Study: Fast food helps recover from workout same as protein shak - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Study: Fast food helps recover from workout same as protein shakes


How about a burger and fries to top off your daily workout? 

A recent study found fast food is just as good as protein shakes and energy bars when it comes to recovering from exercise.

However, Heartland nutrition and fitness experts say they're not quite buying it.

Dallas Burnett has a pretty intense workout schedule.

“Biceps, triceps, or maybe even legs, and I'll go upper body, lower body throughout the whole workout Burnett said.

However, he says, his fitness routine doesn't stop there.

“You have to watch your diet, how many calories you take in,” Burnett said.

Owner of CB Fitness and trainer Bart Smith says healthy results depend 70 percent on nutrition and only 30 on the workout.

“After a workout you want to recover the muscles that you've broken down. A lot of people think when you're working out you're gaining muscle, no, you gain muscle when and tone and shape but the nutrition you have after your workout,” Smith said.

That's why he says it's important to watch what kind of food you're eating to recover. However, a recent study says greasy and sugary food helps you recover the same as supplements and protein bars. But dietician Raina Childers says you have to read the fine print.

“The study was a very limited study, small sample group of only 11 people that also were elite athletes which is not the majority of us, “Childers said.

She says that's why we shouldn't be misled. While expensive protein shakes and supplements aren't always the answer, neither is fast food.

“It could be a Greek yogurt with sliced banana in it. It doesn't have to be exotic but we do want to refuel those muscles, we do want to replace those glycogen stores so people have good energy levels, less soreness,” Childers said.

She and Smith agree, if a drive-thru is your only option for food, choose wisely.

“The fast food restaurants, they do have healthy menus now that you can eat off of,” Smith said.

Smith says the exact eating plan depends on your fitness goals. As for Burnett, building muscles is the goal. That's why his plan is packed with protein.

“I'm a bottomless pit when it comes to meat and other foods,” Burnett

Smith says if you must eat unhealthy fast food, after a workout is the time to do it. 

He says just don't make a habit of it.

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