Which is Better: Eating Before or After Workout?

If you are on a diet program to lose weight, exercise is something you should not miss to do. However, when is the ideal time to eat, is it before exercise or after exercise?

Can eat before exercise increase weight?

A study conducted in Belgium examined how weight changes in people who eat before and after exercise. A total of 27 young men were given high-calorie and high-fat foods for 6 consecutive weeks.

They were then divided into three groups: a group that did not exercise at all, a group that ate a high-carbohydrate diet before exercise, and a group that ate a high-carbohydrate diet after exercise.


It is not uncommon for the highest weight gain to occur in the group that did not exercise at all.

Interestingly, other results showed that the post-exercise group had the least weight gain or no weight gain at all.

Although not many other studies have found similar results, this does show that what you eat before exercise has a big effect on weight changes.

Eating too much food before exercise can also irritate the digestive system and cause stomach pain during exercise. This is due to the timing of eating that is not right.

However, eating before exercise can maximize calorie burning

Many think that exercising on an empty stomach can maximize the burning of calories and fat in the body. However, this is not entirely true.

If you exercise on an empty stomach, the body experiences a lack of energy. This will make you unable to exercise properly and will not be able to burn calories optimally.

In principle, the body needs time to digest food and process it into energy that you can use for activities and sports.

The time it takes the body to digest food depends on the amount and type of food consumed. Foods with high fat, protein, and fiber take longer to digest. Likewise, large portions of food.

Therefore, it is better to eat foods low in fat and calories about 3-4 hours before exercise. Options include whole grain bread with eggs or cereal with milk.

However, if you exercise in the morning and are not used to eating heavy meals, you can have a light snack 1-2 hours before exercise, such as fruit with low-fat yogurt, fruit juice, or cereal.

Recommended food after exercise

Eating 15 – 30 minutes after exercising is an ideal time to replace energy in the body.

Eat carbohydrate-rich foods to replace glycogen (glucose stores or energy reserves) in the body and protein-rich foods to help the body build muscle mass.

A study conducted at The Colorado State University Extension said that the best foods to eat after exercise are foods that consist of carbohydrates and protein and contain little fat.

Meanwhile, according to The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, a glass of low-fat chocolate can be the right distraction for those of you who want to snack after exercise.

Therefore, the most important thing is when to eat, the number of servings, and the type of food you eat before and after exercise.

All nutrients are needed to maintain body functions. However, consuming it as needed is something that greatly affects weight gain, loss, or maintenance.

By paying attention to all the nutrients you eat before and after exercising, you can maximize the burning of calories and fat in your body.

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