How Long Should I Wait To Exercise After Eating?

How long should I wait to exercise after eating? Many health devotees are acquainted with the nausea-inducing feeling of stepping on the treadmill a tad too quickly after munching on a hearty pre-exercising snack. Because, just like there are certain meals to keep away from at all costs in advance of a sweat sesh, there’s additionally a recommended quantity of time you have to wait before meal consumption.

1. How Long Should I Wait To Exercise After Eating?

How Long Should I Wait To Exercise After Eating
Photo by Gabin Vallet on Unsplash

You have to generally wait for three to four hours after a meal before starting a strenuous exercise1. The body desires time to digest the meals, which requires energy, and increased blood goes with the drift to the stomach.

It usually takes meals three to four hours to completely transition from your stomach into your small intestine once you eat. At the same time, you don’t want to wait till your breakfast (or snack, lunch, and so on) is fully digested; it will only be a pleasant experience if you give your body some time to process your meal.

So a good answer to how long should I wait to exercise after eating is to consume the food one to two hours before so that the body has time to digest the food. Opinions range as to whether you have to work out on an empty stomach.2

2. Exercise Routine

Ultimately, do what works fine for your body. If you are wondering how long should I wait to exercise after eating? Pre-workout exercise3 feels comfortable eating half an hour before exercise; go for it. Otherwise, stick with smart alternatives, just like the choices below.

2.1. Exercise Before Pre-Workout Food

2.1.1. Protein Bars

The marketplace is flooded with protein bars, and a few are better than others. Always look at nutrient labels and look carefully to ensure there is only one serving in the bar.

Unless you’re a fitness buff about to burn millions of calories, keep away from snacking on bars with over three hundred calories. So a good answer to how long should I wait to exercise after eating is half an hour before the pre-workout, which has around two hundred calories and a minimum of 10 grams of protein.

2.1.2. 100-Calorie Packs of Nuts

Some nuts, like almonds, may want even to assist you in losing weight. So a good answer to how long should I wait to exercise after eating is to know that after fifteen minutes before the exercise, they’re fairly calorie-dense; that’s why portion-controlled packs are a good option.

2.2.3. Banana With Peanut Butter

If you are wondering how long should I wait to exercise after eating, know that eating one hour before a workout comprises a significant quantity of glucose, aka muscle fuel. And the potassium in bananas isn’t stored in your digestive system for too long, so you’re able to make use of it throughout your workout.

Smear on a small quantity of peanut butter or another nut butter (approximately 1 tablespoon) and enjoy.

2.1.4. Fat-Free Greek Yogurt

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Photo by Sara Cervera on Unsplash

The yogurt is full of protein, berries have carbs, and chia seeds provide healthy fats. Instead of chia seeds, you can blend in a tablespoon of chopped nuts. Change it up, similar to what you do with cardio and strength training.

So a good answer to how long should I wait to exercise after eating would be forty-five minutes before a pre-workout snack isn’t only tasty, but; it consists of all 3 macronutrients.

2.1.5. Oatmeal

Eating before a pre-workout snack with simple carbs like muffins and white bread, on the other hand, causes an undesirable spike and an inevitable drop in blood sugar.

So a good answer to how long should I wait to exercise after eating would be half an hour before chilled overnight oats are particularly wonderful for this purpose because they don’t feel as heavy as warm cooked oats.

2.1.6. Carbohydrates

Consuming carbohydrate-rich ingredients can be an excellent way to reduce the immune deficiency that could arise after exercising. If you are wondering how long should I wait to exercise after eating, know that consuming carbohydrates before one and a half hours as a part of a pre-exercise snack additionally enables the promotion of glycogen storage.4

Quinoa is gluten-free, high-carb meal categorized as a pseudocereal and generally fed on as a grain. It is high in fiber and wealthy in protein. Sweet potatoes, grains, and fruits can include high levels of healthy carbohydrates, as can quinoa.

2.1.7. Protein

To restore muscle damage, your body desires protein made of amino acids, the building blocks in your muscular tissues. So a good answer to how long should I wait to exercise after eating would be a good enough supply of protein before forty minutes to assist your muscles to get over exercise stress, specifically in case you engage in weight-bearing exercises, which include weight training or jogging. Including a few proteins in your pre-exercise meal may lessen post-exercising muscle soreness.

2.1.8. Healthy Fats

Many human beings try to limit the number of fats in their diet; however, reducing it absolutely can hinder athletic performance. If you wonder how long should I wait to exercise after eating, know that consuming fats before an hour provides fuel for the body. If your exercise generally lasts more than an hour, your body uses fats for energy after your glucose supply has been depleted.

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Photo by Dan Gold on Unsplash

2.1.9. Chocolate Milk

If you seek a substitute for chocolate milk, look for drinks (or meals) that have at least a 3 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein, which could without difficulty be attained with a carb-rich meal like bananas and high-protein additions like peanut butter or Greek yogurt.

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Photo by Yi Mun Loo on Unsplash

So a good answer for how long should I wait to exercise after eating would be a glass of chocolate milk three hours after my workout can assist my body in energy stores because the carbs and protein inside chocolate milk aid muscles in recovery.

3. How Long Should You Wait To Exercise After Post-Workout Food?

3.1. Eggs

Eating a few hours after whole eggs resistance workouts leads to more protein synthesis than eating egg whites with identical protein content. The researchers concluded that the yolk vitamins helped stimulate the muscles more effectively.

3.2. Omega-3 fatty

Omega-3 fatty acids enable the synthesis of muscle proteins and boom the size of muscle cells in healthy young and middle-aged adults. After two to three hours, consume fatty fish, which includes salmon, which is rich in omega-three fatty acids. Tuna additionally consists of high levels of fatty acids and approximately 6 ounces (oz) of tuna packed in water

3.3. Herbal tea

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The nutrients and chemical compounds in herbal teas, particularly yerba mate, may also assist the body process carbohydrates and protein.

