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Exercising after Eating

Most people won't develop belly cramps when they exercise after eating.

After food reaches your stomach, it must stay there until it is turned into a liquid soup. Having food in your stomach causes the stomach muscles to contract and squeeze the food. Contracting stomach muscles require large amounts of oxygen from the blood that flows to them. When food is in your stomach during exercise, your heart has to pump blood to both the exercising muscles and those in the stomach. If your heart is not strong enough to supply blood to both, it stops pumping blood to the stomach muscles, causing them to accumulate large amounts of lactic acid that causes cramps and pain. Fit people can exercise after they eat as long as they don't exercise so intensely that their skeletal muscles use up all the available oxygen and cause the stomach muscles to hurt.

Checked 8/9/08

May 11th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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