Hunger and Exercise: How Does It Affect You?

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on September 3, 2009

Good morning!

I. was. tired. last. night.


I was so tired I didn’t even have the energy to read my Marathon book! I didn’t nap, but I just rested my eyes for a bit. ;) I watched Nanny Diaries with Eric too. Anyone else LOVE that movie? It is one of my go-to chick flicks. :) Love it!

It took me a while to fall asleep last night. I ended up having my Glo Bar around 9pm for a snack as I got hungry again. I thought I would be fine until morning, but when I laid down to go to sleep my stomach started growling! It was quite hard for me to get to sleep. I try to avoid eating right before bed at all costs because when I do, I find that I wake up with bad stomach pains. I think I managed to get 7 hours though so I guess that isn’t too bad.

I’ve heard many of you who have run long distances say that your hunger comes and goes in an odd way, and now I finally get what you mean! I ate a lot of food yesterday and that still wasn’t enough to tame the beast.

Want to hear some good news though?

I’m not even sore today! It’s incredible. Now that I am paying proper attention to fueling before and after my runs, I fully believe 110% that nutrition affects everything from performance to recovery. It is really incredible what the body can do when it is treated with love!!!

Back in the day, I used to rarely pay attention to that sort of thing- and I paid big time for it with injuries and burn-out.

Today I am enjoying a wonderful REST day and I just feel so much better than I ever did before when I was pushing myself too hard.


1) Green Monsters make it big!

  • Green Monsters were linked from the homepage today! Thank you to a tip from the lovely Sharon. Click on 6 Smoothie Super Ingredients. The green monster mention is on the 3rd ingredient (spinach). How exciting!

2) Calendars for a good cause

  • Looking for a 2010 calendar full of inspiration while supporting a good cause? Check out the Women’s Wellness Calendars. A portion of the proceeds goes to support Chi-Ki Childrens’ Charity which is a Canadian grassroots charity that helps improve the lives of children living in Laos which is one of the poorest and most war-devastated countries in the world. Last year Chi-Ki was able to build a hospital in Laos with the support of the Women’s Wellness Calendar sales. Totally amazing stuff!!!

3) FRESH Meet-up

  • Fresh meet-up is tentatively scheduled for Sunday October 4th at 2pm (location TBD). Email [email protected] for more info!



How is your hunger affected by strenuous workouts? Long runs? Races? Tell all in the comments section! I think this is such an interesting topic. :)



See you later for my thoughts on food blogging! Does it change the way I eat?

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram @ohsheglows, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Dotsie September 3, 2009 at 11:33 am

I definitely am very hungry on days Ihave strenuous workouts! I’m also inclined to eat healthier on those days, too, though!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 3, 2009 at 11:34 am

That’s an interesting point. I too find strenuous workouts make me eat healthier too and I crave less junk food!


CJ September 3, 2009 at 11:43 am

On my long run days I’m the same in that I eat healthier, although I can eat my regular amount, maybe a little extra.

But the day AFTER a long run that’s when I turn into a hunger monster and can eat, and eat, and eat!

– CJ


Marina September 3, 2009 at 11:50 am

I am hungrier after cycling for an hour and a half, but yesterday, after an hour and a half swimming, I didn’t eat that much. Today, I’m in pain, tired and starving. And I just can exercise, so I feel crappy and so…


Courtney September 3, 2009 at 11:51 am

I’m traing for a sprint triathlon right now, so I am exercising fairly intensely with a lot of different activities plus intense strength training. I was just commenting about it to my hubby last night. I swam .5 miles yesterday and I was TIRED and HUNGRY! I find that out of all the activity I do (running, biking, swimming, strength, dog walking) that when I swim I get so tired. And cannot eat enough. And it is funny because it is my lease calorie burn and my heart rate doesn’t get that high…but it is such a different activity for me that I think it kicks my booty!
Adventures in Tri-ing


Bonnie September 3, 2009 at 11:53 am

I must have eaten ever hour on the hour after the 2 marathons that I’ve done. I definitely tend to eat more than normal on days I have longer runs, but I’ve also noticed that I’m super hungry on my rest days too this time around. I definitely have made more of an effort to eat better and refuel better (green monsters are great recovery treats!!!)


