Whether fitness is part of your wellness programming or you're simply catering to a more active clientele, nutrition advice is an important aspect to consider. The fitness experts at Barbend have compiled this list of common foods to avoid eating before a workout—and what to eat instead.
While eggs are high in protein, they do not contain enough carbs for the balanced energy required for a workout. They also tend to make you feel heavier during exercise, as the body does not digest eggs very quickly. This can cause stomach cramps and other stomach issues while working out.
2. Protein Bars
A common pre-workout snack, protein bars can actually make a person feel more fatigued while working out. They are often filled with "hidden" calories, sugar and artificial ingredients. Barbend recommends skipping protein bars that contain less than 9 grams of protein, and choose options with natural ingredients that won't cause a drop in blood sugar post-workout.
Avocado contains a high fat content that doesn't work well when eaten within three hours of a workout. The fruit is hard for the stomach to digest quickly, and the body spends more energy supporting digestion than fueling the exercise. This can also cause stomach pain and fatigue. Instead, Barbend recommends some almonds, peanut butter or whole grain toast.
Smoothies are one of the top picks for a pre-workout snack but, like protein bars, they contain high amounts of hidden sugar that can increase blood sugar levels and then dramatically drop.
Similar to eggs and avocado, vegetables can be harsh on the stomach before an exercise activity. While the body does need fiber, Barbend suggests steering clear of veggies like broccoli and cauliflower before a workout; opt for potatoes or asparagus instead.