What, if anything, to have in your stomach has been studied for several years. The old dogma was that if you want to burn more fat during your workout, keep your stomach empty and have a cup of coffee prior to exercise. Caffeine de-esterifies fats so that they can be used for energy. New research corroborates this, but unfortunately, along with burning more fat, you also burn muscle tissue, just what you’re trying to add. So the researchers looked at different carbs and found that eating half an apple with caffeine 15 minutes prior to a workout spared the protein. They also found another benefit for post-exercise. If you consume caffeine along with carbs after a workout, you refill muscle glycogen (energy source in muscle) at a 66 percent faster rate than just downing carbs alone.

Cincinnati researchers found that periodic whiffs of peppermint increases people concentration and performance on tasks requiring sustained attention. Peppermint tea is a good choice.

Health tip: an important part of a warmup before walking, etc, roll a tennis ball under each foot for one minute-if you find a knot or a tight spot, really dig with the ball. It will release fascia throughout the body. If you have a tight muscle in your foot, it can lead to a chain reaction leading to tight hamstrings, a sore back, and so on.

Stay well, John R. Blilie, M.S.