Related on TestTube
Is Sex Better Than Exercise?
How Exercise Rewires Your Brain
All you health nuts out there, what comes to mind when you snack after exercising? Typically, you think of protein shakes, protein bars, nuts, etc. Fast food is probably nowhere near the top of your list of healthy post-workout foods. We came across a new study this week that really stuck out for that very reason.
Published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, a new study measured the levels of glucose and insulin in athletes. After cycling for 90 minutes, one group of participating athletes ate fast food and the other group took sports supplements. Four hours after the initial bout of exercise, all participants did a 12.4 mile (20 km). After this, the researchers found no measurable difference in blood glucose and insulin response between the two groups. In addition, there was no difference in athletic performance in the time trial.
While these results are pretty fascinating, going for a jog all the way to McDonald's should not be your next fitness move. For starters, this study had a very small sample size, with only 11 men participating. As discussed on this episode, both fast food and fitness supplements have their own problems. Specifically, while a hamburger and fries and a shake can reload your body on carbohydrates (and then some), all that food also carries high levels of salt and sugar. Fitness supplements, on the other hand, have all kind of marketing issues and recent studies have found many popular products deceive consumers with their ingredient labels.
Small portions of fast food just as effective for recovery after work-out as sports supplements (Science Daily)
"A new study 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."
Glycogen (Science Daily)
"Glycogen is a polysaccharide that is the principal storage form of glucose (Glc) in animal and human cells."
Carbohydrate-loading diet (Mayo Clinic)
"A carbohydrate-loading diet, also called a carb-loading diet, is a strategy to increase the amount of fuel stored in your muscles to improve your athletic performance."