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How to Eat to Improve Your Workout

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3 new studies reveal that the right foods at the right time may improve results.

Getting a great workout goes beyond the number of reps you do or the miles you log on the treadmill. “The food you put into your body before and after you exercise can do a lot to either help or hurt your fitness,” says Kristine Clark, Ph.D., R.D., director of sports nutrition at Pennsylvania State University. In fact, three new studies reveal that the right eats (enjoyed at the right time) can help increase your fat burn, boost your strength and curb post-workout pain.

Torch more fat with breakfast. Breakfast can give you a much-needed energy boost to start your day. But when it comes to shedding pounds, it may be smarter to push your morning meal to after your workout, according to a study in the Journal of Physiology. During the six-week study, participants who ate a high-cal, high-fat breakfast before hitting the gym packed on an average of three pounds. The after-workout eaters? They gained almost no weight—although they ate the same breakfast. Exercise elevates levels of the fat-burning hormone adrenalin, says lead researcher Karen Van Proeyen, Ph.D. But when you work out after eating, the insulin your body releases to help you digest the food blunts the spike in adrenalin. Result: You burn less fat. Can’t push through with a growling belly? “Try splitting your breakfast,” suggests Leslie Bonci, R.D., director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh. “Have a 4-ounce yogurt before your workout and have whole-grain toast with peanut butter and a banana afterward.”

Pump up your muscles with protein. Consuming about 20 grams of protein post-workout may increase muscle building regardless of age, suggests a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. (Previous research has shown that age may impair the body’s ability to digest and absorb protein.) Two eggs and a glass of milk (20 grams protein) hit this protein sweet spot.

Quell post-workout pain with cherries. Think sore muscles post-workout are a given? Maybe not. British researchers found that people who drank 1 ounce of concentrated cherry juice twice daily for 10 days bounced back faster from their workout (an intensive leg-resistance training session on day 8) than those who skipped the juice. The reason: The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in tart cherries—and other fruit juices like grape, pomegranate, acai, blueberry and cranberry—essentially act as natural NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and aspirin), reducing exercise-induced muscle damage.

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What is BELVIQ®/BELVIQ XR®?

BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR is an FDA-approved prescription weight-loss medication that, when used with diet and exercise, can help some adults (body mass index [BMI] 27 kg/m2) living with extra weight, with a weight-related medical problem, or adults living with obesity (BMI 30 kg/m2), lose weight and keep it off. It is not known if BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss products is safe and effective. It is not known if BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR changes your risk of heart problems, stroke, or death due to heart problems or stroke.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR BELVIQ®/BELVIQ XR®:

  • Pregnancy: Do not take if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as weight loss offers no benefit during pregnancy and BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may harm your unborn baby.
  • Hypersensitivity reactions: Do not take if you are allergic to lorcaserin or any of the ingredients in BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR.
  • Serotonin Syndrome or Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome (NMS)–like reactions: Before using, tell your Healthcare Provider about all the medicines you take, especially medicines that treat depression, migraines, mental problems, or the common cold. These medicines may cause serious or life-threatening side effects if taken with BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR. Call your Healthcare Provider right away if you experience agitation, hallucinations, confusion, or other changes in mental status; coordination problems; uncontrolled muscle spasms; muscle twitching; restlessness; racing or fast heartbeat; high or low blood pressure; sweating; fever; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; or stiff muscles.
  • Valvular heart disease: Some people taking medicines like BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR have had heart valve problems. Call your Healthcare Provider right away if you experience trouble breathing; swelling of the arms, legs, ankles, or feet; dizziness, fatigue, or weakness that will not go away; or fast or irregular heartbeat. Before taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR, tell your Healthcare Provider if you have or have had heart problems.
  • Changes in attention or memory: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may slow your thinking. You should not drive a car or operate heavy equipment until you know how BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR affects you.
  • Mental problems: Taking too much BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may cause hallucinations, a feeling of being high or in a very good mood, or feelings of standing outside your body.
  • Depression or thoughts of suicide: Call your Healthcare Provider right away if you notice any mental changes, especially sudden changes in your mood, behaviors, thoughts, or feelings, or if you have depression or thoughts of suicide.
  • Low blood sugar: Weight loss can cause low blood sugar in people taking medicines for type 2 diabetes, such as insulin or sulfonylureas. Blood sugar levels should be checked before and while taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR. Changes to diabetes medication may be needed if low blood sugar develops.
  • Painful erections: If you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours while on, stop taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR and call your Healthcare Provider or go to the nearest emergency room right away.
  • Slow heartbeat: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may cause your heart to beat slower.
  • Decreases in blood cell count: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may cause your red and white blood cell counts to decrease.
  • Increase in prolactin: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR may increase the amount of a hormone called prolactin. Tell your Healthcare Provider if your breasts begin to make milk or a milky fluid, or if you are a male and your breasts increase in size.
  • Most common side effects of BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR: Headache, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, dry mouth, constipation, cough, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in patients with diabetes, and back pain.
  • Nursing: BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR should not be taken while breastfeeding.
  • Drug interactions: Before taking BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR, tell your Healthcare Provider if you take medicines for depression, migraines, or other medical conditions, such as: triptans; medicines used to treat mood, anxiety, psychotic or thought disorders, including tricyclics, lithium, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or antipsychotics; cabergoline; linezolid (an antibiotic); tramadol; dextromethorphan (an over-the-counter [OTC] common cold/cough medicine); OTC supplements such as tryptophan or St. John’s Wort; or erectile dysfunction medicines.

BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR is a federally controlled substance (CIV) because it may be abused or lead to drug dependence.
For more information about BELVIQ/BELVIQ XR talk to your Healthcare Provider and see the full Product Information.
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