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Friday, March 28, 2008

Exercising Before or After You Eat

question and answerThis is a response to an email I got from a friend through facebook. Christina recently went to the gym for the very first time earlier this week with my girlfriend Darlene. On Monday, they did a little fitness assessment and then did a short workout so that Christina could find dumbbell weights that were comfortable for her. She intends to purchase the dumbbells and continue her workouts at home.

Today she asked me about the timing of food and her workouts. She asks if she should eat before or after her workouts.

Great question.

exercising before or after you eat

It depends on what you want to accomplish. Exercise on an empty stomach is said to because you’re using fat rather than any glucose running through your veins. , after fasting all night should burn more fat, or so they say.

Exercising directly after eating diverts blood from the stomach, required for digestion, to the muscles. Doing so results in an incomplete digestion process, so that’s not good either.

Exercising in the afternoon or evening would obviously require you to eat before hand, including as many as 2 or 3 meals already.

If you want to go heavy and hard in your workout, you should be having a pre-workout meal about 2 hours before you exercise. This is the one time starchy carbohydrates do you well. I prefer yam, sweet potato or brown rice at this meal, or if you're a Sunrider, a Sunbar (or two) and a Nuplus also provide the energy you're looking for, in an easily digestible format.

Eating after you exercise is also required to replenish the glycogen used during the workout. You should eat within 20 minutes of a workout, to reduce catabolism. A piece of fruit or two should hold you off until you can get home to cook a full meal.

It really comes down to semantics I guess. What do you mean by eating before you exercise?

Here’s my approach.

I do my cardio followed by 20 minutes of interval training first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I start my day with a big mug of Sunrider Calli tea along with some stevia and head to the gym.

I eat my breakfast after my morning workout, then meals 2 and 3 following that.

It should be noted that I eat roughly every 3 hours, allowing for each meal to be completely digested before adding another one on top - a good principle for anyone to follow.

I then do my weight training in the afternoon or early evening and eat immediately following my workout. My post workout meal is an apple or two while in the locker room and on the way home, at which point I make a green smoothie using this recipe:

My Post Workout Shake

swiss chard
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 leaves Swiss chard (kale, spinach or any other dark leafy greens are good too)
1 good squirt of Sunrider Vitafruit
Sunrider stevia
Sunrider NuPlus (berry)

Then while I’m drinking this smoothie, I cook my post workout meal.

I am very conscious about the timing of my food and my workouts. As I eat every 3 hours, allowing for each meal to fully digest, I like to have my post workout meal at 3 hours past my previous meal. In so doing, my workout is about 2 hours after my previous meal.

Exercising 2 hours past my previous meal, or pre-workout meal, allows for it to digest and begin providing me the energy I need to train. I’ve been following this method since I began in 1992. I’m so picky about it in fact, that if I go more than 3.5 hours, I’ll eat again, instead of training – putting off my exercise for another 2 hours.

So to answer your question about eating before or after you exercise the answer is that both are important, but it depends on your situation and goals. I would not train immediately after eating, but rather allow for the meal to begin providing energy for the exercise, then eat immediately afterwards to replenish the glycogen stores used up during the workout.

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Rob Coopers Fat burning tips In 1990 Rob weighed 475 pounds and was able to burn almost 300 lbs of fat in just two and a half years. Rob does weight management coaching from his office in Edmonton Alberta Canada. Rob's diet is based on a "System Specific Organic Whole Food" line of foods along with various fat burning, muscle building tips from Tom Venuto. Tom's Philosophy is very similar to Rob's and he's happy to recommend them

Rob is currently using the Seven Minute Muscle Workout program.


At 1:41 PM, Anonymous RC Ritter said...

My wife and I are constantly looking for ways to acheive optimal health and wellness. Your tips have been useful and informative. We will share them with others.

At 12:15 AM, OpenID miguelpineiro said...

hey former fat guy

Amazing story! Congrats on all you have accomplished.

At 7:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is rather interesting for me to read this post. Thank you for it. I like such topics and everything connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more soon.


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