This Is How Long You Should Wait To Work Out After Eating

If you've ever done some rigorous exercise after eating a meal, you probably know that you should have waited longer. You can experience bloating, cramping, diarrhea, or you may even vomit. You have to give your body enough time to digest your food before you start working out, but how long you need to wait will depend on how large of a meal you ate. The more you ate, the longer you have to wait. 

Instead of a meal, eat a light snack about 30 to 45 minutes before your workout. Try a snack with easy-to-digest healthy carbs that low in fiber, like a banana, yogurt and granola, an energy bar, or nut butter and toast. If you're swimming or running, eat something high in protein and carbs two to three hours before your workout, like yogurt with fruit or a whole wheat bagel with nut butter.

If you're running a marathon, you'll need to carb load two to three days before, eating foods high in carbohydrates like potatoes, rice, and pasta. Then eat something small 30 to 60 minutes before the marathon, such as a banana or granola bar (via Insider).  

What to eat for your workout

Harding Medical Institute recommends waiting four to six hours to work out after eating a large meal. Your training won't be as effective while your body is still trying to digest. Intense exercise will slow your digestion and pry energy away from your muscles. For a small meal, you'll want to wait two to three hours after eating. Fuel your body long before your workout and leave room for your body to focus on your muscles instead of digestion.

You need to eat during your workout if you're exercising longer than one hour. Take a short break to drink a sports drink or eat a piece of fruit to replenish your body's energy. Otherwise, make sure you're hydrated well with water before, during, and after your workout. 

You need to eat after your workout to get the most benefits. Eat some carbs as soon as possible, like fruit, raw vegetables, or whole grains. Two hours after your workout, you need some protein, such as a hard-boiled egg, nuts, chicken, or turkey. Remember carbs right after, and then some protein later. 

The Mayo Clinic recommends eating a small, healthy breakfast 30 minutes before your morning workout, such as whole-grain cereal or bread, a banana, yogurt, a pancake, or low-fat milk. Everyone is different, so pay attention to how you feel during your workout, what you ate before, and how long you waited.