Have You Ever Wondered

. . . if eating a candy bar right before rigorous activity supercharges your body? No; even though carbohydrates supply energy, a candy bar won't supply extra energy right away.

For endurance activities of ninety minutes or longer, a sugary snack food (energy) bar or drink before exercise (or even during an event) may enhance your stamina. It slowly makes its way to your muscles as your glycogen stores get used up. Fig bars, graham crackers, bananas, and raisins work, too. Drink water along with these snacks.

Keep your snack or drink small: no more than 200 to 300 calories. Too much sugar may slow the time it takes water to leave your stomach, so your body won't replace fluids as quickly. Your best approach? Enjoy a sports drink. You'll consume a little sugar to fuel your muscles-but not too much to impair rehydration.

fat isn't stored as muscle glycogen; "carbs" are. Here's one strategy for cutting fat and boosting carbohydrates: Eat a baked potato more often than fries. Replace the fat calories you didn't eat from fries with a slice of whole-grain bread, a nutirent-rich source of "carbs."

For more about fat in a healthful eating plan, and for ways to moderate fat in your food choices, see chapter 3, "FatFacts."

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