Do not eat immediately before exercise

Last Updated on July 23, 2017

There are just days when you get up and feel tired. Well, have been busy with work, classes, studies and assignments- all that I need to catch up since I was away. Still, I have known the benefits of exercise- so if I know I cannot go to the gym, I will go up flights of stairs in the mornings when I am barely awake. At night, I take a break from studies doing some Stability ball exercises and push ups to get my blood circulating well.

Earlier this week, I went back to the gym after my one month break. So happened I had got home late from work- and had dinner about 1/2 hour before I started my cardio. Gosh, my cardio was tough- because the food was still in my stomach when I exercised. You see, when you exercised, your heart will pump blood into your muscles because it’s where you need oxygen and nutrient the most. So less blood in your stomach, more effort to digest and with the food bouncing in your stomach while you try to do running- a total distaster.

Still, I stuck to an uphill jog with determination for about 15 min (but not in the level of intensity that I would have liked). And after about 30min, things got better- by that time, I had started weights. When I got back to cardio after the weights, I no longer feel as though my stomach got bricks in it. So I’ve learned my lesson- do not eat right before exercise.
If you are having a meal, give it 90 min before you start to exercise.



Other Suggestions:

  • You should not exercise when you have not had anything or hungry. If you are pressed for time, have a nutritious drink such as Ensure or an oat drink with milo- fluid will leave your stomach faster and supply energy to the muscles.
  • Fluid does not mean Campbell soup right before workout. Anything that requires lots of effort from your stomach to digest it should be avoided right before exercise.
  • 30 min before- bun, light sandwich (not those big ones from Subway- that’s as filling as a meal) can be taken. But make sure it’s not an butter bun or full of cream, mayo or other oily stuff- because it takes longer to digest. And they give you empty calories that you never see coming
  • 15 min before- fruits like banana and apples which are relatively easy to digest because they are natural food.

Best is to have a meal at least 90 min before (try not to eat oily or fast food) so that you have more energy storage. Then when you exercise, you will be able to exercise better- longer and/or with higher intensity.

Exercise made my day

This morning, I felt tired as I really had a very long week and not enough of sleep for the past few days. I just felt like either staying forever in bed or just wanted to raid the fridge for food, even though I have already eaten breakfast. In the fuzzy haze, I somehow managed to hawl my gym bag and my sorry self to the gym. Did about 50 min of cardio using different machines (about 10 to 15 minutes on each machine). Following by 10 min of stretching.

The effects were almost miraculous- I felt energetic and wide awake- went for afternoon classes and could pay full attention during class. So, just about an hour of cardio workout, and the rest of my day is very productive. Sure beats feeling as if your brain and limbs are made of lead and dousing yourself with strong doses of coffee/latte/espresso, only to feel even worse after the caffiene effects wears off.

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