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ealth Hint #104

When to Eat If You're Going to Exercise

© American Institute for Preventive Medicine, DonR. Powell PhD

Excerpted from "A Year of Health Hints"
365 Practical Ways to Feel Better and Live Longer

Is it better to exercise and then eat, or eat and then exercise? Follow these guidelines.

Don't eat much right before a workout, because your body will divert blood to your muscles
and away from your digestive organs, disrupting the process of digestion. Generally, it's best
to work out 2 to 3 hours after a meal, or an hour or two after a snack.
Always eat breakfast. If you exercise before breakfast, you may reduce fatigue if you eat a small
amount of food--like a small glass of juice or a piece of toast--15 or 20 minutes before you set out.
If you exercise before dinner or late in the day, make breakfast and lunch your main meals. To boost
energy levels, have a late-afternoon snack.

SOURCE: Adapted from HealthyLife® on Fitness (Southfield, Mich.: American Institute for Preventive Medicine, 1987).

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