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Small portions of fast food just as effective for recovery after work-out as sports supplements

Date:
April 7, 2015
Source:
The University of Montana
Summary:
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.
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Cyclists riding in an international race.
Credit: © ChiccoDodiFC / Fotolia

University of Montana researchers have good news for endurance athletes hankering for a burger and fries after an intense workout: Dig in.

In moderation, that is.

A new study, recently published by the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 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.

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."

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 fires and hash browns. Following a four-hour recovery period, participants completed a 12.4-mile (20-kilometer) time trial.

The UM 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.

"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.

Dozens of publications, from the Washington Post and the Daily Mail to Runner's World and Outside magazine, have picked up the results of the study since it first appeared online in late March. But not all of the articles are accurate, Ruby said.

"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."


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by The University of Montana. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael J. Cramer, Charles L. Dumke, Walter S. Hailes, John S. Cuddy, Brent C. Ruby. Post-exercise Glycogen Recovery and Exercise Performance is Not Significantly Different Between Fast Food and Sport Supplements. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2015; DOI: 10.1123/ijsnem.2014-0230

Cite This Page:

The University of Montana. "Small portions of fast food just as effective for recovery after work-out as sports supplements." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150407141335.htm>.
The University of Montana. (2015, April 7). Small portions of fast food just as effective for recovery after work-out as sports supplements. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 29, 2016 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150407141335.htm
The University of Montana. "Small portions of fast food just as effective for recovery after work-out as sports supplements." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150407141335.htm (accessed August 29, 2016).