01 – Carbonated Drinks
Drinks such as sodas are not doing your body any good. You are much better off simply drinking some plain water than subjecting your body to possible torture. These drinks may make you gassy, or even worse cause abdominal pain.
This has all been confirmed by Pamela Hinton, Ph.D., director of nutritional sciences graduate studies at the University of Missouri, who adds “Most of the carbonation escapes through your mouth, but some should still make it to your stomach, causing short-lived bloating and gas. It should pass within an hour.”
Mrs. Hinton adds “You really only need a sugar-containing sports drink if you’re exercising long enough to deplete your carbohydrate stores.”
Or, as we already stated, simple water. Can’t go much wrong with that.
02 – Fiber Rich Foods
Vegetables. Who doesn’t love them? They are especially delicious when prepared in a soup, for lunch. The high fiber meal fills you up and leaves you satisfied.
And yes, fiber is great for a lot of things, one of them beings your gut – one of the things it is not good for though is your workout. Foods that are rich in fiber (broccoli, lentils) take longer to digest and draw blood to your digestive system.
“Then you have a lot of blood flowing to your gastrointestinal tract when you want it to be flowing to your muscles,” Hinton says.
Another expert that goes by the Veronica Mullins, M.S., R.D., is an assistant professor of sports nutrition at the University of Arizona, and she adds “If you have to stop to go to the bathroom or your stomach is in pain, that’s going to hinder your performance.”
By no means should you cut out fiber from your diet. But if it hinders your workout, and your stomach is in pain, try to loosen up on the amount you take before exercising.
03 – Low-Carb, High-Fiber Protein Bars
It is a well-known fact that Carbohydrates are your body’s fuel. The machine that is your body converts carbs into sugars, which then get absorbed into your bloodstream, travel into the cells in your body, and remain to be freely disposed throughout your body as energy.
“A lot of strength athletes think they don’t need carbohydrates, but they do,” Mullins says. “Our muscles, our brains, they function primarily on carbohydrates.”
However, having a low-carb diet means your body breaking down muscle proteins for energy, which can prevent muscle growth. “During anaerobic activity, carbohydrates are the only source of energy,” Mullins adds. “Without carbohydrates, there will not be enough energy for a hard workout.”
Our good expert concludes by saying. “If an athlete does not consume enough protein, the body will break down muscle tissue, leading to overall protein loss and a decrease in performance,”
04 – Nuts
“Everyone thinks nuts are this super-food, but they’re mostly just fat,” says Mrs. Hinton. Moreover, fat is very similar to fiber in the way that it travels through your body – very slowly. What does this mean? It means more blood flow to your GI tract and liver when you are trying to digest fat-heavy foods.
Nuts, cheese, and avocados contain protein, which is good, but their high fat content means that they are a terrible choice for a pre-workout snack.
“You don’t want to eat something high in fat, like fast foods, fried foods, or cheesy foods,” she adds. “Avoid those types of food six to eight hours before your workout.”
05 – Whole Grain Toast
You always seem to missing the mark when it comes to you endurance training. The struggle is real – as we all very well know – but did you know that the culprit might be those pesky complex carbs that you are taking liberties with? Complex carbs – like those in whole grains, vegetables, and beans – are the true enemy to endurance training.
“Endurance athletes are going to be better off with simple carbohydrates,” Mullins says, “which your body can absorb more rapidly for immediate use.”
Our advice? Stop going crazy with your toast. Will it really lose that edge if it’s made out of white bread? No. It won’t. You’ll get used to it and your endurance training will go much smoother from then on out.
06 – Spicy Food
Who doesn’t love a delicious Mexican dish? As a spicy lover I it hurts for me to write this, but the truth cannot be contained!
Did you know that in some people, hot and spicy foods can cause heartburn or acid reflux, caused by acids that escape your stomach and enter your esophagus. Which in turn leads to the uncomfortable burning sensation in your throat and sourness in your stomach. If this sounds like it could ruin your workout, it’s because it most certainly can.
“Practice what you eat just like you practice all the other skills that are involved in your sport,” Mullins suggests.