healthy living

Foods to avoid before working out

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Foods to avoid while working out 

Preparing by consuming food before hitting the gym is recommended. However, choosing the wrong meal may make your workout heavier and sabotage the progress you’re aiming for. The last thing you want during a workout is a sudden stomachache, or your body giving up too soon due to weariness. 

For an optimal gym session, avoid these seven foods and drinks. 

Protein bars 

Don’t be fooled by protein bars sold in supermarkets. A lot of protein bars contain more than 200 calories and very little protein — they are basically same as a bar of chocolate. According to Rania Bayney, as reported by shape.com, if your protein bar contains less than 10 grams of protein, it could lower your blood sugar level faster and make you feel tired faster as well. Pay attention to the nutrition table on the packaging. Choose a protein bar containing no more than 200 kcal with a 1:1 sugar to protein ratio. 

Fast food 

Having a high carb and protein meal does not equal filling your stomach with burgers and fries at the nearest fast food restaurant. Junk food contains high fats and needs at least four hours to be fully digested. 

When you digest food, the heart focuses on pumping blood to your stomach to help the process. The volume of blood flow to the muscles decreases, while the muscles need a lot of blood intake when doing heavy-duty activities like working out. Moreover, the high sodium levels in junk food can also interrupt the balance of bodily fluids needed during a workout. 

Avoiding fast food is the best move, but healthy snacks that are high in fats such as cheese, avocados and almonds can also make you sluggish. Why? As quoted by US News.com, the process of turning fat into energy is considered inefficient compared to carbs or protein. The complex process of digesting fats in the body can cause cramps and discomfort in the stomach. Choose rice, pasta, potatoes or meat that are processed as simply as possible. As a guide for eating prior to working out, use a carb to protein ratio of 4:1 for maximum energy. 

High-Fiber Vegetables  

Your body needs fiber, but not before a workout. Vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, or cauliflower can be hard to digest and could make exercising uncomfortable. Stick with veggies that are easier on your system, like well-cooked asparagus or potatoes. 

Soda 

This can give you the “daily double” of sugar and caffeine. You’ll get a quickly disappearing rush of energy and lots of calories, along with all the issues caffeine can cause. It doesn’t give you any nutritional value and isn’t a good choice for hydration. 

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