Many athletes are beginning to realize that consuming copious amounts of sugar-based sports and energy drinks may not be the best approach to enhancing performance. Typically, endurance athletes have not considered protein ingestion important because building muscle is not a priority. But recent research of female triathletes suggests this idea is something they should reconsider.
On two separate occasions, highly trained women exercised for 3 hours, then performed a timed test to exhaustion on a cycle ergometer. Every 20 minutes during the 3-hour bout of exercise, the a subjects ingested either a standard 6% carb drink providing 24 kcal or a carb/protein supplement (3% carbs and 1.2% protein) providing 17 kcal.
Those who consumed the carb-only drink fatigued just after 42 minutes compared to those who consumed the carb-protein drink, who fatigued after 50 minutes.
These results indicate that consuming a blend of carbs and protein during workouts has a stronger impact on endurance than just carbs alone. Further, when protein is consumed during prolonged endurance exercise, fewer carbs are needed to fuel the exercise.
Personally, based on these findings, I would strongly consider using Post-Workout Recovery during longer bouts of endurance exercise. We know Post-Workout Recovery helps enhance physical performance and endurance while supplying essential components for muscle repair and gain during and after physical activity, which makes it a perfect choice if your goal is utilizing the above findings for increased performance.