Jenna September 3, 2009 at 11:54 am

Hi friend!

My hunger is SO odd after a long run. Here is how it works:

After my run, I can’t even THINK about eating. I have a feeling in my stomach of being utterly stuffed. I usually try to have a small piece of banana and pb at least though to give my body some sort of recovery food.

Usually I am not hungry for a few hours, but then it hits like a MAD MAN. I cannot get enough. The furthest I have ever run is 10 miles, and it makes me starvin’ marvin’ after a few hours. The odd thing is that I am usually abnormally hungry for one or two days following my long run.

Maybe it is our metabolisms still being a bit higher since we ran SO DANG FAR! ;)


Mellissa September 3, 2009 at 12:04 pm

I have found that when I exercise in the morning, I am NOT hungry for about an hour or so after I workout but by mid-morning I am STARVING. Not sure why? I also do not eat before a morning workout- I have tried in the past and it makes me feel horrible during.


Laura September 3, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I was way too excited when I saw that green monsters link on the Sympatico page today, hehe. Congratulations!


Pam September 3, 2009 at 12:07 pm

The farthest I’ve ever run has been 7 miles but I find that anything over 6 makes me extra starving the rest of the day (if I run in the morning). I crave protein like MAD. This is a very interesting topic to me and I’m enjoying reading the comments from other readers and your input.


Megzz @ Megzz Wins At Life September 3, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Ang, I not only get hungry that day.. usually the NEXT day I am STARVING.. I don’t know if my body takes longer or something but I want to eat my arm off the day after a longer run.. I couldn’t imagine running a marathon because I think I would eat so much I would get sick.. I try to write down what I eat and the calories after I race so I can keep track of it somewhat..


Krista September 3, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I would have to say that I don’t get hungry usually for a good 2 hours after a hard workout. If I try to eat anyways, my tunny gets upset. Once the hunger sets in though…game on!


Elsa September 3, 2009 at 12:20 pm

After a workout and even long runs I am never hungry. I have to force myself to eat (especially after a long run). But I notice my hunger level kicks up the next day after a hard workout/run. Like today. I had a pretty hard strength training workout yesterday and today I just can’t stop eating!


Jess (Fit Chick in the City) September 3, 2009 at 12:27 pm

After a long run, if I don’t eat enough to recover that day, then the following day I eat everything in the house.


leianna September 3, 2009 at 12:28 pm

After really long runs I don’t get hungry but know I should refuel better if I’m going to continue running alot!
I usually crave greens or grains after shorter runs! Green monsters need to make a return in my life but my blender is packed away for a while due to moving:(


MelissaNibbles September 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm

I love Nanny Diaries!
After a long run, the last thing I want to do is eat. It’s weird. I force myself to though or I’ll end up sick. The day after a long run though, watch out, I’m starving!


Kristin September 3, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I’m the same way: ravenous, but for healthy foods! I crave a lot of carbs in the form of fruit & bread when I work out a lot!


chipped nails and all September 3, 2009 at 12:36 pm

hmm…that’s something that I haven’t thought about too much, but I would say that I’m usually not very hungry until the day after an intense workout. The day of a workout, all I want to do is rest and preparing food = more energy spent, so usually I’ll eat pretty light immediately after a long run/workout.

I haven’t actually given much thought to proper fueling before a workout, but I’m guessing that if I give more thought to the food I consume prior to exercising, I’ll probably be hungrier after long runs. Thinking back, I might have been unconsciously carb loading before workouts, which could explain the lack of hunger afterwards.


Morgan September 3, 2009 at 12:37 pm

Love Nanny Diaries!
Some days after a tough workout, I can’t get enough food into my body, some days all I want is water, I wish it was more consistent. When I swam in college I could eat forever, and never feel satisfied, swim practice makes you an eating machine!


