Last Updated on Sep 01, 2014

How to prepare for the Exercise stress test

The patient should abstain from eating or drinking anything except water for four hours before the exercise stress test.

  • Smoking should be avoided before the test.
  • Caffeine has to be avoided for 12 hours before the test as it may interfere with the results. Any food or drink containing caffeine has to be avoided.
  • With regards to heart medications, the patient has to do exactly as his/her doctor advises to. These medications should not be taken unless the doctors say otherwise.
  • Other medications may be continued unless instructed otherwise.
  • The patient may bring an inhaler if he uses it for breathing.
  • He/She should use comfortable shoes and loose clothing.

How a diabetic patient is prepared for the test

  • If the patient is on insulin, the dosage on the day of test has to be discussed with the doctor. Usually half the morning dose plus a light meal four hours before the test is prescribed.
  • If the patient is on pills to control blood sugar, he/she should not take them until after the test is complete. Skip a meal before the test.
  • Blood sugar levels before and after the test may be measured.


  1. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed.

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