I just received a question from a reader and it's one of those questions I think a lot of people have. Deb wants to know: "How long are you supposed to wait after a small meal, for instance an egg sandwich or a bowl or cereal, to do Pilates?"
Great question. It reminds me of how as a child that we were told we absolutely had to wait one hour to go swimming after eating. A minute shy of that and we would cramp and sink like a stone. That little food and exercise rule has not been substantiated and, for better or worse, there are no hard rules about how long you have to wait before doing Pilates either.
HOWEVER, you have to keep in mind that with Pilates exercises you are going to be compressing your stomach, a lot. Not only that but you will potentially be rolling your body back and forth and maybe doing some inversions as well. Plus, you need your energy available for the workout and not tied up in the first stages of digestion. So, the question becomes, How soon after eating can you feel good in a workout?
In my experience a small snack -- a piece of fruit, a health bar, a small protein smoothie -- right before a workout is OK for most people. But, a bowl of cereal or an egg sandwich as Deb suggests, is going to take a little more time. You have to pay attention to your body and your speed of digestion and see what works for you. Keep in mind that too that in Pilates, your tummy is right in the middle of the focus of your workout.
When what, and how much to eat before Pilates is an interesting dilemma because you want to stay strong through the workout but ideally have a fairly empty stomach. So while there are no rules about it, we have discussed the Pilates and food issue quite a bit around here. Readers have made suggestions and we've got info on the benefits of certain kinds of foods as well. These links will help you make good food and fitness plans: