Foods You Should Never Eat Before a Workout from Foods You Should Never Eat Before a Workout

Foods You Should Never Eat Before a Workout

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Foods You Should Never Eat Before a Workout

What people put in their bodies before a workout can make or break a training session. How much protein, fats and carbs to eat is not rocket science and depends on many factors, one of which is the type of exercise. You may be unknowingly putting the wrong foods in your body, causing it to feel lethargic. Muscle cramps and stomach aches follow.

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Leafy greens

It turns out that you can sometimes go wrong with eating salads and veggies. Squash, kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, among other leafy greens can cause problems if consumed before a long workout. They are high in indigestible carbs and can cause bloating or gassiness. Also, they can interfere with the production of thyroid hormone. The thyroid can become enlarged and develop into a goiter.

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Bread and whole grains

Carbs make the body hold water which causes bloating and, subsequently discomfort. Consuming a small amount of carbs before exercising should be done at least an hour before the workout. Bread, even if it’s whole grain, also has sugar. It may provide a slight boost in energy, but, ultimately, it does more harm than good.

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High-fiber foods

The body relies on glycogen to keep your blood sugar levels stable and maintain your energy. Thus, you don’t need much fiber. Foods that have a high carb/fiber ratio can irritate the digestive tract, which can become problematic prior to working out, Meghan Doherty, BSN, and nutrition consultant for Madsweat, says. A slow-digesting carbohydrate that contains 5-10 grams of fiber is necessary for pre-cardiovascular exercises.

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Spicy food

Some studies show that eating spicy foods can increase your metabolism, but don’t eat them before hitting the gym. They require more digestion time. The problem is that spicy foods can cause heartburn if they backwash into the esophagus and indigestion, leading to discomfort as you’re trying to move your body.

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Protein bars

They often have too much sugar. It should include natural sugars, and not contain prebiotic fibers, to make up for their small amount of net carbs. Bars that are high in protein are good for post-workout. Your workout fuel comes from carbs. Too much sugar in these bars also guarantees a “sugar crash” soon enough.

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Unripe bananas

“At this stage the sugar content will be absorbed easily. Otherwise, the unripe banana is in the starch stage and is more difficult to digest,” Doherty says. Ripe bananas contain more sugars than unripe or green bananas, so they are beneficial for longer exercises. Brown spots on the skin indicate it’s in the ripe stage.

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Hummus and legumes

Bean-based foods are high in indigestible carbs that may cause uncomfortable gas and bloating. Hummus usually contains sodium as well, which makes you retain water, among other things. Chickpeas, the traditional main ingredient in hummus, can bloat the intestine because of the insoluble fibers that it contains. “The fiber content to carbohydrate content is equal in grams, so the body slowly digests it, leading to discomfort,” Doherty says.

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Sweets

Excessive amounts of sugar can wreak havoc on the digestive system. It won’t be long before you feel exhausted and maybe have an upset stomach. How the body processes sugar is crucial. As soon as you consume anything sweet, your blood sugar skyrockets, giving you instant energy. Insulin then takes it out and sends it to the muscle tissues, causing your energy levels to crash.

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Avocados

High-fat foods, even if they are the good kind, don’t provide you with energy. Converting fats into energy takes much longer than converting carbs into glucose which the muscles use. That’s why you may feel tired and sluggish during your training session. Don’t eat too much avocado, cheese, fish or nuts before exercising, even though they are healthy.

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Fast/junk food

There is never a right time to eat food that has no nutritional value. The fat in these foods are not converted into energy as easily or as well as carbs. The more high-fat foods you eat, the more tired you feel, studies have shown. Fast food also causes bloating and can lead to muscle cramps. 

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Dairy products

Low-fat, not skim, is a great source of calcium and protein, which is needed for muscle repair. That’s why milk is best to be consumed immediately following a workout, Doherty adds. It’s not a good idea right before a training session because it takes times to be digested. It can also cause cramps and discomfort.

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Hard-boiled eggs

“I do not recommend hard-boiled eggs (which can help with weight loss) immediately prior to a workout, unless it is consumed about an hour before a strength training session,” Doherty says. “Since they do not contain any carbohydrates (and no fat without the yolk), hard-boiled eggs may weigh you down during a workout, rather than giving you a boost of energy,” she adds.

 

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Energy drinks

While just a sip or two of caffeine can rev you up, an entire can of an energy drink will have you crashing after a few exercises. It has too much sugar. Your endothelial function is acutely worse after drinking energy beverage, according to a study. Cardiac blood vessels become sluggish and don’t open as well.

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Green juices

While drinking a green fresh juice may provide you with enough carbs for energy during your workout, you’ll also be getting all of the fiber that comes with it. This may lead to bloated stomach and indigestion as the stomach is still working on processing the fiber, which takes longer. This is especially true if you drink green juice that contains sulfur-rich vegetables like cruciferous veggies.

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Carbonated drinks

Carbonated beverages cause gas and bloating. They also have either a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners, which hurt your body in many different ways. The bubbles of extra air can lead to an upset stomach. Ben Boudro, a personal trainer, never drinks soda. “It’s packed with sugars, carbonation, and other things that the body straight up does not need. Along with dehydration, soda pops store fat and slow you down throughout the day.”

Foods You Should Never Eat Before a Workout