Do you exercise between 5:30 and 8:00 pm?

Posted on 17-02-2019 , by: Nancy Clark , in , , 12 Comments

If you exercise between 5:30 and 8:00 pm, I’m curious about how you manage your food for the day:

Do you have a late-afternoon snack? An early dinner before you workout? A late dinner after you workout? Part of your dinner before you exercise and the rest afterwards? A bigger lunch? Or do you just exercise on empty and put little thought into pre-exercise food?

Thanks for letting me know the time you exercise, including how long and at what intensity, and what you might have for dinner.

With appreciation for your input!


Sample response: I generally exercise from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., taking a Zumba class 2-3 times a week and lifting weights the other days. I generally don’t eat beforehand. Afterwards I am starving and often pick-up a take-out meal (pad Thai is a favorite, as is pizza) on my way home from the health club.

12 Comments found

  1. I figure skate competitively and often train from 6-9pm during the week. For breakfast, I usually have a bowl of Shredded Wheat with raisins or chocolate chips, skim milk and fruit. On the way to class, I sometimes grab a latte, coffee, or make a hot chocolate (recipe from Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook) to take with me. I usually have a big salad for lunch, with protein and grains (e.g. turkey sandwich with Swiss cheese). I often have a snack around 3:30-4pm (e.g. crackers and PB) to tide me over until dinner at 5pm. For dinner, I like to eat lots of veggies and carbohydrates. An example would be toast, a hard-boiled egg, and steamed vegetables. After skating, I usually have carbohydrates with protein (e.g. plain bagel with cottage cheese), a bowl of cereal with skim milk, or a lighter sandwich (e.g. turkey sandwich with spinach). As a university student, I always keep granola bars and apple slices on hand for when hunger strikes in-between classes!

  2. I try to eat 250 to 400 calories an 90 minutes to an hour prior to my run which is usually at 5:15 or 5:30…I usually drink 16 oz of chocolate milk immediately after to refuel and then I eat a regular sized meal (usually scrambled eggs and popcorn made on the stove top w a glass of milk or chocolate milk around 9pm…I don’t really know if it’s “right” to eat that big of a meal before bed, but I’ve found that I don’t recover as well or sleep well at night if I don’t…I used to go to bed hungry when I was in my 20s to try to keep my weight down but this didn’t really seem to work as I usually laid there w my stomach growling or would wake up in the middle of the night hungry…Hope this helps you (love your book and your Web site)…

  3. I run fasted 2-5 times a week first thing in the morning, between 6:45-7:45 (45-60min) of easy mileage. I don’t typically feel hungry afterwards and eat my breakfast oatmeal at about 8-9 a.m.

    Then I am mostly sedentary during the day and have a medium sized lunch, leaving office at about 5p.m.. At that time I am getting hungry but I go right away for training so I don’t have dinner too late.

    My second session of running or strength training is in the evening, typically between 6-7 p.m. after which I eat a dinner. Beans/ legumes with rice/buckwheat and big salad bowl with some nuts and seeds. Pretty much a big budha bowl style meal.

  4. Addendum to my initial response; my post work out go to is a whole wheat English muffin, toasted with red pepper hummus, and sliced avocado!! Sooo Good! I sometimes have cereal and milk (Chocolate Cheerios, sliced almonds &milk) because it’s cold, refreshing and sweet! Or Hummus, crackers and roasted chicken.
    Aerobic class (high impact 1Hr):Monday, Wednesday, Sunday,
    Kickboxing (High Impact 1Hr): Tuesday
    Weight lifting Class (with interval training 1Hr) followed by 1/2 Hr of high intensity spin class Saturday . I run in the evening a couple of quite 5km per week depending whether or not I can get to a class on time due to work.

  5. I typically exercise between 5:30-6:30 pm, a kickboxing class, aerobics class or a weight lifting class. I travel daily to my work with an hour and and 15 min each way. I bring enough food with me to have a variety of choices for a nourishment before working out. I eat between 3:30 -4:30 pm. Plain Greek yogurt/1-2 Tbsp of granola, 1tsp Maple syrup and 1/3 cup berries. Or soda crackers and natural PB and 1/2 banana, or cheese and crackers. I’m cautious about what I eat particularly when participating in high intensity aerobic workouts. When I’m in a hurry or it’s really close to class time, I’ll have1-2 Tbsp of PB and a tsp of cinnamon flavored creamed honey.

