For recovery after a workout, fast food is just as effective as sports supplements, reveals a new study.
University of Montana researchers found there was no significant difference in glycogen recovery when cyclists ate fast food after a workout versus when they ingested traditional sports supplements such as Gatorade, Powerbar and Clif products.
In the study, 11 male cyclists completed two experimental trials in randomized order. Each trial included a 90-minute glycogen-depletion ride followed by a four-hour recovery period. Immediately following each ride and again two hours later, researchers provided participants with either sports supplements or fast food, such as hamburgers, french fries and hash browns. Following a four-hour recovery period, participants completed a 12.4-mile time trial.
The researchers analyzed muscle biopsies and blood samples taken in between the two rides and found no differences in blood glucose and insulin responses. Rates of glycogen recovery from the feedings also were not different between the diets. Most importantly, there were no differences in time-trial performance between the two diets.
Dr. Brent Ruby said that their results show that eating fast food, in the right amounts, can provide the same potential for muscle glycogen as sports nutrition products that usually cost more. A lot of the articles out there are totally misrepresenting the study, he said.
They had participants eating small servings of the fast-food products, not giant orders of burgers and fries. Moderation is the key to the results they got.
The study is published by the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism