Our expert says:
Absolutely, you have to eat after you exercise. It's important because you have to replace the energy that was lost during exercise. When you eat is another story, but there's no optimal time to eat. Some have suggested that it's best to eat within the first hour after training, because that would be when the body is most able to take up and use the energy. That may be true in theory, but the reality is also that if you didn't eat in the first hour, but only a few hours after, your body would still be energy depleted and that energy would be very welcome by the body.
So ultimately it's a practical issue. Some people, for example, can't eat soon after training because exercise kills their appetite. Others can only eat, they get so hungry from exercising that they have to eat pretty much straight away. So you have to listen to your body, and as long as you do eventually put back what exercise took out, you'll be fine.
Hope that helps!
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