The scope of recovery is larger than just protein. What about glycogen replenishment, and decreasing inflammation, supporting your immune system, and restoring electrolyte balance? Glycogen, or stored muscle energy, is necessary for athletic performance. Athletes must consume carbohydrate during recovery to replenish glycogen fuel stores that are depleted during exercise in order to prepare for the next workout or competition. Protein is essential for muscle tissue repair and the building of new muscle, but research shows that carbohydrate and protein consumed together work better than either one ingested by itself.