When you complete a workout, your body needs carbohydrate to replenish muscle glycogen stores and protein to repair and rebuild muscle cells. But how much carbohydrate and protein do you need? It depends on how much energy you used (i.e. how many calories you burned) in the workout.
Your target goal for recovery nutrition should be to replace approximately 40% of the total calories burned during your workout. If you burned 500 calories, your target caloric intake should be 200 calories. This should be split between 40 grams of carbohydrate and 10 grams of protein. Whether you consume a sports drink or an energy dense recovery drink depends on your total caloric expenditure. A sports drink works well when you total caloric expenditure is 450 calories or less. Energy dense recovery nutrition, such as Endurox R4 or Accel Recover, works better when your workout burns 500 calories or more.
Drinking your recovery nutrition is often easier since appetite can be diminished after a workout. A beverage also helps you replace rehydrate. If you use a bar be sure to consume water. A superior combination is to drink a recovery beverage immediately after exercise and 30-60 minutes later consume a bar. This will actually extend the rebuilding process.