You may have noticed that you’re not always the brightest right after a tough workout. Try solving a simple math problem after a set of heavy squats and you’ll see what we mean. It turns out that exercise drains glycogen from not only your muscles, but also your brain. Fortunately, that’s a good thing, because just as post-workout carbs refuel your muscle glycogen stores, they do the same for your brain, and according to a recent Japanese study, regular exercise actually raises your brain’s baseline glycogen levels—by as much as 60%—particularly in areas responsible for thinking and memory. It’s also good to know that even though occasional exercise doesn’t produce the same long-term, brain-boosting results, you’ll experience the same effect for anywhere up to 24 hours. So no matter what, you can always count on your workout to kick your brain into high gear.
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