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Eating During Exercise Makes You More Alert

A study from the Environmental Medical Research Institute of the United States Army in Natick, Massachusetts shows that taking extra carbohydrates during prolonged exercise markedly improves a person's ability to think and reason.

Almost all of the energy for your brain comes from sugar in your bloodstream. Most people know that exercise markedly increases your muscles' use of blood sugar, but this study shows that during exercise, the brain also has marked increase in its use of blood sugar, and that taking extra carbohydrates during prolonged exercise helps the brain to function better. So the next time you go for a long hike, run for more than an hour, cycle for more than two hours or do any continuous strenuous exercise, take in lots of fluids and calories in sugared drinks and solid foods such as nuts, seeds, beans, dried fruit, or anything else that you like to eat.

Carbohydrate administration during a day of sustained aerobic activity improves vigilance, as assessed by a novel ambulatory monitoring device, and mood. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2002, Vol 76, Iss 1, pp 120-127. HR Lieberman, CM Falco, SS Slade. Lieberman HR, USA, Environm Med Res Inst, Mil Nutr Div, Natick,MA 01760 USA

Checked 8/31/08

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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