How Long to Wait After Eating Before Going To The Gym?

by Matt Wilson
Last Updated: 07/03/2021
This post may contain affiliate links. We receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using our link. Learn more.

Question that has been asked time and time again, how long should you wait after a meal before you start with your exercise? 

Well, it all depends on the type of food you want to eat and on the type of workout you plan on doing. 

Having lunch before you go for a run might slow you down, but having that same meal before weight lifting might give you enough energy to perform better. 

So, it’s a fine game of balancing and weighing your options between what you should eat to have a better performance, and how much you should spend waiting before you start your workout.

What the aim of this article is, is to give you a general overview of when and what you should be eating before training. Important thing to note is that everyone is different, so what works for you may not work for someone else. 

Eating Before Exercise

Your body needs sustenance so you may enjoy and perform well during your workout. 

Having a small meal 30 minutes before workout (like a granola bar, or any other workout snack) can give you the boost in energy that you require to get the best performance that you can.

Having a sports drink or eating a snack during the workout might be the best fuel for your body when it comes to helping you with your energy levels. 

If you are using a pre-workout supplement you should check the label for ingredients and based on them try to figure out the perfect time to take them (usually 30-60 minutes before a workout).

Strenuous exercising can cause you to throw up (if you eat just before a workout), so it’s really important to wait before an exercise, and give your body enough time to digest the food.

After you eat a big meal, you should wait two to three hours, before you get started with your workout (especially if it is protein based). 

The best combination would be to eat something filled with protein and carbohydrates two hours before a workout [1]. 

To maximize the gains you should also make sure that the food that you eat before a workout is low fat food.

How Long Should You Wait After Eating To Go For A Run?

Going for a run with a full stomach might not be a good idea, for any number of reasons, that’s why it’s very important to wait before you decide to do just that. 

If you want to have more energy during a run you should consider having a sports drink with you (a sports drink can be the fuel you need to finish that last mile).

Eating a small lunch will have you waiting for at least an hour before you go for a run. 

It’s best to have low fat food, or a snack like a peanut butter sandwich (just for a boost in energy). 

It’s best to wait at least two hours after a meal before you go for a run [2]. 

Give you body time to digest the nutrients before you start your run!

How Long Should You Wait To Work Out After Eating?

Having a snack or a small meal an hour before a workout might be just the thing that you need to get you through your workout. 

After eating, your body needs time to digest the food, so in order to not feel sluggish during your run or a weight lifting session, you should wait approximately one to two hours after a meal.

Consider using sports drinks during your workout. They are specifically made with minerals and electrolytes to give you the proper hydration and energy for any type of physical exercise (going for a run or spending hours at a time on the bench press, it does not matter).

The Bottom Line

We all like food, after all it’s the fuel that we need to get us through the day. 

But, when it comes to working out, having too much of it before can make you feel sluggish and in some cases (if your workout is strenuous) can cause you to throw up. 

So, how long do you have to wait to work out?

Well, after you’ve eaten you should wait at least one to two hours before you start with your exercise.

Getting the greatest performance and the maximum benefits of your workout can depend on the foods that you choose to eat. 

The recommendation is to have something that’s low on fat, high in protein and carbohydrates just an hour or two before you go for a run or start with a weight lifting session. 



Share on:

Questions or Comments?

Join the discussion on Facebook.

About the author

You may also like

Leave a comment