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Stop Skipping: Here’s Exactly What Happens if You Don’t Eat After a Workout
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Stop Skipping: Here’s Exactly What Happens If You Don’t Eat After A Workout

If you’re a regular exerciser, it’s vastly essential to understand what happens if you don’t eat after a workout. Let’s discover the answers from experts with BestLifeTips in this article.

Now, BestLifeTips will show what happens if you don’t eat after a workout and what you should eat for pre and post workout meals.

Is It Ok Not To Eat After A Workout?

If you’re a regular exerciser, it’s important to understand what happens if you don’t eat after a workout. Anyway, the answer is yes. It’s perfectly fine. Your arms and legs won’t fall off if you don’t have a post workout meal.

If your goal is to become a bodybuilder, power-lifter, etc,then your diet will consist of several meals every few hours. So technically, you’re fine if you don’t eat post-workout.

In fact, most dietitians recommend eating something after a workout. Meanwhile, your body needs to be refueled after using up its available energy, specifically with carbs and protein.

Is It Bad To Not Eat After A Workout At Night?

It won’t be bad, but after all, your body needs protein and carbohydrates for muscle development and recovery after a workout, no matter what time of day.

Although at night, eating may be billed as a big no-no, your health or what happens if you don’t eat after a workout will also depend on how you get food.

What Happens If You Don’t Eat Before A Workout?

Of course, when you’re interested in what happens if you don’t eat after a workout, you can’t skip the pre-workout phase.

what happens if you don't eat after a workout

Source: Cosmopolitan

Many think it’s OK to not eat before a workout. But every problem has many sides. Because the primary factor here is when you last ate and how long or how intense your workouts are. Therefore, everyone will not be the same, even for what happens if you don’t eat after a workout.

Let’s try to imagine. You always put fuel in the tank of your car. Without it, you can’t go anywhere. Same with exercise. Fatigue or downright exhaustion could set in and ruin your workout.

As per American Dietetic Association, if you exercise for long periods or do high-intensity workouts, you will be more likely to have low blood sugar and fatigue if you have not eaten for several hours.

It’s better for you to eat before exercising in the morning. It will definitely improve your performance.

Your body uses carbohydrates as a main fuel source for workouts, says the American Dietetic Association, and if you don’t have enough carbs stored from what you eat, your body may burn not only some fat but also muscle tissue and even organ tissue to create energy.

If eating before a workout is so important, what happens if you don’t eat after a workout?

What Happens If You Don’t Eat After A Workout?

For short, you should eat after a workout. So what happens if you don’t eat after a workout? Same like eating before a workout. It will completely depend on:

  • What your ultimate goal is
  • What form of exercise you’ve done
  • How long you’ve worked out

what happens if you don't eat after a workout

Source: WallpaperAccess

Anyway, refueling and rehydrating your body are always essential if you’ve done any form of exercise. It’s just that the level of the needs or effects will vary from person to person. If you are someone doing a lot of high-volume training, for example training for a marathon, it’s even more important.

If you don’t eat something to recover quickly from a workout, you’re actually making yourself weaker in the long run because your muscles will be damaged. Your muscles haven’t had time to repair themselves after each workout.

In addition, sweating during exercise also means that you lose water as well as electrolytes. So what happens if you don’t eat after a workout in this case? You will feel dehydrated, tired and even faint.

It’s not that simple, but the question of what happens if you don’t eat after a workout is emphasized. It not only adversely affects your physical body, but also affects your mental health.

When you don’t eat after exercise, your mood will be negative. Why? Exercise makes your glucose levels drop, not enough to supply brain activity. This definitely affects your mood and concentration.

Should I Eat After A Workout Even If I’m Not Hungry?

Registered dietitian Michele Fumagalli, LDN, said that it’s crucial to eat after a workout regardless of whether you’re hungry.

what happens if you don't eat after a workout

Source: Quest Health Shop

If you’re not hungry after a workout, Michele still recommended eating at least some protein and carbs. It’s unnecessary that your body doesn’t want the food.

As per her, you might not be hungry post-exercise simply because “your body isn’t used to getting food right after your workout. You might just get accustomed to that routine.”

