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Researchers at the University of Montana have exciting news for endurance athletes craving Fast Foods like burgers and fries after an intense workout: In fact, go for it!
Brent Ruby, director of UM’s Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism, graduate student Michael Cramer, and a team of researchers in UM’s Department of Health and Human Performance detailed these findings in a paper titled “Post-exercise Glycogen Recovery and Exercise Performance is Not Significantly Different Between Fast Food and Sport Supplements.”
Researchers found 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.
“Our 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,” Ruby said
However, moderation is key.
“A lot of the articles out there are totally misrepresenting the study,” he said. “We had participants eating small servings of the fast-food products, not giant orders of burgers and fries. Moderation is the key to the results we got.”
Slight Disclaimer: Although Fast Food might replenish glycogen stores, it certainly won’t lead you to a cover model body. So take it easy if you’re trying to look the part. The main point, don’t beat yourself up over a Fast Food splurge. If you’ve earned it, by all means, indulge!