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9 Foods To Avoid Consuming Before Your  Workout

Madhura Mohan

Posted on December 31 2021

9 foods to avoid

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ou all want to get the most of your workouts, for which you follow the best workout techniques, you take the best supplements that can aid your goals, get to the gym with more commitment, all right!! My question to you is, despite doing all things right, why do you feel like giving up in the middle of the training session, tough to focus during your workouts? Ever thought, the problem may lie in your pre-workout eating habits?

The emphasis has always been on post-workout nutrition; most people believe what they eat before a workout doesn't matter much and don't pay much attention to pre-workout nutrition. It's a wrong perception!

If you think; you are doing everything right but; something is hindering your progress, this blog is for you.

Workouts may feel hard; and less enjoyable if you feel less focused and less energetic. Choosing to eat the wrong foods before you train will make you feel that way and stop you in your tracks.

Here’s is the list of top 9 foods to avoid eating pre-workout…

 

1. EATING HEAVY MEALS

heavy metals to avoid

Consuming heavy meals can take a toll on your digestive system. Your digestive process can get slowed down, will require your digestive organs to work harder, secrete extra hormones and enzymes to break down the food. Consuming heavy meals, especially; high-fat meals like pizza, cheeseburgers will make your stomach produce more acid that may irritate your digestive system, will trigger acid reflux, resulting in heartburn. Your stomach will produce gas, causing uncomfortable fullness as a large amount of air gets trapped in your gut. It is better to avoid fatty foods, processed foods, beans, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage before workouts. Such foods take a long time to digest and cause discomfort, make you feel tired, sluggish, nausea, and increase your chances of experiencing unpleasant gastrointestinal issues.

 

Take away: It’s crucial to allow enough time for foods you eat before your workout to be digested, failing which you’ll experience stomach cramps and will lead to compromised performance. The meals you eat pre-workout should provide readily available energy, it’s suggested to make simple food choices. 

 

2. TOO MANY EGGS

too many eggs protein

Eggs are the best and cheapest source of protein that you can consume. There’s no problem in consuming 1-2 eggs in a day. But eating too many eggs (close to the start of your sweat sessions) can cause nausea, vomiting, headaches, stomach cramps, heat buildup, and acne.

Eggs are rich in protein and fat (with one large egg contributing to 6g protein and 5g fat), they get metabolized slowly by the body, eggs stay in the stomach for a long time and make you feel heavier, bloated, and sluggish during your workouts. Consuming around 8-10 eggs will contribute to 60g protein and 50g fat, which is hard on the kidneys. With zero gram dietary fiber, eggs are not very easy to digest. Moreover, the digestion rate of the egg varies depending on the way you consume it too, consuming eggs as an omelet or scrambled eggs adding oils and cheese makes it harder on digestion. 

 

Take away: Don’t forget, excessive intake of anything could do more harm than good. Limit eating plenty of hard-boiled eggs close to your workout as it will make you feel bloated.

 

3. FAST FOODS / PROCESSED FOODS/FRIED FOODS

processed fried foods

Fried foods are inviting, crunchy, make you crave for more. The frying process modifies the composition of foods. During frying, foods can lose water, absorb fat, and become devoid of nutrients. Fast foods like pizzas, donuts, burgers, French fries, pastries, chips offer a lot of calories, and an unbalanced ratio of fat, low amount of protein, refined carbs to their nutrient count. Fried food is linked to disrupted insulin and glucose homeostasis, causing a high risk of metabolic syndrome. High salt foods raise blood pressure; cause dehydration; can interrupt the balance of bodily fluids during a workout. Although pizza and burgers pack in calories, they offer mainly empty calories and take a long time to digest, leading to low energy.

 

Take away: Fried foods pack in empty calories, have zero nutritional value, disturb your gut health, take a long time to digest, raise your blood pressure, may leave you feeling bloated, especially when taken close to your workouts. The fiber content of fried foods is low, processed foods also contain lactose which adds to digestive woes in people with lactose intolerance.

