Wednesday, June 27, 2012

On Eats Before Exercise

All my life, I've heard that you shouldn't swim for at least 30 minutes after eating. Recently, I've heard that you shouldn't exercise within two hours of a meal (and vice versa) due to the risks of vomiting and severe cramping. I've also heard recently that you shouldn't eat within an hour or two of exercise because if your body is trying to decide between digestion and working out, exercise will win out and food will be stored in your body longer (thus, weight retention). I've also heard that if you skip a meal before working out, your body will elect to preserve calories instead of burning them because it doesn't know when it'll receive sustenance again. I consider my case to be special. Special meaning unique to these "rules," not special meaning noteworthy. Due to my self-diagnosed hypoglycemia, if I go too long without eating (even something small), my blood sugar drops rapidly and I turn into the Raging Food Bitch. I have a point, I swear... 

I haven't been able to swim in three days due to busyness on Sunday, the tornado-slash-severe-storm on Monday, and a tight schedule yesterday (Ian, my sister Caroline, Danielle, and her boyfriend Brandon and I saw Brave). Today I was hellbent on swimming at the Y. I mean, c'mon, my gym bag has been packed and ready in my car for three days. I was desperately craving exercise, and swimming is what appeals right now in these beastly Virginia temperatures. I had saved a Kashi granola bar to eat as I was leaving work because I knew I'd be ravenous between lunch at noon and a swim sesh at 4:00. I chowed down at 3:50, and then hopped in the pool at 4:15. I blazed through 50 laps in 36 minutes -- sans cramping, vomiting, noticeable weight sustainment, or digestion woes. I'm sure there's some truth to all of that information, especially seeing as I have no citation info other than "they say..." but it's not usually my custom to eat Thanksgiving dinner and then swim a mile or run the Boston Marathon anyway.
Ta ta until next time!

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