Eating Before Exercise


by Dr Jeremy Sims

It is generally recommended that you should never eat a large meal for between two to three hours before exercising. This recommendation is well based on scientific fact.

Following the ingestion of any meal, there is an increase in the flow of blood to the digestive system, supporting the absorption of nutrients. At the same time the blood supply to the muscles is significantly reduced, thus making them less efficient during exercise at this time. This effect is very much dependent on:

1. The time which has elapsed following the meal.

2. The amount of food eaten.

3. The degree of exercise.

Professional sports people aim to eat no later that three to four hours before competing. They therefore ensure complete digestion of food and a relatively empty stomach.

© HealthChat 2000
Dr. Sims is the Medical Director of FitStop, the UK's foremost group of health and fitness centers, and an expert on matters relating to fitness of body and mind. Having trained as a GP, he now works full-time in health promotion and has written extensively on the subject, including a monthly medical column in Mensa magazine with the TV psychiatrist, Dr Raj Persaud. Dr. Sims was the original Virgin.Net online doctor.

Article courtesy of MediaPeak