Rockin Refuel by Shamrock Foods is a milk-based protein beverage marketed to the sports enthusiasts and teams around the country. These ready-to-drink protein shakes come in a variety of types depending on your body needs. They can be purchased at Publix, Kroger, Speedway, and Winn-Dixie stores in a variety of different states.

Shamrock Foods has been in business for over 60 years, but Rockin Refuel drinks have only been on the market since 2011. Their Better Business Profile is very solid, landing them an A rating with no reviews, but no complaints, either. They also qualified for and paid the fee for Accreditation. [1]

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Company Contact Information: Shamrock Foods, 3900 E Camelback Rd Ste. 300, Phoenix, AZ 85018-2615. Phone: 602- 272- 6721.

The company offers three different products to purchase, which are:

  • Muscle Recovery, a post-workout drink that gives you over 20 grams of protein to help replenish muscles.
  • Muscle Builder is a different formula that contains over 30 grams of protein with just 6 grams of sugar. Max Muscle Builder offers a whopping 50 grams of protein with just 11 grams of sugar (and 6 grams of fiber!).
  • Lean Builder offers a lower-calorie, lower-sugar option with 20 g protein.

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Rockin Refuel Claims

Chocolate milk may be just as effective as certain commercial sport drinks in helping athletes refuel muscles after a workout. In fact, an Indiana University study found that endurance-trained cyclists who drank low-fat chocolate milk after an intense period of cycling were able to workout longer and have more power during a second workout compared to when the same athletes drank a commercially available carbohydrate replacement drink. [2]

Made with Real Milk and natural protein to help build or rebuild muscles—9 Essential Nutrients – including Calcium and Vitamins A & D—Low in Fat but loaded with flavor—Naturally Occurring Electrolytes [2]

No hype, no mega-buzzwords. Straightforward claims about the ingredients, the science behind the product, and the taste. There is no money-back guarantee with this product because it is sold independently at grocery stores, but if you have a problem with your product the store you bought it from will most likely accommodate. And it’s not a great punch to the wallet if you find it doesn’t work.

A 12-bottle case costs $29.99 plus shipping on Rockin Refuel’s own website, or you can buy them separately at the grocery store for around $1.25 per bottle, depending on which store you go to. Maverick convenience stores also carry them. used to—there are reviews—but it’s now listed as “currently unavailable.”

Rockin Refuel Ingredients

Muscle Recovery (Chocolate): Lowfat Milk, Nonfat Milk, Maltodextrin, Cocoa processed with Alkali, Carrageenan, Salt, Artificial Flavor, Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Vitamin A Palimate, and Vitamin D3. [3]

Muscle Builder (Vanilla): Water, Skim Milk, Milk Protein Concentrate, Cream, Soluble Corn Fiber, Artificial Flavor, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Salt, Sucralose, Caramel Color, Carrageenan, Lactase Enzyme, Vitamin A Palimate, and Vitamin D3. [4]

Lean Builder (Chocolate): Water, Skim Milk, Milk Protein Concentrate, Cream, Cocoa, Cocoa processed with Alkali, Soluble Corn Fiber, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Corn Starch, Salt, Sucralose, Carrageenan, Lactose Enzyme, Vitamin A Palimate, and Vitamin D3. [5]

The Science (or Lack Thereof) Behind Rockin Refuel

There haven’t been any studies specifically on Rockin Refuel products, but I did find some concerns about a couple of ingredients. Not five-alarm DEFCON 1 concerns, but some concerns nonetheless. It doesn’t help that they aren’t familiar terms.

Shamrock Foods uses a lot of science about why chocolate milk is best for recovery (and the science seems pretty solid on that), but Rockin Refuel is a little more than just chocolate milk. So let’s address the concerns, and then we’ll look at the chocolate milk science briefly.

The Muscle Recovery drink contains Acesulfame Potassium, which you wouldn’t think much about because potassium is good for us, right? Turns out Acesulfame Potassium, also known as Ace-K (K is the chemical symbol for potassium), is actually an artificial sweetener. It’s used widely around the world and is about 200 times sweeter than sugar. The non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) suggests more study is needed, as most of the science on Ace-K was done back in the 70s and the quality of testing wasn’t high. At the moment it’s on their “avoid” list, but the US Food and Drug Administration hasn’t raised an alarm about it yet. In fact, WebMD reports the FDA says more than 90 studies support its safety. So maybe the alarm is a little overblown. [6] [7]

The other ingredient, which is in all the Rockin Refuel products, is Carrageenan, a thickening agent derived from seaweed. CSPI lists this one as “caution,” mainly because

