Working out - before or after dinner?

  • DCguy2001

    Posts: 314

    Feb 05, 2008 4:17 AM GMT
    During the week, I come home, eat dinner, and then go to the gym (with a protein shake after my workout). But some doctor in a Newsweek column (link and excerpt below) said you should limit yourself to a snack before the gym, and eat dinner afterwards. Does that make sense?

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/81173

    Minneapolis, Minn.: Should you eat before or after exercise? I get home at about 6 and use an exercise bike or do weight training until 7:30 or 8. Then I have dinner and am in bed by 10. Should I eat first?
    Exercise takes energy. That means your heart has to pump more oxygen-rich blood to your working muscles. But when you eat, your intestinal tract also demands more blood to help it digest food and carry nutrients to the rest of your body. To avoid competition between your muscles and your guts, exercise before you eat. It's particularly important advice for people with heart disease and for healthy people who exercise strenuously. For others, a light snack before exercise may be OK, but real eating should be postponed until after real exercise. Although food and exercise don't mix so well, fluids are very desirable indeed, especially in warm, humid weather.

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    Feb 05, 2008 1:56 PM GMT
    I lift, swim or do my cardio at night - it just works out that way - so I eat a good, healthy late lunch, and after working out I might eat a salad or some fruit. This works for me.

    I have a buddy who is a good physician - works in sports medicine. His advice: Breakfast like a king; Lunch like a prince; Dinner like a pauper!
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    Feb 05, 2008 2:48 PM GMT
    YAY! I get to use what I learned in Anatomy and Physiology!

    There are two parts of the your nervous system the somatic and autonomic. The somatic part you can control but the autonomic you do not control.

    Within the autonomic nervous system there are two additional systems; the sympathetic and parasympathetic. They contol the same organs but have opposing effects and cannot perform at the same time. The parasympathetic is also called the "at rest" stage and is usually ALWAYS in effect. During the at rest stage, your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing are normal, and you body is in a constant digestive stage. However, the sympathetic division is also called the "fight or flight" stage. It usually takes control either when you are excited, surprised, or EXERCISING. During this time your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing speed up and your body STOPS digesting.

    So, if you eat THEN work out your body has food inside that needs to be digested but it cannot because the sympathetic division has taken over and stopped you body from digesting.

    So it is better to have a small snack before working out and have a dinner afterwards.
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    Feb 05, 2008 3:58 PM GMT
    FrznPhoenix saidYAY! I get to use what I learned in Anatomy and Physiology!

    There are two parts of the your nervous system the somatic and autonomic. The somatic part you can control but the autonomic you do not control.

    Within the autonomic nervous system there are two additional systems; the sympathetic and parasympathetic. They contol the same organs but have opposing effects and cannot perform at the same time. The parasympathetic is also called the "at rest" stage and is usually ALWAYS in effect. During the at rest stage, your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing are normal, and you body is in a constant digestive stage. However, the sympathetic division is also called the "fight or flight" stage. It usually takes control either when you are excited, surprised, or EXERCISING. During this time your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing speed up and your body STOPS digesting.

    So, if you eat THEN work out your body has food inside that needs to be digested but it cannot because the sympathetic division has taken over and stopped you body from digesting.

    So it is better to have a small snack before working out and have a dinner afterwards.



    Wow thanks! Great information. I always workout first then I eat.
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    Feb 05, 2008 4:36 PM GMT
    I've always eaten afterwards, even on the weekends when I go in the mornings, I cannot have more than some fruit or else within an hour into my workout I will hurl!!
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    Feb 06, 2008 1:55 AM GMT
    judging by your body, i would say to hell with that doctor. i think they are more talking in order to fully stimulate your matabolism and to help lose weight, similar to not eating after a certain time at night. plus, if you are eating 6 meals a day, or about every 3 hours, its going to be hard not to eat before your workout
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    Nov 20, 2009 2:21 AM GMT
    I'ver never been able to workout or participate in any sports or physical activity for at least 1 hour after eating. I prefer to eat after.
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    Nov 20, 2009 2:23 AM GMT
    I'll have a granola bar and a glass of juice before a workout, but certainly not meat and potatoes. lol Ugggggg.
  • B71115

    Posts: 482

    Nov 20, 2009 2:41 AM GMT
    I ate less than an hour before doing squats once.




















    Once.
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    Nov 20, 2009 2:58 AM GMT
    Hahaha... agreed... but it really comes down to what your body tells you, and what your goals are when it comes to lifting.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Nov 29, 2009 3:40 AM GMT
    Workout first/dinner second-
    -When you eat dinner first, your body concentrates on processing the food that you just ate.
    -When you go to the gym first, your body concentrates on building and repairing the muscles that you are straining.
    -And, your body continues to work on your muscles for many hours after you have finished your workout.
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    Nov 29, 2009 3:51 AM GMT
    We load on both sides of working out, typically with 100 grams of carbs, and 40-60 g of protein. Complex carbs heavier on the pre side and fast carbs on the post side with more protein on the post side of take advantage of the golden hour post workout when your glycogen uptake is much higher. Sometimes, say, after a leg workout, which intensely takes up glycogen, we'll load at 150 or even 200 gram of carbs. If you eat a salad after a workout, you just wasted the workout, and, in fact, could likely have 0 to negative gains.

    Complex carbs, with lower GIs, or plenty of low GI fruit, allows your blood sugar to remain stable through your workout. Although blood DOES get diverted away from digestion when you're exercising, digestion is still happening and you don't have the adrenaline peaks of the "flight/fight" response.

    Much of workout burn of glycogen is from a day prior and stored in your muscles and liver, and bound up with water in 3-1 ratio. You fuel part of your workouts the day, or even two days, before when you workout. Exercise performance is dictated by how you eat long term, as well as rest, methods, etc.

    Of course, if you don't eat, you won't get much for results, as nutrition is the most important thing in the equation of working out.

    Proper insulin management, and an understanding of blood glucose, are vital to being good at the working out game. It's all science.

    You'll often see advanced athletes using Gatorade, or some other electrolyte solution along with corn starch, or Vitargo, in order to keep from "hitting the wall" during a workout / game. Eating a fairly sweet (I forget the ratio) beverage while in a game / workout can have a marked impact on exercise performance and that's why high level trainers; high level athletes use them during their performances. It works well.
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    Jan 27, 2010 12:12 PM GMT
    I think before!
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