Eating After Evening Training?

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Eating After Evening Training?

Postby Moon Knight » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:46 am

After having asked around and done some more looking myself I found a relatively local school that teaches several traditional Chinese martial arts. I'm going to the only class that my schedule permits: Baguazhang. I'm hoping to once in awhile get some tips/direction about qigong too and general theory.

Anyway, the class is at 7 pm. Looks like it is an hour class, so I would be finished around 8 pm. Traditional Chinese wisdom seems to discourage eating after 5 or 6 pm, especially anything more than a snack. Are circumstances different for training in the evening? What about the rule that one should wait 30 minutes after qigong to eat? Does this apply to Baguazhang too (I realize it's not exactly qigong, but I thought that like Taiji it was classed as an active type of qigong)?

Once upon a time when I was really into weightlifting I got it ingrained into my head that eating the right food and a reasonably large quantity of it after training was important.

I will of course pose these questions to the teacher of the class when I meet him, but I wanted some other opinions and points to consider too.
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Re: Eating After Evening Training?

Postby DEADLI. » Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:57 am

Hi,
The reason Chinese dietetics states that you should not eat after 6pm is that this is a weak time for the stomach/spleen network, that is responsible for breaking down and extracting energy from the food we eat. So eating late in the day can lead to such symptoms as weight gain and food stagnation in the stomach etc...

The best time to build qi (from the diet) is in the morning (breakfast). There is a saying in Chinese dietetics, 'Breakfast and lunch like a king, dinner like a beggar.' So even if you do eat dinner at the correct time 6pm (aprox) it still shouldn't be a feast.

From what i know about weight lifting, they say you should eat some form of protein within 30 minutes of your workout, this is to help repair the muscles that you have been working on. I don't think the same principle applies in qigong as it is low impact.

As your Bagua class starts at 7pm, i would recomend having dinner between 5:30-5:50, this will give you time to digest and shouldn't leave you feeling too hungry later on.

I hope there is one useful tip in amongst all this nonsense.
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Add Tea

Postby sysop » Thu Apr 30, 2009 6:43 am

I agree with DEADLI's reply as well. I've never heard of the 6pm dinner time rule until now, but I've always gone by the "do not eat at least 3 hours before bed" rule myself. Maybe I will switch to the 6pm rule and see how that works for me? :wink:

Anyway, I can only add one small bit of personal advice to DEADLI's reply, and that is to drink some tea (preferably oolong) just after your dinner but before your Baguazhang class.

From my own personal experience in having late evening taijiquan classes, I found that drinking a cup of oolong tea before practice (and usually right after eating a dinner) helped me to digest my food faster, and made me more alert and focused during my taijiquan class. The Chinese claim that tea has many health benefits including improving digestion. The combination of caffeine and the amino acid theanine found in tea has been shown to reduce mental and physical stress, and improve cognition and mood.*

Just my $0.02 :)

*Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-Theanine | http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea | http://www.oolongtea.org/e/index.html
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Postby Moon Knight » Sat May 02, 2009 5:57 am

Good thoughts guys, thank you.

I went to class last week and discovered that though it was enough to get me to break a sweat, the class wasn't anywhere near as intense a workout as weightlifting or running or even kungfu speed drills. So a real big meal after did not prove as necessary anyway.

I guess for that reason I only asked the teacher how long he felt it was necessary to wait after baguazhang to eat. He said the thirty minute rule was good, but that with more practice that time could be shaved down.
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