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Why You Shouldn\’t Eat a Big Mac After Today’s Workout

April Seven, 2015

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“Need to Recover After a Workout? Consume a Cheeseburger.” 

“Burgers and Fries Might Actually Be Healthy for Your Muscle tissue.” 

They’re just about all based on a little study in the International Journal associated with Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, that involved nor vitamins nor cheeseburgers. 

Researchers at the University of Montana attempted to study a real problem: how you can replenish your own body’s supply of glycogen, the storage space form of carb, after a long term, ride, or hike. 

Our bodies use a mixture of fat and glycogen for energy, and most people could go days without running out of fat. But glycogen is more valuable. You have regarding 500 grams in your muscle tissue and 100 grams in your liver, plus a tiny amount of glucose inside your blood. That’utes about 2,Four hundred calories’ worth of power, and it can end up being drained during long, exhausting exercise. (Talking about exhausting exercise, check out Ten Exercises That Burn More Calories Compared to Running.)

Now, if you’ve ever seen a Gatorade commercial, or stepped inside a GNC, or even seen the ads in a magazine like Men’s Health or Runner’s World, you will know a lot of companies produce and market a lot of items designed to facilitate this process. 

That’s where the study started: Their own 11 subjects, all leisure athletes, fasted for 12 hrs, then pedaled bicycles for 90 minutes, with the objective of using up regarding 75 percent of the glycogen stores. 

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They were after that given two meals in the next two hours. Some got a mixture of commercial sports-nutrition items. Others got fast food through McDonald’s. They ended up with equivalent calories and the same mixture of macronutrients—carbs (regarding 70 percent of total calories), fat, and protein. (See box.)

The study’utes headline finding was which fast food facilitated glycogen recovery equally well as sports activities supplements. The topics all carried out equally well on the 20k (12.Four  mile) biking time test four hours after they finished the very first exercise bout, and two hours after eating the 2nd meal.

The big lesson, says Brent Ruby, Expert degree, one of the study’utes authors, is that “macronutrients are macronutrients.” The body doesn’t be aware of difference between fast-acting carbohydrates in soda pop, pancakes, or perhaps a hamburger bun vs. fast-acting carbs in Gatorade or a Clif Bar. Hungry muscles soak all of them right up. 

“The same results could be likely should you provided food items from Whole Foods or any farmer’s market,” he told us in an email. “What we should hope to get across is that recovery nutrition need not be overly complicated, and can include many diverse and unexpected macronutrient choices.”

Pretty straightforward, right? If you’lso are an endurance sportsman, or an outdoors type like Dark red, and you’lso are regularly using up your glycogen shops, it’s useful to know you have a lot of ways to refuel. Sports drinks and pubs work good, but so does anything that’utes relatively full of carbs as well as low in proteins, fat, as well as fiber, which would slow down digestion. 

But that’s not how the study has been protected in the media. 

Consider this particular paragraph in the Washington Post: 

“[The study] casts question on a multi-billion-dollar business of sports supplements. Imagine Michael Jordan chugging Cheez Expert instead of Gatorade within commercials. Or even cyclists chowing recorded on cheeseburgers during the Tour p France.”

Except Cheez Expert is two-thirds fat, and doesn’capital t resemble any of the high-carb foods within the study. 

Then there’utes this, through vice.com:

“Therefore the next time a person come home sweat-drenched as well as cursing the name of the person who invented the kettlebell, take solace in the fact that eating a burger might be no worse for you than a pea protein tremble.” 

As Ruby informed us, “These results are particular to glycogen recovery.” Protein functionality following a strength workout is a totally different problem, which this research didn’t deal with. 

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But the largest head-scratcher was the first sentence of a Thrillist article (using the headline “Technology Insists Fast Food Is the Perfect Post-Workout Meal”), illustrated with a photo of a McDouble cheeseburger: “The excessively eager cashier from GNC will probably tell you just how MuscleFreak Alpha capsules are the best thing for you following a visit to the gym, but a new study suggests a Big Mac may be just as good.” 

In 1 sentence, the author managed to mischaracterize every facet of the study. It had been specific in order to long-distance endurance instruction, not a gym workout. It didn’capital t compare amino-acid pills to junk food. And it didn’t include a Large Mac, that all by by itself has as much protein because the two foods combined, along with about three-quarters of the fat. It’utes a terrible choice for anyone, in almost any context, unless you happen to stumble across one while on the actual brink of starvation. 

The additional implication from media reports is that dietary supplements are more expensive compared to fast food, which supplement companies are bigger and thus greedier than additional food businesses. 

The cost is a wash. I added in the price of the actual supplements in the first dinner and in comparison them to the breakfast items at McDonald’s. (I used average McDonald’s costs in Pennsylvania, where I live.) The actual supplements had been $5.24, versus. $5.46 for the fast food. 

The biggest difference would be that the supplements tend to be less convenient. You’d need to buy them within bigger amounts, and if you have them on the internet, you’d probably have to factor in shipping costs.

As for the size element, it’s true that Gatorade is a billion-dollar brand. It’s of PepsiCo, which has a marketplace cap northern of $140 billion. Other huge companies, such as Coca-Cola and GlaxoSmithKline, market sports-nutrition products. However it’s difficult to cast McDonald’s, with a marketplace cap more than $90 billion, as the little man. 

They’re just about all huge, and when it comes to diet, they’re just about all in the same business: persuading you to purchase and consume their products. 

The brand new study exhibits one simple fact: When you need to refuel in a hurry after a long, depleting workout, this doesn’t matter if the carbohydrates come in the sleek plastic bottle or perhaps a cheap paper bag. You\’ve lots of ways to get what you need, when it\’s needed. And even more ways to get more than you need.

This post had been originally created for Men'utes Health by Lou Schuler is an award-winning reporter and the author, with Alan Aragon, of The Lean muscle mass Diet.

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