The overly eager cashier at GNC will probably tell you that MuscleFreak Alpha capsules are the best thing for you after a visit to the gym, but a new study suggests a Big Mac might be just as good. Researchers found that feeding an athlete fast food over supplements as an exercise recovery meal made no difference in their later performance, or the stability of their stomach.
As RealClearScience recounts, the team (led by University of Montana grad student Michael Cramer) asked 11 trained male athletes to participate in the experiment. All the men completed a 90-minute endurance workout after fasting for half a day. Then, the scientists gave them some post-exercise snacks -- only half of them got Clif Shot Bloks, Gatorade, and organic peanut butter while the others received fast-food pancakes, hash browns, and OJ. Two hours after their feast, the athletes were given a second meal. The sad supplements group got PowerBars and Cytomax powder while the fast-food crowd dined on hamburgers and fries (with a Coke to wash it all down).