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Should We Eat After Working Out?

August 14th, 2007 · 6 Comments ·
 
 

 

Most people work out to lose weight. I would say, burn fat should be the goal and not lose weight. After all, one should not lose weight by losing muscle or water. Fat is the real enemy.

Because of this weight loss mindset, many choose not to eat after exercising or working out at gym. Even if some dare to eat, they go for purely protein. Let’s look into this topic – Should We Eat After Exercising or Working Out?

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When we exercise at a moderate to high intensity level, we actually deplete energy in the form of glycogen (stored in our muscle and liver cells). Our brain relies on this glycogen for fuel. If we do not replenish this energy storage after our workout, muscle tissue will be broken into usable energy source. By not eating anything will therefore result in muscle loss. When we lose muscle, our metabolism will slow down. Subsequently, weight loss will become even more difficult.

Therefore, we should eat within an hour right after the workout. Within this period, enzymes that make glycogen are most active and quickly replace depleted glycogen stores in the muscles. This golden period should not be taken lightly. You do not want to spend significant amount of time training your muscles, but only to eat after 3 or 4 hours. Having said that, you do not have to start eating in the gym right after you put down your dumbbells.

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Rule of the thumb is – you do not have to eat a lot, but you should eat something after training.

Check out the post of What To Eat After Exercise or Workout?

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Category: Nutrition


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6 responses so far ↓
  • Healthy // Aug 14, 2007 at 12:35 AM

    Thanks for the insightful blog! I’m going to have to send my friend your way so I won’t have to explain (and he won’t have to argue with me) about eating after working out.

    He always says, the workout is sayang. Hope he finally gets it!

  • Angie Tan // Aug 14, 2007 at 10:42 AM

    Thanks for the tip!

    I was feeling rather drained yesterday after my heavy weight training workout. Didn’t want to eat a meal as I had some food waiting at home.

    So, I took juice first to fill the stomach before heading home (15mins drive) before filling up on vege and soup.

    I’d guess eating the right thing after training is important too. Something like fruits or a powerbar is ok, right?

  • Yu Jin // Aug 14, 2007 at 6:57 PM

    It is also important to take enough good quality protein after a workout. The requirements for protein is higher for people who work out and is best absorbed within 1 hour of an intense workout. Go for high quality protein like lean chicken (tandoori chicken comes to mind) or fish (asam pedas comes to mind).

  • muchacha // Jul 20, 2008 at 5:14 PM

    I never understood how some folks could go to the gym during their lunch time but totally skip their meals. I always feel famished after a lunch time work out, even when I’ve had a power bar or a banana before that.
    In fact, sometimes in the midst of exercising hard, I already have thoughts on what to eat after I’m done with the session.

  • Laura Andrea Torres // Aug 29, 2009 at 4:52 AM

    wow! i so didnt know that! no wonder i havent lost as much weight as i thought i should of lost! ill start eating little meals after working out..i dont want my slow motabilism to slow down

  • Alicis // Apr 7, 2011 at 12:55 AM

    That is a myth your metabolism does not slow down. In fact your metabolism wnb’t start to slow down until about 3 weeks to a month later.

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