Exercising can be a great experience, but under certain circumstances it can be miserable. Potentially one of the worst things you can do before hitting the gym is eat a big meal. A full stomach not only makes you feel sick, but trying to move around with it sloshing in your belly is not a fun experience. There are also unintended side effects.

Prevent Nausea

One nasty effect is a feeling of dizziness and nausea. No matter what kind of exercise you do, whether it be cardio or weightlifting, the food in your stomach will jostle to and fro. This not only makes exercising harder in general, but it also will make your stomach feel weak.

This nausea will set in after an intense work-out, making it more likely that you will vomit. Usually, you will instinctively be able to tell if exercise will lead to strong nausea. But just to be safe, you should wait for about 1-2 hours after you’ve eaten a big meal to start any physical activity, according to the Harding Medical Institute. This will guarantee that you keep your lunch.

Avoid Heartburn

Another problem stuffed gym goers face is the rise up of stomach acid after that big meal. According to Granite Peaks Gastroenterology, certain acidic and spicy foods can cause heartburn. Extra fatty and sugary foods can also trigger this reaction in certain people. Because of the rigorous movement involved in most exercise, this can shake your stomach acid loose, causing it to rise through your throat.

If you have had a particularly spicy meal that has left your stomach fiery, it may be best to skip out on the treadmill today and focus on recovery. Pop some Tums and let your stomach feel gradually better.

Limits Your Potential

Perhaps the most important reason you should consider not working out on a full stomach is that it ruins your entire workout and your self-confidence. Maintaining a regular gym schedule on an empty stomach makes you perform at your best, and this just isn’t possible when you are full.

If you feel negative about a particular day of exercise, don’t feel bad. Avoid working out on a full stomach to maintain vision and confidence in your gym physique and physical goals. According to Chron, it is better to avoid doing it at all than risking feeling worse about yourself afterward.


So, at the end of the day, should you eat on a full stomach? The answer is a resounding NO. Instead, focus on recovering so you can attack your workout better the next day.


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