Posted by: monique janse van vuuren | 2012/03/28

when to exercise

when is the best time to exercise? before or after meals? mornings or afternoons?

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Monique

Partly practical, partly theoretical, this answer.

Practically, it's really difficult to exercise within about 60 min of eating, unless it's a super light meal. So that means that you'd need to eat say 90 min before, or not at all. For many, this rules out training in the morning, because they can't train on an empty stomach. For others, who can, it's better because they can get the training done with early (the morning people!).

Also, if you train in the afternoon, then it means you'd need to have a "top up meal" at say 3pm, so that you can train at 5pm and then eat dinner at say 7pm. That's a convenient schedule for many, but not for others. So again, it's a practical matter.

Theoretically, it doesn't really matter too much, except when you're training really hard. Then it's very difficult train without having some energy, so you'd need to eat before.

After, it's important to eat to replace energy and nutrients, regardless of when you train.

So ultimately, it's down to preference, with a few practical issues thrown in. But as long as you're eating enough, and replacing energy and not forcing your body to exercise without it, you're doing fairly well and in the big scheme of things, it won't matter much!


The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.