How Long Should You Wait to Work Out After Eating

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How Long Should You Wait to Work Out After Eating

Vivoo Nutrition Team

Had a great workout but don't want to ruin it by eating something that will make you feel terrible? What should you do? Wait for some time before chowing down. Here's everything you need to know about how long you should wait to work out after eating.

Our digestive systems start breaking down the food we eat into nutrients that our bodies can use for energy after eating a meal. Depending on what we've eaten, this process can take anywhere from a few hours to even a few days. 

So, should we wait to exercise until after the food we ate is fully digested? Probably not! While it's usually not necessary to wait that long, giving your food some time to settle in your stomach before working out is always a good idea. This way, you'll minimize the risk of feeling uncomfortable due to indigestion or an upset stomach. However, there are still many other factors that you might consider before deciding whether to work out after eating. Let's find out!

Are there any exceptions or nutrition habits to workout after eating?

If you're eating a very light meal or snacks, such as a piece of fruit or some yogurt, you can probably work out sooner than an hour after eating. If you're really striving for peak performance, you may want to wait an hour or two to work out after eating so that your food has time to be fully digested and converted into energy. For most people, waiting a little time before working out is all that's needed.

There are also certain nutrition habits that make working out after eating more comfortable. For instance, eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day can help prevent indigestion. And avoiding high-fat, fried, or spicy foods before exercise can also help keep stomach discomfort at bay.

What happens if you exercise after eating?

Let's say your diet is very light and you are comfortable with doing exercise any time of the day. In this case, can you exercise after having a healthy and small portion of a feast?

Yes, you can definitely use it to your benefit. First, exercise helps to burn calories. So, if you're looking for a way to lose weight, working out after a light dinner can help you reach your weight loss goals. Second, exercise helps improve digestion. Working out after dinner can help move food through your digestive system more quickly and efficiently, making you more light and relaxed in the evening. Finally, if you have diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes, exercising after eating can help keep your blood sugar levels in check.

work out after eating

Read more:

Snacks that you can eat before working out

To help you improve your performance, here are 2 snacks if you feel starving and still want to work out

Work out after a snack instead of a whole meal – try having a snack like a banana with peanut butter to improve your overall performance instead of loading up on a full plate of food. 

Try low-calorie and low-fiber snacks  – if you want to avoid a gastrointestinal issue that can occur from working out after dinner, low-calorie and low-fiber healthy snacks are the perfect solutions.

Is it bad to work out after eating?

Let's say your diet is very heavy all the time, and you keep exercising right after eating. What happens to your body? 

When you work out after eating, your body can't use the food you've consumed as efficiently as it would have if you had waited a few hours. The food you eat is broken down into glycogen, which is then used for energy. However, if you immediately start exercising after eating, your body will direct the glycogen towards fuelling your muscles instead of supporting digestion. You may feel sluggish and tired, and you may not be able to work out as hard as you normally would have. In such conditions, you may be more likely to experience cramping, nausea, vomiting, and bloating. 

In addition, working out after eating can cause indigestion and heartburn. It can also lead to weight gain, as the calories from your meal are more likely to be stored as fat. So, if you're looking to lose weight or improve your performance, it's best to wait a few hours after eating before hitting the gym.

How long should you wait to work out after eating for optimal results without risking any health problems?

tips for workout after eating

If you want to get the most out of your workout, you must time it correctly with your last meal. If you eat immediately before working out, you may not have enough time for the food to digest properly, so you will likely feel sluggish. On the other hand, working out on an empty stomach can be unsafe and counter-productive. The best time to work out is typically 1-2 hours after eating a meal. This gives your body enough time to digest the food and convert it into energy, but it isn’t so long that you’ll feel hungry or depleted. Of course, listening to your body is also important, so if you feel like you need a snack before working out, go for something light and easy to digest. And always make sure to stay hydrated!

The importance of hydration during exercise

When we work out, our bodies produce heat. This heat has to go somewhere. Sweating is one way the body cools itself down. The more you sweat, the more your body cools itself down. If you drink fluids during a workout, you'll sweat even more to compensate for the lost fluids.

When you sweat, you lose water and electrolytes like sodium and potassium. These electrolytes are important for keeping our bodies functioning properly. If you lose too many of them, you can become dehydrated.

Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and even cramps. So, it's important to ensure that you're adequately hydrated before working out. This means drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day and not waiting until you're thirsty to drink water.

Read more: Best Sports Drink for Hydration

Final Thoughts

The bottom line of exercising after eating is that it depends on how your body responds to food. If you feel sluggish or tired after eating, then it's probably best to wait a bit before working out. On the other hand, if you feel energetic and ready to go, then working out sooner is probably fine.

If you're unsure how your body will respond to exercise after eating, try experimenting a bit. You can try working out at different times of the day to see how you feel. You may also want to try experimenting with eating different types and amounts of food before working out.

Eventually, you'll find what works best for you. Just remember that it's important to listen to your body, give it the time it needs to digest food properly, and stay hydrated!

About Vivoo

If you're looking for a way to track your hydration levels, Vivoo is the perfect solution! Vivoo is an at-home urine test that tracks your body’s wellness through 9 wellness parameters, like hydration, magnesium, urine pH, and many more, to provide you with personalized nutritional and lifestyle advice. Plus, it's quick and easy to use – you'll get your results in just 90 seconds! You can finally take charge of your overall wellness and start feeling your best! Get started on your wellness journey today with Vivoo.

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