T Nation

Stomach clearance rate

Some thoughts I’ve been wondering about.

1)I read in one of those other bodybuilding mags a while ago that stomach clearance is directly collerated with the number of calories in that meal. Is this true?

2)The magic number 3. The reason it is recommended to eat every three hours. Is it because blood sugar levels decline back to baseline after 3 hours after a meal? Does it depend on what/how much you eat during the meal and the only variance being how high insulin is spiked?

  1. Yes and no. More important to the discussion is they type of calories consumed. For instance, 500 calories worth of whey hydrolysate and dextrose will digest a lot faster than oatmeal with cottage cheese and a fiber supplement. Basically, the more fat and fiber you add to a meal, the longer it take to digest. Whether or not the meal is high GI also affects this time. Exercise also plays a role in how quickly the stomach empties.
  2. Yes; the three hours is dependent on how much you eat. I eat every 2-2.5 hours because I like smaller meals. Blood sugar levels can return to baseline in 40 minutes, 2 hours, etc., etc… Again, it depends on what you eat.


    Write Joe Weider a letter and tell him you’d like clarification in writing in the next “Flex.”

Hey Eric, thanks for your input.

But I’m thinking the thoery can explain that scenario too as 500 calories of whey hydrolysate would take up a lot more volume than 500 calories of cottage cheese so stomach emptying might turn out to be the same?

I’m trying to think of some other angles I was pondering about but I can’t think straight right now as I’m dead tired!

I know from personal experience that there was still some left 4 hours later from a 1200 calorie bowl of oatmeal, peanut butter, walnuts, and protein powder.