Fueling your body properly to crush your workout is crucial to the end result. If you’ve ever ‘felt heavy’ on a run, or got super nauseous after running hills, it’s most likely your pre workout diet that may come back up to say hi. Take a look at these foods below to avoid before your next workout so your not the one lagging behind in the back of the workout group:
While a diet rich in salads and veggies is normally freakin’ awesome, raw greens like kale, spinach and broccoli can cause serious discomfort when you’re on the move. “Thanks to their high-fiber content, leafy green vegetables are almost guaranteed to cause abdominal distention—a.k.a. gas and bloating,” says Philip Goglia, Ph.D., author of Turn Up The Heat: Unlock the Fat-Burning Power of Your Metabolism. “If you’re in the mood for something light before your workout, swap a green salad for a green smoothie,” says Katie Serbinski, registered dietitian and founder of Mom to Mom Nutrition. “Just mix your favorite fruit with a half a cup of greens, water, and some dried oats or granola.” It’ll go down way easier.
Your favorite athlete might hawk bottles of the latest muscle juice, but most brands on the market offer little nutrition—and way too much sugar. “Sports drinks can offer some vitamins and electrolytes, but the high sugar content goes right through your system in the blink of an eye causing you to crash later on,” says Serbinksi.
“Instead, opt for a lower sodium tomato juice, which provides potassium, promotes healthy blood pressure, and may even help you stay hydrated thanks to its low-sodium content,” says Nancy Teeter, registered dietitian.
HUMMAS OR BEAN DIP
There’s no doubt that beans are a great source of protein. But prepackaged hummus and bean dips often contain lots of added oils—and are also prone to molding. “If you’ve personally soaked the beans prior to cooking them, then you’re releasing the mold from them, but if not…you run the risk of consuming a high-mold food that can lead to inflammation and reduction of oxygen consumption,” says Goglia. “Most athletes distance themselves from prepackaged dips of this sort for that very reason.” Fuel up with a few bites of low-fat cottage cheese, instead—it’s light, satisfying, and protein-rich, without all the oil.
WHOLE GRAIN BREADS AND MUFFINS
While ordering the whole-grain version of just about anything is usually a good move, it’s not when you’re about to work out. “Carbs in general that are yeast-, mold-, and gluten-bound are inflammatory, meaning they hold water and cause bloating,” says Goglia. “They’re providing you with energy because they’re a sugar, but the side effects far outweigh the benefits.” Instead, opt for a plain, white tortilla that has less fiber, and top it with a little nut butter and sliced banana for an extra kick of energy, suggests Serbinski