What’s the ideal gap between a meal and workout? An expert answers

What's the right gap between meal and exercise? Is it okay to workout with an empty tummy? Rujuta Diwekar answers.

How much gap is advised between your workout and meal is finally answered! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Krishna Priya Pallavi Published on: 2 Feb 2022, 23:46 pm IST
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Do you fuss over what to eat before working out or wonder if you should hit the gym on an empty stomach? Or what is the ideal gap between meal and exercise? If these questions are bugging you, you are not alone. To solve this issue, you need a pre-workout plan to bring fruition to all the efforts that you put in the gym.

What’s more? Celebrity nutritionist and fitness expert Rujuta Diwekar has a pre-workout plan that solves these problems. It features all the dos and dont’s that one needs to follow before working out. It will help you get the optimum benefits from a workout like toning the muscles, fat loss, increasing bone density and more.

Rujuta, who has trained celebrities like Kareena Kapoor Khan, posted a video talking about the dos and don’ts to follow before exercising. “Getting the pre-workout meal right,” a part of her caption reads. The video begins with Rujuta talking about what not to do in your pre-workout routine. “Don’t do – exercise on an empty stomach and after having tea or coffee,” she said.

Pre-Workout Don’ts


Why should you avoid exercising on an empty stomach?

Rujuta explained why we should not exercise on an empty stomach by saying that our body needs well-nourished and planned meals before the workout. Our muscles burn calories when we provide them with the proper fuel (food) to perform this task. It means that optimum calorie burning during exercise depends on the same.

Additionally, having meals before working out helps in injury prevention, Rujuta said. When we kickstart our workout routine, we want to get maximum results. In this process, we often injure ourselves by pulling a muscle or straining a body part or get so tired that returning to the routine becomes a task. However, when you are well-fed and have enough fuel, you will avoid injuries and return to your workout every single time.

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Keep an eye on what you eat before and after your workout! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Why should we avoid drinking tea/coffee before a workout?

Rujuta also explained why one shouldn’t have tea or coffee before working out. She said that both the beverages have caffeine that stimulates or excites the brain and nervous system. Additionally, it is dehydrating. So, having these drinks before exercising, which is also a dehydrating activity, can be disadvantageous.

coffee for hair
Coffee can be quite dehydrating as a pre workout drink. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Pre-Workout Dos

The do’s include – having fruit, dry fruits or nuts about 10-15 mins before exercising. You can have an apple, banana, guava, nuts or any local seasonal fruit available at your home. This step is beneficial for people who work out in the morning. Instead of keeping a gap between your meals, you can do this.

People who work out in the evening and have a pre-workout snack, which is lightweight, should keep a gap of 60 minutes before their workout. One should wait 90 minutes before exercising if they work out after having a full meal in lunch or dinner.

Why are these gaps important?


Rujuta said in her video that exercise is effective when the working muscle tissue in our body gets blood supply.  It is possible when the blood reaches the working tissues. When we eat food, our body wants all our blood supply to go to the digestive system to boost digestion, absorption of nutrients and finally excretion. Therefore, a gap between meal and exercise gives your body the time to absorb the nutrients effectively.

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A good gap between meal and exercise ensures good fitness. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

However, if you don’t wait for the above-mentioned time limits, it may confuse your body. If for some reason, you don’t have a gap between meal and exercise, your body will have to decide where to supply the blood. If it should go to the stomach to help in digestion or go to the other parts of our body to flush oxygen in them during the training. Therefore, we should allow our bodies to do one thing at a time to get optimum benefits.


In the end, Rujuta added that while following all these dos and don’ts try and remain consistent in the workout routine. These steps will help you achieve fat loss, muscle toning, increased bone density, sharpness in the brain, increased agility, and more.

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Krishna Priya Pallavi Krishna Priya Pallavi

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