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I have a new job in a new city and I am still trying to calibrate my schedule so all my activities could fit in. I usually finish work arount 6PM and after I got home (around 7:30 PM), I go to the gym nearby and stay there until 9:30 PM.

My problem with this routine is that I end up having dinner late at night (around 11PM) and have to go to bed before midnight so I can get my 7h hours sleep (I wake up everyday between 6 and 7 AM).

Since it is generally admitted that eating right before going to sleep is unhealthy, is it best for me to eat before going to the gym? And if that is so, is it ok not to ingest something after high intensity training? Wouldn't that affect your muscles growth?

  • "generally admitted"...by who? Bro-science? Or do you have actual published studies that show this? The myth of eating at certain times causing weight gain/loss is for the most part just that, a myth. There are some nutrient timings for optimization, but in general, eat whenever you need to. – JohnP Jan 18 '19 at 15:32
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In general you would want to eat something before and after your workout. That way you will feel energetic during your workout because your body has just recieved fuel. And after your workout you provide your body with calories, preferably some coming from protien, to repair the damaged muscles. You might want to leave some time between the meal before your workout and the workout, because digestion takes some time and slows down during physical activity. Also training with a full stomach can make for an uncomfortable experience depending on the type of activity. However the time between the workout and meal depends mainly on personal preference.

When it comes to eating after a workout it is preferable to consume some protien as soon as possible to stimulate muscle growth. Now eating right before going to bed does not cause significant weight gain or loss, but a spike in bloodsugar from eating could make it harder for you to fall asleep. A way to prevent this is to make sure you don't eat to much sugar and focus more on meals with carbohydrates containing fiber. This way it will take your body longer to absorb the energy and the blood sugar spike will flatten out over time.

All things considered it does not matter much whether you eat the biggest part of your meal before or after the workout, as long as you have energy to preform well and eat some protein afterward.

If you find yourself pressed for time when trying to eat after workouts you might want to consider preparing meals for after a couple of workouts at a time.

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  • Thanks for your answer I think I will do just that ! Eat before working out when I feel I lack energy and always have a protein rich meal after. – Wane Mamadou Jan 21 '19 at 9:32

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