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Eating after working out at night

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Ok I've already googled it but there are so many different sites saying both ways so I need opinions. I usually go to the gym later in the evening like 5-6pm and then come home and eat, usually grilled chicken and rice or something like that. Should I eat supper like a couple hours before the gym or wait til after?

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You should ALWAYS eat something after a workout, ALWAYS. If you don't you basically ruined everything you just accomplished in the gym.

Have supper or a snack before you go to the gym, but make sure you have something after as well ~within an hour after you completed your workout. 

If you don't eat after you may end up breaking down muscle tissue. Also working out later in the day can compromise sleeping. 

I personally can not work out at night because it energizes me too much and then I can't fall asleep... and once I do fall asleep, I wake up a few hours later completely famished even if I did eat something post workout. Not fun. I try to start my day with a workout, rather than end it.  

Well honestly it has the opposite effect on me lol. I work out so hard at the gym that I'm tired when i get home and I think it helps me sleep better. Everybody is different tho. I will keep eating supper after the gym because i don't want to ruin all of that working out.

For some reason I notice that my appetite increases after exercise...even if I did have dinner beforehand. So now, I try to eat my meal afterwards.

Sounds like what you're doing is working for you...whatever works x3

I've noticed that exercise makes me feel good and relaxed and positive. If need energy because it's the morning then I feel energized from a good workout. When I workout at night, it helps me fall asleep without tossing and turning with a racing brain. No matter when in the day I workout, I will definitely sleep better because of it. 

In response to the actual question, I always eat a small meal (200ish calories) about an hour before working out, and then a larger meal (400-600ish w lots of protein) about an hour after. That way I have fuel for my workout and won't get queasy from being so active on an empty (or too full) stomach. Then the larger meal replenishes my nutrients and helps repair my muscles and stuff after the workout. It works for me!



You are SO right. I think if you look online, you can find facts to back ANY argument up. Some will tell you to eat after, some will tell you to eat before. I think the key is to find something that works for you.


Me, personally, I believe that after a workout, the only thing you should be having is a protein shake, and that you should be eating heavy meals as early as possible. Now, I don't do this myself, so I don't follow my own advice :), but I think its best to eat heavier meals earlier, cause by the time night time hits, you'll have used all the energy/calories that you ate earlier in the day. Just my opinion, though! In the end, just follow your heart and whatever you feel works best for you.

Eating within 1/2 hour of a workout is supposedly ideal. By eating it usually means something balanced with protein and carb- a protein shake or chocolate milk is ideal. I usually workout in the morning so my breakfast is a protein shake. If I do a second workout after work then my dinner will be a protein shake as well or a very light dinner of lean protein, a veg and a carb like quinoa....but again, a very small meal. I have been told by many nutritionists and dietiitians that then"window of opportunity" to eat after a workout is 1/2-3/4 hour. This is when your metabolism is continuing to rev highly post workout.

Yeap, I agree with the post workout meal.   Just protein is not enough though.  It should be balanced with high glycemic and low glycemic carbs, protein and fiber and/or fat.  If you can, try to get your high glycemic carbs as soon as possible post work out, a piece of bread or something sweet, this will keep yourself out of a catabolic state.  Protein for your building blocks, fiber and fat to slow down carb processing, brown rice is great.  I agree with the 1/2 hour window for carbs, its 4 hours for protein.  I find exercise also helps me sleep.

i for one cannot eat and then workout, i feel sluggish. when i was younger and working, i worked out around 6pm to 7pm. i usually ate some chicken and a salad or a small steak and salad around 7:45 but tried keeping it around 500 calories. just watch and practice portion control and you will be fine.

The perfect after workout meal is a low fat chocolate milk. Nothing more....nothing less.


You should always eat after working out.  A post-workout meal should consist of a roughly 50/50 ratio of fast-absorbing carbohydrates (which comes from fruits, starches, sugars, and grains), and proteins.  Depending on the type and intensity of the workout, increasing the ratio of carbs to protein might be good as well. A friend of mine who is in a masters program for sports medicine says that the ideal post-workout meal is a bowl of HEALTHY cereal (meaning no excess sugars, and mainly consisting of whole grains) with milk or soy milk.  Almond milk does not cut it here due to lack of protein.  If you prefer to get your post-workout nutrition from something liquid, then a good choice is a single serving of Gatorade mixed with whey protein.  Finding a blend of Gatorade flavors that mixes well with a flavor of whey protein, however, is going to be a bit of trial and error on your part.

Another good option when I can get in a workout earlier in the evening, while still leaving time for a proper dinner, is a serving of whole grain pasta with lemon pepper seasoning and tilapia cooked in olive oil.  SOOOOOO good.

Generally any combination of whole grains or fruits and meats or protein-rich dairy products works, though.

As mentioned above, a good post-workout nutrition plan should consist of both carbohydrates and proteins.  If a greater emphasis was placed on endurance-based (aerobic) cardio, however, placing a greater emphasis on carbs over protein is ideal.  If the workout was more anaerobic in nature (short bursts of interval-based cardio or resistance training), then the 50/50 ratio should be maintained.

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Hey there Sarah,

Each individual reacts to certain things when it comes down to this question as you have read. My advice to you is to imagine your body as been a car and you only need enough fuel to get you through your workout. Now depending what food you choose, you might eat sum low to medium GI food ranging from a small to medium size portion, you have to allow that food to digest to be any good to you so in saying that 1.5 -2hrs is recommended. Now your busy and you go to the gym without eating anything, select a banana or any kind of fruit, Yogurt, or even sum lollies that are quick to get into your blood stream and puts you on that instant sugar rush along with plenty of water.

After training is where you refuel your car to the top with some sort of quick protein fix, yogurt, banana, etc or even a protein shake within the half hour after training.  that should take care of your hunger until you get home. Eat a high protein meal along with salad or veges to allow your muscles when you sleep to repair themselves and to make that adaptation. Remember Carbs are Energy and good for 1st thing in the morning to kick start your metabolism. hope that helps you and what i have discoverd is there are no right or wrong just a whole lot of myths that make things complicated for us lols have fun . . .



i have powdered gatorade and i use 1 scoop of either orange or blue powdered gatorade with 2 scoops of vanilla whey, along with my breakfast of egg whites, turkey bacon and whole wheat toast or i have sugar free type cereal with toast and peanut butter, i use stiva sweetner on cereal. i eat like a king at breakfast, less at lunch and like a pauper at dinner. i have been at 208 to 210 for about 40 years and presently at 13% bodyfat and i am 71.

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