Craving a burger and fries after a workout? It might be worth it to indulge, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

Exercisers know after a tough workout they need to eat and drink for recovery, a process formally known as glycogen resynthesis. After running, spinning, or what have you, the muscle’s glycogen levels deplete. And glycogen is what restores glucose, or blood sugar, the body relies on for energy throughout the day. So reaching for food and drink shortly after a workout, when the body is primed to easily absorb glycogen-fueling nutrients such as protein and carbohydrates, is key.

But most people who think about recovery think about sports bars and drinks, like Gatorade — not McDonald’s. Given prior research has recommended time, dose, and macronutrients all influence how effective the recovery period is, researchers decided to measure the difference, if any, between sport-specific foods and fast foods.

Researchers recruited 11 men to take two, 90-minute exercise tests on a stationary bike followed by a four hour recovery period, where participants either ate sports foods or fast foods during recovery. In this study, sports food included Gatorade, Clif, and PowerBars, while fast foods included McDonald’s hamburger, fries, coke, and hashbrowns. Runner’s World cited “all meals were roughly 70 percent carbohydrate and 10 percent protein.”

After the tests, researchers collected muscle biopsies and blood samples in order to measure level of recovery, which is dependent upon insulin response, glucose response, cholesterol, and a person’s subsequent workout. Turns out, both types of food similarly aid recovery.

Dr. Brent Ruby, lead researcher, told Runner’s World Newswire he and his team expected these findings, though they did not anticipate nearly identical blood data and later workouts. He said these “results show that fast food, in the right amounts, can provide the same potential for muscle glycogen as sports nutrition products that probably cost more.”

Ultimately, this study suggests short-term food options for recovery aren't limited to foods marketed as sports nutrition products.

Source: Cramer MJ, et al. Post-exercise Glycogen Recovery and Exercise Performance is Not Significantly Different Between Fast Food and Sport Supplements. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. 2015.