I’m a little behind on the podcast and just listened to Jonathan talk about his body composition goal and eating after 7.
I’m almost exclusively a post 9 pm rider. Circumstance has me starting my workout at 845ish most days after i get my kids down and asleep.
So i am either fasting during and post ride or I am eating something as late as 10:30 pm some nights. Often, i try to avoid any fueling for rides less than 90 minutes, but am finding that the more challenging 60 minute rides benefit from a bottle or a gel. And I am trying to take a recovery drink in as frequently as possible too.
So far it hasn’t had any impact on sleep. I did manage to keep my weight the same for most of the year (202 +/- 2 with a goal fo 190).
What are my options? Whats my fate? is my workout after 8 consuming the fuel and effectively making me a no food after 7/8 person? or am I compromised until I can schedule rides less in the twilight?
Thank you, great topic. I am in the same boat.
For me intense late evening workouts have quite a negative effect on my sleep. I cant fall asleep for a long time and I have the impression the sleep is not very deep.
I am not eating after workouts, which also does not contribute to a good post workout recovery for the body.
What to change? I dont see how I would be able to do my rides in the morning (kids / family) or during the day (job).
I don’t have anything helpful to add except that I do this a lot too. I do the majority of my riding late evening or night. I am a night person that is forced by society to be a normal day person waking up at 5am. Sleep gets…complicated, as does eating.
OOF I say fuel your workouts. I think that’s a suggestion for folks who are either a. pretty sedentary, or b. are already metabolically ‘shutting down’ for the night (because their workout was done prior).
Same boat here.
I often do my TR workout late… sometimes right before bed, but it lets me get it in while juggling work and kids, etc…
If it’s really late I try to eat dinner before the workout, depending on the workout I may bring a drink with some carbs and maybe have a chocolate milk post-workout.
The 90 min workouts, I try to fuel a bit more, maybe a gel for the last 30 mins.
I will say I generally don’t eat breakfast/brunch until 10am - 11am-ish since I have to take medication on an empty stomach in the morning and wait before I eat.
Same same. There is little flexibility for me here.
This is encouraging. I hope you’re right.
Body composition is mostly determined by calories in, calories out (CICO.). Arbitrary ‘rules’ like not eating after 7pm are simply habits to help keep the calories in down. To steal a popular youtuber’s expression, if you calories are too low throughout the day and you aren’t feeling satiated, ghrellin will be punching you in the face in the evening. People use rules like no food after 7 to help with will power for taking the ghrellin punches.
I get up and ride at 5am, so I don’t have time for breakfast before riding. But I have plenty of time for post-ride meal for recovery and throughout the day to top off muscle glycogen. You have the opposite schedule, so the benefit I see is that you have fueled throughout the day and should be topped off for the workout. The hard part is the post-ride ‘meal.’ I 99.9999% prefer to go with solid food as a post-ride meal, but your situation might be the 0.0001% of the time I’d prepare a carb/protein shake to have after the ride before going to sleep. Just because its easy to prep, and while drinking calories is not as satiating as eating them, if you are going to sleep right away that might not matter so much.
When I used to workout in the evening I had a calorie target for the day (TDEE calculator as sedentary activity + planned TR workout burn - planned deficit) that I could determine ahead of time. I would make sure to save some calories for after the workout but eat throughout the day with the total calorie target in mind. If I didn’t plan all that out I would eat towards my TDEE calorie target and then usually end up way underfueling for the day. The nice thing is TR will give you an expected burn for the workout so you can plan everything out ahead of time, including in-ride fueling in advance.
I interpreted the no food after 7 as more of a way to avoid junk eating. I know for me, after 7pm I’ve already eaten and done all of my daily activity. If I go and grab something to eat (or drink), it’s never healthy. If I had to workout late, I wouldn’t worry about eaten quality food late at night.
I do 90% of my TR sessions around 5:00am. I used to never fuel or drink during them. Why? Basically, I’m a head-case.
Anyway, now I religiously slam an espresso at 4:15am, then fuel with 1 NUUN table in 500ml water and gobble 3-4 cliff blocks during the workout, depending on intensity. Makes a massive difference.
Fuel your workouts, regardless of what time it is. That’s just my 2-cents.
It all depends on when your day happens! You can’t use the same times for everybody - it matters when you get up, when you work, when you eat, and when you do your workout. If your day starts later and finishes later, you can eat later. If your day starts earlier, eat earlier. There are people who don’t eat after 6pm, but I’m not even home then. Pick a cut-off time that works for you, maybe about 2 hours before bed.
I recently experimented with adding maltodextrin to my coffee. I’m on the bike at 5am also and drink the malto-coffee while I workout now.
i use a lot of different fuel. but was looking at the science in sport labels of my isotonic gels and notice they are high carb but very low sugar. Meanwhile martens, honey stinger, etc. all have a close 2:1 ratio of carbs to sugar. I am thinking i may want to increase SIS consumption and reduce the high sugar supplements a bit.
But i am still going to do my horchata from scratch and vital protiens powder for post workout.
Jon’s schedule doesn’t apply to you. You have a completely different schedule and completely different fueling demands. If I didn’t eat after seven I would literally never eat dinner. Literally. I generally ride around 3 or 4pm and usually eat LUNCH afterwards, not to mention dinner. My guess is that Jon finds that if he limits cals after seven then he eliminates a lot of junk snacking. That’s a great realization on his part, but doesn’t apply to you.
To fix the sleep issue, have you thought about getting up really early to avoid the kids/family/job issue? My alarm goes off at 4:20 AM 4 days a week. I’m done by 6:20 and making breakfast for the family at 6:30.
Eating after 7 has nothing inherently to do with body composition.
Timing is of tertiary importance.
Much more important to hit the needed macros and kcal, overall, sometime during the day, and to fuel well during and around endurance sessions lasting more than 60 minutes. Dietary Priorities
That said, timing can be important if it works for you psychologically to undertake a particular strategy.
Fasting post-ride is a bad idea for 2 reasons.
- Poorer recovery and adaptation to training.
- Poorer sleep. High-carb consumption during and immediately post-training, when training is in evening, is part of good sleep hygiene.
Sleep Podcast by Revive Stronger
Yes. I did a few early workouts in 2020 and each time my wife totally savaged me for waking the kids.
I think this would be a great question for the podcast - what are people forced to train at night meant to do?
I’m also a late night trainer. I can’t leave 3 hours between my final meal and training but I always leave at least an hour and always fuel during my workout.
I don’t see a reason to believe it has a massive effect on body composition though - same energy in versus energy out scenario.
I am also a late night workout guy. Realistically I can’t get up at 5 am and smash vo2 sets or long threshold workouts. I do try to get up for less intense stuff early. I’ve found that repleting calories post work out is the only way I can settle down and sleep reasonably. I get restless legs after a hard workout and only eating gets that better, which means eating at 11 pm. I try to fast the next day till early afternoon on these days.
Yeah. there’s just a whole thing about metabolism and our circadian rythm and whatnot. But I don’t know to what extent it is augmented by activity.