The benefits of pre-breakfast exercise

The holidays always spell WEIGHT GAIN for most. However, there may be a way to lessen the blow of higher holiday calories. A study published in The Journal of Physiology for the first time shows that fasted training in the morning is more potent than training after breakfast to facilitate adaptations in muscle and to improve whole-body glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity during a high-fat hyper-caloric diet.

The holiday season brings many joys and, unfortunately, many countervailing dietary pitfalls. Even the fittest and most disciplined of us can succumb, indulging in more fat and calories than at any other time of the year. The health consequences, if the behavior is unchecked, can be swift and worrying. A recent study by scientists in Australia found that after only three days, an extremely high-fat, high-calorie diet can lead to increased blood sugar and insulin resistance, potentially increasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes. Waistlines also can expand at this time of year, prompting self-recrimination and unrealistic New Year’s resolutions.

But a new study published in The Journal of Physiology suggests a more reliable and far simpler response. Run or bicycle before breakfast. Exercising in the morning, before eating, the study results show, seems to significantly lessen the ill effects of holiday Bacchanalias.

The New York Times


The Energy Drink Ranking

The staff breaks down the most popular energy drinks and gives their thoughts on taste and nutritional impact.

20 calories, 6 g carbs
Our thoughts: Seems supersweet at first, but after a few sips, the caramel-ish flavor ends up tasty and thirst quenching.
The expert’s: With just 10% of the calories in regular Monster, you still get the same buzz, thanks to stimulants like caffeine and guarana, but don’t fall for the hype on any herbal or “energy blend” ingredients: Most have iffy research backing them up.

10 calories, 2 g carbs
Our thoughts: Carbonated cough syrup, the lingering taste of gummy bears, and a chemical afterburn once you finish. Gross.
The expert’s: Guru’s calories come from organic sugarcane juice, plus a few sweet, potent herbs like guarana and gingko, which help with energy, memory, and concentration. But the flavor’s not great. End of story.

10 calories, 3 g carbs
Our thoughts: The gold standard isn’t necessarily solid gold. Even if you drink it a lot, the vodka’s likely disguising the tart medicinal quality that’s similar to aspirin dissolving on your tongue.
The expert’s: Only 10 calories, but keep in mind how small the can is. Plus, the formula is pretty average: taurine., B vitamins, and, of course, caffeine.

To read the reviews on all of the energy drinks, click here.


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