Really? The Claim: Taking a Walk After a Meal Aids Digestion

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By ANAHAD O’CONNOR

For many people, the food-induced stupor that often follows a big meal is a good excuse for a nap. But for some, a brief walk shortly after eating is a quick way to burn some calories and aid digestion.

 

Over the years, researchers have found that a post-meal walk, as short as 15 minutes, can in fact help with digestion and improve blood sugar levels. In one study in 2008, German researchers looked at what happened when people ate a large meal and then consumed either an espresso or an alcoholic digestif — like brandy or flavored liqueur — or walked at a slow pace on a treadmill. Walking, they found, sped the rate at which food moved through the stomach. The beverages had no effect.

 

In other studies, researchers have found that walking has a significant effect on blood sugar after meals. Blood sugar typically rises and then falls after eating, but large spikes and variations can more…