When you’re trying to get healthy, it’s normal that you obsess over the rules because you want to get it right. You want to know when you should eat, how much you should eat, and when you should eat in your schedule.
One question that you may be wondering is whether or not you can eat before you exercise. While the answer is “depends”, this article will take a look at this answer.
So, is it bad to exercise after eating? It is recommended that you eat before you exercise. Studies have shown that by eating prior to exercising, you will have better performance and can maximize your workouts. If you want to have a long duration workout, you will need energy that you can’t get if you workout during a fasting period.
However, there are some things that you should consider before you carb load right before a workout. When you eat prior to a workout, you may end up feeling nauseated while working out or your body just doesn’t feel right.
One reason for this is because as you work out, your muscles are asking for more blood flow to them. As this happens, your body actually constricts and dilates the blood vessels in your body.
This means that vessels to the other areas of your body, such as ones necessary for digested, are constricted. Eating right before exercising causes your digestive tract and the muscles, impeding your work out.
It may not be that bad to workout after eating, but to optimize your workout you should wait some time before you work out.
How Long Should You Wait to Exercise After Eating?
Ideally, you should wait about 2 hours to workout after you eat. This is just a basic guideline and can really depend on how much you ate. After a big meal, you need to wait longer to workout than if you had a small snack, maybe waiting at least 3 hours.
Failing to do this can lead to unpleasant stomach discomfort such as cramping or bloating. It also depends on the type of exercising that you are doing. You will want to wait longer for high-endurance activities like swimming or running.
However, you may find that eating or at least a pre-workout or protein shake before your workout or exercise may work better. Everyone is different, meaning that you just have to listen to your body to determine what works best for you.
You might find that you need extra time after eating before you work out. Or, you may find that you can workout after only 10 minutes or so of resting after eating. The most important thing is to listen to your body.
What Happens If I Eat Too Soon After Working Out?
As previously mentioned, there are some side effects to eating too soon after you work out like problems with your digestive track. However, this is just one issue that happens if you workout too soon after you eat.
Some people think that working out too soon after eating can be counterproductive if you are trying to lose weight in addition to making you feel sick.
If you eat directly right before you work out, this can impede your body’s ability to burn fat. The goal of working out is to transform your body’s fat stores into energy as you work out, helping you to lose weight and get healthy.
When you exercise while fasted, or with a minimal amount of food in your stomach, this can create the ideal combination of hormones in your body. Your body will release adrenaline as well as suppress insulin, a hormone that causes your body to store any nutrients.
Since insulin isn’t circulating as much in your blood system, your muscles have an easier time breaking down and using those essential fatty acids.
This is all in addition to the nausea and diarrhea issues that you can run into if you work out after eating.
What Should I Eat Before Exercising?
If you are going to eat before exercising, you want to make sure that your body gets the proper food. Otherwise, you won’t see the benefits of eating before a workout.
For instance, you should always avoid saturated fats and a lot of healthy protein prior to working out. The reason for this is because these types of food will digest slower, which is a problem when working out already reduces your body’s ability to digest food.
The reason to avoid is that this typically leads to digestive discomfort when working out, which you will want to avoid.
Ideally, you will eat healthy carbs like whole wheat toast, whole-grain cereal, brow rice, whole grain pasta, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat or fat-free yogurt.
These foods will give you the fuel that you need to maximize the results of your workout. You want to eat carbs that are easy to digest, which will prevent that sluggish feeling that you often get after working out.
If you need to work out in a short time after eating, stick to a fruit as this gives you the nutrition and satisfaction that your body needs without feeling too heavy or tired to work out after eating.
Listen to your body and how much water it needs to ensure that you don’t get too dehydrated when working out.
It’s also extremely important that no matter what, you make sure that you are constantly hydrating with water. Even if you have to take a small break during working out to get some water, do so.
What Should I Eat After Exercising?
Whether you just don’t have time to eat before working out or you are doing intermittent fasting and work out while fasted, it’s crucial that you eat something very soon after your workout.
You need to make sure that you get the right food in your body after your workout to ensure that your body recovers as well as it needs to so that you can be healthy.
It isn’t necessary to eat immediately after your workout, but you should eat within a few hours of working out. This means that you can eat when it feels right to you after your workout.
What you refuel your body with after your workout can be just as important as what you eat before you work out.
First of all, it’s really important that you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially after a workout when you need to replenish the water in your body.
You can even mix in 100% juice like orange juice, which offers you the fluids that you need with extra nutrients like healthy carbs that are important to your body’s recovery.
It’s also important to make sure that you eat proteins and carbs after your workout. You want to eat healthy and lean proteins after your workout, which is important in helping to not only grow your muscles, but to repair them.
When you exercise, your body burns off a lot of carbs, which is considered to be the main fuel for your muscles as you exercise. The carbs and protein that you consume prior to your workout gives you energy, but when consumed afterwards it can help aid in your body’s recovery.
Again, this comes down to your own personal preference. You may find that some foods work better for you after working out than others. Everyone has their own dietary needs so no matter whether you eat before or after your workout, you just want to make sure that you eat something healthy for you.
Final Thoughts on Is It Bad to Exercise After Eating
Most of fitness and nutrition is a wasteland of people arguing that their methods are the best instead of focusing on helping you to get results you want and need.
I personally don’t want to eat before I workout or run as I feel gross and bloated and I feel I perform very poorly when I have. I would suggest you figure out which helps you to get the results you are aiming for, some may see benefits with one method or the other.
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