Understanding which foods to avoid before going to the gym is crucial, especially if you want to nail your workout session completely. Working out is hard enough, but combined with incorrect foods, it can be super tough on your body.
A huge volume of blood is pumped into the muscles during a workout. Due to this, the stomach does not get much blood flow when you are working out. If you eat the incorrect type of food before exercising, your stomach will have to work extra hard, leading to stomach problems. Even though some athletes may have trained their bodies in a way to get away with eating some terrible foods before working out, you should not follow in their footsteps. After all, everyone does not have an “iron stomach.”
Here are some foods to avoid before going to the gym:
This includes all kinds of beans, bean soups, burgers, and even bean burritos. While beans are a highly nutritious food to consume, they are not suited to eat before a heavy workout. While the GI tracts of athletes may be adjusted to a bean diet, normal people cannot digest this much fiber before hitting the gym.
A single cup of beans contains 16 grams of fiber, which is enough for half a day. Beans contain carbohydrate raffinose which is difficult to digest. You don’t want to work out with a full stomach; otherwise, you will want to throw up mid-workout.
2. Dairy Products
If you feel like your stomach cannot digest a certain type of food or are intolerant to a food group, it is best to steer clear of it, especially before working out.
Athletes who are lactose intolerant avoid lactose-heavy dairy products, such as soft cheese and milk. Eating these foods can cause intestinal cramping. If you are looking for dairy-free options or want to follow a low-lactose diet, consume hard cheeses, lactose-free milk, kefir, and yogurt.
3. Fried Food
You may think that a cheat meal before your workout session is a good idea since you will burn off the calories anyway. However, it would be best to consider how difficult it will be working out right after you have eaten some fried food.
It is best to avoid eating greasy foods like pizza, fries, and burgers before going to the gym. This is because these foods contain saturated fats that take a long time to digest, staying in your stomach for longer periods. Moreover, they can lead to diarrhea, cramping, and bloating.
4. Carbonated Beverages
Carbonated beverages like beer, sodas, and fizzy waters are a big no-no before your workout session. These can cause the stomach to become gassy and can lead to bloating.
After some time, the carbonated beverages will cause discomfort, flatulence, and indigestion. Imagine dealing with this trio during your spin class. Sounds like an absolute nightmare, doesn’t it?
Even though hydration is great, alcohol consumption does not count as hydration. All kinds of alcohol have diuretic features and are dehydrating. Moreover, alcohols make it difficult to lose fat, making it difficult to achieve your dream body.
Moreover, if you exercise while drunk, you are more prone to injuries. You can get hurt while lifting weights or might drop something on yourself when under the influence. Hence, it is always better to work out when sober.
6. Fruit Juice
Most trainers will tell you that juices contain fluids and carbs that can be great to consume pre-workout. However, consuming a tall glass of juice immediately before going to the gym is not a good idea. This is because fruit juices are loaded with fructose, which takes a while to digest. When you work out while full, you can suffer from stomach cramps. Those who have fructose sensitivities can suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Orange juice and tart cherry juice are amazing, especially for people who exercise often. They contain essential amino acids, minerals, and vitamins important for recovery. However, for the optimal results, they should be consumed in smoothie form or as part of a meal an hour or more before your gym time or after your workout as a way to hydrate and refuel yourself.
Desserts fall on the list of foods to avoid before going to the gym. These include ice-creams, doughnuts, scones, cakes, macaroons, mousses, pastries and all other kinds of desserts.
You may already know this, but desserts are extremely high in butter, cream, shortening, and oils, which makes them fattening and unhealthy. This is not what your body needs when trying its best to perform well.
8. Spicy Foods
Some people may have strong enough systems to tolerate working out immediately after eating a bowl of steaming hot and spicy Pad Thai noodles. However, spicy foods can disturb your digestive system, leading to acid reflux and heartburn. You do not want to deal with this when you are working out. It is best to avoid eating spicy foods 24 hours before working out, just to be safe. This way, you are giving your GI tract a rest as well.
Before working out, opt for easy-to-digest and bland meals so that they do not disturb your system. We hope this article equipped you with all the knowledge you needed about foods to avoid before going to the gym.