How Long After Exercise Can I Eat (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Within 30-45 minutes

Exercise is the name given to any form of planned physical activity that has a proper structure and is repeated several times. It is done to improve one’s health and fitness by enhancing and strengthening either the whole body or any part of it.

According to WHO and AHA, one is advised to engage in either moderate exercise for 150 minutes per week or strenuous exercise for 75 minutes per week. Keep in mind that there should be a waiting time of at least 10 minutes or beyond that, between each workout session.

After a workout, it is very important to eat or at least consume nutritious snacks.

How Long After Exercise Can I Eat?

ObjectiveTime
Waiting time after a workout to eatWithin 30-45 mins

Engaging in exercise, whether light, moderate, or rigorous, every day can help people put an end to many health complications and diseases.

As a general rule of thumb, you are advised to eat within 30-45 minutes after a workout session.

Exercise is often divided into three primary types known as aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, and agility training.

Aerobic exercise, like its name suggests, enhances the usage of oxygen by the body. Aerobic exercise consists of a warm-up session, which is followed by a 20-minute workout, which is then followed by a period of relaxation and cooling down. This is usually summarized as a moderate exercise that is performed over a longer duration. This kind of exercise employs large groups of muscle, and strengthens them, along with the heart and lung muscle. It also decreases blood pressure and enables healthier blood circulation. It also decreases the probability of risks that arise from cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes.

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Anaerobic exercise, on the other hand, does not require the usage of oxygen as a source of energy. This kind of exercise is mainly performed to strengthen the body, increase muscle mass, and increase the body’s power and stamina. Anaerobic exercise is usually a heavy-duty exercise that is performed for a much shorter duration. It typically lasts for 2 minutes. Activities such as isometrics, sprinting, weightlifting, rigorous jump roping, and more.

Agility training includes exercises that help one hone their ability to be in control even while slowing down, speeding up, or changing to a different direction. Agility training helps with enhancing speed, balance, coordination, and positioning. Sports such as tennis, hockey, badminton, soccer, basketball, and more require a high degree of agility from the players.

Why Does It Take That Long To Eat After Exercise?

Eating within 30-45 mins after the workout session will certainly improve your post-exercise recovery. It will also strengthen you towards your next exercise session. In addition, post-workout nutrition is known to decrease the chances of delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS), and other types of damage to the muscles. The muscle may even begin to disintegrate if you do not eat within this 30-45 minute window.

During exercise, the body naturally creates tiny tears in the muscle while breaking it down. Consuming protein-rich foods within that 30-45 minute window will help repair and fix all those tiny tears that are found in the muscle fibers. This is because the metabolic rate is higher for at least 30 minutes after the workout, which means that the speed of repairing the torn muscle is higher during this time.

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In general, eating after the workout will help replace the nutrients that were lost during the workout. Exercise also uses up the glycogen stores in the body. The body allows you to restore them within 30-45 minutes after the exercise. For this, you may be advised to eat carbohydrate-rich foods after the workout. This can also reduce muscle soreness, and prepares you well for your next exercise session.

If you do not eat after the workout, then you will feel disoriented because of the low blood sugar. This may also cause extensive fatigue.

During the workout, your body may also lose important electrolytes and minerals such as potassium, calcium, and salt. If you do not replace them immediately, then you may be subjected to hypoglycemia or dehydration.

Conclusion

To conclude, we can understand that we must eat nutritious food within 30-45 minutes after any form of physical activity or exercise. This helps replenish the body’s resources that were lost or used up during the workout.

If you don’t already exercise, it is better to get started right away if there aren’t any factors that prevent you from exercising. Remember to start by creating a goal regarding the exercise. This is the reason why you began exercising in the first place.

It is also important to exercise at your own level and pace, in order to maintain a stable and uniform workout routine. You may also choose to exercise with a friend, in order to enjoy yourself while working out.

References

  1. https://europepmc.org/article/med/9127682
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4540168/
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