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After an intense workout, protein is must, whether it’s in the form of a shake or a bar. Well, a new study is confirming that fast food is just as useful as a post-workout food choice as a protein supplement. The International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism published a study in which a grad student and his colleagues had top-notch male athletes complete what seemed to be a pretty asinine experiment.
The grad student had the athletes fast for four hours and do a 90-minute treadmill workout. Half of the athletes were given the typical post-workout nutrition regime of Gatorade, energy cubes, and protein bars. However, the rest of the athletes were given hasbrowns, hamburgers, fries, and soda — food items you would steer clear from. Once both groups fully digested their food, they went back to working out by riding a bike for 12.4 miles. A week later, each group completed the workout again — swapping the post-workout nutrition plan. Blood tests were taken for each week.
The results from this experiment showed that the athletes were able to do their workout just as quickly and efficiently after eating like a pig compared to throwing back energy cubes. As for the blood tests indicated that those who consumed fast food had higher levels of muscle glycogen than those who ate the more nutritious post-workout meal. There also wasn’t a difference in insulin, glucose, cholesterol, or triglyceride levels, and the athletes didn’t feel sick after packing away a greasy meal.
So what should we take away from this study? Yes, fast food is not good for you but it’s also okay to practice other post-workout nutrition strategies — just don’t overindulge!