If you’ve been to any bodybuilding forum of late, you must have come across a mention or two of pop-tarts. A pastry that has been with us for longer than we care to count, pop-tarts have recently received a warm welcome amongst bodybuilders as a great preworkout, post-workout and even pre-contest snack. Is this just hype, or is it here to stay? Let’s explore.
What Are Pop-Tarts?
Pop-Tarts, introduced way back in the 1960’s is a breakfast pastry. You can warm it up, or take as is, from the package that comes with a pair. Available in an array of flavors, Pop-tarts have been a darling for those who care more about the way their snacks taste than what they actually contain. They are full of carbs, and low on fats, and as far as nutrition goes, they offer very little of it. And yet the bodybuilding community has embraced it. The same community that is religious with its diet has embraced a pastry that offers nothing but a mouthful of flavor and close to 40g in carbohydrates. What is the deal then?
The Mystery Solved
As far as the ingredients list goes, there isn’t anything that makes these snacks very compelling. Between the different sugars and the high carb load, there is nothing more that they have to offer. These two aforementioned ingredients are amongst those vilified by bodybuilders as their consumption is strictly controlled.
It perhaps has to do with the flexible dieting belief. Some weightlifters insist that strictly limiting your diet is overwhelming, and so they subscribe to the mantra that if it fits your macros, you should indulge. Pop-tarts got the magic pass, and have become the emblem of liberal dieting; that a diet doesn’t have to be so restrictive because it doesn’t necessarily negate from the path to leanness. Eating one is instantly rewarding, and it takes a disciplined soul not to eat the other in the already opened wrapper.
That Pop-Tarts provide an instantaneous carbohydrate boost is a plausible pro-argument. There are times, such as before and after a workout, and before a contest, where a carbohydrate load is desired. These pastries provide just that, without the fat. Being rich in flavor and very playful on the palate helps a lot.
Should you get on the pop-tart wagon? Well, that is entirely up to you. If the calories and carbs are within your daily allowance, then by all means, indulge. But if you find that the empty calories and the different sugars do nothing for you, then you can disregard this snack. It does the trick if you are on a reefed day, and want the carbohydrates, but outside of that, eating them should be a highly personal decision that is based on what your fitness goals are. There is no research, or controlled experiments that have demonstrated the usefulness of Pop-Tarts as far as reaching bodybuilding goals is concerned.
Hopefully, on that note, the deal with Pop Tarts has been made clear.
You can buy Pop-Tarts online here.
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