Monday, March 21, 2011

McRunner Sets Personal Best with McDonald's Diet

A couple of weeks back, we told you about Joe D'Amico - the marathon-running enthusiast from LA who was also a sucker for McDonald's food. He challenged himself to eat 100% McDonald's food for 30 days, aside from the odd multivitamin or electrolyte beverage, in preparation for his latest marathon just to see what happens.

D'Amico made healthier choices off the hotly controversial menu, and aimed to follow a diet appropriate for a marathon runner. His diet was higher in overall calories in addition to carbohydrates to fuel his extended runs, fat to supply long-lasting energy, protein to repair his muscles and support his immune system, and sodium (which is in no short supply at McDonald's) to replace electrolytes lost through sweating.

Certainly, supporters and opponents of McDonald's alike waited with bated breath for D'Amico's outcomes so that they could have more 'evidence' to back their positions. As a nutrition professional, I was more interested in demonstrating that a healthy person's body composition is determined by the amount and type of calories they consume and the amount and type of exercise they perform. This contributes to, but does not determine, a person's overall health status.

McDonald's is by no means a 'healthier' choice for food, but in moderation, it may satisfy a different need for some people. For D'Amico, he just needed convenient fuel to burn, which he certainly did. He was also curious to see how his body would react to such a diet, which I'm sure many others have wondered as well. So it turns out, in all the times he's run the Los Angeles marathon, Joe D'Amico reached his personal best on his all McDonald's Diet! He placed 29th overall. Now - just imagine how much better he could have done with some higher quality fuel!