exercise after eating

Exercise After Eating: Is it Good or Bad? And, How Long to Wait?

Find out how soon is too soon for exercising after meals

Should you exercise after eating? If so, how long should you wait to exercise after eating?

Timing is everything. You will have to wait for a certain amount of time before diving into any workout. 

In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits and potential risks if you exercise after eating.

Let’s dive in.


Is it bad to exercise after eating?

Exercise after eating a large meal immediately can lead to:

  • cramping
  • nausea and vomiting, and
  • digestive health issues such as reflux and bloating.

Plus, it will also make you feel sluggish while working out. 

However, not everyone is the same because some people don’t have a problem with it. Still, it is best to do it the safer way.

There’s nothing to lose.

It would be best to give your body time to have an undisturbed gastric emptying and nutrient and water absorption.

In a study, gastrointestinal problems are common among endurance athletes, which cause underperformance in their events.

When you exercise after eating, you’re likely to trigger gastrointestinal discomfort.

Part of the reason is your splanchnic circulation or the organs in the abdominal cavity didn’t have enough time for adequate perfusion. 

It is indeed essential to eat something before you hit the gym. Just make sure to know when to eat and how much you should eat on a gym day.

You can grab a pre-workout snack such as a light sandwich, an energy bar, or a meal replacement to provide the calories you need for a successful workout.

On the other hand, before munching on any snack, ask yourself if there’s a need to.

You don’t necessarily have to eat before exercise as long as you have already optimally fueled up for the day.


But, if you know you most likely run low on energy in the middle of a workout, you can get something light, then give time for the stomach to lighten up until it’s okay to start exercising.

How long to wait to exercise after eating?

After eating a large meal, you have to wait three to four hours before working out as a rule of thumb. 

If you have only taken a snack or a light meal, you can shorten the wait time to at least 30 minutes for a light exercise.

If you are going to do a vigorous workout, do it one or two hours after eating. 

What are the best light exercises after eating?

An intense workout might be too much for your stomach to handle if you exercise after eating.

When you’re also excited to get your body moving, or you just simply cannot wait to start with your workout, here are some kinds of light exercises that you can try. 

Yoga can help your digestion and increase energy levels and get your body ready in just 15 minutes.

Try these kinds of yoga poses:

1. Sukhasana, also known as the “easy pose.”

  • Grab a yoga mat, then sit on it with your legs crossed.
  • Rest your arms stretched over your knees.
  • Draw your stomach in and keep your back straight and roll your shoulders back and down.
  • Relax and close your eyes and breathe normally. 

2. Seated Spinal Twist

  • Sit up straight on your yoga mat and stretch out your legs in front of you.
  • Start with your left knee and bend it in, then place the sole of your left foot on the floor.
  • Do the same way with your right leg. 

3. High Lunge Variation

  • Stand on your yoga mat and take a large step backward with your left leg.
  • Then, bend your right knee and clasp your hands together behind your back, drawing your arms backward to open your chest.
  • Return to the starting position, then do the same thing with your right leg.

4. Walking 

In the early stage of the digestion process following a meal, you may be at risk of having an upset stomach if you start with an intense workout.

A study suggests keeping the intensity low to moderate without being out of breath.

A low-impact activity such as walking after eating for at least 10 minutes will help and then increase the duration and pace as tolerated. 


Can exercise after dinner help with weight loss?

It’s hard to exercise first thing in the day, especially if you’re not a morning person or you can’t only find the time to work out.

Hence, that leaves you only nighttime to do it. Actually, there’s no BAD time to work out.

What’s more important is that you have organized your schedule and fit it together with your other obligations.

And regularly commit to your workouts. 

Prepare your meal plan and workout activities. In losing weight, you have to ensure that you are eating fewer calories than you burn.

You can do your workouts at any time of the day. Exercising at night can promote good sleep and hygiene habits.

It will only make you stay up all night if you were doing strenuous physical activity. 

Is it okay to exercise after eating too much?

Remember that it is generally not advisable to exercise immediately after any meal.


You have to wait and give time for your stomach to digest the food you ate.

One thing you do not wish to happen is the point where your workouts hinder your digestion process.


Eat when you need to before exercising. Remember, the bigger the meal you consumed, the more time you should patiently wait to exercise.

Whether you are trying to stay healthy, lose, gain, or maintain weight, remember why it is essential to give your stomach time to digest all those tasty dishes you ate.

Your workout experience should be as pleasant as possible.