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8 July 2009

When Should You Eat to Fuel Exercise?

No matter what kind of exercise you do, you need food and water to fuel the effort. But when’s the best time to eat before exercise?

According to Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, your food is just like your running shoes or your skis. If you think of it this way, you’ll have a better outcome when you’re physically active.

There are two common mistakes. One is not eating anything before exercise, and that means you’re not putting fuel into your body -- you’ll be more tired and weaker. The second issue is eating too much. Bonci says the right quantity is a fist-sized amount of food an hour before exercise.

At that same time, you should have about 20 ounces of liquid. It takes about 60 minutes for that much liquid to leave the stomach and make its way into the muscle. If you have liquid ahead of time, you’ll be better hydrated when you start to be physically active.

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