Ask a Dietitian: What Is the Latest I Should Carb Up Before Bedtime?

Hi Charlotte, I regularly go to a CrossFit class at 5:45am and find eating before can make my stomach feel heavy. What is the latest I should carb up before bedtime?

There are essentially two questions here: when should you eat before you go to sleep to help with your CrossFit workout the next day, and what should you eat after you wake up to avoid that “heavy stomach feeling”.

Let’s tackle the former first. If you look online you might see some people saying that eating too late results in all sorts of health problems, but that’s not really true. Eating late at night is unlikely to be a problem for your health, unless you have a pre-existing condition, such as acid reflux, but regardless the food can sit on the stomach. 

This is because digestion is aided by gravity and so when you’re horizontal you no longer have that and sleep can be affected, particularly if you sleep on your front or back. If you find that food feels like it is sitting on your stomach, try to eat at least 2 hours before you go to bed. Remember this isn’t just when you’re sleeping, but whenever you’re lying down. 

Onto the second question. When it comes to eating carbs late at night to aid performance the next day, I wouldn’t say it’s that important for a CrossFit class unless it’s a few hours long. 

Judge it based on how you feel and your performance (if you measure it). Often people try to follow the advice given to elite athletes and the problem with that is it can create so many unnecessary restrictions and stresses. Carb loading for endurance events is done days ahead, not just the night before or on the day. 

What I’m trying to say is if you feel something is working for you and your lifestyle, it probably is.

It’s a similar story for eating in the morning. If you don’t enjoy eating first thing in the morning and you find it doesn’t work for you, then don’t – just eat after your workout. If you do need something then choose something on the lighter side to avoid a heavy stomach. 

Something like a banana and peanut butter, or half a Huel meal, may help settle your stomach and give you some energy if you feel like you need it. 

For fueling after your workout go for a mix of protein and carbs to give your body energy and the tools it needs for recovery. If you’re looking to go deeper into this topic you may find this article on what to eat before and after your workout helpful, but the important thing is to find what works for you. 


You’re halfway there to answering this question. Have a play around and find what works for you based on how you feel and your performance at CrossFit.

Written by: Dan Clarke, RNutr

Reviewed by: Charlotte Marie Werner, MS, RD, CDN

Recommended reading:

Please log in to your store account

To share with your friends, log in is required so that we can verify your identity and reward you for successful referrals.

Log in to your account If you don't have a store account, you can create one here

Check out why Hueligans love us on @huel

Share your #huel moments

Join our VIP list

Never miss out on new products, exclusive offers, and more when you join the Huel mailing list.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply. You can unsubscribe at any time. Huel Privacy Policy