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Workout before or after dinner?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 20, 2013 at 6:29 PM

I have been having a small snack before a workout (nuts or some sort of fruit), which is usually right after work (4-4:30pm), and then I'll have dinner about an hour or two after I work out at the gym (6:30-7:30). Some nights I've waiting until dinner and then worked out and had a small snack after, but would it be better if I worked out after dinner or am I maximizing my calorie burn how I'm doing it now? Which is better? I've read a lot about fasting before a workout, but that doesn't work for me. I get light headed and can't perform well, making me feel worse than I did before I worked out! Any tips or ideas would be much appreciated!

Af679502f1e31c0c59c79bd08f324b35

(559)

on June 20, 2013
at 11:02 PM

I learned very early on that I needed carbs PWO... I went from almost falling asleep in the middle of the day on workout days to being alert with no brain fog simply by adding a .5 lb sweet potato. I tried only protein, protein and fat but nothing worked like carbs. Mind you I get 95% of my carbs in my PWO meal... I can now perform tremendously harder during the next morning workout. Oh and I exercise fasted.

4f12a06aee26f64e432762495302ec9d

(292)

on June 20, 2013
at 07:46 PM

Yes i usually have something small such as a roasted chicken breast for some protein or a banana if i'm after energy !

5583b82f29a6b24264ca4b9836abd925

(251)

on June 20, 2013
at 07:44 PM

Gotcha... it seems to be really whatever is best for whoever is working out, I suppose. Suppressed hunger would be nice. Last night I worked out after dinner and I was almost ravenous right before bedtime.

5583b82f29a6b24264ca4b9836abd925

(251)

on June 20, 2013
at 07:39 PM

Thanks, Ryan! Do you eat anything small before a workout?

5583b82f29a6b24264ca4b9836abd925

(251)

on June 20, 2013
at 06:58 PM

Thanks Meg, if I had time I would work out in the morning but I work early. I'm concerned about feeling nauseous if I work out right after I eat dinner, or being too hyper to go to sleep if I work out later.

5583b82f29a6b24264ca4b9836abd925

(251)

on June 20, 2013
at 06:56 PM

Goals-- to be healthy, and to get fit. I'm not looking to lose a certain amount of weight, though it is a goal, I just want to be able to perform well as an athlete, burn more fat, and an overall healthiness. I'm recently healing from adrenal fatigue, and just started Paleo about a month ago. I still eat Greek yogurt here and there, but 90% paleo. I'm doing 2 strength training sessions a week and 3 metabolic or cardio and I play sand volleyball. I can't jump in and do HIIT right now because I'm recovering, but I am slowly feeling better.

463e09e6e28c4f2591aaca88bf0c3cef

(248)

on June 20, 2013
at 06:54 PM

I workout first thing in the morning, with nothing but water in the stomach. That works best for me - I'm not nearly as motivated to workout in the evening. I never have any problems with lightheadedness either. My husband, on the other hand, works out after dinner (about 1.5 hours after a light-to-normal meal + protein shake 15 mins before + protein shake 15 mins after). He never has any problems, either.

4f12a06aee26f64e432762495302ec9d

(292)

on June 20, 2013
at 06:51 PM

Can i ask what your goals are from working out??

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2 Answers

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1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on June 20, 2013
at 07:38 PM

The studies I have read show minimal to no change in the number of calories burned based on meal timing.

Working out fasted is designed to enabled faster mobilization of body fat, not to burn more calories.

Personally I get bloated if I workout after a meal. Plus working out really suppresses my hunger -- so I eat less if I wait until after a workout to eat.

But the real answer is to do what gives you the most energy -- that's what will maximize your calorie burn -- and that seems to be fairly individualized..

5583b82f29a6b24264ca4b9836abd925

(251)

on June 20, 2013
at 07:44 PM

Gotcha... it seems to be really whatever is best for whoever is working out, I suppose. Suppressed hunger would be nice. Last night I worked out after dinner and I was almost ravenous right before bedtime.

0
4f12a06aee26f64e432762495302ec9d

(292)

on June 20, 2013
at 07:36 PM

Personally i like to work out without being to full of food! So i keep meals until afterwards and always make sure they are full of protein! I also only have carbs straight after a workout!

Im not sure if training after a workout maximises calorie burn or not but for me i find it easier to workout before meals :)

Ryan

4f12a06aee26f64e432762495302ec9d

(292)

on June 20, 2013
at 07:46 PM

Yes i usually have something small such as a roasted chicken breast for some protein or a banana if i'm after energy !

Af679502f1e31c0c59c79bd08f324b35

(559)

on June 20, 2013
at 11:02 PM

I learned very early on that I needed carbs PWO... I went from almost falling asleep in the middle of the day on workout days to being alert with no brain fog simply by adding a .5 lb sweet potato. I tried only protein, protein and fat but nothing worked like carbs. Mind you I get 95% of my carbs in my PWO meal... I can now perform tremendously harder during the next morning workout. Oh and I exercise fasted.

5583b82f29a6b24264ca4b9836abd925

(251)

on June 20, 2013
at 07:39 PM

Thanks, Ryan! Do you eat anything small before a workout?

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