Ideal Carbohydrate and Protein Ratio
It seems like I’ve read about an optimal ratio of carbs and protein while training. What is it and is it important?
Yes, there is a recommended carb to protein ratio for training nutrition, and it’s 4:1 (grams). With this ratio, digestion of the fluid or food is not impeded in the stomach like it is with greater amounts of protein. So, technically, this is important for sports nutrition if you are pushing yourself with training and depending on efficient delivery of nutrients. It can also be important as it can reduce the risk of stomach cramps and digestion issues.
Most all sports drinks and foods are designed with quick digestion in mind – in fact, most sports drinks are designed as a 5-8% carbohydrate solution because this has been found to leave the stomach and be digested quickest.
Of course, it also depends on the type of protein. Whey protein is known as quickly digested and metabolized protein, so it is often used in sports drinks and bars. Soy isolate is another quick protein.
A couple drinks or foods that utilize this ratio are Accelerade (sports drink) and many flavors of Clif Bars.
Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.