Sneaking in a “healthy” breakfast cookie or muffin, and think it’s ok because you’re about to work it off at the gym? You may want to think again. Low fat and low sugar cookies should be on your naughty food list, because they’re simply not as innocent as they seem. Here’s a list of foods to avoid before a workout, and their replacements so that you can maximize your workout, without sabotaging it with food!
The Pre-Workout “Worsts!”
You may already know that chowing down on a bowl of cream based pasta isn’t exactly a good choice when it comes to pre-workout food—but did you know that the muffin you’re about to inhale isn’t either? How about bypassing the sick stomach while you lift, or fatigue while you run? Here are some pre-workout “worst” foods you can eat before you go for that sprint, or endure a round of bicep curls:
• Digging into leftovers. While your leftover meatloaf or lasagna is a smart choice to serve up to your family at dinnertime, it’s not the smartest choice when it comes to a productive workout. Skip the pasta, bagels, or Indian food—because anything heavy and loaded up in sodium will only drag your energy level down—and fuel up on protein instead.
• Avoid anything fatty. From French fries to hush puppies, to pecan-crusted chicken. If it’s been fried, steer clear of it before your workout. The truth is, fatty foods can cause you to bloat, and when you’re working out at the gym or running in your neighborhood, that could cause serious physical pain (such as cramping, headaches or even sluggishness).
• High fiber veggies. You’d think all vegetables are fair game, and super healthy for a pre-workout meal, right? Unfortunately, not all veggies are created equal. Some, like cabbage, cauliflower and lettuce can cause stomach problems and discomfort—which amounts to slowing you down in the middle of your workout. Instead, opt for a tomato, avocado and basil egg scramble!
When you follow our cheat sheet for nutritional success before your workout, you can chow down intelligently and never again worry you’ve over indulged. Eat a high protein meal (eggs, a protein shake, or yogurt and fruit) prior to your workout without the guilt!