Should I eat dinner before or after I go to the gym if I workout late at night?

ask our dietitian your question todaywhat time should i eat

question-answer-color-v-2I usually go to the gym around 7 – 8 p.m. Should I eat dinner Before or After? And what meals should I eat? -LeBron



You should only have “dinner” first if you can eat it 2-3 hours beforehand to allow time for digestion and absorption of nutrients. Otherwise, a snack before working out in the evening may suit you better. It should consist of carbohydrate for fuel, some protein and very little fat. See our article on Fueling Your Workout by CLICKING HERE.

How much and when you should eat beforehand depend on your last meal.

If you’ve eaten… Then you should have: At this time:
Noon lunch + mid-afternoon snack* Small (150 Calorie) energy bar or a large piece of fruit An hour prior
Nothing since lunch “mini meal” such as turkey sandwich, then

Drink 6 fl oz juice or 8-12 fl oz sports drink

Around 5 p.m.

Immediately prior

Late 2:00 lunch A complete meal replacement shake 30 minutes prior
No lunch A full balanced dinner 5 p.m.

*The best scenario would be this first option.

After your workout, you can eat more difficult to digest items like vegetables and rich meats or cheese, combined with a starch like pasta, rice, potatoes or corn. Don’t feel the need to fill up your plate. With proper nutrition throughout the day, you may only need a light mini meal such as a bowl of soup.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?

Ask our dietitian by submitting your question to or simply ask it in the COMMENTS section below. To learn how to follow the “Ask Our Dietitian” Q&A CLICK HERE!

Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.

Posted on April 17, 2014, in Ask Our Dietitian, Health, Helpful, Nutrition, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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