How Long To Wait After Eating To Run – A Guide To Eating Before Running
Even though everyone is different, all runners have one thing in common. If you eat a large meal right before your run, you may end up with stomach cramps and digestive problems. It can also lead to poor performances and a sluggish feeling on your run.
That is why it is important to know how long to wait after eating to run.
As a general guideline, you wait at least 3 hours after a large meal before running. If you have had a small snack or a smaller meal, the time before you run after eating can be reduced to 30-60 minutes.
However, keep in mind that the foods you eat can affect the wait time before you can run, and everyone is different. Some people may find they can run much sooner than the recommended 3-hour wait time.
Either way, trial, and error is the best way to find out how long you will need to wait after eating before heading out for a run.
Below we dive more into what happens if you run too soon after eating and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about eating before running.
What Happens If You Run Too Soon After Eating
If you eat too close to a run, your body may not have enough time to digest the food properly. This can lead to cramping, indigestion, and even vomiting. According to research, it can also lead to stomach pain, bloating, side stitch, nausea, belching, and diarrhea.
Eating before running also puts extra strain on your digestive system, which can be dangerous if you already have a medical condition such as gastroparesis.
It’s best to wait at least an hour after eating a snack or a small meal before going for a run. If you plan on eating a large meal and running after, you should wait for at least 3 hours so the body can digest the food properly. This will stop you from feeling sluggish and developing any of the symptoms above.
Alternatively, If you’re feeling particularly full or bloated, give yourself even more time to digest before lacing up your shoes.
Can You Run On A Full Stomach?
Running on a full stomach is generally not recommended, as it can lead to indigestion, discomfort, and other factors we have discussed above. However, some people may find that they can run directly after eating but these types of people make up a small minority of runners.
If you do choose to run on a full stomach, it’s important to eat foods that are easily digested, as this will reduce the chance of stomach issues on your run.
It is also important to start your run slowly and build into it, so you don’t put stress on your stomach while your food is still digesting.
While running directly after eating is not recommended, some people may get away with it. A lot of it depends on what foods are eaten, and how much.
Is It Best To Run On An Empty Stomach?
No definitive answer exists to this question as everyone’s physiology is different. That said, studies show that running on an empty stomach may help people burn more fat. Since stored carbohydrate (glycogen) is the body’s preferred fuel source during exercise, running out of glycogen may force the body to rely more on burning fat. However, running on an empty stomach can also lead to fatigue and light-headedness, so it’s important to experiment to see what works best for you.
If you struggle with running after eating or are short on time, try replacing solid foods with a smoothie. It can help move through the digestive system much faster than food, and help you get out the door quicker.
To know more about running on an empty stomach, read our article on the benefits and disadvantages of running fasted.
Is It Good To Run After Dinner?
One of the main benefits of running after dinner is that you may burn more calories and fat. When you run in the evening or late afternoon, your body temperature is highest (between 4:00 and 6:00), which means you will burn more calories and fat. In fact, a study showed that people who ran in the evening burned more fat than those who ran in the morning.
Another benefit of running after dinner is that it can help improve your digestion. Exercise helps stimulate the movement of food through your digestive system, which can help prevent constipation and other digestive issues.
So, if you want to burn more calories and fat or improve your digestion, going for a run after dinner may be a suitable option. Just make sure to eat dinner late afternoon or during the early evening, so you can take advantage of the period when your body temperature is at its highest.
What Are Good Snacks To Eat Before Running?
What you eat before a run can make or break your performance, That’s why it is important to fuel your body with the right mix of nutrients to give you energy and stamina. You also don’t want to eat large amounts of food before running as this can cause you to feel sluggish and bloated.
The best snacks to eat before running are those high in carbs, and low in fat. These types of foods are usually the fastest digestible foods. That means staying away from foods that take a long time to digest. These include high-fat foods, oily foods, and foods high in fiber.
Avoid eating greasy or fried foods as well as sugary snacks like candy or cake. These will fluctuate your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling like your energy levels are all over the place.
Some good snacks to eat before running include:
-A slice of toast with honey or jam
-A bowl of cereal
-A granola bar
Ultimately, what you eat before a run will depend on the length of your run and the intensity, and how long it takes for your body to digest the good.
In short, before going for a run, make sure you leave 1 hour after eating snacks and 3 hours after a larger meal. Hopefully this article has given you some more insight into how long to wait after eating to run.