Large amounts of carrageenan have harmed test animals’ colons. The amounts in food are too small to be a concern for most people, but an independent committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that it is unclear whether people with episodes of gastrointestinal disease might absorb some carrageenan, which presumably could cause gastrointestinal or immune system problems. [6]

Now, WebMD does point out a few special precautions on this one, though it judges carrageenan to be “Likely Safe” in most food amounts. There are theories (and they make sure to specify these are theories) about carrageenan slowing blood clotting and lowering blood pressure. So if you’re concerned about either of those conditions, or if you have surgery coming up, you might want to consider cutting out these drinks for a couple weeks before, but just as a precaution. [8]

So now let’s look briefly at good old chocolate milk. In many of the studies done, milk helps the person to stay hydrated after an activity and it contains calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium—which are all essential for replenishing electrolytes. There were no negative comments in any of the studies looking into why chocolate milk will help the muscles recover faster.

According to a study published in the 2012 Medicine and Sports Science journal,

Consuming chocolate milk immediately after exercise and again at 2 [hours] post-exercise appears to be optimal for exercise recovery and may attenuate indices of muscle damage. Future research should examine the optimal amount, timing, and frequency of ingestion of chocolate milk on post-exercise recovery measures including performance, indices of muscle damage, and muscle glycogen resynthesis. [9] (emphasis added)

This study was done exclusively on drinking chocolate milk after a workout, and not before one.

Other studies noted that low-fat chocolate milk out-rated all of the electrolyte drinks, as far as replenishing electrolytes in the body was concerned, and sped up recovery time exponentially.

On average, swimmers shaved off 2.1 seconds per 200 yard swim, and 0.5 seconds per 75 yard sprint after drinking reduced fat chocolate milk, compared to when they recovered with a traditional carbohydrate sports drink or calorie-free beverage. [10]

Word On The Street About Rockin Refuel

Rockin Refuel has many different reviews from individuals seeking optimal recovery after workouts. When looking at real reviews from a cross-fit site—the “Marines” of the fitness world, they take their recovery drinks seriously—the majority of people did not like the fact that it contained artificial ingredients, because just drinking milk with some whey protein powder was more cost effective and wholesome for the body. They also mentioned that the drink had to be refrigerated, which was not ideal for taking it to the gym and letting it sit in your gym bag for an hour plus. [5]

If the gym or school you attend has them on hand in the refrigerator for after a workout, though, that would be the ideal way to consume them for health reasons. Other people said they really enjoyed the taste of the product, and felt like it was an easy way to get protein in for the day. A lot of customers said that the drink was far better than competitor Muscle Milk, and the aftertaste was non-existent.

Convenience plays a big role here. If you’re coming home right after a workout, or if you’re passing a Maverick on the way to work, it beats stopping at Starbucks. There were no side effects mentioned, and no warnings from the company.

Rockin Refuel Muscle Recovery enjoyed a 91 percent 5-star rating of its ten reviews before it was discontinued there.

“France” (2011) loved it but only gave it two stars because of the pricing.

I really like the product, especially as a post-workout ‘refuel.’ I couldn’t find it where I usually shopped in California, so I ordered it off Amazon. Then when I was in Arizona I found it at Fry’s for only $1.25 per bottle (vs. the $2.50 per bottle it costs on Amazon). – “France”

I went online to Shamrock Farms website product locator and will be buying it at a store near my house instead of online. All in all a great product, but if you want to save some money check out the supermarket first(at $1 savings per bottle and 4 bottles per week you’d save $208 a year). [12]

The Bottom Line: Is Rockin Refuel Worth a Try?

Yes. Obtaining optimal muscle recovery is essential for anyone looking to build muscle and keep it on for long periods of time. While it’s probably not great for the warriors among us—who prefer plain low fat chocolate milk with some added whey protein—it’s not a bad option for us mere mortals looking for good recovery fuel after a workout. I like that they offer three different types of product to choose from depending on your needs. Another positive is the taste, which many people say is the best of all the protein drinks out there. And it’s widely available at your grocery store or the Maverick on the block. Trying it will be easy and affordable.

  9. K. Pritchett and R. Pritchett, “Chocolate Milk: A Post-Exercise Recovery Beverage for Endurance Sports,” Medicine and Sports Science, 2012; 59: 127-34, epub 2012 Oct 15,

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Written by Kylie Daniels

Kylie Daniels

My name is Kylie Daniels and I have a strong passion for health and nutrition. I was raised in Southern California, and am now attending Boise State University in Idaho to complete my B.B.A. degree in General Business and Marketing. My interest began a few years back when I was a part of the opening of a brand new juice bar. Here I learned the importance of eating healthy, balanced exercise, and the power of a nutritional lifestyle. This education has inspired me to research the latest diets, cleanses, and products to help guide you to be your best self!

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