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Nine foods to avoid before exercising

Fitness By Vivianne Wandera

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Eating too much or eating the wrong thing before a workout is as bad as working out on an empty stomach because most of your energy will go towards digesting the food and this will slow you down in the gym. Some foods are only good during the day, and after your workout as they will ruin your workout session if you eat them right before you start working out.

Avoid eating anything heavy that will take long to digest. No matter how healthy it is, eat it an hour or two before you start exercising.

These are some of the foods to avoid before a workout.

1. Avocado

Avocados should be avoided before work outs due to their high fat content even though they are filled with good mono-unsaturated fats. They are also rich in fibre which is not good for workouts and this combination makes the body takes a longer time to digest foods and causes cramps.

2. Heavy meals

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If you eat decadent foods, creamy and fried foods, they will cause you to have an upset stomach as they take long to digest.

These meals can only be had two hours before you start working out to give you room for the food to fully and completely digest.

3. Salty foods

If you have to eat salty food before working out, make sure you drink a lot of water afterwards. Salt can cause you to have cramps and headaches when working out which can cause you to pass out while working out which is not healthy.

4. Refined sugars

Having sugars before a workout will give you the extra energy you need but it will wear out fast causing you to feel lazy and slow down your work out.

Even though you will burn the calories you gain when you take refined sugars in things like cake, choose a healthier option like bananas which will also offer nutrients for the body.

ALSO READ: Why you should avoid excess sugar while pregnant

5. Foods that cause bloating

Beans, fruits, dairy products and raw broccoli tend to give people gas. Even though these foods are healthy, they will fill you up and cause bloating which leads to constant gassing which is not good for you when working out.

6. Fibre

Avoid eating fibres before a workout as they make you full and a little lazy, which makes it hard for you to workout. Instead, have a simple snack that has less than four grams of fibre and finish this off with a salad or vegetable soup, about an hour before you start exercising.

7. Fresh fruit juice

Even though fruit juice with no additives has carbs and fluids which are a requirement before working out, having a glass of juice right before you start working out is not advised. Fresh fruit juice is high in fructose which is a sugar that takes long to digest and can cause cramps for people with irritable bowel syndrome.

Orange juice and other juices that are made from fruits like cherry are good for workouts as they provide the essential vitamins and minerals that one needs for recovery.

Juice is best when had as an accompaniment for a meal and can also be had an hour before or after exercising.

8. Spicy foods

Spicy food stimulates the digestive system and can cause heartburns during workouts which is not a good thing. Avoid any spicy food 24 hour before working out so as to give the GI tract some rest. Have foods that are easy to digest before working out and won't cause any problems for you.

9. Fatty foods

Before going to the gym do not eat fatty fried foods like burgers, pizza and French fries. These foods have saturated fats that tend to stay in the digestive system for a long time and they are hard to digest. They also lead to one feeling bloated, having cramps and diarrhoea.

Photos: Shutterstock

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