Experts say you should avoid these foods before a workout
There are some surprisingly 'healthy' foods on this list
We've long been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but that could be false. What you eat before a workout is arguably more significant.
The foods you eat before and after training can make or break your workout. Just like a car, your body needs the right fuel otherwise it won't perform properly.
Some of these foods may appear to be healthy, and many of them are nutritious. They might just be better left to a different time of day.
There's one main rule of them when it comes to selecting a pre-workout meal, or snack - avoid the two Fs: fat and fibre.
Both of these food groups work wonders for your body at specific times, but they're best avoided before and after a workout. Protein and simple carbohydrates make for a much better choice before hitting the gym.
So what should you avoid eating before a workout? This is what experts at Trimtone think:
Foods to avoid before a workout
1. Brown rice
A staple of many old school bodybuilding routines, brown rice may not be the optimal choice for a post-workout meal.
It's high in fibre, which is vital for your digestive system, but this can cause an upset stomach if consumed too close to a workout window.
Perhaps the trendiest and most Instagrammable toast topping of all time, avocados are best avoided before training.
This tasty fruit is jam-packed full of nutrients, and is a great source of healthy monosaturated fats. However, these fats – although they're generally 'good' for you – will still take a while to digest. Mid session, you don't want to be cramping up when you're hitting a heavy squat session.
3. Green bananas
Bananas are a great pre-workout snack. They are rich in vitamins and minerals and are also a great source of potassium.
Just make sure they are ripe. Green, unripe bananas contain a high level of starch which can be difficult to digest and can cause bloating.
4. Rice cakes
'What's wrong with a low-calorie filling snack?' you might ask?
Not a lot, if you're on a diet. But rice cakes don't provide your body with much energy and don't really fill you up. Calories provide your body with energy, so if you're on a diet you're actually better off loading most of your daily calories around training.
Hummus is made from chickpeas, which on their own are a great source of plant-based protein. However, the end product of hummus is high in fat, which takes a while to get digested in the body. When you're working out, you need a fuel source that's rapidly absorbed instead.
6. Foods with added salt
Adding a sprinkle of sea salt to some meals is fine, but foods which contain a high level of sodium (particularly with added salt) are best avoided around a workout.
Too much salt before a workout can throw your electrolyte balance off kilter, affecting energy levels and hydration. Not great, if you're looking for optimal muscle function.
Salted peanuts, beef jerky and supermarket ready meals are some of the worst culprits.
7. Wholemeal bread
This is much better than white bread, right? While that's true, the timing of what you eat is more important than the food itself in this case.
Wholegrain bread is a great source of fibre, and a much better alternative to its nutrient-lacking relative white bread. However, with its high fibre content and large concentration of complex carbs, it's best avoided before training. It can be difficult to digest and remain heavy in your stomach – exactly the opposite of how you want to feel at the gym.