8 Forbidden Foods Before Workout

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Pre Workout Foods
Photo by Bethany Newman on Unsplash

Foods before workout can make or ruin your exercise. Here, you’ll find a list of products you must avoid before you head to the gym.

If you’ve already dragged yourself to the gym – great, that’s half of the battle! However, you may face another challenge, it’s finding the energy to go hard. Like a well-oiled machine, the body needs the right fuel to perform and achieve good results. This fuel is pre-workout food before the gym. Of course, you can add quality supplements, e.g., weight gainer, but food still remains an essential condition for maximizing workout results.

Getting some calories prior to exercising is non-negotiable, it gives you energy and makes you effective. You should eat about 1-2 hours before a sweat sesh to let your body digest pre-workout food. However, it’s vital to know which food is right and which one is a big no-no before the gym.

For optimal training, avoid the following products and meals, even if seem super healthy.

1. Junk Food
Pre-workout food for bodybuilding has to include high carbs and protein, however, it doesn’t equal filling your stomach with fries and burgers at a fast-food restaurant. Fast food contains high fats and needs about 4 hours to be digested. When your body digests food, your heart pumps blood to the stomach to help this process. It decreases the blood flow to the muscles while they need lots of blood intake while exercising. Remember that any products high in fats will make you sluggish in the gym. Digesting fats can cause discomfort and cramps in the stomach.

If you need pre-workout food for energy, use a carb to protein ratio of 4:1.

Protein Bars
Photo Courtesy : Flickr.com

2. Protein Bars
Although protein bars are great pre-workout food for bulking, not all of them are high-quality products. Don’t get fooled by protein bars from the nearest supermarket. Lots of such bars contain plenty of calories and very little protein, making them very similar to a chocolate bar. Steer clear of protein bars that have less than 10 grams of protein since they can lower blood sugar levels faster and you’ll feel tired faster as well. Always look at the nutrition table on the packaging. Pick protein bars that contain a 1:1 sugar to protein ratio and no more than 200 calories.

3. Sugar
Carbs in pre-workout food are what you really need before hitting the gym. However, products and meals that contain simple carbs and sugar in high amounts only provide temporary energy, not the continuous energy levels that you need for intensive training. Besides, eating too many artificial sweets threatens the growth of healthy bacteria in your bowel and causes a disturbance in the absorption of nutrients. Furthermore, sugary, high-carb foods increase blood sugar levels and can even make you faint during a workout session. To avoid energy drinks, isotonic drinks, soda, and orange juice, if you want to do an intense workout. Have a cup of black tea or espresso, they are much friendlier to the body than an energy drink or soda. Or, if you like smoothies, make one at home with protein powder and fresh fruits.

4. Diary Products
Pre-workout food before cardio shouldn’t include any dairy products, even if they are low-fat and claimed to be diet foods. Although these products are a rich source of protein, which gives you energy and helps your muscles to recover, they don’t contain enough carbs, so your energy will drain faster. The same as fats, protein slowly travels to the blood, making you feel sluggish.

5. Eggs
Boiled eggs, as well as dairy products, are a great source of protein. But, again, they don’t have enough carbs to be the right pre-workout food. Besides, eggs digest for a long time, making you feel havier and tired during the workout. Never and ever eat raw eggs, they may contain salmonella bacteria that causes severe poisoning.

Spicy Food
Photo by Payoon Gerinto on Unsplash

6. Spicy Products Or Meals
Although spicy foods are good for weight loss since they burn calories faster, it doesn’t make them the right pre-workout food for a weight loss routine. Do not eat spicy products or meals before going to the gym because they can cause a burned throat or stomach pain and ruin your workout.

7. Beans
Beans are an excellent source of protein and carbs, however, they are hard for the stomach to handle before the workout. Besides, beans might cause gas, bloating and pain, you don’t want such a situation in the gym. But you can prevent discomfort by taking a supplement that contains an alpha-galactosidase enzyme.

8. Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous vegetables include kale, spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. Thanks to their high-fiber content, cruciferous vegetables can cause serious discomfort (gas and bloating) when you are on the move. However, if you are in the mood for something light before your workout, make a smoothie with your favorite fruit, half a cup of greens, water, and some granola or dried oats.

Best Pre Workout Food
Photo by Arianka Ibarra on Unsplash

The Best Pre-workout Food
Pre-workout food does affect endurance, hence you should know what products to take to be effective during your workouts. Here is a list of the right pre-workout food:

Pre-workout food does affect endurance, hence you should know what products to take to be effective during your workouts. Here is a list of the right pre-workout food:

    • Oatmeal
    • Brown rice with chicken
    • Protein shakes
    • Bananas
    • Peanut butter sandwich
    • Bagel with honey
    • Energy or granola bars (make sure they have the right ratio of protein and carbs)
    • Steamed vegetables
    • Dried fruits
    • Trail mix
    • Apples with peanut butter and raisins
    • Whole fruit
    • Sweat potato
    • Lean meat

    Choose your pre-workout food, aka energy sources, wisely! Next time you’ll want to hit the gym, look through this list to make sure you pick the right products or meals.

    Leave a comment with your favorite piece of advice and wisdom for new gym-goers! We appreciate your experience!

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