  6. I typically have a larger carb rich snack (e.g. bagel with banana and honey/some peanut butter) around 5 pm. Then I would exercise 18:30 for maybe 1,5h. I typically do not have a very big lunch (maybe I could?) so I will be very hungry 17:00.

    Then unfortunately dinner is pretty late and sometimes pretty big

  7. Hi , I work out five days a week. Three days during the week and both days on the weekend. My weekday work out consist of both resistance training and cardio. My resistance training is about one hour as is my cardio training. I normally eat lunch around 11:30 AM ( normal lunch ) and go to the gym around 5 PM and for dinner I typically make a dinner salad with chicken ( Greek, Southwest , etc) for dinner and eat normally by 7:30 PM and in bed by 10:30 PM !

  8. I generally exercise from 6:30-7:30 pm (Orange Theory twice a week, high intensity, includes cardio and weights) and 7-8 p.m. Jazzercise (moderate intensity, cardio and light weights) two nights a week. If I exercise the other days it is usually during the day. I will usually have a snack before I go, fruit or a Kind bar. I eat dinner after I get home. I usually meal prep on Mondays for the week so I will eat what I meal prepped. Some examples would be chili, meat dish with cauliflower rice, zoodle spaghetti, etc Disclosure, I am a Registered Dietitian.

  9. I am a fitness instructor and teach classes in the evenings after work, typically from 6:45-7:30 or 7:45. My workouts vary among BodyPump (resistance training), RPM (indoor cycling), and BodyCombat (martial arts-based cardio) at fairly high intensities. I eat an afternoon snack/preworkout meal around 4:30 pm, which is mostly carbs with some fat and protein and ALWAYS includes a black cold brew coffee. If I am lifting, this snack will actually often be a King Size Snickers bar! (Not the most healthful, but provides amazing energy combined with the coffee!) Sometimes the snack will be a nut butter filled Clif Bar instead. Then I eat a later dinner after class, usually around 8:00 – just a normal dinner, although I will purposely make it more carb heavy and lighter on fat and fiber after resistance training than after cardio.

  10. Breakfast at normal time @7-8:00 hour

    #2 meal @10-11:00 hour

    #3 meal higher carb, still protein/fat but low end of recommended range or under (oatmeal banana cheese stick) @2-3:00 hour

    5:30-7:00 run workout
    Immediately after- consume my KG in grams carbs and 10-20g protein – pre made or packed (sports food convenient here, drink and bar. Also fruit/fig newtons and chocolate milk)

    Drive home, shower, bedtime stories, homework check, etc 🙂
    Dinner – higher fat and protein meal some carbs 9:00 hour.

  11. I exercise 3-4 times a week: barre 5:30-6:30 + 15-30 minutes on the elliptical (mildly intense), boxing 6:00-7:00 (twice a week, very intense), 45 minutes-1 hour cardio/weights (intensity depends). I typically pack an extra snack (such as a protein bar, banana, granola bites, etc.) as I often go straight from work and cannot workout on an empty stomach. I have chocolate milk and fruit once I get home from the gym and my dinner is either leftovers or something I can make quickly. Usually pasta/rice and fish/meat or hamburgers.

  12. I generally have a small breakfast at 6am (English muffin with peanut butter and yogurt or eggs with toast) , a larger lunch around 11:30am (salad with soup and chips or sandwich with chips or leftovers) a small snack in the afternoon/on the drive home (orange, banana) and then dinner at 5:30/6pm (some sort of protein, grain and veggie) then I exercise at 7:30/8 after putting baby to bed and I go to bed afterwards. If I’m hungry after my workout – generally from a heavy weight workout or a run – I have a small snack of a chewy bar or a protein shake before bed. If it’s just Pilates or yoga I just go to bed with nothing.

Leave a comment