Is it better to work out before or after you eat dinner?

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Is it better to eat dinner at 6 p.m., wait 1 hour & then work out OR work out before dinner and eat late, at like 8 p.m.? – Kyla



Eat dinner first and then workout. It’s best to fuel your brain and muscles ahead of time, rather than play catch-up later after you have exhausted a bunch of energy from exercising. So as long as your stomach is not uncomfortable, I’d prefer you eat and then workout. You can always have something light after your workout such as a V-8, glass of milk or salad to refuel. – Debbie J., MS, RD

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Posted on July 23, 2013, in Ask Our Dietitian, Health, Helpful, Nutrition, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. when is the best time to consume protein

  2. I’ve had numerous operations on my stomach. Any other exercises to help it get more defined?

  3. If someone is striving to lose water weight. Should they be drinking alot of water during their workout? Or should they wait to drink 30 minutes after their workout?

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      I have to say that losing water weight isn’t a good idea unless you are indeed retaining fluids, but to answer your question:

      Timing won’t matter as much as other factors, such as the electrolytes in one’s diet. Sodium (in processed foods) tends to draw water into the space between cells, causing bloating. Reducing sodium consistently is a major step in keeping retention at bay. Potassium (in produce, lean meats and milk products) helps draw water into cells where it can be used in metabolism. Increasing potassium from foods aids in fluid balance.

      Water weight loss is occurring when people experience a noticeable drop in weight the first week on a calorie-reduced or carbohydrate-restricted diet. Surely, they aren’t burning thousands of extra calories each day! What happens is that water is released when glycogen, our storage form of carbohydrate, is released. Cutting calories or reducing carbs causes the body to rely on stored glycogen in the short-term (then fa,t and finally protein if prolonged).

      NOTE: abstaining from hydration during exercise impairs physical performance and heat regulation, a no-win combination.

  4. Even if I eat dinner before workout I find myself extra hungry after workout and sometimes find myself having 2nd dinner or force myself to sleep.

  5. Definitely after because post workout meal can mostly be consumed after the work out unless you have 2-3 hrs to digest that food, when you work out on a full stomach you run the risk of indigestion,nausea etc because the blood that runs the stomach organs when the food is being digested are forced to the muscles instead resulting in an unhappy digestion process .

  6. Besides loosing weight what exercises can I do to loose inches in my waist?

  7. I just signed up with LA Fitness and had my assessment. and I don’t start my strength training until the end of next week. My weight is 183 pounds and I’m 5’6″ I would like to lose 40 pounds. I’m in a weight group so I have the support but I’m not sure how I should be eating as far as meals and snacking. I’m maintaining this weight but hope to lose more when I start my strength training. Is there anything I should be doing now as far as my diet goes?

  8. I’ve been hearing a lot about pre-workout drinks lately and how they boost your energy prior to exercise. Do they really help you get a better workout? If so, is there a brand that’s healthier than others?



  9. I want to go Monday thru Friday for the one hour cardio class that LA Fitness offers. I am currently breastfeeding . Will I loose my milk supply if I do alot of cardio work outs?

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      Not if you eat what you need, stay hydrated and sleep properly! According to the LaLeche League International, “you need to stay very well hydrated when breastfeeding, especially if you are working out.” They recommend waiting until the infant is at least 6 weeks old, start the exercise slowly and gradually, and consume liquids to replace those lost by sweating.

  10. I have a triangle body wthat kind of should I eat ….

  11. I work later at night, so often times I will leave the club about 10pm and go home and have dinner. I need to break the latenight eating habit, but because of my work schedule it is hard not to go home and eat . What can I do, or what should I eat for dinner that late at night?

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      Really, I have to say try to eat something right when you get off work – even a protein bar or veggie smoothie.This is the best scenario. If you just can’t accomplish this before heading to the club, then what you need to eat so late is just enough to refresh yourself before bed. Don’t think of it as “dinner,” but a post-workout snack. Perhaps a bowl of soup or the like. Just be sure breakfast and lunch is are substanial, balanced meals!

  12. I would like to understand the usage of a dietary supplement like Raw Fit. Should I eat breakfast such as, oatmeal, workout then consume a portion of this mixture for lunch, then eat something when I’m hungry again something light, (you’re suppose to eat at least 5 small meals per day). That’s where I become confused and feel like I am not utilizing the Raw Fit (high Protein foe wight Loss) supplement appropriately. Help! Signed trying to understand the dynamics.

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      Julia, if the directions on the container aren’t clear, I would refer you to the manufacturer of the product you mentioned for sample menus and recipes. It appears to be a vegan protein supplement with additional functional ingredients and doesn’t seem to be sufficient as a meal replacement on its own.

  13. Is it better to go to bed on an empty stomach, full, or in between?

  14. I’m doing weights and cardio. How do I get a flat stomach? With less protein or more and when do I take it?

  15. Do I need to spread my protein equally through out the day or can I do the whole days worth in 2 or 3 sittings?

  16. Hi there! Thank you for answering our questions.

    I’m wondering how much protein and how many calories I should be aiming for a day in order to build lean muscle (I’m a woman, about 135-140 lbs). Ideally I would like to attain a lean, healthy look. I’m currently about 23% body fat. Maybe I should be approaching this from the body fat perspective instead of through weigh-ins?

    Thank you :)

  17. What can I do in order to gain more muscle? I’m a 22 years old female, my height is 5’5, I’m a 144 Lbs, and I have 24% of body fat. Also, could you provide some ways of burning body fat?

  18. I work out at 7:30pm cardio and weights, 3 nights cardo I and weights 2 nights cardio. My question is I would like to build up lean muscle not bulk up.should I do light weights with 3 sets of 12to15 reps or heavy with less reps? I also eat dinner 1hour before and then have a light greek yogurt. Is there anything I should change?

  19. i am 23 female i weight 178. i want to drop 40 pounds .. any tips ?

  20. is the corn tortilla bad?for loss.weight and get muscle mass?

  1. Pingback: Do Women Work Harder Than Men in Interval Workouts? | Apparel stuff

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