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Here's How to Prepare for Your Stress Test

Here's How to Prepare for Your Stress Test

It’s all well and good to evaluate your cardiovascular system while you’re sitting in our offices, but putting your body through its paces provides us with more valuable information. To do this, we place you on an exercise machine and administer a stress test, during which we monitor your cardiovascular activity.

At our practice, Dr. James Kim is board-certified in cardiovascular disease, and he understands the importance of a stress test in identifying any potential heart health problems. While this sort of testing is noninvasive, you can do a few things to help everything go more smoothly.

Eating and drinking

We ask that you avoid eating and drinking for a few hours before your stress test — typically 3-4 hours. You can drink water during this time.


We want to get a true picture of how your cardiovascular system is functioning, so we ask that you avoid any products with caffeine for about 24 hours prior to your testing. This means coffee, teas, sports drinks, and certain medications that contain caffeine, such as those for headaches.


If you’re on medications, we’ll take a look at these to determine whether you should stop taking them before your stress test.


If you’re a smoker, we ask that you avoid smoking for 24 hours before your stress test. In fact, why not use this as an excuse to jump-start your efforts toward quitting?

Keep it clean

If you shower on the day of your stress test, we ask that you avoid putting on any heavy lotions or creams. During your stress test, we place sticky electrodes on your body, and we want to ensure that they adhere well.

Wear comfortable clothes

If we’re conducting a stress test that puts you on an exercise machine, dress appropriately in loose clothes designed for running or cycling. As well, wear rubber-soled shoes (ideally sneakers).

If you’re unable to exercise, we conduct your stress test using medications that raise your heart rate. In these cases, simply wear loose, comfortable clothes.

Carve out enough time

Stress testing can take 2-4 hours, so make sure you’ve cleared your schedule for this important visit.

After your stress test

Once your stress test is complete, you’re free to get back to your normal routine, and you can commence eating, drinking, and taking your medications again.

Rest assured, we provide you with complete instructions that are targeted to your particular situation before your stress test to ensure that you’re well prepared.

If you have more questions about how to prepare for your stress test or what you can expect during your test, please contact one of our locations in Chula Vista or National City, California, to learn more.

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