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Marathoners eat lots of rice, bread, pasta, and other starchy foods, because when starches are digested, they release glucose that the body stores in the muscles and liver, like extra batteries. Foods that score high on the glycemic index, such as sugar, white and wheat breads, white potatoes, and most cold cereals, digest too rapidly and cause your blood sugar to spike. Energy drinks such as Red Bull combine caffeine (about the same amount as in a small cup of coffee) with the amino acid taurine and other additives to increase alertness and boost athletic performance.

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