How long does oatmeal take to digest

Here Is The Exact Hour Oatmeal Needs To Digest

Waiting for your meal to digest before going to the gym or enjoying the outdoors can be very tricky.

This is because the time each food needs to digest will vary from meal to meal and from person to person.

If you have doubts about this, read our review on how to live without food for 1 month.

In the meantime, let’s show you how quickly oatmeal is likely to digest after you’ve eaten it.

Does oatmeal digest quickly?

No, it doesn’t.

Oatmeal is a type of cereal made from oats, and its digestion rate can vary depending on factors such as the type of oats used and the way it is prepared.

Generally, oatmeal is considered a complex carbohydrate, which means it takes longer to digest compared to simple carbohydrates.

How long does oatmeal take to digest

On average, it takes about 2 to 3 hours for instant or quaker oatmeal to digest in the stomach and small intestine.

The digestion process begins in the mouth, where the oatmeal mixes with saliva and is broken down into smaller particles.

Once in the stomach, it is further broken down by stomach acid and digestive enzymes.

From there, it moves into the small intestine, where the majority of nutrient absorption occurs.

Then the complex carbohydrates in oatmeal are gradually broken down into sugars and absorbed into the bloodstream.

The time it takes for oatmeal to fully digest can vary from person to person based on factors such as metabolism, individual digestive health, and the presence of other foods in the stomach.

How you add your toppings, such as fruits or nuts, or other ingredients to oatmeal, may also affect the digestion process slightly.

It’s important to note that while oatmeal is a nutritious and filling breakfast option, the feeling of fullness after consuming oatmeal can last longer than the actual digestion process.

This is due to the high fiber content of oatmeal, which provides a sense of satiety and can help regulate blood sugar levels.

What happens if you eat oats every day?

Eating oats every day can have several benefits for your health.

Here are some potential outcomes of consuming oats daily:

Nutritional benefits

Oats are rich in dietary fiber, particularly a type called beta-glucan, which has been linked to various health benefits.

Regular intake of oats can help improve digestion, regulate blood sugar levels, and support heart health by reducing cholesterol levels.

Weight management

Oats are a filling food due to their high fiber content, which can help you feel satisfied and prevent overeating.

Adding oats to your diet can support weight management efforts by providing sustained energy and reducing cravings.

Improved heart health

The soluble fiber in oats, specifically beta-glucan, has been shown to lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Consuming oats regularly may contribute to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.

Enhanced digestive health

The fiber in oats helps promote healthy digestion by preventing constipation and supporting regular bowel movements.

It can also promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, which play a crucial role in overall gut health.

Increased nutrient intake

Oats are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.

By incorporating oats into your daily diet, you can boost your nutrient intake and support overall health and well-being.

Can you take oatmeal before workout?

Yes, you can.

Consuming oatmeal about 1 to 2 hours before your workout can help provide sustained energy throughout your exercise session.

How to make oats easier to digest

To make oats easier to digest, you can try the following tips:

Soak the oats

Before cooking, soak the oats in water or any other liquid such as milk or yogurt overnight.

Soaking helps break down the starches and makes the oats easier to digest.

Cook the oats thoroughly

Make sure to cook the oats thoroughly until they are soft and fully cooked.

This further breaks down the complex carbohydrates and fibers, making them more easily digestible.

Use rolled or steel-cut oats

Rolled oats and steel-cut oats are less processed than instant oats, which means they retain more fiber.

The higher fiber content can help with digestion. Instant oats are more processed and may be harder to digest for some people.

Add digestive aids

Incorporate ingredients that aid digestion, such as ginger, cinnamon, or a pinch of salt.

These can help soothe the digestive system and reduce any discomfort that may arise from consuming oats.

Increase water or liquid content

Adding more water or liquid, such as milk or plant-based milk, can help soften the oats and make them easier to digest.

This also helps prevent constipation, which can sometimes occur when consuming oats.

Start with smaller portions

If you’re new to eating oats or have a sensitive digestive system, start with smaller portions and gradually increase the amount over time.

This allows your body to adjust to the fiber content more easily.

Consider overnight oats

Overnight oats are soaked overnight and eaten cold. This method allows the oats to soften even more, making them easier to digest.

You can add fruits, nuts, or seeds to enhance the flavor and nutrient content.

Pay attention to your body

Every individual’s digestive system is different, so pay attention to how your body responds to oats.

If you experience discomfort or digestive issues even after trying these tips, it may be best to consult a healthcare professional.

More related questions

How fast does oatmeal leave the stomach?

Between 6 to 8 hours. This is the time oatmeal needs to complete a full digestion cycle.

How long does oatmeal keep you full?

4 hours. Oatmeal is the perfect mid-morning snack and can keep you full for hours.

How long does oatmeal take to cook?

Between 25 to 30 minutes. Keep in mind that you’ll need to stir it occasionally till you achieve the desired texture.


Taking oats before workout is a healthy practice.

However, enjoy your oatmeal at least 1 to 2 hours before exercising to give your body enough time to absorb and digest the meals, supplying its nutrients to your body.

In this guide we’ve also discussed the various ways to make oatmeal digest faster. So go ahead and explore these options.

If you found this guide helpful, don’t forget to leave a comment.

Thanks for reading.

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