October 31, 2014

What's your favorite poptart flavor? Mine is any berry flavor or fudge sundae. Voters on agree with me. What if I told you that you could use these sugary, flaky pastries to help you gain muscle and burn fat? You'd tell me I was crazy and to go eat a banana. However, before you start heckling me, let me tell you this is an actual phenomenon in the exercise nutrition field. I'm here to give you the low-down on this sweet myth.

BMH Fitness used one of my favorite food philosophies as a health nut/food lover when they stated, "Foods all contain calories and of those calories are macros: Proteins, Fats, and Carbs," in their article about this topic. Basically, don't freak out about eating one poptart, freak out about eating five poptarts. "The body cannot distinguish what it’s digesting, whether it is a chicken sandwich from a fast food joint, or baked chicken, spinach, and a handful of almonds – both meals can render the same amount of macros if measure appropriately."

I'm not saying you should go make poptarts your new go-to snack. Poptarts can be instrumental for recovering from an intense workout. After an 8-mile run, or an intense Zumba class, your body has probably used up a lot of glycogen (carbohydrate) stores in your body, and may have even used fat or protein as a fuel source. After exercise, your body spikes insulin and starts the protein synthesis cycle. Anything that can help your body build and recover that protein post-workout can ensure that when you work out next, you'll have as much or more energy to use when you worked out last. Poptarts, due to their amount of simple sugars, can help with insulin production and therefore can boost the rate of recovery.

I don't advise eating a poptarts after every workout, however if a workout really kills you, you may want to try one in order to feel less sore tomorrow. People always confuse "muscle building" and recovering. Protein help synthesize tissue (muscle), so that post-workout protein shake helps your body recover those amino acids, the true way you build muscle is by increasing your amount of resistance.

I have been eating poptarts here and there - this blog post isn't all just secondary research. I used poptarts to recover from hard cross country workouts on 4 occasions - 9/5, 9/11, 9/28, and today. Those dates in September I didn't feel sore all the next day, and I was ready for my workout the next day. Today, I really hope my poptarts helps me after a hard hill repeat workout at race pace, with a long warm up and cool down. Cross country probs, right? 

TELL ME -  what's your "super secret" gym/gain food?

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