Eat+Sleep= Exercise?

I've heard it both ways.  Eat before a workout.  Don't eat before a workout.  Now Gretchen Reynolds weighs in (pun not intended!) on what's better to do.

Reynolds, who herself has run marathons, writes that she was orginally told that "pre-exercise calories would lead to a quick increase in blood sugar — a sugar high — followed by an equally speedy blood-sugar trough, known as 'rebound hypoglycemia,' which would arrive in the middle of our race or workout and wreck performance."

This idea came from decades-old studies showing that blood-sugar levels and performance tended to decline if athletes ate or drank sugary foods or drinks just before exercise, according to Reynolds. But this has since been debunked.

I remember marathoner friends eating pounds of spaghetti the night before the race.

Eating easily-digestible carbs before working out can help you stay the course longer, though, research has found, and if you run or lift weights, she says, feel free to indulge in carbohydrate-rich foods (but pick the right ones) — provided your session has lasted for at least 45 minutes or longer. (If it’s shorter than that, you will likely consume more calories than you have burned.)

On another exercise aspect, there are those who work out until they drop just so they can get to sleep, Reynolds writes.  A recent study with volunteers who exercised three or four times for 30 minutes for 16 weeks found, at the end, that they were sleeping "much more soundly than they had been at the start of the study. They slept, on average, about 45 minutes to an hour longer on most nights, (as good or better than most current treatment options, including drugs), waking up less often and reporting more vigor and less sleepiness," Reynolds says.

But here's what I found most interesting: sleep has  more of an impact on exercise (when you don't get enough, you don't perform well) than exercise has on sleep.


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