5 Things To Avoid After A Meal And The Science Behind 'Em

That pre-work meal may come back to haunt you!

Between balancing a full-time work schedule and maintaining a home life, we’re hoping the ideas and habits of a healthy lifestyle squeeze themselves into the chaos. For those of us who aren’t so lucky, here are five tips and tricks for getting on the right track … combined with the cold hard facts that just might help ’em stick. 

1. The pre-workout meal.

While it may be tempting to fuel your body with mounds and mounds of protein or carbs before an intense training sesh, don’t.

Experts advise large meals before rigorous activity can cause some pretty serious damage. Setting aside the occasional stomach ache and rounds of annoying hiccups, a full load could increase your risk of convulsions and trauma.

If you’re simply famished and cannot wait another minute, of course, have a quick bite! Just remember to wait roughly two hours before hitting the gym.

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2. Care for a cup of tea?

While the idea of a post-meal cup of stuff probably never crossed your mind, it’s a pretty brilliant thought.

Hot tea has a positive effect on the assimilation of iron and helps to replenish any missing stores of the mineral.

From pregnant women and children to gym rats alike, hot tea is the most beneficial sipper after a tough workout.

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3. No smoking zone.

The human body relies on nearly all the inner systems to digest a single serving of food. That means, inhaling a cigarette directly after a meal delivers double the damaging effects.

The nicotine and harmful carcinogens will be absorbed twice as fast, blocking the absorption of healthy vitamins and helpful minerals in the process.

Without essential vitamins D and C, even the most nutritious meal will go to waste in your digestive tract.

While it’s entirely advised to give up smoking altogether, a 20-minute wait is the minimum recommended before heading out for a puff.

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4. The beauty of sleep.

The urban legend that blames weight gain on long hours spent in slumber is exactly that: a myth. However, there are a few rules to remember when aiming for a healthy rest.

Heading to bed on a full stomach increases the risk of painful heartburn, burping, and a highly acidic system. The science behind it relates somewhat to positioning the body horizontally for a long period of time directly after a meal.

On the other hand, studies have shown sleeping on a full stomach lowers the chance of having a stroke. Just to be safe, try your best to create a two-hour window between the two.

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5. Science of the steamy shower.

Well-known fact: our core body temperature increases during a hot shower or bath. To counteract this change in environment, our intelligent bodies pulse a little more blood to the top layer of skin, or epidermis, than usual.

That means there’s <em>less</em> blood flow everywhere else. Faced with increased heat, your body is left without the fluid it needs to keep ‘revving the engine.’ The results? A slowed digestive system and equally slower metabolism.

The idea behind a half hour-wait prior to swimming wasn’t entirely a tall tale after all.

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