The bodybuilding community has created a multi-million dollar industry for pre-, post-, and even during-workout supplements. There are protein bars, protein shakes, protein powders… the list goes on. But new research from scientists shows that in terms of post-workout glycogen recovery, fast food is just as effective as downing a sports supplement.
It sounds crazy. After all, won’t you look weird chowing down on a burger while everyone around you is chugging a protein smoothie? Setting aside judgment by gym rats, this study asserts that the two options are essentially the same. After testing out both post-workout recovery methods, scientists at the National Center for Biotechnological Information found that “blood glucose and insulin response did not register any differences. Similarly, rates of glycogen recovery were not different across the diets.”
This isn’t to say that every time you go to the gym, you should head to Chipotle afterward (although we wouldn’t blame you if you did. That post-grunt guac craving is strong). The researchers specifically stipulated that short-term food options after a workout can include a range of possibilities, including fast food and protein supplements. In other words, that super-expensive protein powder you’ve been using? It’s probably not worth the cash, bro.