Maximizing Your Workout Energy
There’s a ton of great advice on this blog on what you should eat before your workout (such as my popular Morning Pre-Workout Meals). But what about the foods you should avoid?
One of the first things I try to get new clients to understand is just how important the right nutrition and food choices are for workout success. And it’s your pre-workout food choices that matter the most, because that’s the time you have to give your body exactly what it needs to work hard and recover quickly. Unfortunately a chocolate bar is not part of this list as much as we all wish it was!
So this is my quick and dirty list of foods to avoid before working out…
20 Foods to Avoid Eating Before Your Workout
Flaxseeds – They’re generally a healthy food choice, but with all that fiber, they can cause a lot of bloating that will slow down your workout.
Hummus – It’s one of my favorite snacks, but this is another food that’s likely to cause gas and bloating, which is a serious energy-killer.
Energy Gel Packs – They sound like a good idea, but unless you’re an athlete, you’re not going to burn off all that sugar, and it’s just going to disrupt your blood sugar levels later on.
Dairy Products – There’s a lot of evidence to suggest that dairy can drain your energy during a workout, whether by disrupting digestion or making you feel tired.
Flavored Water – Anything with artificial sweeteners should be avoided before a workout. They interfere with optimal digestion and can leave your body without the nutrients it needs.
Salty Foods – Too much salt can disrupt the fluid-balance of your body, and that’s important when it comes to maximizing results.
Unripe Bananas – Bananas are one of my favorite pre-workout snacks, but make sure you avoid the green ones. They’re going to be more difficult to digest during your workout and will have a low GI or sugar index whereas ripe bananas will have a higher GI and the sugar will feed you energy while you train.d
Raw Veggies – Veggies and dip can be a great snack on a healthy diet, but digesting broccoli and carrots can cause a lot of bloating and gas.
Hard-Boiled Eggs – On their own, they’re probably best saved for after your workout. You need more carbohydrates for energy than these guys can offer.
Over-Processed Protein Shakes – Protein supplements are often a critical ingredient in any workout diet, but the overly processed kind can just slow you down.