A study showed that fast food is just as efficient as a protein bar or sports drink when it comes to glycogen recovery. Muscle biopsies and blood samples from 11 male cyclists following a rigorous ride were analyzed. Cyclists completed two 90-minute rides, with a four-hour recovery period in between each. Immediately after each ride, cyclists were given either sports supplements or fast food. When each recovery period was over, they got back on their bikes and completed a 12.4-mile time trial.
The researchers found no difference in blood glucose and insulin responses, as well as no difference in the time-trial performance between the two diets.
So, if you have a hankering for a burger and fries post-workout, this research shows you may not need to amp up that willpower after all. But, keep in mind that these athletes worked pretty hard and ate immediately afterwards and no matter how hard you work, you have to think before you supersize it. The participants ate small servings of the fast-food products, not giant orders of burgers and fries.