When it comes to your diet, food is fuel. Your body processes food, and provides glycgen from it to feed your muscles – and your muscles burn glycogen to provide energy. And, when you workout, your body requires even more fuel. You wouldn’t put bad gas in your car, as that would cause it to run poorly. Same holds true for the fuel you put into your body. Here’s some of the worst foods to eat before your workout.
If you’re looking to loose weight, you want to take in less calories of food than you’ll burn during the day, but your muscles don’t actually use fat during your workout. Your muscles uses glycogen (i.e. glucose) stored in your muscles and liver. Once that is used up, then your body breaks down fatty acids known as triacylglycerols which are present in adipose or fat tissue. Because fat is a high-energy source with nine calories per gram, fat provides an efficient fuel source. Once you then run out of fat in your body, it will then turn to breaking down muscle (i.e. protein) to provide fuel.
So, as you can see, if your body needs fuel for a workout, your body will burn carbs first, then fat, then protein. Eating the wrong foods before your workout can actually make your workout can hinder your workout progress! But if you eat the right things before your workout, you can give your muscles the fuel they need, while also continuing to burn fat. Here’s some of the worst foods to eat.
Worst Foods For Workouts #1: Fiber Rich Foods
Fiber is great for your gut. It also makes you feel fuller than straight carbs, so you eat less. That’s great for your diet, just not great right before your workout. Try to avoid fiber rich foods in the six hours prior to your workout. Foods like lentils, high fiber cereals, broccoli, and legumes take more energy to digest. They also draw blood away from your muscles and into your digestive system. This means the amino acids, oxygen, and glycogen that your muscles need during your workout aren’t going to where they are most needed – your muscles. So, try to eat these foods after your workout, or at least six hours before your workout.
Worst Foods For Workouts #2: Carbonated Drinks
It’s right before your workout, and you’re thirsty. Carbonated drinks like soda and seltzers are mostly water – that should be good to help you hydrate, right? Actually – they’re not. You should drink plain water instead. The carbon dioxide in sodas and seltzers, can make you feel gassy & full, and can cause abdominal pain. If you feel bloated and crampy, you won’t hit your full potential during your workout. If you drink water, or during along workout, a sports drink, you’ll be more comfortable and have a better workout.
Worst Foods For Workouts #3: Nuts
Nuts provide a healthy source of fat. But as mentioned above, your muscles don’t use fat for energy during your workout, They also work like fiber, in that they are process slowly through your body, meaning your body will shunt blood to your digestive track rather than your muscles. So, like fiber-rich foods, avoid nuts in the six hours prior to your workout.
Worst Foods For Workouts #4: Spicy Foods
As wonderful as spicy foods may be, there is a downside to them when it comes to your pre-workout meals. Spicy foods can cause acid-reflux and heartburn, which can make your workout feel horrible. So, if you’ve got a long cardio session ahead of you, trying to run with heartburn or a burning gut probably isn’t what you want to do – so save that spicy foods for when you’re done with your workout!
And, when it comes to equipment for your workouts, whether you’re looking for strength, cardio, or both – visit any of Fitness 4 Home’s Phoenix-locations to find the industry’s best fitness equipment for your workout needs!