Why shouldn’t I exercise right after eating?

Why shouldn’t I exercise right after eating?

You can experience stomach discomfort if you exercise right after eating.

You might experience stomach cramps, nausea, or diarrhea.

During exercise, your working muscles and digestive system compete for an increased amount of blood flow.

  • Your exercising muscles need more blood (which carries oxygen and nutrients) to perform the increased amount of work you are asking of them.
  • Your digestive system needs increased blood flow to break down and digest your food.

Your exercising muscles win the competition which means blood flow to the stomach is reduced and digestion is slowed. Exercising with partially digested food in your stomach can cause:

  • Stomach cramps or discomfort
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea

People respond differently to exercise after eating. In general however, the higher the intensity of the exercise, the more blood flow to your stomach is reduced and the greater the likelihood of stomach discomfort.

How long should I wait to exercise after eating?

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Stephanie Averkamp

About the Author was created by Stephanie Averkamp, a recognized health and fitness professional and sole-author of the content on this website. Stephanie's approach to weight loss emphasizes making small, realistic, and permanent lifestyle changes. Read more...

Stephanie Averkamp

Our Approach: Short-term solutions (like dieting) are unrealistic and ineffective because at some point they end. As soon as a diet or program ends, so do the results. Permanent weight loss is a journey; it's not a race or competition and there is no finish line. Read more...