Posted by: Jenna | 2011-04-20

To Eat, or Not to Eat?

Hello Doc,

I am confused... should I eat before or after my lunch walk? I walk to work (20 minutes) so I walk AFTER breakfast. I then walk on my lunch (45-50 minutes) and I don’ t know if I should eat before or after this big walk. I read that if you don’ t eat, your body uses its own fat to get the energy to exercise, but then I’ ve read that food is like the petrol for your body to make your work out more efficient. At the moment, I eat before I walk. Then I walk home from work (again 20 minutes) and then eat supper about an hour or two later.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Jenna

It really doesn't make too much difference. Practically, it's difficult to eat BEFORE you exercise, because leave it too late and you'll have stomach problems in the walk.

So you'd have to eat maybe an hour before and looking at your diet, that's probably a bit tight to squeeze in. So then after would work, but it actually doesn't change too much.

It does slightly alter what you use as fuel, but this is only true for overnight fasting - that is, if you wake up and then train without eating, then you are pretty much depleted of carbs and so you rely more on fat. After eating, more carbs means more fuel to burn, but it doesn't really affect things unless you're running a marathon.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: John | 2011-04-25

Hi Jenna,

I am not a doctor.

As far as I know, your body uses carbs for energy, but only once your body has burned through this source of energy will it start using fat as a secondary source of energy. So its a good idea to have lots of healthy carbs if you run or walk long distances.

As a runner, I eat 1-2 bananas(good source of energy) 30-60mins before a run and after my run I''ll make a fruit smoothie(high in protein to prevent muscle breakdown) or when I run in the evening I''ll have a healthy meal.

If you are hungry its a good idea to eat something rather than starve yourself as you will only over indulge when you finally eat.

Again I am not doctor or expert.

Reply to John

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