9 Foods to NEVER Eat Before a Workout

Workout Meals
These are 9 foods that may lead to gas, bloating, heartburn, and low energy during your workout. Although everyone is different there are certain pre-workout foods that can affect you in a better way helping you build muscle and burn fat. Learn exactly what you shouldn’t eat before your workout to be sure that you’re performing optimally.

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Eating certain foods before your workout can make you feel full of energy, stronger, and can highly improve your performance. But eating the wrong foods can make you feel sick, sluggish, weak, and can definitely end up ruining your workout. Even though everyone is different, some of us with stronger digestive systems than others, there are still some broad categories of foods that are more likely to create problems like indigestion, acid reflux, and negative effects on your energy levels. So today I want to go over these foods that you want to be careful of having before your workout. 

And one of the worst things you can eat before your workout is greasy, high-fat food. This includes foods like cheeseburgers, potato chips, and foods high in dressings or mayo like potato salad for example, but it’s not limited to unhealthy foods. Even high-fat foods like avocados can cause problems for many people. These kinds of high-fat foods require a lot of time to digest. That’s because fat slows down the digestion process including something known as gastric emptying, which is essentially how long it takes for food to leave your stomach.  If you’re working out with a full stomach it can make you feel sick, uncomfortable, nauseous, and most of all tired. When you eat a really filling high-fat meal what you’ll usually notice is that your energy levels will go down and you may even start to get sleepy. This is because a lot of your energy is diverted to digesting the high-fat meal you ate, and it’s very hard to be active at the same time that your body is working hard to break down dietary fat. The more fat that’s in your meal the longer that meal will typically take to digest. Now if your someone that has a strong healthy digestive system it might be enough to just wait one or two hours before your workout, but for others, it can take much longer. So this is definitely not something that you want to have directly before your workout, you’re better off positioning your high-fat meals at other times of the day

Another food group that can be problematic for some people is cruciferous vegetables. This is actually a very common mistake that many people make because vegetables are considered a healthy choice. So it would make sense to have vegetables before your workout right. Well not exactly. Even though you can eat certain kinds of vegetables that won’t give you a problem you want to look out for cruciferous vegetables during your pre-workout meal. These include vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussel sprouts. Even though they’re very healthy, and more often than not they should be part of your diet, they are also very high in fiber and difficult to digest. Specifically, cruciferous vegetables contain a sugar known as raffinose, which will stay undigested until the bacteria in your gut ferments it. Unfortunately, this fermentation process produces gas and makes you feel bloated. This can be very uncomfortable especially if you’re doing a cardio-based workout where you’re bouncing up and down a lot like if you’re jogging or even doing burpees for example.

For the same reasons that you don’t want to have cruciferous vegetables before your workout, you’ll probably also be better off avoiding beans and legumes. This includes products that are made from them like hummus. Beans and legumes contain sugar and fiber that’s difficult for our bodies to digest. For example, Just 1 cup of cooked beans provides about 15 grams of fiber. That’s about half the total recommended amount of fiber that you should be having per day. Now make no mistake, fiber is very healthy for you and it can help you lose weight. Fiber is necessary for your bowel movements to work optimally, it helps prevent constipation, and helps you feel full. But the issue is that the fiber from beans gets passed on to the large intestine where it’s digested by healthy bacteria, and that process can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort like gas, bloating, and flatulence. 

Another broad category of foods that you want to limit before your workout are foods that are likely to cause acid reflux and heartburn. Citrus juices like orange juice can create a lot of problems for many people due to their acidity. Some people can experience heartburn from drinking or eating limes, lemons, and grapefruits as well. Tomatoes and tomato juices are also closely linked to heartburn. This category includes sauces and soups that are made with tomatoes like marinara..

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