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Eating before workout

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 9:40 am
by padriec
I'm starting back at the gym today after a long time away. Something that I never quite got, even when I was working out regularly was how long I should wait after I eat before working out. I basically want to minimize cramping, especially during cardio.

Thanks in advance!

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 9:52 am
by TimD
I've heard different timeframes on the "window of opportunity" but asically for close to an hour after a workout, be it anaerobic or aerobic, you have about an hour where you are in an insulin independent area where you can eat most anything, smallish to medium size, and it will be used without storage problems. No real reason to rush to get a meal, just shower up, and drive home if you're doing it at the gym, or if you're lke me, shower, go into the k-word and get something after you've chilled out. It would be better if you stated your goals. Are you looking to put on wieght, loose it, or simply stay the same while gaining some strength, endurance?

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 10:04 am
by padriec
Thanks for the information, but I was actually talking about eating before working out, not after. For instance, the time that I'll usually be able to work out will be right after work. Since I eat lunch around 12pm-1pm and won't get to the gym until 6pm or so I'm wondering if I should eat something before going or just be hungry.

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 10:13 am
by TimD
OK, sorry, was a bit confused by the wording. I usually like to eat smallish, and wait around 2 hours before doing a W.O. This will vary, individual to individual, you're just going to have to determine it for yourself.

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 10:49 am
by Stephen Johnson
padriec wrote:... the time that I'll usually be able to work out will be right after work. Since I eat lunch around 12pm-1pm and won't get to the gym until 6pm or so I'm wondering if I should eat something before going or just be hungry.
Assuming that your workout is an hour long, it will be at least 6 - 7 hours between lunch and a post workout meal. That's too long a gap between meals if you want to avert cataboliism. Around 3 or 4 you could drink a meal replacement shake, and see if it makes a difference in your workout.

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 11:39 am
by strathmeyer
padriec - I've found that since I stopped binge eating and instead eat 5-6 or more smaller meals a day, I don't have to wait any time between eating and working out. (Obviously, there's some time, probably 30 minutes.) Sadly, there's no real advice we can give in this area, and you're just going to have to figure out what works for you.

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 1:14 pm
by Mog16
I highly agree with strathmeyer, when I control my portions to reasonable levels (instead of letting my stomach tell me when to stop) I can lift quite soon after eating. I like to wait 30-40 mins before I do so though just so I'm not slowing the digestive process by diverting blood from the stomach to the muscles.

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 2:41 pm
by DubDub
I'm pretty sure I heard somewhere, maybe somewhere on this site, that one should wait between 1hr and 2hrs after eating (ideally about 1.5hrs) in order for insulin levels to return to normal and the body to be prepared for weightlifting, but I'm sure longer waits are fine too.

Posted: Mon May 15, 2006 11:03 pm
by elemental
I've found, through experimenting with my own diet and w/o, that for a liquid meal (shakes, etc.) 30min is fine. For a solid meal I give it 45min-1hr. I would imagine this is a variable for each of us and you just need to play with it until it fits.

Posted: Tue May 16, 2006 7:03 am
by Merc82nd
I do the same as elemental does, seems to provide a good amount of energy to me while I lift/ swim/ run.

Posted: Tue May 16, 2006 9:05 am
by Ironman
About an hour for me too.