What Foods to Avoid Before a Workout?
Heading to the gym to do a workout? Preparing to go for a run? If so, you should watch what you eat!
Most athletes know that eating a little something before doing exercise. It can help to give you a boost of energy. The carbs and protein in the food will help to give your muscles amino acids and glucose to burn for fuel.
However, it’s important to avoid making the mistake of eating the wrong foods before you work out.
Here are some foods you want to stay away from if you plan to get some exercise.
Foods to Avoid Before a Workout
There’s nothing like some tasty fast food to get you in the mood for exercise – oh wait, sorry, in the mood for a nap!
Fast food is fried and fatty. You’ll find that it will just slow you down. If you’re trying to get some exercise. It will make you feel lazy and sluggish, and can use up the energy that you need for your workout.
Fat isn’t as easy for your body to process as protein and carbs, and they can cause bloating in your belly.
Imagine how hard it’s going to be to complete that 5-mile run with a bloated tummy!
“Oh, look, there are some delicious leftovers from last night’s Chinese, Indian, or Italian dinner…”
If you’re going to do exercise. The last thing you want to do is fill your belly with foods that contain lots of spices, cream, or acid. Tomato sauces will cause your stomach to produce more acid. It can cause heartburn and acid reflux when you do exercise – particularly cardiovascular exercise!
Any very spicy food will increase acid production in your stomach, and the same goes for any foods that are very rich, fatty, creamy, or heavy. While pasta noodles may be a good source of quick carbs, the sauces on the pasta are not.
Reaching for that protein bar may not be as good as you think it is!
While protein is needed to fuel the muscles, remember that protein is used much more slowly than carbs. Carbs are the first nutrient processed by the body. Protein is next – followed by fats in the last place.
If you eat too much protein BEFORE a workout. It will slow you down and use valuable energy.Don’t eat foods that are too rich in protein, and don’t eat a very high-protein energy bar or shake.
Instead, eat something that has a lot more complex carbs, as well as a small amount of protein. Go for a 4:1 ratio, and it will be much easier for your body to stay pumping and burning while you do your workout.
Does that fruit juice call out to you as you are on your way out of the door? Perhaps it’s not as healthy as you think it is…
The fruit is loaded with sugar, which will be processed by your body quickly as an immediate source of energy. However, the fruit is a bit hard on your stomach. It can cause nausea, diarrhea, and other digestive problems. If you go for a run or jog after sucking down a cup of juice.
Avoid fruit gels as well, as they are the sugar that is too easy for your body to process. While they will be used as a quick energy source, the energy won’t last. You can sip the juice but focus on eating more complex carbs that will burn slowly.
Finally, if it’s acidic, it’s going to cause acid reflux when you run, jump, or move all around.
While vegetables are king the rest of the day, before a workout, it’s best to take them off the menu!
The thing that makes vegetables so great for you all day long is what makes them a poor pre-workout choice: fiber. Fiber can cause stomach and intestinal discomfort, particularly if you are moving around while doing a workout. Fiber is hard on your stomach to digest, particularly insoluble fiber. If you eat too much of it, you will feel bloated and heavy during your workout.
Another reason to avoid too much fiber is that it doesn’t provide you with energy. While it will flush out your system. It’s not going to help you to fuel your body for your workout. Stick with complex carbs and proteins, and stay away from the crunchy greens.
Soda and Carbonated Drinks
Do I really have to tell you to stay away from the beer before a workout?
I don’t think that there are too many people in the world dumb enough to drink a beer before doing exercise, but all carbonated drinks should be avoided.
The reason for this is that carbonation will cause air pockets to form in your stomach, which can lead to bloating and pain in your stomach. Not only will you feel the bloating, but it will make it much easier for you to get cramps and stitches.
Interestingly enough, drinking a very small cup of black tea – plain, of course – can help to give you more energy for your workout. However, when it comes to acidic coffee, caffeinated cola, fizzy energy drinks, or even sugar-free soda (which contains an artificial form of sugar that’s rough on the digestive system), it’s best to say “no”!
Eating and drinking before a workout are recommended only for those that are going to be doing intense exercise for prolonged periods – such as marathon runners, bodybuilders, etc. If you’re just going to be going for a 20-minute job, a 45-minute walk, a quick trip to the gym, or a Yoga session, it’s probably best not to eat anything at all. With half a glass of water, you will be fine -as long as you keep hydrated during your workout.
Only after your exercise is done should you eat something, to help your body recover from the strenuous workout!