There’s nothing worse than hitting the gym on an empty stomach. That is, except maybe when you’ve jumped into downward dog or hit mile three on the treadmill and realized your pre-workout snack was a horrible choice. But you don’t have to workout on an empty stomach — you just have to snack smart.
Eating the wrong foods pre-workout can cause a variety of unpleasant side effects from gas to bloating to diarrhea. So the next time you want to munch on something before getting your sweat on, remember to keep things simple. Grab a small amount of protein and some easy-to-digest carbs to help power your workout. A banana and peanut butter or a whole fruit smoothie do the trick nicely. But whatever you do, be sure to save these 10 foods until after your workout.
You’re already sweating and losing water from your workout, booze will dry out your body even more. Alcohol is dehydrating, so save the glass of wine or ice cold beer for after your accomplish your exercise goals for the day. Plus, tackling heavy weights or going into an inverted headstand while intoxicated isn’t exactly safe.
Beans are a great source of carbs and protein, but unfortunately, they’re difficult for your stomach to digest. “Beans, beans, the musical fruit — the more you eat, the more you…” well, you know the jingle. It’s a real phenomenon that happens because the gut bacteria that breaks down beans produces large amounts of carbon dioxide and hydrogen causing bloating, gas, and abdominal pain in many people.
Many adults have various degrees of lactose intolerance. For many, that intolerance will cause anything from gas to diarrhea — all things you want to avoid while you’re in the middle of CrossFit class.
Milk is out, but what about cheese? Cheese is made from curdled milk, so it’s likely to have the same effects as drinking a glass of milk. It’s best to refrain from consuming any dairy directly before a workout.
5. Carbonated drinks
You may get a quick jolt from the caffeine in your soda, but drinking carbonated drinks, including kombucha and seltzer waters, can fill you up with gas bubbles and cause bloating or other stomach issues. Instead, hydrate properly with regular water or sports drinks.
6. Junk food
Do you ever feel great after eating pizza, French fries or greasy snack foods? Of course not. So gorging on them before you hit the gym is especially a bad idea. Protein and healthy carbs are what you need before a workout — basically the opposite of the saturated fats you’re getting from these types of foods.
Plain yogurt is a healthy way to start a day, but if your mornings include a workout, you should probably hold the yogurt until after. Like milk, yogurt contains lactose, which can lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
8. Spicy foods
Spicy foods increase your metabolism and help you burn extra calories. But, they can also cause serious indigestion and heartburn, especially when coupled with high-energy workouts. To go about your routine pain free, save the spice until after your sweat session is over.
9. Baked goods
If you work out early in the morning you might be likely to grab a quick blueberry muffin or slice of pie in the morning. But these high-glycemic foods with their refined sugars will cause your blood sugar to crash. Not to mention, just because your baked good has fruit in it, doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
10. Kale, Cauliflower, broccoli
Kale, cauliflower, and broccoli are a great way to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle, but load up on them directly before a work out, and bloating will get the best of you. All three are great health foods, but these fibrous veggies require your digestive tract to go the extra mile to break them down. Not a problem when you’re just lounging, but since your digestion mostly or entirely shuts down while you’re engaged in a hard physical workout, you’ll end up with bloating and excessive gas.
Also try, Healthy egg avocado salad.