Consumption of the proper nutrients post exercise or competition is extremely crucial for a proper recovery. When we exercise at a high intensity we use muscle glycogen (energy stores) to give our body the energy it needs to perform the tasks we are requiring it to do. The more energy we have stored in our muscles the longer we can perform these tasks. When our muscle glycogen is depleted we feel the effects of being fatigued and can no longer keep the intensity we desire. The reason we want to consume a post exercise or competition supplement is to replenish our muscle glycogen and allow our body to recover. We want a proper recovery so we can get our body back to a physical state of readiness and therefore we can perform at our best for the next training session or competition.
Now that we know why we need to consume something, what is the best type of supplement to consume? A lot of research has been done to determine whether a protein supplement, carbohydrate supplement, or a combination of the two is best. The research has been very unanimous with its findings. The combination of the two, protein and carbohydrate is the best way to replenish our muscle glycogen.
The amount of the two nutrients are about a 3:1 - 4:1 carbohydrate to protein ratio. So that means if you have a supplement with 30 grams of carbohydrates then that same supplement should have 10 grams of protein in it. Each person will consume a different amount of these nutrients post exercise or competition depending on body weight. To maximally restore your muscle glycogen you will want to consume 1.5 grams of carbohydrates per 1 kilogram (kg) of body weight (BW) (2.2 pounds (lbs) of body weight).
For example if a person weights 80kg (to get your BW in kg divide your weight in lbs by 2.2) they would want to consume 120 grams of carbohydrates along with 30 grams of proteins immediately after exercise or competition to maximize their recovery. Consuming this will allow the body to fully restore it's muscle glycogen and rebuild the protein breakdown that occurred in the muscle during the training session or competition.
So make sure you are ready to perform at your best by following this guideline.