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Q: lifting weight ( Answered,   4 Comments )
Subject: lifting weight
Category: Health > Fitness and Nutrition
Asked by: pelkeyrobyn-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 20 Jul 2002 01:43 PDT
Expires: 19 Aug 2002 01:43 PDT
Question ID: 43123
When exercising with free weight should one eat before or after the
workout? If before, what interval?
Subject: Re: lifting weight
Answered By: lisaradha-ga on 20 Jul 2002 05:43 PDT

While it is important to do weights before cardio, eating before
lifting doesn't seem to be as important according to the following

"The most important thing you need to remember is that when it comes
to training, you don't want a lot of food sitting in your stomach.
When lifting weights, you need all the blood you can get to feed your
muscles the oxygen they need. You don't want your blood going to your
digestive system! A lot of people I've talked to recently seem to
think they need to eat protein (and lots of it) before training since
protein is the building block of muscle tissue. This simply is not
true. Your body repairs itself AFTER you leave the gym, not while
training. Also, protein is a lot harder to digest than a simple
carbohydrate - thus taking more blood away from your muscles.

If you are training after work, the food that you've eaten during the
day will provide you with plenty of fuel for your workout (assuming
you are eating a good diet). If you feel your stomach churning because
you are a bit hungry, try eating a small slice of apple or 1/2 of a
piece of toast. You want something small and easy to digest.
Personally, if I was training at 6 pm, I would have a small single
slice of apple and an espresso or cup of coffee around 4:15-4:30. The
apple would be optional depending on whether or not my stomach was

"Although little research has been done in this area, studies indicate
that a trained athlete or exerciser's fat burning capabilities are
increased if food is not eaten before a moderate workout.  Certain
conditions, however must exist for this to happen.

The exerciser must have been consistently training aerobically at a
rate no higher than 65 to 75 percent of their target heart rate range.
 Previous training helps the body learn and remember to utilize fat
more efficiently, especially during moderate aerobic exercise.

Anaerobic exercise, such as lifting weights, does not utilize much fat
for energy, but once a person increases lean body mass and decreases
body fat, fat-burning capabilities increase overall."

"How to Eat to Gain Muscle - There are several common-sense ways to
reach your goal. First, eat larger portions at each meal or eat more
meals each day. Exercisers who have difficulty putting on weight often
miss at least one meal a day; usually breakfast. Next, try snacking
between meals."

"What should I eat before and after workouts? - Before workouts its
good to get some form of complex carbohydrates whether it be a brown
rice or a maltodextrin powder.  Post workouts some form of protein and
simple carbohydrates should be taken in, a protein powder mixed in
milk would be fine."

I did a query in yahoo on "when to eat before lifting weights".

I also checked some print sources from the local public library which
gave the same information.

Hope this helps - lisa_radha
Subject: Re: lifting weight
From: jem-ga on 20 Jul 2002 01:51 PDT
Hi There - this question (if you're really into fitness) is almost
like asking how long is a piece of string?  How much information are
you looking for?  If you're looking for a fairly substantial answer,
then it might be worth posting a slightly higher list price.  You
might also want to clarify a few things like,:

how long is your free weights workout?
are you traing for strength, endurance or both?
Are you training with weights to gain muscle mass or simply to tone?
do you work the entire body during one workout or do you split your
routine over several days?

I can give you a generic answer (from my own personal experience):

Generally speaking, you should try and eat AT LEAST two hours before
exercising (to allow your food to digest properly).  I find that I
need to eat fairly moderately (i.e. NOT a huge plate of beans, fries
and bread) about 3 hours before weight lifting.  About 20-30 minutes
after weight lifting (depending on how heavy the session was), I try
and snack on a piece of fruit or two and then usually eat about 2-3
hours after.
Subject: Re: lifting weight
From: angy-ga on 20 Jul 2002 02:00 PDT
Hi !

My son, who is a qualified fitness instructor, says any fuel foods,
such as carbohydrates, can be eaten half an hour or more before
training, and half an hour to an hour after training - that is, leave
a half hour gap on either side.

Some instant energy snacks can be eaten just before.

Good luck with your training.
Subject: Re: lifting weight
From: robertskelton-ga on 20 Jul 2002 04:56 PDT
Different strokes for different folks - for me it is 2 hours.
Experiment. And while you're at it, try different times of day to work
out as well, you might find that a different time of day makes a BIG

Eat before the exercise so that you have some energy - a sugar-based
breakfatst works of me.

The instant you finish your work out, your mission is to eat - even
junkfood. You need ro rebuild those muscles. They are in instant need.
Subject: Re: lifting weight
From: equitymind-ga on 20 Jul 2002 21:48 PDT
Hello there.  I simply had to comment on this question since I am a
certified personal trainer with several national certifications in
physical fitness.  I wholeheartedly agree with my esteemed collegues
on the 2 hour timeframe prior to a workout since you do not want to be
weaker during your workout while blood that would normally feed your
muscles is now being used for the digestive process.

However I do want to note that *after* a workout what and how you eat
and more specifically within 60 minutes after your workout is very
important.  Right after your workout, your body has a 'glycogen
window' where you are able to absorb nutrients more readily,
especially those of the liquid variety.  This is the best time to have
a protein shake since the conversion of carbohydrates into glycogen or
fuel is most effective during this window.

Read this article for more information on this topic:

Hope this helps!


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