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Should I Eat Before I Workout?

To Eat or Not To Eat

To eat or not to eat...that is the question. When you are exercising, an empty stomach is best. If you’re a diabetic, please consult your doctor. Blood flows to your extremities when you are active. When your stomach is digesting food, blood flows to your stomach assist. The main system affected would be the nervous system. Blood is how muscles breathe and when you are working out, a lack of oxygen can cause muscle fatigue and cramps, or indigestion, which makes working out harder and uncomfortable.

The Systems


The nervous system has two functions: Sympathetic and Parasympathetic. The sympathetic nervous system is what causes the “fight or flight” reactions. It also releases hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol that prime your body for action and pain. The parasympathetic is responsible for “rest and digest” functions. It’s also triggers the healing of injuries and illness/diseases. Both the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic can not be functioning at the same time. It's like when you are tired, but your child starts screaming in terror. Suddenly, you are alert and ready to do whatever you have to do to protect that child. This is your sympathetic nervous system working. Your body assumes your life or others is at stake. So, it stops the digestion system to support your fight or flee response. If you’re leisurely walking, you’ll continue to digest what you ate. A empty stomach and a fasting state are completely opposite. An empty stomach is when you are not actively digesting, so anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours after eating. A fasting state means you’ve gone without eating for roughly 12 hours or overnight. This means your food has been digested and the fuel it supplied is mostly depleted. Your blood sugar and your liver glycogen are low. Your metabolism shifts and you’re burning fat. However, the benefit is more towards athletic performance than weight loss.


When You Should Eat



Plan your pre-workout meals to avoid any conflicts. Try to eat a balanced meal 3 hours before you plan on a workout. After a lighter meal, where the meal is more carbs, wait 2 hours. Wait 1 hour after a carb packed snack. For snacks that are below 100 calories, focus on fast-absorbing carbs, wait 10 to 30 minutes. Following these easy rules can help you achieve your healthy body lifestyle. Have questions on what supplements would increase your success rate? Call us at 806-672-640-2090.

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