How long should I wait to exercise after eating?

How long should I wait to exercise after eating?

Wait one to four hours to exercise after eating.

The recommended amount of time to wait depends on the size of your meal.

In general, the larger the meal, the longer you should wait.


Wait approximately 1 hour after eating a light snack.

Small meal

Wait 2-3 hours after eating a small meal.

Large meal

Wait 3 ½ – 4 hours after eating a large meal.

The goal is to allow enough time for the food to leave your stomach before you start exercising. Exercising with food in your stomach may lead to stomach cramps and/or nausea.

American College of Sports Medicine (2003.) ACSM Fitness Book, 3rd ed. Human Kinetics

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