The concept of organic junk food has always struck me as odd. On the surface, the fact that it’s becoming more popular than ever is even more peculiar, although I shouldn’t be surprised. The truth is that people want to feel good about eating things that have little to no nutritive value. Slap “Organic" on a product label and people can rationalize their consumption of all sorts of nutritionally-empty food stuffs, including those marketed directly to our community as sports nutrition products.
I’m all for organic foods in my diet. I’ll take them over conventionally-grown/raised, and GMO, alternatives whenever given the choice. The difference is that I gravitate toward fresh, minimally-processed, real food.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m no food Nazi. I enjoy the occasional dietary indulgence as much as anyone. Perhaps even more so if you ask those close to me. My sweet tooth has led to some legendary exploits. The thing is, I don’t use the ‘organic’ angle to make myself feel better about eating things I wouldn’t otherwise.
The next time you reach for an organic sports-nutrition product, take a look at the label and ask yourself whether the ingredients really reflect what you want to be fueling with in the name of good nutrition.
And, yes, it’s true that our bodies burn plenty of glycogen during intense exercise. It’s also true that we can better handle consuming processed foods without as great a deleterious effects during this time. However, unless you’re already in ideal condition or looking to gain weight, training time shouldn’t be looked at as a grace period to eat crap. To get the most from one’s training, nutritionally-void, highly-processed foods should still be kept to a minimum in favor nutrient-rich, fresh food whenever possible, organic or not.
Image courtesy of Cristiano Betta (http://www.flickr.com/photos/cristiano_betta/2975510440/).