Foods to Avoid Before Exercising: Tips for a Proper Pre-Workout Diet

If you want to get the most out of your workout session, you need to pay attention to what you eat before you exercise. It's the fuel that gives us the energy to get in great shape.
Foods to Avoid Before Exercising: Tips for a Proper Pre-Workout Diet

Last update: 09 July, 2018

Exercise is obviously an important part of a healthy lifestyle. If you combine working out with a balanced diet, you will enjoy high energy levels throughout the day. In this article, we take a look at which foods to avoid before exercising, as well as which foods are recommended.

Foods to avoid before exercising

The foods you need to avoid before exercising include fried food, such as french fries and fried squid. These types of food can cause inflammation, and the energy they produce is less efficient that the type you get from carbohydrates or protein-rich foods.

Fried chicken

As you know, proper hydration is very important when you practice endurance sports. Fried foods are heavy in salt, which dehydrates you significantly before you exercise.

If you enjoy fried foods, it is best to save them for after your workout. Think of them as a reward for the energy expended exercising.

Other foods to avoid

Before exercising, you should also avoid foods that are high in fiber, such as lettuce and broccoli.

We think of these as healthy foods, and it is true. They offer a good amount of healthy carbohydrates. However, due to their high fiber content, they can cause gastrointestinal issues while you workout.

The symptoms usually occur during aerobic exercise, like biking or running. These activities cause the food to rapidly move through the digestive tract.

Other examples of fiber-rich foods include nuts. We also recommend eating these after exercise, in order to replenish your strength and energy.

Spicy food contains a high amount of capsaicin, which creates a sensation of acidity or indigestion. This can make exercise difficult or even impossible.

In addition to naturally spicy food, such as peppers, you also have to be careful with pre-packaged meals. They often include additives or ingredients containing chilli or red pepper. These spicy flavors can cause your body to exhibit the aforementioned symptoms.

A final example of something to avoid eating before exercise is refined sugars. While they give your body a high amount of energy, this will quickly disappear. This produces a sensation of fatigue.

Instead of refined sugars, eat things that are rich in healthy carbs, which will give your body the energy it needs for a long and complicated workout session.

Learn more about the importance of hydration before, during and after you exercise.

Foods you should eat before exercise

As we have established, it is important to eat carbs. They are a stable source of energy for working out our muscles and burning fat without becoming fatigued. Other important staples are rice, pasta, and cereals.

Bowl of rice

Another important aspect of exercise is hydration. It is vital to consume liquids in order to lower your body temperature and avoid it rising too much while you are working out.

When exercising, your body loses a significant amount of water. For this reason, it is essential to compensate for loss by drinking water before working out.

Finally, you need to eat food that is rich in protein, as it gives your body the compound it needs to form muscle tissue.

In conclusion, it is important to know what foods to eat before and after exercise. This way, you will avoid harming your body while improving your workout performance.



This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.