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Real Life Nutrition Questions Answered

Real Life Fitness Questions Answered

Emma Brown
Nutritionist

Janet Aylott
Nutritionist

Kelly Marshall
Fitness Consultant

Q.

Can you explain about the timings for food and exercise?

Hi,

I want to lose weight and tone up. But I'm confused about what method is best. Is it better to eat your meal and then exercise an hour later, or to exercise and then eat after? The exercise I do in particular is jogging about 3 miles. Also, what are the benefits of jogging first thing in the morning compared to doing it late afternoon?

Thank you.

A.

Our expert says...

Hey,

The key guidelines about eating around exercise include:

- Not to run too soon after eating - ideally leave 1-2 hours although this varies for every individual

- ensure the body has fuel before exercising i.e. don?t exercise if you have not eaten all day as the risk of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) will be higher and can lead to fainting, heat exhaustion and in severe cases hypoglycaemic coma!

- Ideally, consume 50-100grams of a carbohydrate and protein source within the first 15 minutes after exercise to optimise muscle recovery.

- Listen to your body regarding pre and post-exercise nutrition, if you find during one session you struggle for energy then it may be that you have not prepared well enough prior to training, i.e. left it too long since your last snack/meal.

So to summarise, I would suggest you look to exercise between 1-2 hours after a snack or meal and look to consume a small snack within the first 15 minutes post your exercise session. This structure will ensure you have the energy to train effectively and support your recovery after.

With relation to whether or not to eat before a morning jog I would suggest you check out my answer to a recent question titled: Is my routine enough and should I eat before my AM exercise? The details given within my answer identify why some people link running in the morning as being particularly beneficial. However, the timing really does not matter; the important thing is that you do it, so whatever time ensures you stay consistent with your exercise is the best time! I personally would suggest mixing it up to prevent the body adjusting and preferring a particular time but whatever works best for you.

Hope this helps

Kelly

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