This Is How Long You Should Wait To Eat After You Finish A Workout

by Georgina Berbari

Nothing is more satisfying than crushing a new workout at the gym.

But along with those feelings of satisfaction and strength comes a familiar, stomach-rumbling sensation that might leave you feeling like you could consume a small village.

Whether it's hot yoga or HIIT cardio, a hard workout will leave you feeling hungry, as the exercise requires your body to use energy and burn calories.

That feeling of hunger is essentially your body's reminder to refuel glycogen stores and stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Bottom line: The post-workout hanger is real, people.

But the real issue is knowing when you should refuel your body with those nutritional #gains after exercising.

According to, fueling your body properly after a sweat sesh replaces the glycogen stores in your body quickly and effectively, repairing muscles and tissue -- basically making all your hard work at the gym truly pay off.

Personally, I literally want to be hand-fed a snack immediately after stepping off the elliptical. Meanwhile, my BFF would rather wait until dinner time because of her sensitive stomach.

So is there actually such thing as eating too soon, or waiting too long, to get those noms in?

Elite Daily spoke with personal trainer Greer Rothermel to get the low-down on how long you should actually wait to eat after a workout.

She explains,

As you may have heard it called before, the post-workout 'window of opportunity' is the time in which it's crucial for us to consume particular nutrients to reap the benefits of our workouts. The best time to refuel begins immediately after your workout, or up to two hours as your body goes through the muscle repair process. 

Rothermel also tells Elite Daily, if you don't nourish your body properly after exercising, you'll likely decrease muscle glycogen storage and slow down protein synthesis.

Essentially, when you work out, you're damaging your tissues at the micro level, and they need that extra fuel to reverse the damage.

This is necessary not only to perform the intended exercises during your workout, but to recover from your hard work, as well.

After a workout, your muscles are ready to accept nutrients that can stimulate muscle repair, muscle growth, and muscle strength. 

Waiting longer than those two hours can lead to a longer recovery time, or even pesky injuries.

TBH, I can't imagine waiting a full two hours to eat after a solid gym sesh, but hey, you do you.

Happy snacking!