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Cardio before or after a meal?



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MEMEME75
Posts: 658
4/27/12 9:15 A

If I am exercising in the morning, I drink half a bottle of slim-fast. It gives me some carbs/protein for a little boost. If I am exercising after work, then I don't bother with a snack or meal. I wait until after the workout.

Edited by: MEMEME75 at: 4/27/2012 (13:01)


TENNISX92
Posts: 71
4/27/12 9:11 A

I've heard that you should have a small snack to give yourself a bit of fuel to keep your body going, and so you don't run out of energy too quickly. You should eat something (with protein if possible) definitely within an hour of your workout. The protein is to help rebuilding muscles you tear.



FISHFAN
Posts: 245
4/27/12 8:47 A

Depends, I eat when I'm hungry but I don't like to be too full if I'm going to workout.



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (54,915)
Fitness Minutes: (14,158)
Posts: 9,520
4/27/12 8:16 A

You don't burn more (or less) eating on either a full OR empty stomach. There's a common myth that if you work out first thing in the morning, you'll burn more fat; there's no evidence of this at all. It's all about your personal comfort; now, there IS something to the idea of eating before; if you don't eat, you may get a blood sugar drop... eating beforehand can prevent that dip, if you're sensitive to such changes.

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_art
icles.asp?id=1074




CROWLEY123
SparkPoints: (34,393)
Fitness Minutes: (29,278)
Posts: 1,518
4/27/12 7:26 A

I'm with BubbleJ - I eat after because it feels better, I get a better workout, and I don't think my food settles well if I eat before.

Do whatever works best for you.



MPLANE37
SparkPoints: (62,388)
Fitness Minutes: (32,427)
Posts: 2,148
4/27/12 6:58 A

It is true that during the exercise you don't burn the food that you have eaten just before the exercise. You use already available energy sources, both various forms of glucose and fatty acids.

I used to exercise before eating any food, and later have some snack. But it was almost always difficult to stop snacking after a strenuous workout. So recently I started to exercise preferably half an hour to 45 min. of eating lunch.

Within 45 min. of starting a meal, the digestion is not over. So when you start exercising, after about 10-15 minutes, the blood is drawn to muscles working strenuously, and not much blood is left for the digestive system. So digestion slows down. When I am done working out, in a short while blood is now drawn to the digestive system, and the digestion continues.

The end result is that I don't feel hungry after the workout.

:)

It may not work for everyone, though. It seems to work fine with me (well, I get occasional burps but nothing more).



BUBBLEJ1
SparkPoints: (21,955)
Fitness Minutes: (20,943)
Posts: 2,800
4/27/12 1:58 A

Do what works for you. I eat after because otherwise I feel sick while doing cardio. I have to have a good 3-4 hours between a meal and exercise, with a small snack about 30 minutes before. You might be different! Try both and see what happens



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
4/27/12 1:55 A

Despite claims like PAGANCENTAUR's, no you do not get energy from foods you've just eaten. Digesting food and converting it to energy for your muscles takes hours.

Some people find that they are more comfortable not working out on an empty stomach - or that they ARE more comfortable working out on an empty stomach!

No, you're absolutely right in your own approach - it doesn't make a lick of difference, it's purely personal preference, and just generally being active and eating healthy is the only real key.



BLUEEYESTATTOOS
Posts: 382
4/27/12 12:48 A

i do my cardio within 30 minutes of eating so i will have the energy from the food to make it thru my workout



KAPELAKIN
Posts: 1,970
4/27/12 12:08 A

I don't think it really matters. Personally,. I like to have a small snack before a run, then have my main meal afterwards. If you're doing a major workout that lasts over an hour, it's more important to make sure your muscles have adequate fuel, but for 30 minutes of exercise, it's really a matter of preference. You're right that you won't be burning off the calories you just consumed. You're burning glycogen stored in your muscles during a 30 minute workout. The calories in your meal will go towards replenishing those glycogen stores.



AMANADA759
Posts: 9
4/26/12 11:44 P

Does it really matter when you exercise? I understand not exercising right after a big meal, but unless I can tell that a few minutes on the stationary bike is going to give me cramps does it really make a difference? I've read before that if you exercise after eating you're only burning the calories you just consumed-which honestly leaves me confused how I'm burning calories that are still in my stomach and haven't even been processed into my body yet. Even if that is true would it matter? Wouldn't that be like taking some off the top and leaving some on the bottom? You'd still end up with the same amount.

I'm just starting to get back into a cardio routine and so far I'm only a week in. I don't pay attention to what time of day I get my exercise in, as long as I make sure I get at least 20-25 minutes (for now). There are all kinds of "rules" and "tips" all over the place of when to exercise, the miracle foods and the foods to avoid at all costs, when to eat those foods, thermogenics, etc. I'm mostly just concerned with trying to eat healthy and create a calorie deficit through that and exercise to lose weight. Is it really more difficult than that?



 
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