Original source found here:

"While it is commonly hypothesized that the chronic consumption of fast food choices have a negative effect on dyslypemia, cardiovascular risk, and obesity (Grundy & Denke, 1990) the acute consumption has received little attention in the literature when applied to young, active individuals.  Furthermore, fast food sources matched isoenergetically to sports supplements can provide for basic recovery needs of the muscle and may offer a convenient and economical approach to glycogen recovery under some circumstances."

There's more to health than glycogen replenishment and short term performance.  I actually think most if not all sport supplements are a definite waste of money and likely a waste of health. My emphasis on health is my primary point.  The truth is, health and performance are close--but not quite--synonymous.

The closer one gets to ultimate performance in a particular activity/sport, the farther from health the individual is. Pushed so far from homeostasis via training and nutrition/lifestyle protocols to be at the elite level comes at a cost so that the next straw (staying up to late, eating the wrong food, exposure to a random pathogen, etc.) can be the straw which breaks the back. When I raced bicycles professionally, I could ride most people's legs off. But I also could barely keep up with my wife when she went shopping at the mall (admittedly, few probably could...). So was I healthy? For cycling, yes. For anything else--not so much.

There are many adaptations which occur in elite athletes (especially those involved in endurance sports) which are not necessarily conducive to health. Examples would be hypothyroidism or even the "ability" to better utilize fat for fuel. Old people, obese people, and even diabetics are quite good at using fat instead of carbohydrate, but I don't think many of us are aspiring to be fat geriatrics with blood sugar handling issues. That's one reason it's so hard to stay at the top of your performance for extended lengths of time. The pinnacle is so high and the grade to reach it so steep that it's easy to get pushed over by almost anything in life. Thus, if your foundation is health, the peak not only typically has a bit more room to move around, it's also got the potential to be much higher.

The healthier one gets (via sound thinking, breathing, drinking, eating, moving, sleeping, etc) the greater threshold one has for the stress of training/competing in the sport of choice. In a nutshell, I'm saying: give me two athletes equal in all regards but feed one McDonalds and feed the other quality food (not sport supplements as referenced in the above study), and I know on whom I'd put my money. In that sense, health is the ultimate performance enhancer.


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