3.4. Water

It is vital to drink lots of water before, throughout, and after a post-workout. Staying hydrated guarantees that the body receives the maximum advantage from exercising.

The body loses water and electrolytes even as sweating, so consuming water throughout and after an exercise promotes overall performance and recovery.

4. Importance To Eat Before Pre-Workout

You need to replenish the carbohydrates and glycogen you depleted throughout your workout.

Eating protein before two to three hours of exercise can assist rebuild and repairing damaged muscle fibers. It’s also essential to replace the fluids lost from sweating and breathing hard and eat meals rich in antioxidants to defend your cells from exercise-induced damage.

5. Health Benefits Of Protein Shakes

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Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

When you push through a hard exercise, your muscles are continuously challenged, and their fibers start to interrupt down and sustain damage.

The method of repairing and rebuilding those fibers, referred to as muscle protein synthesis, makes use of amino acids from protein to encourage healthful recovery and muscular growth.

5.1. Compact Nutrition

Protein powder is a sole nutrient source, giving plenty of nutrients for relatively few calories. After exercising, your body desires nutrients to recover; however, it does not want sufficient calories to negate all of the efforts you put forth throughout your exercise.

Discover a protein shake that carries a few carbs for great results, or blend your shake with a carb-rich snack like a banana.

5.2. Muscle Growth

Most protein powders in the marketplace feature whey protein concentrate or whey protein isolate tops as the number one ingredient that aids muscle growth.

Whey is a “fast-acting” protein, so most humans can digest it easily. That makes it a high preference for post-exercise sports drinks5 as well.

5.3. The Catches

Supplementing a healthful food regimen and normal exercising with protein shakes has proven advantages, however, it is not a great choice for everyone.

Choosing entire and herbal meals over dietary supplements like protein powders and shakes every time possible, as entire meals offer greater overall nutrients and include protective materials that can not be reproduced in dietary supplements.

6. Factoring In Nutrients

For lighter aerobic exercises 6to stay in shape, consume a well-balanced meal with an identical ratio up to at least one hour after exercising. There are a few theories that an anabolic window diminishes as time progresses without adequate carbohydrate and protein intake.

It seems the most essential aspect of your post-exercising meal is not always nutrient timing but simply ensuring you’re consuming the proper meals for your individualized health goals.

So a good answer to how long should I wait to exercise after eating? Consuming the proper quantity of carbohydrates and protein is particularly essential before an hour of exercise.

7. Staying Hydrated

So a good answer to how long should I wait to exercise after eating is knowing that eating before an hour is essential for vitamins that are required before a difficult workout with carbohydrates and protein being the main focus. Drinking lots of water and occasionally a sports healing drink all through longer periods of workout is likewise vital for fluid replenishment.

Average sweat loss throughout the workout is about 0.5–2 liters per hour. Typically, any weight reduction of more than 2% throughout the workout will considerably reduce overall performance, and a weight exceeding 4% may also result in heat illnesses.

8. Conclusion

If you’re short on time and can’t wait for the entire one to two hours, mix the protein and go for easy varieties of carbohydrates, like applesauce, fruit leather, and raisins.

So a good answer to how long should I wait to exercise after eating is knowing that try to consume something with carbohydrates and a bit of lean protein a minimum of one to two hours earlier than I exercise. Some scrumptious ideas that might not cause stomach discomfort are banana with peanut butter, fruit, and soy milk smoothies, oatmeal or yogurt with fresh berries, dried fruit with nuts, or almond butter and jelly on entire wheat bread.

Everyone metabolizes and digests meals differently, so if you are surely seeking to optimize your snacking routine for optimum performance, strive to pay attention to which meals assist you to attain that coveted post-gym high and which of them make you experience queasy mid-pike press.


1. Will exercise on an empty stomach help with weight loss?

A: Exercising on an empty stomach may help burn more fat during the workout since glycogen stores are depleted. However, it’s essential to find a balance that works for you. Some people may feel dizzy or fatigued without having eaten anything before exercise.

2. What are some signs that I’m not ready to exercise after eating?

A: Signs that you may not be ready to exercise after eating include feeling overly full, experiencing bloating or stomach discomfort, nausea, or heartburn. If you feel sluggish or lack energy, it’s best to wait a little longer before exercising.

3.  Can I drink water before exercising after eating?

A: Yes, staying hydrated is essential before, during, and after exercise. Drinking water before exercising can help prevent dehydration, but be mindful not to consume too much water immediately after eating, as it may interfere with digestion.

Read more

  1. Smith, J. E. “Effects of strenuous exercise on haemostasis.” British journal of sports medicine 37.5 (2003): 433-435. ↩︎
  2. Wallis, Gareth A., and Javier T. Gonzalez. “Is exercise best served on an empty stomach?.” Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 78.1 (2019): 110-117. ↩︎
  3. Gonzalez, Adam M., et al. “Effect of a pre-workout energy supplement on acute multi-joint resistance exercise.” Journal of sports science & medicine 10.2 (2011): 261. ↩︎
  4. Gollob, M. H. “Glycogen storage disease as a unifying mechanism of disease in the PRKAG2 cardiac syndrome.” Biochemical Society Transactions 31.1 (2003): 228-231. ↩︎
  5. Ali, Ajmol, et al. “Changes in sensory perception of sports drinks when consumed pre, during and post exercise.” Physiology & behavior 102.5 (2011): 437-443. ↩︎
  6. Epstein, Leonard H., and Rena R. Wing. “Aerobic exercise and weight.” Addictive Behaviors 5.4 (1980): 371-388. ↩︎

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Anjali Mishra

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