Before Dinner or After? Your Optimal Time for Exercise

Before Dinner or After? Your Optimal Time for Exercise

Posted on: March 6, 2015

Recently, I was asked, “Will I would burn more calories if I exercise before I eat dinner or after?”

When it comes to increased calorie burn, it doesn’t really matter if you work out before or after dinner. However, there are four things you should consider.

Should I exercise before or after dinner? Canton Mercy HealthChat Blog

Four Considerations for Exercise Around Meal Times

  1. You need to exercise at a level that increases your heart rate.
  2. You need to exercise at least 30 minutes. Work up to that level if you cannot do 30 minutes currently.
  3. If you are hungry, you may not exercise as intensely.
  4. If you are too full, exercise may not feel good and you may get wind cramps.

Preference and Protein Bars

So what does all this mean? It really depends on what you prefer and your schedule. If you like exercising before dinner, but often get hungry, then I would recommend you have a small snack mid-afternoon. Protein bars work well to help bridge the hunger gap between lunch and dinner. Mercy Weight Management offers several different bars or you may find one that you like on your own.

If you like exercising after dinner, most find they are more comfortable if they wait at least one hour after eating.

Fluid Consumption Is Key

In addition to food intake, it’s also important to pay attention to your fluid consumption. You don’t have to guzzle water, but you need to replace the fluid you lost and make sure you are hydrated during the day. The recommendation is to drink 1–2 cups of water prior to exercise, 1/2 to 1 cup every 15 minutes during exercise, and then 1–2 cups after exercise. By cup, I mean 8 ounces, which is smaller than many coffee mugs. A bottle of water is typically 16 to 20 ounces.

Whether you decide to exercise before dinner or after, the most important thing is that you are exercising. 

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Do you live near Canton, Ohio, and need help with weight loss, fitness or nutrition? Contact Mercy Weight Management for more information. We’re here to help!

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