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What Happens if You Exercise Right After Eating

The Pros

As a result of the numerous benefits that can be gained from eating something before working out, many qualified dietitians advocate for this practice. Brittany Modell, RD, CDN, who is a registered dietitian and the creator of Brittany Model Nutrition and Wellness in New York City, recommends that you think of the meals you eat before a workout as fuel. According to her, consuming the appropriate foods “may assist in preventing low blood sugar, settling your stomach, and fueling your muscles.”

If you’ve ever worked out immediately after eating, only to feel sick to your stomach, you’re not the only one. “Some folks can eat just minutes before they exercise with no ill effects. Others are required to wait anywhere between thirty and sixty minutes “According to Tony Castillo, RDN, LDN, co-founder of Nutrition for Performance in Clearwater, Florida, who is a registered dietitian and licensed diabetes educator.

The Cons

When performing an exercise that is easy or just moderately difficult, the body is still able to digest food; however, this is not the case when performing an exercise that causes significant sweating. According to Modell, “during severe activity, there is a shift in blood flow from the stomach to the working muscles,” which can lead to “some gastrointestinal difficulties.”

A few examples of these would include heartburn, nausea, and stomachaches. Because exercise can increase intra-abdominal pressure, it can contribute to acid reflux and symptoms associated with acid reflux when you are working out. According to the Mayo Clinic, it can even produce diarrhea, which is sometimes referred to as runner’s diarrhea in some cases. Because of this, you must wait at least an hour or more before engaging in physical activity after you have consumed a full meal. (However, more on that is discussed below.)

The Best Pre-Workout Foods for Your Exercise Schedule

The degree of damage done to your body when you work out soon after eating is mostly determined by the kinds of foods you eat and the kinds of workouts you conduct. Depending on when you intend to eat and when you will be working out, the following is the most effective approach to make your pre-workout feed work for you.

If You’re Working Out in an Hour or So

Make sure that your pre-workout foods aren’t too heavy. The model recommends consuming a diet high in carbohydrates to maximize the benefits of exercise and maintain a healthy digestive system. He claims that this will ensure that your body gets the fuel it needs to work out. “Here, have some granola, some toast, or a piece of fruit,” she suggested.

A meal that is high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and has a reasonable quantity of protein is not only simple to digest but will also assist you in maintaining a healthy level of blood sugar. Why is there such a focus on quick-acting carbohydrates? In comparison to proteins and fats, she explains, carbohydrates are easier for the body’s muscles to utilize and cause the stomach to empty more rapidly. “They’re more readily available for your muscles to use up,” she adds. Castillo explains that because foods strong in protein and fat require more time to digest, these types of foods are more likely to linger in your stomach during physical activity, which might cause you to feel nauseous.

If You’re Working Out in a Couple Hours or More

You should aim to eat a meal that is both substantial and well-balanced about two to three hours before beginning your workout. Your body will be able to make full use of the nutrients since it will have sufficient time to digest them.

Oatmeal or toast made from whole grains spread with nut butter, an egg with a piece of fruit, or a turkey sandwich made with whole grain bread is some examples of wonderful meals to consume before doing out. These foods have the optimal ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that will help you feel full while also supplying glycogen, often known as stored fuel, to your muscles.

Protein is particularly important for muscle recovery and growth, so getting your fill of it before your sweat session gives your body a steady stream of the nutrient that builds muscle. Getting your fill of protein before your sweat session gives your body a steady stream of muscle-building nutrients. Eggs, poultry, fish, tempeh, tofu, lean beef that has been grass-fed, and lean beef are all fantastic sources of lean protein.

In addition, consuming healthy fats helps improve exercise performance since they provide fuel for extended, endurance-based workouts. Avocados, almonds, and seeds are some examples of foods that contain healthy fats.

The Bottom Line: How Bad Is It to Exercise After Eating?

Castillo adds that when it comes down to it, exercising immediately after eating is a matter of personal preference. Finding out what assists you in maintaining your routine and achieving your goals while feeling your best may require some experimentation and exploration. You need to find out what gives your body the best results and stick to that.

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