 

4. SPICY FOODS

Spicy foods; should not be eaten before exercise for a couple of reasons. Capsaicin contained in spicy foods can irritate the lining of your gut, resulting in indigestion, heartburn, nausea, abdominal pain, can cause a laxative effect, and burning diarrhea. Hot and spicy foods can trigger acid reflux, heartburn, which leads to an uncomfortable burning sensation in your throat and chest area. These symptoms will make your workout feel lousy. Spicy foods containing capsaicin create inflammation in the gut, cause an upset stomach, excite receptors in the skin, causing an acne breakout. 

 

Take away: Consuming spicy foods before workouts can have adverse effects on the digestive system, cause bloating, stomach troubles, and later when you consume protein supplements after workouts, they add to the digestive issues and result in hindered results.

 

5. LEGUMES

Legumes like lentils, black beans, chickpeas, flaxseeds, chia seeds are all nutrient-rich, but their excess fiber content can make your stomach gassy and bloated, which could hamper your workout routine. It’s better to avoid grains, legumes, and beans before workouts cause they contain gluten and high fiber. 

 

Take away: Unless you have a large window of time before you step into the gym, hold the grains, legumes, and beans as they take longer for the body to digest and can lead to gastrointestinal distress like bloating, nausea, gas, stomach cramps which could hinder your progress. 

 

6. CARBONATED BEVERAGES

weight loss

Carbonated beverages like soda, fizz are acidic, contain high sugar content, and are nutritionally void. Drinking carbonated beverages can cause acid reflux; carbonation; will make you feel bloated, gassy, cause stomach cramps and even lead to a sugar crash. High-carb, sweetened drinks will spike your blood sugar levels, cause dehydration, and can make you feel light-headed during your workouts. 

 

Take away: Consuming carbonated drinks before your workout can make you feel bloated, cause stomach cramps, and lethargy during your lift sessions, and stop you from reaching your full potential. 

 

7. DAIRY                 

dairy products

While milk is a good source of protein, carb, and fat, required to provide the body with energy during a workout, it takes longer for milk to digest and can lead to indigestion and bloating if you consume it close to your workout sessions. Milk and milk products like cheese, yogurt, the butter will increase the stomach’s acid content during a workout. Heading to work out soon after consuming milk will make to feel gassy, lead to stomach upsets, diarrhea, bloating, and can cause you to feel lethargic. Drinking too much dairy, especially if you’re lactose intolerant, can cause vomiting as your body cannot process and digest it quick enough. 

 

Take away: It’s not a good idea to consume dairy products right before a training session because it takes longer to be digested and can cause stomach cramps and discomfort.

 

8. ALCOHOL

alcohol image

Alcohol consumption directly damages the cells lining the esophagus, will slow down the metabolism, inhibit gastric emptying, may produce a sense of fullness and nausea. The delay in stomach emptying caused by alcohol results in bacterial degradation of foods and causes abdominal discomfort. Alcohol is a diuretic, causes your body to lose fluids and cause you to get dehydrated. 

 

Take away: Alcoholic beverages make stomach produce more acid, can reduce the stomach’s ability to destroy bacteria that enter the intestine, can cause dehydration, and suppress fat oxidation. 

 

9. TOO MUCH CAFFEINE

caffeine side effects

Caffeine, no doubt, is a stimulant on the nervous system that promotes wakefulness. For this reason, most people use coffee as a daily pick-me-up. Coffee is an acidic beverage that stimulates stomach acid production that can cause indigestion and heartburn. Excessive caffeine intake stimulates colonic motor activity, increases contraction in the small and large intestinal muscles, causing diarrhea. Excessive caffeine intake; stimulates adrenaline glands, causing jittery feelings and increasing your heart rate. 

 

Take away: Avoid intake of excess caffeine as it is diuretic, may have laxative effects, can stimulate adrenaline hormone, and increase the need to urinate. Taking large glass of coffee; especially on an empty stomach (if you are doing early morning workout) can cause unpleasant digestive distress and trigger stomach cramps.

 

Next time you head out to the gym, pay attention to what you have been putting on your plate in the hours leading up to it…

 

What you eat pre-workout should be in a way that you shouldn’t feel sluggish or lethargic from eating it…

 

Also read: Should You Consume Whey With Water Or Milk?

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