How long should you wait to exercise after eating? Exercise when done properly is hard work, and hard work needs fuel. So it’s not surprising that before you hit the gym or go for your run, that you feel the need to feed your appetite, raid the cupboards for food and… eat! But the important question to ask is…

How long should I wait to exercise after eating?

However, there are basic rules about exercise after eating and one of them is the answer to: How long should you wait to exercise after eating?

In this blog, we explain to you the ins and outs regarding how long should you wait to exercise after eating. We want you to get it right and as a London based UK personal fitness training brand we are well placed to give you the facts on exercise after eating.

Exercise after eating: How long should you wait to exercise after eating?

If you are looking to lose weight, get in shape and ensure that your body is healthy; you must make sure that not only are you doing the correct exercise but that you wait the correct time to exercise after eating, allowing your body time to digest.

So one of the burning questions you fitness fanatics should know the answer to is how long should you wait to exercise after eating.

Whilst it can vary dependent upon individuals in terms of:

There are some basic facts and rule of thumb about how long should you wait to exercise after eating, which you should be aware of.

And when considering how long should you wait to exercise after eating, not waiting too long after eating to exercise is also important.

Why wait to exercise after eating?

  1. When we eat, food reaches our stomach which we process slowly and then in little bits it is passed into our small intestine. This process takes between two and four hours so it is not immediate, leaving food in your stomach for some time causing you to need to wait to exercise after eating.
  2. Your body needs energy for blood flow for this digestion process after, meaning that the energy your muscles are crying out for energy if exercising after eating which will not be there. However, it is not normally necessary to wait for all the food to have digested, but a good part of it should have done.
  3. If you fail to wait to exercise after eating you could experience problems. For example, if you do not wait after a large meal to run, the running after eating could result in problems with digestion such as cramping or an upset stomach. Not very pleasant. You may also feel nauseous whilst exercising, distracting you from concentrating on the all-important task of exercise.

What food, how much and what exercise…

The time to wait to exercise after eating is dependent upon what you are eating and how much of it. It is also dependent upon the exercise you are going to do after eating, as well as of course your own normal eating habits.

Put simply, exercise after eating a large meal is pretty much a no-no because the more food eaten, the longer the digestion process.

  • If the exercise you intend to do after eating a large meal is running, you should wait around three to four hours before exercise.
  • Where the exercise is not high intensity such as a light walk, waiting a while to exercise after eating is not so crucial.

In terms of what you’re eating, the time to wait to exercise after eating:

  • is longer where the food you are eating contains high fat, protein and fibre.
  • is less where the food contains simple carbs and proteins which are processed.
  • if you have simply had a pre-workout snack or a small meal, then where you are intending on taking a run, ideally you should wait one to two hours before exercise, or at the minimum wait 30 minutes.

A light snack can of course give you that workout fuel you need to make it through your exercises, so where you do opt to exercise after eating a light snack go for a piece of fruit, a healthy yoghurt or granola bar.

Getting ready for your morning workout? Check out our co founders video for a healthy breakfast option:

Here are some more of our top Healthy Breakfast Ideas.

Exercise after eating… Now you’re in the know!

Now that we at TRUTH have given you the facts on how long you should wait to exercise after eating you can feel reassured that when you finish your exercise and go to eat, that you are doing so by the rules.

But there is more to exercise after eating than just how long you should wait, such as what you should eat, what you should not eat and which food types will help towards your weight and health goals.

So if you need a little more information and guidance on exercise after eating, we at TRUTH can help.

How can TRUTH help you with this?

By allocating you with one of our coaches who have been through personal training accreditation which promotes hands-on-learning in an encouraging and positive environment, we can offer you excellent support in getting the right nutrition in terms of eating and exercise.

So book your free call with TRUTH today >> BOOK A CALL


Reference List:

https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/how-long-to-wait-after-eating-to-run

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/exercise-after-eating

https://www.glamour.com/story/health-do-or-dont-do-you-exerc

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/exercise-after-eating#food-volume-type