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

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