Robin September 3, 2009 at 12:38 pm

After excerising i don’t just become a hunger moster i become a food monster.


Lizzie September 3, 2009 at 12:42 pm

That photo of you on the couch is exactly how I feel a couple of hours after a long run. Like other people mentioned, I don’t crave crap afterwards. I usually want some sort of wholegrain cereal, a salad sandwich, or some poached eggs or something similar. I find I am hungrier before I workou – maybe my mind telling my body to fuel up? Either way I usually have a couple of wheat crackers with some cheese, or a tspn of peanut butter and that usually does the trick. I am going to start paying more attention to how I feel though after reading your post – more often than not I have to rush and get dinner, or head out the door and don’t really stop to think about it :)


Jessica September 3, 2009 at 12:43 pm

it’s true! proper nutrition can make all the difference in the world!
I get much more hungry when i do lots of cardio.


Chloe September 3, 2009 at 12:49 pm

I get much more hungry when I have intense workout days – especially when I swim. I agree that proper nutrition makes such a difference, same with staying hydrated and stretching properly! It’s key for me to feel good as new the next day or day after.

Congrats on your long run!


HealthySDLiving September 3, 2009 at 1:09 pm

I definitely feel like I’m WAY more hungry after an intense workout. I need to work on properly fueling my body, I actually just made a post about it last night because I ended up getting a horrible cramp in my calf that I’m sure was from a lack of water and stretching.


Anne P September 3, 2009 at 1:12 pm

On long run days, for a bit after I’m not hungry at all, but then a few hours later it’s like ROARARARARAR!!!!!!!!!!! And I eat everything in sight :)


Anne P September 3, 2009 at 1:12 pm

(although of course I still eat something immediately after running to refuel, even if i’m not feeling hungry!)


katie September 3, 2009 at 1:16 pm

i’m pretty much a bottomless pit after my long runs [anything over 7 miles pretty much] – either the day of if i run first thing in the morning, or the next day if i run at night. it doesn’t really seem to matter what i eat, i’m just hungry all the time – like today after my 8 mile run last night – my oatmeal [with banana and pb…after a basic green monster at 9] at 10.30 barely put a dent in my hunger.


Maya September 3, 2009 at 1:18 pm

The Nanny Diaries is a much better book than movie I think!


Sheri September 3, 2009 at 1:27 pm

After a day of intense exercise I am usually pretty hungry! Not right away but about an hour later.

Also I clicked on the link for the Wellness Calendar and the link is broken…does not work.


Averie (LoveVeggiesandYoga) September 3, 2009 at 1:32 pm

I think Im an oddball b/c the more I workout, the less hungry I seem to be. Adrenaline and endoprhins take over and I just dont have the desire to eat that much, especially if Im training in the heat. I just wanna come in and drink cold water and flop on the couch. It seems I am more hungry in the winter when just b/c of the season, I am more sedentary and inside more. That’s how I roll :)


Pam September 3, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Love the chickpea dinner idea…thanks!


Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries September 3, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Love The Nanny Diaries–the book and the movie! It’s where I got the name for my blog, so I have to give credit where it’s due!

Weirdly, I find that I’m less hungry on days that I workout–especially right after (when it’s most important to re-fuel, ugh!)

Have a great day!



[email protected] September 3, 2009 at 2:05 pm

For a few hours after a long run, I am nauseous and can really only have liquids. Then, I am ravenous for a couple of days. I really have to plan it carefully for work to make sure I have enough snacks and meals with me so that I can satisfy all of those post-running nutrition needs!


Jenny September 3, 2009 at 2:15 pm

I’ve found that immediately following an intense or long workout my appetite is virtually non-existent, but then if I give it about 30 to 45 minutes, I’m ravenous! Also, my hunger signals are quite stronger at regular meal times for the rest of the day. Lets me know my workout was a good one! ;)


leslie September 3, 2009 at 2:25 pm

i used to have no appetite whatsoever on days that i ran or did intense cardio. but the day after? i was insatiable.

oddly (or interestingly), i am much more aware of my appetite now that i’m doing so much yoga. i’m always always hungrier on yoga days. sometimes i feel like i need more food than when i ran! but no complaints about that. :)


Paige @ Running Around Normal September 3, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Yay for the GM shout out! I fins that strenuous exercise – especially running, kicks up my appetite into high gear for sure.


