This question was taken from the fitness thread in Reddit. Let’s discuss it quickly.
Can Yesterday’s Calories Be Used To Build Muscle Today?
If I did not workout on a day 1, 2 and 3 and decide to eat 5k calories on day 3, will those calories go to good use if I finally workout on day 4? Or is it already all stored as fat?
You’re making a demand on your body when you exercise: you want it to grow bigger and stronger. To do that, it needs a specific amount of resources, such as calories, macronutrients, and probably micronutrients. There’s a timeline for that growth and that depends on how many resources are available.
Food isn’t absorbed instantly. It’s a weekly average.
If you don’t eat enough one day, and try work out the next, you’ll be low on energy. Works the same way with surplus to some extent, though the effect isn’t as noticeable on your performance always.
If you undereat for a few days you’ll increase that timeline, and when you overeat on day 3 you’ll see a rapid increase in growth and repair compared to the last few days. It’ll still take longer than that if you’d overate every day though.
Always remember that there’s some carry over from day to day. For weight gain or weight loss, think of it more like a weekly average.
To sum it up, you would still want to try to hit a daily average to keep consistency, but if you happen to not hit things one day, just keep moving along because in the end, that 1 day of missing will be relatively insignificant, especially with caloric levels.
Readers, your turn to answer!