Everyone has a pre-workout ritual, whether it’s sliding on your favorite shoes or eating a certain meal. There is always that one thing that makes you feel like you’re going to have the best run or lift of your life. According to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Bath in England, there’s another way to get a nice pre-workout boost. Researchers found that stirring table sugar into a bottle of water before a major workout could help boost your exercise and be a major game changer.
To conduct the experiment, the research team tested various sports drinks to see which one yielded the best results. Ultimately, the researchers were observing how different carbohydrates could help avoid the decline of the liver and prolong tiredness. Using long-distance cyclists, the research team led by Dr. Javier Gonzalez found that ingesting carbs in the form of either glucose or sucrose could help avert the decline of liver glycogen.
Through their research they also found that having glucose-only pre-workouts drinks caused the cyclists the discomfort of an upset stomach. However, when the cyclists tried sucrose based drinks, or simply had table sugar and water, they did not experience upset stomachs and noticed an extra boost of energy aiding their workout.
“The study found that the exercise felt easier, and the gut comfort of the cyclists was better, when they ingested sucrose compared to glucose,” Gonzalez told The Telegraph. So, if you find yourself getting an upset stomach during workouts, your pre-workout diet may be to blame. If you still want that pre-workout boost, but without the stomachache, you might want to switch up your routine.
“This suggests that, when your goal is to maximize carbohydrate availability, sucrose is probably a better source of carbohydrate to ingest than glucose,” Gonzalez says.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should be dumping the sugar shaker in your water before you go work out. According to the study, researchers recommend up to 90g of sugar per hour – diluted to 8g sugars per 100ml – for optimal performance during exercise lasting over two and a half hours.
So, based on how long and intense your workout is, you should have sugar water accordingly. If sugar water isn’t for you, there are also different foods that you can eat to get your pre-workout boost. A great and easy pre-workout option is a banana. According to Men’s Fitness, bananas are “loaded with digestible carbohydrates and packed with potassium, which aids in maintaining nerve and muscle function.”
Other healthy pre-workout snacks include oats or fruit and yogurt. Making sure you get enough nutrients is important, and also combining carbohydrates with sugars will set you up for peak performance. So, next time you are headed to the gym, remember that a spoonful of sugar may be beneficial to your sweat session.
More from Health & Fitness Cheat Sheet:
- Everything You Need to Know About ‘Sweatworking’
- 8 Things That May Be Missing From Your Workout Routine
- 6 Exercise Moves You Should Avoid at All Costs
Want more great content like this? Sign up here to receive the best of Cheat Sheet delivered daily. No spam; just tailored content straight to your inbox.