that time, the treated group have not yet reached the values of an animal at rest (0.8-1.2 mmol/L).

Table 1.

Pre exercise

Post 1 min.

Post 12 hours

Post 24 hours


1,6 (0,06)

13,1 (2,29)**

1,9 (0,08)

1,9 (0,13)


1,4 (0,16)

14,1 (2,89)**

1,9 (0,43)

1,6 (0,19)*

** p<0,001; * p<0,05.


Hepatic metabolism: Hepatic metabolism: Gamma GT and alkaline phosphatase enzyme levels were valued. Gamma GT did not show significant differences between both groups, and they are within reference values (results not shown). The alkaline phosphatase enzyme did not show significant differences for both groups in the different stages of sampling, but it showed a slight increase in the control group contrary to the decrease observed as time passed in the treated group.
It is important to point out that due to the methodology used in the RECOVERY® group, the base values of alkaline phosphatase were not only significantly higher than those of the control group but were well over the reference values. This emphasizes the excellence of the product as an even more significant increase of the enzyme would have been expected after the second test, had the product not had that excellent effect.

Inflammation: One of the unspecific indicators of inflammation is fibrinogen. This is measured in the plasma and values no higher than 200 mg/dl are considered normal. Only the control group showed a significant increase(p<0.05) 48 hours after the testing compared with the values of when the horse is at rest, while the RECOVERY® group did not show a significant increase of the same. Here, as was observed with the alkaline phophatase, the concentrations of fibrinogen in the Recovery group were significantly different due to the wear and tear produced by the first test. This result, as with the prior one, only goes to show the excellence of the product.


Muscular injury:
The enzymes taken into account are CK within the first 24 hours and AST from 24 hours post-exercise onwards and during a period of 5 days, due to its extended average life. CK did not show significant differences between pre exercise values and post-12 and -24 hours in both groups (results not shown). On the other hand AST had a significant increase (p<0.05) between the values pre exercise and those of 72 hours post exercise in the control group. None of the groups, exceeded values of reference (250 U/L) in post-test samplings, for both enzymes.


Electrolytes: During the exercise electrolytic waste (Na+, Cl- y K+) is produced by perspiration. Diuretics do also have these effects. Control group showed significant differences only for Cl- and Na +between the values of pre-exercise and post-24 hours (p<0.01 y p<0.05 respectively). On the other hand, the Recovery group showed significant differences for the three measured electrolytes. Cl-showed significant difference (p<0.005) between the values at rest and post-12 hours, Sodium had diferent values between pre exercise and post-24 hours (p<0.05), and K+ showed significant differences between the values of pre-exercise and post-12 hours (p<0.005).


These results emphasize the fact that Recovery® contributes to the replacement of Chlorine and Potassium since the significant increase post-12 hours is a consequence of the same due to the lack of consuming food at the moment of sampling.


Energy: It has been proved that exercise produces an increase in glycemia, as it can be seen in both groups. 12 hours post exercise the control group shows a significant decrease of it, while in Recovery® group, though it shows a decrease, it does not reach the values of pre-exercise.


These results show that Recovery® provides glucose and so allows the replacement of muscular glycogen consumed during physical activity.

Recovery® proves to have a beneficial effect on the elimination of metabolites produced during physical activity; in the prevention of muscular injury; in the replacement of Chloride and Potassium and the replacement of part of energy consumed during exercise. Finally, it also protects the liver just in moments when the liver is subjected to a high metabolic rate.

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