McDonalds v KFC v Subway shootout.

Stuck for food at the services? Fast food is now officially a (relatively) good option.

>>> What post-ride grub would you choose from a petrol station with £10?

Prepare for your mind to be boggled — fast food like McDonalds or KFC could actually be a good post-ride food after a big ride.

Researchers from the US have found that the body doesn’t really care where it gets its post-ride recovery carbs from, as long as it gets them in sufficient quantities.

Of course that doesn’t mean greasy fried food and burgers are actually good for your longterm health, so we sent out award winning nutritionist, trainer and chef Alan Murchinson off to find the best bad food to guzzle post-ride.


Original recipe ricebox meal, BBQ beans, and latte coffee – £5.49

  • 690 calories
  • 18g fat
  • 91g carbs
  • 38g protein


Grilled chicken salad, organic semi-skimmed milk, and apple and grape fruit bag – £5.28

  • 304 calories
  • 8g fat
  • 26g carbs
  • 30g protein


Chicken breast sub, Walker’s baked crisps, and orange juice – £5.30

  • 460 calories
  • 6.8g fat
  • 72.3g carbs
  • 27.7g protein

(Who is Alan Murchinson? Alan Murchison ( held a Michelin star for a decade and now provides nutritional advice to elite athletes.)

The verdict

McDonalds actually offers really good food now, Alan reckons, sourcing the healthy alternatives like milk, salads and grilled chicken. “We’ve tried to be too clever here though, because 300 calories is not enough food after a ride,” Alan says. “You’ll be hungry and you’ll probably grab whatever comes closest to hand, like a chocolate bar. So it’s good for a really gentle ride but not much more.”

Next on our fast-food stop was Subway, which Alan reckoned was the worst here. “For starters it just doesn’t taste very good, it’s pretty unappetising,” he said. “What looks like reformed chicken to us breaks up into paste and so does the bread.” The orange juice is much better because it’s just a portion of fruit, and for a treat the baked crisps are relatively fat free too.

Our surprise “winner, winner, chicken dinner” is KFC. “We’ve pitched a swerve ball in there, pairing the ricebox chicken with beans and a coffee,” he said. It’s part of the meal deal, meaning the cost is kept low, and beans are just another form of protein, which will repair muscle after a ride. It’s the best tasting chicken of the lot too, Alan says, no surprise given it’s made from chicken breast and not reformed meat. And the calories and fat are higher too — no bad thing when you’ve been riding and need them to recover.