Hunger Fueled by Workout

In this morning’s spin class, we were nearing the end of our workout, about to head into the cool down, and my instructor said she couldn’t wait until her post-workout cup of coffee.

She said she looks forward to her post-spin coffee immediately after spinning, but her appetite for actual food is no where to be found. Several other ladies nodded in agreement, but then I chimed in.

I’m always hungry after spin! Workouts definitely stimulate my appetite.

I was in the minority.

It seems there’s two camps of people in regards to this topic: those whose appetites are suppressed after a workout, and those whose workouts stimulate their appetites.


What I think about during yoga. Kidding Winking smile Maybe some waffles, though!

Obviously, I’m in the latter camp. I workout in the morning, either with BCAA powder mix or a small snack (fruit) in my stomach only, and afterward I can’t wait to eat breakfast! Maybe it’s just because I’ve always been a breakfast person and love breakfast foods, but I find I definitely look forward to post-exercise nourishment.

If for some reason I don’t have a stimulated appetite after a workout, and wait it out, then I proceed to be ravenous the entire rest of the day. It’s not pretty when I’m stuck at work, ravenous, and have run out of snacks for the day. Anyone with me there? I know you are!

My situation seems a bit contrary to a recent study from the Journal of Applied Psychology that says the fitter you are, the less likely you are to crave food after exercise. However, I’m sure there’s many factors involved in this study though, as the food enticing the groups were cheeseburgers and ice cream sundaes.

I don’t necessarily want a juicy cheeseburger after my workout, but a juicy smoothie? Now that I want immediately.


A bright greeeeen one today! Since I already had 1.5 cups of coffee, I omitted the instant coffee (and the cocoa powder) and just went with a banilla green smoothie.


Coconut milk, coconut oil, spinach, guar + xantham gum, vanilla protein powder, frozen banana. Still yummy! But I did miss the cocoa kick (or should I say kocoa kick?)

Off to seize the day! Err…work! Have a good one, friends Smile

What about you? Do workouts tend to stimulate or suppress your appetite?

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  1. I’m the SAME way! Especially after a spin class, I’m ravenous for dinner. Usually if I do a weight workout, I’m not too bad, but hardcore cardio always makes me hungry.

  2. I am with you 100%! I cannot work out on more than just a banana, I used to force myself to eat more when I had long marathon training runs but my tummy did not like it. However after a workout I cannot get food into me quick enough!

  3. I envy those other group. I’m always hungry, but I try to eat healthier foods.

  4. I drink plenty of water after a workout and then have a cup of coffee. However within about 30 minutes after that, I’m HUNGRY! I’ve never done spin before, but it sounds like a pretty crazy workout that burns a lot, so I can see being hungry.

  5. A great spin class leaves me starving!

  6. I’m not much of a spinner, but I am usually pretty hungry after an intense workout…AND I like my coffee too :)

  7. When am I not thinking about food? lol

    Actually, I often eat within a half hour to an hour after my workout, because I know I’m supposed to refuel and that’s often how it works out (bc I workout right before breakfast or dinner “time”). I could probably go without for another hour, if we’re being honest, but I fear it would only end in me eating like a beast.

  8. The only time I’m not ravenous RIGHT after a workout is when I get a long run in for half marathon training. I’m usually (9 times out of 10) feeling no hunger right afterwards. It’s the weirdest thing. Normally when I run (or do intervals holy cow then I’m absolutely STARVING) I am hungry right after, but the longer runs somehow supress that feeling. I of course ignore that and make sure I re-fuel right afterwards, but normally I’m with you, wicked hungry after a workout. Plus I love breakfast and I normally workout in the AM (most of the time) so I’m always wicked excited for that meal, in particular. haha

  9. Interesting point about the post workout appetite. The autonomic nervous system also plays a role. When we exercise our sympathetic nervous system – SNS -(fight or flight system) is more active and our parasympathetic nervous system -PNS- (rest and digest activities) is less active. The SNS increases HR, BP, increases muscle blood flow while the PNS dominates when we are digesting food and not engaged in physical activity. Basically, when the SNS is turned on, we are not concerned with eating or digesting food. Ever notice that if you are feeling hungry and go for a run, the hunger disappears during the run and for a little while after. Intensity also plays a big role. After very intense exercise you’ll feel even less hungry versus an easy spin or run. That is my nerdy schpeel:) I agree however post run/workout coffee is a huge motivator!!

  10. I used to be obsessed with making a smoothie right after I finished training. I usually end up hanging out with my son now for a bit first and I’m still here….nothing crazy has happened. haha :)

  11. It depends on what type of workout I did. For instance, last night I swam, and my stomach felt like it was eating itself I was so hungry afterward! When I lift weights, I am pretty shaky and hungry right after. However, if I do a lot of cardio like running/elliptical/biking (which, I don’t really do much of that anymore), it takes about 15 minutes for hunger to kick in. But 15 minutes is nothing! haha!

    Love your smoothies! THey always look so voluptuous. 😉 I am going to try adding canned coconut milk into mine and see how they taste. I bet it gives it a wonderful consistency!

    • I actually used So Delicious coconut milk this time, but I have used canned before, and it’s very good, too!

  12. I dont know why but Im also never hungry after I work out. It seems that you would be after burning all those calories! I think you are more the normal one though and Im just strange. I usually get my appetite an hour or so later though.

  13. Lifting fuels my appetite, but cardio post-pones it. Of course, after it’s been post-poned, I’m simply ravenous when it returns. Luckily I always have protein oats ready for when I finish up at the gym.

  14. I definitely get hungry after a good workout – I usually spend the cool down planning my snack/meal :)

  15. Oh workouts totally stimulate my appetite! I think the only time I may not be hungry is if I’ve done something really intense outside in the heat- then I probably feel more sick than hungry haha….so I try not to do that on purpose ;). Hope you have a great day!

  16. My hunger completely disappears when shopping, and I don’t mean food shopping. I only stop to eat in order to stay alive and continue shopping:-)

  17. oh my goodness girlfriend! I couldn’t even imagine NOT eating after my workout! I eat two meals within the first 30 mins of being done my workout! #1 – a protein shake with fruit
    #2 – sweet potato and chicken breast/lean protein source/eggs!

    AND THEN I am hungry for my lunch!!!!!!

  18. I do not understand how people are not hungry after a workout, I am a ravenous beast of a person with no food after I workout 😉 I love love my coffee. Have to have it everyday!


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