Whether you’re going for a run, taking your bike out for a ride, or heading to the gym, there are some crucial steps to take to make sure that you’re properly fueling and nourishing your body for a workout. What you choose to eat, or don’t eat, can set you up for success or be the downfall for your fitness goals.
So before heading out on your next workout, pay close attention to these 5 things to avoid so that you can set yourself up for success.
- Skipping carbohydrates before a workout
Carbs are what our body needs for energy for a workout. Carbs fuel our bodies, including our brain, muscles, and cells. When you skip carbs before a workout, you’re leaving our body on “empty” mode. If you don’t have the proper energy for a workout, you might not be able to complete the workout, or, you’re leaving yourself at increased risk of injury.
Instead of skipping carbs before a workout, focus on how you can incorporate carbs that will do your body good and what types of foods you’ll eat. We recommend eating simple carbs as these can provide your body with a quick energy source. Aim to consume 15-30gm of simple carb prior to a workout to maximize your energy.
We offer plenty of pre-workout carb options such as the fruit in our Yogurt Parfait Bowl.
- Drinking carbonated beverages
Drinks like seltzers and soda have carbon dioxide in them, which ultimately can make us feel gassy, full, or have abdominal pain. When we consume these beverages, the gas can be in all parts of our gut, including our mouth and stomach. The discomfort from the carbonation can impact your workout, including your ability to complete a workout, and keep you from reaching your full potential.
Instead, focus on plain water to hydrate for most physical activity. For workouts longer than 90 minutes, a sports drink might be warranted.
- Fiber before a workout
Yes, we’re all about having balanced meals! However, eating too much fiber before a workout can hinder your workout and cause similar discomfort to consuming carbonated beverages. fiber foods take longer to digest and draw blood to your digestive system, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain or bloating. When we have this shift in blood supply, our muscles, which are crucial for physical activity, potentially aren’t getting enough oxygen, sugar, or amino acids, all things that are important.
Abdominal discomfort or unwanted bathroom breaks will hinder your performance. Therefore, instead of reaching for fiber before a workout, focus on low-fiber foods. This isn’t to say that fiber (in general,) isn’t important, so make sure to focus on high-fiber foods during other times of the day!
- Spicy Foods
For most individuals, spicy foods can cause heartburn or acid reflux. This leads to an uncomfortable feeling in your throat or soreness in your stomach, causing a lousy workout. If a food is causing discomfort or not serving you well, we recommend avoiding it before a workout and enjoying it at other times of the day (if desired.) S
- High-fat foods
Fats are an essential energy source for the body. While we need fats, it’s not recommended to consume high-fat foods before a workout because the body digests fats more slowly than carbs. This means that the body won’t be able to have the time to digest the fats before the workout. Similar to the other gut discomfort we’ve discussed in this article, consuming high fat foods can cause bloating, gas, or unwanted bathroom breaks. High fat foods include dairy, olive oil, or nuts. Greasy food can also be uncomfortable and should be avoided.
No matter your health goals or the type of physical activity that you enjoy doing, it’s important to recognize ways that you can improve your physical activity. Avoiding these 5 things can help to not only improve your physical activity, but also reduce recovery time. Pure Plates can help you to get to that place by taking the guessing out of your food, healthy eating habits, and nutrition.