Getting the best result from any form of exercise is time specific and what we eat makes all the difference. But do you know how soon can you exercise after eating? This is a great subject and in this post I’m going to look at what happens to our bodies when we eat. And why we need to choose the right time for our workout, especially if we want to complete it without any issues!
Can you exercise after eating?
We are all aware that food plays an important role in our repair, growth and development. Just in the same way we know that we need food and water to live. This is the fundamentals to life. Any activity we do consumes energy, that we replace by eating. So, can you exercise after eating and why not?
When we eat, eat our bodies starts a digestion process. Exercising whilst this process is going on, totally defeats the object of a workout. I know the idea of a workout is to:
- Improve cardiovascular system.
- Tone up.
- Improve performance.
- Develop and improve speed.
The chances of making any kind of improvement after eating a full meal defeats the object on all fronts.
What happens to our bodies when we eat.
The answer lies in understanding what happens to food once we eat it. Most of us haven’t quite got this basic concept yet, food we eat does not instantly become energy! There’s a breakdown process that takes place, before it can be used for energy. The process is called Peristalsis. This is when food travels through the digestive or Gastrointestinal tract (G.I Tract) and passes through a series of hollow organs, mixing with bile and enzymes to aid the breakdown process.
The organs in the breakdown process are:
Each organ plays its part during the breakdown process. Our food finally finishes its journey in our waste, which is better known has our Colon. By this time all valuable nutrients would’ve been extracted from it.
How long does it take to digest food?
I’ve seen many of my students and fellow competitors make this mistake. I’d like to put this assumption to rest, food that we eat doesn’t become instant energy! That’s it, pure and simple. The time it takes from the point we eat, until we can reap the benefits of what we’ve eaten is approximately 3 hours!
I personally would give the whole process 24 hours. If you’re planning your workout and the question pops up, can you exercise after eating, you can now answer the question – YES! But unfortunately there’s nothing to be gained and more to be lost! In most cases what we tend to grab is carbohydrates, because we feel like we need a lift. I’ve also come across athletes eating sugars, for that quick fix. Will it give you a lift – YES! But will it last – NO!
Is it best to exercise after breakfast, lunch or diner?
Life can be very busy, there’s never enough time to do all the things we want to do. Making time for your daily workout is no different. It doesn’t matter when you decide to take your run or hit the gym. This will always be your personal choice, what I would like you to be aware of is the effects on your body and your workout. I’ve mentioned that your body will not be at its best and the risk of stomach cramps or vomiting is increased.
Try to abide to the basic rule and that is to allow at least 3 hours before any physical exercise. This will minimize the risk of being sick, stomach related issues and poor performance. If, time is not an issue I would choose a morning workout. My reasoning is I would get the best from myself, before the worries of life dampens my enthusiasm.
Conclusion of can you exercise after eating.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this short post and I hope it has answered some questions for you. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below and I will answer them as soon as possible.
Food for fuel – Fuel for life! UTG.