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How Many Carbs?

  • By Greg Cox, R.D.
  • Published Jan 23, 2012
  • Updated Jan 23, 2012 at 5:34 PM UTC
Photo: Ryan Bethke

Sprint races and short workouts

You need: A swig of a sports drink
Your muscles and liver have enough stored glycogen for short efforts, so additional carbohydrate is usually unnecessary. However, research has shown that a sports drink can still be beneficial. Studies of athletes who exercise for 60 minutes have found improved performance when they take in carbohydrate, despite having adequate body stores. Even just rinsing your mouth with a carbohydrate-containing fluid (such as a sports drink) can enhance performance. Although the explanation for this improved performance is unclear, it seems that a small amount of carbohydrate may enhance exercise performance simply by stimulating the brain!

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