5 More Foods to Avoid Before A WorkoutArticle posted in: Fitness
Gearing up for a sweat session? Before you reach for that pre-workout snack, consider this: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states that eating the wrong foods before you exercise can cause gastro-intestinal upset, compromise your performance and even bring your workout to a screeching halt! Even certain healthy foods are best kept off your plate in the hours leading up to activity. So, you may be thinking: What are the foods to avoid? If the wrong type or quantity of food can sabotage my exercise session, should I just skip eating before a workout altogether?
Absolutely not. Fueling up sensibly before a workout can actually help you achieve better results. Just don’t overdo it. We’ve already shared with you a list of Foods to Avoid Before a Workout. But this time, we caught up with Stella L. Volpe, Professor and Chair of Drexel University’s Department of Nutrition Sciences. She recommends eating prior to a workout, so long as your selection is higher in healthy carbohydrates with some protein and a little fat. The reasoning: Carbs are necessary to fuel your workout, while the protein helps build and repair muscles.
According to Volpe, “Usually, if a person can eat something an hour before a workout, that would be ideal. Something as simple as one-half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich; or an apple with almond butter; or even a granola bar would be helpful. Having water with any of the above is important, as well.”
We’ve already shared a few of the foods you should avoid before your next workout. Today, we’re revisiting the list. Don’t sabotage your sweat session by noshing on the wrong things pre-workout.
Be mindful of these foods to avoid before your workout, and you’ll be set for full-on sweat session success:
1. Cream Sauces
For endurance athletes (think marathoners and triathletes), pasta and rice are great options for a pre-workout meal due to their carbohydrate content. But eating them covered in creamy, high-fat sauces could spell trouble. The minute you get moving, so will your lunch. This can lead to gastro-intestinal distress, nausea or heartburn.
2. Nuts and Seeds
Grabbing a handful of nuts or seeds may seem like a healthy pre-workout meal, but the high fat, no-carb nature of this snack could leave you feeling sluggish. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, high fat foods take longer to digest. That’s because fat is converted into energy much less efficiently than carbohydrates or protein. Digesting fat zaps necessary fuel from your workout and gives your performance a major hit.
3. Carbonated Water and Soda
Many people experience bloat from carbonated beverages, which can slow them down during their workout, causing a decrease in calorie burn and muscle building. Stomach distress from sugary carbonated beverages will also cut your workout short. Instead, consume hydrating fluids throughout the day to avoid dehydration during your workout. Water, water everywhere!
4. Leafy Greens and Cruciferous Veggies
A giant, veggie-packed salad will always top our list of healthy foods you should be eating… except before a workout. The high fiber found in these vegetables are fantastic for your health, but they are a nightmare for your upcoming gym session. All of this insoluble, filling goodness could cause some pretty serious stomach issues if eaten too close to your workout.
Get the theme here? Any slow digesting, high fiber foods that can create bloating, distention or gas are best reserved for the hours after your workout (or many, many hours before!). You may love your Mexican themed dishes, but save them for another time. Keeping your stomach calm and cooperative is important. Bean hummus, bean burgers and bean dips should all be avoided.