The internet seems obsessed with post-workout recovery foods, but what should you eat pre-workout? We get the lowdown from National Wrestling Champion and owner of Right Path Fitness, Keith McNiven on what to avoid before you start training
This might seem like a no brainer for those with any kind of fitness or weight loss goals in general, but fried and fatty foods are some of the worst things you can consume pre-workout. Anything greasy like pizza, burgers or French fries will be loaded with saturated fats. These are harder for your body to digest. Saturated fats stay in your system longer, meaning your body won’t be ready for the workout. Fatty foods can also lead to bloating and cramping – which is the last thing you want to experience when you’re working out.
A workout is supposed to make you feel like you could conquer the world – not like you need a sit down and a Rennie! Sadly, if you load up on delicious spicy food before you get your body working you could run the risk of heartburn and some serious cramp. Flavour and seasonings require a lot of digestion time, which means your body will need to work hard to digest it. Not really ideal when you’re planning on working it hard already!
Fizzy drinks are a huge no no when it comes to prepping your body for a workout. Fizzy drinks are infused with carbon dioxide, which results in carbonation. The bubbles in your drink could make you feel incredibly gassy and full, or even cause abdominal pain during your workout.
High fibre foods
When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, generally high fibre foods are great. They can help with weight management and reduce the risk of heart disease too. Having said that, foods such as vegetables, a lot of fruit and whole grains are simply more difficult for your body to digest. This can lead to some real discomfort during your workout as your body tries to multitask, which will really impact the effectiveness of your session.
Nuts are a great food but their fat content is extremely high. Fat travels incredibly slowly through your body, which means more blood will flow to your GI tract and liver when you are trying to digest fat-heavy foods.
Of course, it’s imperative that you leave yourself enough time for your food to digest to avoid any cramping or discomfort. If you have a few hours to spare then opt for chicken and brown rice or a delicious omelette. If you don’t have as much time before your workout, a banana will give you that welcome boost of energy that you need!
When working out, it’s normal to push your body to the limit, and feeling that tension in your muscles the next day is a sign that you really pushed yourself, and something you should be proud of.