Sharon September 3, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Hey, Ange! Thanks for the props!! I’m ravenous after a workout…it’s usually when I have my delicious, frosty, Green Monster…yumm-o


Marci September 3, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Hi Angela, I am eating a delicious Awake Glo Bar, they are delicious, thank you for the order. I definately think nutrition and sleep are KEY to running success!


Jenna (WholeBodyLove) September 3, 2009 at 4:23 pm

I worked as a nanny before I became pregnant with my daugher. Let me tell you, it really is tough! I had one family that was wonderful and consisted of three children under 6 with the oldest being autistic. But, the other family had 3 kids ranging in age from 6 weeks to 6 years and the 6 year old little girl was every bit as honery as the little boy in the movie!


Beth @ CrossBorderCravings September 3, 2009 at 4:24 pm

Long runs do make me hungry!! I used to try to ignore it, thinking I would just ruin my hard work by eating what I burned but now I know I need to refuel!! Feels so much better :O)


Pam at Highway to Health September 3, 2009 at 5:18 pm

My body will be hating me on Saturday because I didn’t have a good day nutrionally today…


Susan September 3, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I actually keep a pretty good handle on my hunger on high exercise days. For example, I can burn around 1200 calories on a long bike ride. So I make sure I eat a lot of calorie dense foods before the ride, during the ride, then a giant smoothie after. Add in a post-ride dessert (I gotta!) and all my calories are taken care of, and out of the norm hunger never really appears. However, I find I get really hungry when I’m active outside my workouts. I moved this past weekend, all the heavy lifting turned me into a hungry beast!


Jenny September 3, 2009 at 5:38 pm

can’t blame ya for crashing — you are the busiest chica I know!


Sarah September 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm

When I trained for a marathon, I would only crave a HUGE salad when I got done (I would fantasize about it while I was sucking on those sweet, tasteless pieces of barley sugar or ‘glucose jelly beans’), and the day of a long run I would have a fairly normal appetite. However, the next day I was RAVENOUS! It was like I couldn’t ever be completely full. I know my work colleague was the same way. Very interesting how it doesn’t always affect you the day of, but the day after is crazy! I was also always tired the day after as well. The last few really long runs (I used the Jeff Galloway method of marathon training) really pushed me over the edge, but it’s amazing how you can get so used to running long distances!


Kristin September 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm

After long, slow runs? STARVING. Like – if I see a small child with an ice cream cone walking in front of me, that kid better know karate because he/she is dooooooomed. I could easily (and have been known to :)) graze and drink water / tea all day after a long run.

Intervals? Salt. Give me more salt. What is that – you have salt? GIVE IT TO ME! I get screaming headaches… and the hanger. As such, intervals are usually timed so that the hanger won’t affect my work-life balance… or at least they are planned so that I have one metric tonne of (salty) food for lunch.

But, after races? Usually not that hungry until the evening. Likely a combination of adrenaline and exhaustion? Who knows. :)

We’re all an experiment of one, aren’t we!


gliding calm September 3, 2009 at 8:11 pm

hehe! you are so cute! and I totes agree….nutrition is KEY to a speedier recovery!!!!! :)


Tay September 3, 2009 at 8:49 pm

I know lots of people who say long runs kill their appetite and I was always shocked. I am a huge huge bottomless CANYON (yes canyon, not pit) the whole day. The next day I’m also extra hungry but not as much as the day of. After my long 20 milers I would seriously be starving 2 hours after a giant meal. It was crazy!! I actually really liked it. :-) And I also used o wake up in the middle of the night starving and have to come down to eat.


Kerrie September 3, 2009 at 9:19 pm

I got an error trying to get to the calendar link?


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