We all know the place. That palace in the sky. That holy grail of loveliness. The International House of Pancakes, or more commonly knows as IHOP.
The pleasure that we get from eating a pile of pancakes from IHOP can be indescribable to some. The way the butter melts in your mouth, the way the sweetness of the pancakes fill your mouth with delight...but how good are these things for us?
Pancakes are generally made with white flour, a simple sugar. People usually add more sugar to the recipe, which as you can guess is another simple sugar. The maply syrup we put on top of them is also a simple sugar. And the trans fats in the butter don't help. What do you think the nutritional value of eating at IHOP?
Well it's not high.
First off all these simple sugars will make your blood sugar skyrocket. When our blood sugar skyrockets our bodies release insulin in an attempt to clear all the sugars from our bloodstream and store them properly. The thing is, we usually release a bit too much insulin, and it takes WAY too much sugar out of our blood, so we end up having low blood sugar levels. Once we're in that state, our bodies automatically become tired, because since we have very little sugars in our blood to fuel our awakefulness, the body turns down it's engines so as not to burn out. So since theres nothing to really run off of we just stop running.
This is commonly referred to as the "itis". It can be VERY, VERY detrimental in the middle of your workday to simply fall asleep. You will get less things done if you're sleeping. Also, the next time you eat you'll probably overeat because your blood sugar levels were very low and your body tells you you're very hungry to supercompensate, and if you eat more simple sugars you'll set yourself down that vicious circle once again.
Another thing to take note of is that it has been shown that our immune system decrease in it's ability to protect itself each time that we consume simple sugars.
So what can be said for the nutritional value at IHOP? Well you should probably stay away from it if you want to be lean and fit. If you're aboslutely addicted to pancakes, then you can afford a large rise in insulin levels immediately after a workout. It's actually very beneficial if you take in some protein as well. So plan to do a very intense resistance training workout, work hard, and earn those pancakes. But once again, don't eat them every day!