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Baffled about what to eat and what not to eat before and after a workout? You cannot workout on an empty stomach but that doesn't mean that you can eat anything your mind desires. There are certain foods that you need to avoid, as these can ruin your workout session.
It is advisable to consume foods that are rich in carbohydrates, however, that too should be in control before the workout session. Just as what to eat is critical, what not to eat is equally important before beginning your workout. Exercise requires a large volume of blood to be pumped to working muscles, that is, the blood flow to the stomach is reduced during exercise.
So, eating certain foods can cause your stomach to exert exceedingly and may lead to stomach troubles. Continue reading to understand and be aware of the types of foods to be avoided from the next time you start your workout session.
1. Leafy Green Vegetables
Yes, they are extremely healthy and the answer to many health problems. But, due to the high fibre content, consuming leafy greens before your workout can lead to gas and bloating of the stomach during the workout, making the experience harder for you.
2. White Bread
Any kind of exercise needs energy and for that, we must fuel up with food before going to exercise, especially if it is a long, intense session of exercise. Consuming healthy carbohydrates can give you that must require energy before working out, without making you unhealthy. Whereas, unhealthy carbs like white bread and white rice can make you feel bloated and reduce your energy before exercise.
3. Fizzy Drinks
Carbonated drinks and soft drinks have a huge amount of sugar, even if they are of the zero sugar variety. Drinking them before a workout session can make you feel weak and lethargic before working out, as sugar takes up a lot of energy to be digested inside the body.
These fruits are high in omega-3 fatty acid content and take a long time to be processed and digested inside the body. So, consuming it before working out can make you feel more tired and you may not feel like working out effectively.
Yet another healthy food which is not so healthy when consumed before exercising, broccoli can be bad for the stomach and your energy levels when consumed just before exercising because the complex sugars known as raffinose present in broccoli can also limit your exercise session, as it reduces energy and can also make you feel bloated in the stomach area.
6. Green Bananas
Bananas are a great pre-workout snack but you need to go for the ripe ones than the unripe ones. This is because green bananas are still in their starch-producing stage and hence are more difficult to digest. This can be categorized as bad food to be had before a workout.
7. Protein Bars
It is common for many people who work out, especially for people who work out at the gym to snack on protein bars before working out, as they believe that it can improve their performance in the gym and also give them enough protein to build muscles quickly.
However, most of these protein bars are rich in sugar and add more calories to your daily diet than they claim. Also, the sugar in them can reduce your energy during the workout.
8. Peanut Butter
Another popular myth that many people who work out believe is that consuming peanut butter, either with bread or added into shakes, will provide them with the required amount of protein and healthy fat for the day. While it is true that peanut butter is a great food for people who exercise, it is not ideal to consume it just before working out, as the fats in peanut butter also take a longer time to digest and may cut down your energy during work out.
9. Dairy Products
Although, dairy products like milk, cheese, paneer, etc., are rich in protein and calcium, which are very essential nutrients for people who exercise regularly, consuming dairy products right before heading over to the gym may not be a good idea, as dairy products can induce a lot of gas in the stomach while being digested and you may feel gassy, bloated and may even experience stomach pain while exercising.
10. Hard-boiled Eggs
These are a great source of lean protein but they do not provide enough carbohydrate for energy. Further, the protein stays in the stomach and can take a long time to be digested. This can weigh you down during your workout session.
11. Raw Seeds
Consuming raw seeds such as flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds etc. before your workout can lead to stomach discomfort because of their fat content, which can be limited when you combine them with other foods that are lower in fibre. If you want to consume raw seeds before a workout, you can consider taking one spoon of seeds along with half a cup of oatmeal.
12. Spicy Foods
Food that has a lot of seasoning and flavour in it requires a longer period for digestion and hence it is very important to avoid taking such food before a workout. Consuming spicy food before a workout can lead to heart burning and results in the workout session being ineffective.
13. Oily Foods
Consumption of oily foods before a workout session can create instant indigestion and acidity in some people, which may prevent them from completing the workout session.
Excessive sugar can create havoc in the digestive system. After consuming a large amount of sugar before a workout, it may make you feel exhausted and also lead you to have an upset stomach. As soon as you consume sugar-loaded food, your blood sugar rises, giving you instant energy. On the other hand, insulin takes it out and sends it to the muscle tissues, thus crashing your energy level in the body.
On A Final Note…
It is best to stick to carbohydrates, which can be easily digested. Eat a slice of toast with jam, a small apple or banana or a small box of raisins.