What Happens If You Don’t Eat After A Workout Intermittent Fasting?

When you exercise in a fasted state, your glycogen stores are already depleted. You can do so in a fasted state, but you should prioritize eating a meal directly following your workout.

No matter what you do, your body primarily can use glycogen or stored carbohydrates. When your glycogen stores are depleted because you haven’t eaten for a while. At that time, your body is forced to find and burn fat. This aligns with your weight loss goals.

Do not be happy soon! If you continue with your intermittent plan, guess what happens if you don’t eat after a workout? When your glycogen supply is in short supply, your body also goes back to breaking down protein, causing you to lose more muscle.

what happens if you don't eat after a workout

Source: Women’s Health

Not only that, it will also slow down your metabolism, which can make weight loss more difficult in the long run.

How Long Can You Wait to Eat After A Workout?

When determining what happens if you don’t eat after a workout, there are a few different factors you have to take into consideration, including how long you wait to eat after a workout.

According to Olympic athlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson, it’s vital for re-fuelling your body. She sets herself a 30-minute limit following a training session in which she has to eat. It’s not an advice for athletes but also everyone, says associate nutritionist Hannah Norris from Fresh Fitness Food.

“The pre- and post-workout food align,” Michele said. “Whatever you ate at lunch or even at breakfast is going to help you through your workout and post-workout.” If you haven’t eaten yet, it’s essential to refuel within an hour of workout.

what happens if you don't eat after a workout

Source: 10 Simple Ways To Make Women Chase You

On the other hand, if you had a meal before your workout, Michele explained, “you can probably wait an hour or two to eat your next meal.”

Indeed, you should follow these experts’ tips in order not to wonder what happens if you don’t eat after a workout.

Pre And Post Workout Meals

Even if you care about what happens if you don’t eat after a workout, you should still be aware of how long and what foods you consume.

What To Eat Before A Workout?

What you eat before a workout also plays a key role in your workout. According to the YMCA, the key is that the closer you eat before a workout, you’ll want your foods to be higher in carbohydrates and lower in fats.

  • If you are eating 30-60 minutes before a workout: It is recommended to eat a high carbohydrate, moderate protein, and low-fat snack.
  • If you are eating 2-3 hours before a workout: It is recommended to eat a high carbohydrate, high protein, low fat meal.

What To Eat After Workout?

Depends on what your ultimate goal to identify what you should eat after a workout. Below are some suggestions:

Maintain your current weight

With the serving to maintain your weight, “The sooner you have these carbs after a workout, the better replenishment you get,” explains nutritionist Hannah Norris.

Serving:

  • A 20g to 30g portion of protein: milk, yoghurt, three eggs, think tofu, chicken slices, ham slices, fish, whey.
  • A portion of carbohydrates: a slice of toast or two, rice, cereal, or fruit.

what happens if you don't eat after a workout

Source: Insider

Build muscle

Quite same like normals. If you’re looking to build muscle, you need to be in a calorie surplus, aka consuming more calories than you have used.

Serving:

  • A 25g to 35g portion of protein, ideally with leucine: milk, yoghurt, three eggs, tofu ham slices, chicken slices, fish, whey protein, or vegan protein.
  • 2 portions of carbohydrates: a slice of toast, rice, cereal, or fruit…

Lose weight

For weight loss, Hannah advises maintaining a calorie deficit. This also means aiming to eat a smaller portion than the former.

  • A portion of protein: salmon, chicken, or tofu. Or, a lower cal protein-carb: a protein shake, smoked salmon and cream cheese on brown bread, or Greek yogurt and berries
  • A portion of carbohydrates: new potatoes, butternut squash, rice, or granola.

Does Eating Junk Food After A Workout Ruin It?

No. Don’t worry about it.

A study once found that fast food is just as effective as energy bars, protein supplements when it comes to recovering from intense workouts. Junk food may be just as good as those high-tech powders or shakes in your gym bag.

See more:

Skipping a post-workout meal every once isn’t an enormous deal till it becomes a habit. Through this article from BestLifeTips, you might know what happens if you don’t eat after a workout. Share if you find it meaningful for you and your relatives.