Ask an expert
Question

15 Nov 2004

Eating before exercising
Hi there

I am not sure? Must you eat before or after a workout. And how long should you wait before you do.

Thank you
Answer 377 views
Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi Dori

You can eat either before or after, depending on practical things like time (for example, if you are training in the morning, then look at the time of day and eat whenever is most convenient), and also your preference. The best is to experiment and see what works for you, and then stick with it. A lot of people are unable to eat before, because it gives them stomach problems. If this is the case, then rather eat after. However, if you are one of the people who has to eat before or you get lightheaded or hungry during exercise, then you have to work out how to do this.

My advice, and the scientific evidence, is that you should eat at least one hour before, not sooner, because this causes problems. So, if you train in the afternoon, then a meal mid-afternoon is probably best, whereas if you train in the morning, then something before is good. This is where practical comes in - if you are training at 6am, then eating before means you have to wake up at 4h30 and that is not great, so in this case, my advice is to not eat before, but take along some fruit to eat during training if you need to.

As for when to eat after, eat as soon as you can - some people can't eat for a couple of hours, because they lose their appetite, others can eat straight out of the gym. It's all individual, so go with what works for you.

Good luck
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
32% - 9428 votes
No
68% - 19906 votes
Vote