Many people don't know that how they space out meals will have a huge impact on their workout performance. While it is true that it may not have a great affect in the calorie department, it can affect your workout performance. After all, you cannot complete your workout if you don't fuel your body properly. Similarly, eating too much close to your workout will also keep you from achieving your fitness goals. It is, therefore, important to know how long to wait after eating to workout.
Some people think it is enough to determine what foods you should eat to keep you going, but they don't know the impact of working out after eating. If you're just starting out, it is important to consult your trainer and ask, "How long should I wait to work out after eating?" Knowing a clear answer will help achieve your fitness goals more effectively and efficiently as well.
How Long to Wait After Eating to Workout
It is a good idea to develop a habit of eating large meals at least 3 hours before you start your workout session. You can start working out a couple of hours after eating if your meal size is on the smaller side. It's usually fine to start your workout after 45 minutes of eating light snacks. You can sometimes have light snacks even during exercise.
The best thing is to plan your workout at least 3 hours after your meal because eating too much too close to your training session will make you feel heavy and tired because the muscles you need to exercise will be competing with your digestive system for energy. It means that if you work at least 3 hours after eating your meal, you are less likely to deal with issues, such as cramping, stomach pain, and diarrhea.
It is equally important to understand that your body needs some energy to take you through a strenuous workout routine. It is, therefore, important to have a small snack if it's been several hours since your last meal. This will provide your body with some fuel – the best thing is to eat a combination of protein and carbohydrates, while making sure you don't take more than 200 calories. This will give you the energy to complete your training session while burning calories and improving your overall muscle tone.
Similarly, you should understand that you're never going to get the best results if you go for an early workout session and exercise on an empty stomach. Your body may have already used up your energy acquired from your last night dinner, which means your body sugar is most probably low in the morning. You will be better off eating something to provide your body with nutrients that it needs for a strenuous workout. Some light breakfast snacks will do the trick here.
4 Tips to Maximize Your Workout Performance?
Enjoy a Great Breakfast
You should drink something or eat a light breakfast to raise your blood sugar. You can start with a sports drink or have a breakfast containing carbohydrates. Some great breakfast options include low-fat milk, bananas, whole-grain bread, a waffle or pancake, or yogurt. If you're a regular coffee drinker, you can have it before your workout as well. Remember, if you drink or eat something for the first time before your workout, you're more likely to deal with an upset stomach.
Enjoy Pre-Workout Healthy Snacks
It is true that your breakfast is the most important meal of the day for you, and you need to know how long to wait after eating to work out, but you may have to pay equal attention to your pre- and post-workout foods as well to make your workouts more effective. You can always opt for yogurt, fresh fruit, whole-grain bagel, low-fat granola bars, energy bars, peanut butter sandwiches, and fruit smoothies as well. You can also opt for some of the following pre-workout snacks:
Milk and Cereal: Prepare your morning snack by adding a cup of whole-grain cereal to a cup of low-fat milk.
Wafflewich: You can spruce up this classic by mixing a couple of teaspoons of almond butter, a frozen kasha waffle, and a teaspoon of jam together.
Yogurt Parfait: Simply top 1/4 cup of yogurt (non-fat) with half cup of while grain cereal and half cup of fresh strawberries and your morning snack is ready.
Coconut Shake: Infuse a scoop chocolate whey protein with a couple of teaspoons of extra virgin coconut oil to prepare this morning snack.
Peanut Butter Apple: This morning snack will give you a quick carbohydrate fuel-up. Simply slice a medium apple and serve it with a couple of tablespoons of all-natural peanut butter.
Enjoy Post-Workout Healthy Snacks
After a strenuous workout, your muscles need some protein to recover. A healthy post-workout snack will help provide your body with enough carbohydrates and help replace your glycogen stores. You need to eat these snacks within two hours of your training session. Some great post-workout food choices are fruit, low-fat chocolate milk, peanut butter sandwiches, yogurt, chicken with brown rice, and pretzels. The following snacks will help complete your workout on a high note:
Beef and Squash: Simply eat some lean roast beef and add an equal portion of butternut squash to your platter for greater benefits.
Tuna Crackers: Mixing up a batch of light tuna salad will help keep your system running after a workout.
Pita and Hummus: A couple of spoonfuls of hummus and a 7-inch pita will definitely add a bit of pep back to your step after a workout.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
You need to pay attention to certain things and learn how long to wait after eating to work out, but it is equally important to keep your body hydrated all the time. You need to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after your workout to stay hydrated.
Drink about a 473-710 ml of water at least a couple of hours before your workout.
Drink about 118-237ml of water after every 20 minutes during your training.
Drink about 473-710ml of water when you're finished with your workout for every pound of weight you lose through exercise.