How to Fuel Up for Your Workout

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By K. Aleisha Fetters for :

(photo: Getty Images)

Caffeine can wake up your workout. Research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that consuming your carbs alongside caffeine rather than solo resulted in a greater spike in muscle glycogen, stored carbs that are your first line of fuel. Plus, contrary to popular opinion, it won’t dehydrate you, says Albert Matheny, R.D., an exercise physiologist, trainer, and nutrition coach at Soho Strength Lab in New York City. He recommends an good iced brew.

4. Take It Easy
Every stomach is different, and some can just about explode if you don’t fuel right. If you’ve ever felt exercise-induced stomach pains, diarrhea, or vomiting, try reducing the amount of fat, protein, and fiber you eat before your workout, as all can slow digestion and mean working out with a full stomach, Matheny says. If you are sticking to carbs and still not having luck, Kleiner recommends trying some JELL-O. It’s basically just sugar and is easy on the stomach, hence why it’s so popular among hospital patients.

5. Reach for Supplements
Sports gels, blocks, and drinks exist for a reason. They are pure carbs and electrolytes, meaning they will fuel you up without weighing down your stomach. Most contain maltodextrin, a fast-digesting carb that works pretty well for most people. However, Vitargo, which is all starch, empties from your stomach and reaches your muscles even faster, Kleiner says. Fuel up 30 minutes before training and every 30 minutes during long, hard workouts.

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