The old adage of waiting at least an hour before exercising after eating has been around for a long time. However, recent studies have shown that this is not necessarily the case. In fact, the ideal amount of time you should wait before exercising after eating can vary depending on a number of factors. In this article, we will explore the latest research. And expert advice on how long should you wait to work out after eating.
Why Wait Before Exercising After Eating?
Before we dive into how long should you wait to work out after eating. It’s important to understand why you should wait at all. When you eat, your body redirects blood flow to your digestive system to help break down the food and absorb nutrients. This process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on what you ate and how much you ate.
If you start exercising right after eating, your body will have to divert blood flow away from your digestive system to your muscles. Potentially causing digestive issues like cramping, nausea, or diarrhea. Additionally, exercising with a full stomach can make you feel sluggish, reduce your performance, and increase your risk of injury.
Factors That Affect How Long Should You Wait To Workout After Eating
The amount of time for how long should you wait to workout after eating. You should wait can depend on a variety of factors, including the type of food you ate, the amount you ate, and your individual digestive system. Here are some general guidelines to follow:
The type of food you ate:
Some foods are digested more quickly than others. For example, simple carbohydrates like fruit or juice are broken down and absorbed by your body more quickly than complex carbohydrates like pasta or bread. Protein and fat take even longer to digest. If you ate a meal that is high in simple carbohydrates and low in fat and protein. You may only need to wait 30 minutes to an hour before exercising. However, if you ate a meal that is high in protein and fat, you may need to wait 2-3 hours before exercising.
The amount of food you ate:
The more food you ate, the longer it will take for your body to digest it. If you ate a large meal, you may need to wait 2-3 hours before exercising, regardless of what type of food you ate.
Your individual digestive system:
Everyone’s digestive system is different. Some people may be able to exercise comfortably after eating, while others may need to wait longer. If you have a sensitive stomach or digestive issues, you may need to wait longer before exercising after eating.
Expert Recommendations on How Long to Wait Before Exercising After Eating
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the ideal amount of time to wait before exercising after eating is about 2-3 hours. However, this recommendation is based on a meal that is high in protein and fat. If you ate a lighter meal that is high in simple carbohydrates and low in fat and protein. You may only need to wait 30 minutes to an hour before exercising.
The ACE also recommends that if you are going to exercise within an hour of eating. You should choose foods that are easily digested, such as a banana or a smoothie. You should also avoid foods that are high in fiber, fat, or protein, as these can take longer to digest and may cause digestive issues during exercise.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) also recommends waiting 2-3 hours before exercising after eating a meal that is high in protein and fat. However, they note that if you ate a smaller meal that is high in simple carbohydrates. And low in fat and protein, you may only need to wait 30 minutes to an hour.
The importance of food as fuel for exercise cannot be overstated. Calories are essentially energy for the body, which is why it’s recommended to consume something before hitting the gym. However, exercising immediately after a meal can lead to digestive issues. While eating too far in advance can leave you feeling lethargic and unproductive during your workout.
The amount and type of food to consume before exercising can also vary depending on your individual body and fitness goals. Striking the right balance and choosing the appropriate snacks can make all the difference in achieving an average versus a stellar workout.
Ultimately, the ideal amount of time for how long should you wait to workout after eating depends on your individual digestive system and the type and amount of food