When calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates are similar, there was no difference in glycogen replenishment between McDonald’s and Sports Supplements. There was no difference in race performance between Mcdonald's and Sports Nutrition Supplements.
McDONALDS POST WORKOUT VS SPORTS SUPPLEMENTS SUMMARY
- McDonalds post workout resulted in similar glycogen replenishment as sports supplements.
- When calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates are similar, there was no difference in glycogen replenishment between McDonald’s and Sports Supplements.
- There was no difference in race performance between Mcdonald’s and Sports Nutrition Supplements.
When most athletes think of McDonald’s, they think of junk food and poor performance. No one can eat fast food and be an athlete, right? When you think of an athlete eating at McDonald’s, poor recovery, poor nutrients, and unhealthy immediately come to mind. Let me introduce you to Serio Olivia (i.e., nicked names The Myth)., a three-time Mr. Olympia winner who was one of the few bodybuilders to beat the great Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Sergio ate lots of steak and eggs like other bodybuilders, but he also was known for his fast food binges. He was known to eat a bunch of twinkies and Mountain Dew post-workout. Other stories were that he loved pizza, fries, and pastries.
This list of fast food menu items would be unthinkable to most athletes today. Protein powders such as whey protein, amino acids, fast-acting carbohydrates, and other sports nutrition supplements are widely consumed by athletes for glycogen recovery and protein synthesis. Many athletes consider them the gold standard for recovery and exercise performance.
The notion is these products are superior to food-based proteins and carbohydrates for recovery, Optimal carbohydrate recovery recommendations are .5 grams per pound of body weight (1.2 g/kg) every hour, ingested in regular intervals of 30 min or less (Jentjens & Jeukendrup, 2003; van Loon et al., 2000)
The Study on McDONALDS POST WORKOUT
A 2015 study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism should make lifters question the notion that supplements are superior to food for recovery. Researchers from the University of Montana examined fast food vs. sports supplements before and post workout to see if they affected performance and also if they influenced muscle glycogen recovery. Sports nutrition supplements are considered clean eating.
Muscle glycogen is essential for muscle recovery and sports performance. Consuming carbohydrates immediately after exercise has been shown to improve glycogen synthesis by 45% compared to waiting for 2-hours post-workout. (Ivy et al., 1988)
The study had cyclists perform a time trial as fast as they could cycle (20 kilometers/12.4 miles). Before and after the cycling protocol, the group ate either fast food (i.e., McDonald’s) or sports supplements.
The foods were consumed one hour before and 2 hours after exercise. The diets were similar in protein, carbohydrates, and fat. After a 4-hour recovery period, they took muscle biopsies and blood samples. I have listed the fast food and sports supplements below.