If you want to stay fit and take care of your body, you have to avoid certain foods, particularly if you're on your way to the gym. While some foods may be healthy—and even ideal for losing weight—they won't necessarily do your workout any favors.
Here are seven foods you should avoid eating at least two hours before you exercise.
We all believe that salad is the ultimate health food, but that's simply not the case. A lot of us eat salads with more croutons and creamy dressing than vegetables. Even if your salad is healthy and veggie-packed, it could be harmful to eat before the gym. High-fiber foods (veggies and fruits) tend to slow down the digestion process, which eventually leads to gas and bloating during workout hours.
Don't get me wrong, flaxseeds are great—they contain a very high quantity of fiber. But this also means they will cause gas and bloat during a gym session. Just keep in mind that it's imperative to limit the intake of fiber at least two hours before and after your workout, says clinical nutritionist and diet expert Stella Metsovas. Moreover, you also need to avoid fiber supplements and high-fiber bread and go for carbohydrates and proteins instead.
When you make hummus at home by limiting the quantity of oil and other ingredients, it's very healthy for the human body. But it's better to avoid eating it before a workout, as hummus is largely made up of chickpeas.
Beans contain highly indigestible carbohydrates, which will cause gas and bloating during a workout. Additionally, you should avoid hummus dips for high-sodium snacks or raw vegetables before a gym session.
Dairy is delicious, but it can make you sleepy and sluggish. Therefore, you should avoid eating or drinking dairy two hours before a workout because it will make you feel acidic, lethargic, and you may even face extreme burping.
5. Protein bars
Some protein bars contain a high concentration of calories and not enough body-boosting protein. Rania Batayneh, a certified nutritionist, says that if you're consuming a protein bar with less than 10 grams of protein, it will drop your blood sugar and you'll feel more tired while exercising. If you want to stay energetic, choose the bar with a 1:1 protein-to-sugar ratio.
6. Fatty foods
When it comes to pre-workout foods that you should avoid, some of them are obvious: Think cheesecake, hamburgers, and so on. But you also may want to avoid healthy fats such as avocados and nuts, as they contain high fibers and up your chance for gassiness.
7. Fruit juice
Drinking juices before a workout is a bad idea as they contain a high concentration of sugar. Even freshly squeezed orange juice will make you tired as you take on your second mile of running.
Almost all juices contain a high amount of natural sugars but less or zero fiber to help absorb energy. There's no doubt that orange juice contains vitamin C along and other essential nutrients, but it allows you to use up energy from the juice instantly and suffer a drop in blood sugar level after the gym session.
Try eating an apple before starting your workout. It's a much better choice; trust me.