Knowing what to eat or drink before a workout can be tough. Get the right fuel and you’ll feel the right burn. Get it wrong, and bad things could happen.
So if you want an epic workout, time after time, then get reading, fix those diet errors that are costing you and prepare for gains like never before.
An obvious one? Maybe not. Fast food is crammed with fat and sugar, in the way of high GI carbs such as fries, burger buns and muffins. This might mean energy, but it isn’t the boost your body wants.
The kick will be two things. You’ll get the lethargy from the fat, which can often take a long time to digest. You might get a kick from the sugar and the massive increase of calories, but that will soon wear off.
If you are going to eat fast food as part of a “dirty bulk” then do it with plenty of time to spare before a workout.
The fix? Lower GI carbs and less fat.
Very sugary snacks
Chocolate protein shakes give you a sweet taste you have probably been craving, without the sugar. Real chocolate might taste even better, but it is likely to be crammed with sugar. The same applies to sweets. You might think “sugar, that means energy”, but think again.
The fuel you get from sugar soon wears off, and can even cause something called rebound-hypoglycemia. This is when your body uses all the sugar it can in a short time period, giving you a rush. Your body pumps insulin into your blood as a result, and from that, you crash.
The fix? Lower GI carbs
We’ve all seen Rocky. The famous scene where he downs the raw eggs. Great for a quick hit of protein and energy? Wrong and wrong.
First of all: food poisoning. And, yes there is protein in raw eggs, but there is more digestible protein in cooked eggs. On the energy front, eggs are not the best foods to eat. They may give your body muscle building power, but they won’t give you the raw energy to blast through some sets.
The fix? Cook your eggs and serve with a low GI carb.
Fizzy drinks are the sort of things that can cause a stitch. Painful, and common during cardio, they are caused by problems with digestion and breathing. Because of the fizzy nature of the drinks, there is more disruption in terms of air and wind, meaning a stitch is more likely.
Added to this is the probable sugar in your drink. Yes, good for a little kick, but that kick will soon wear off.
Specifically marketed energy drinks may be better with their claims of “increased hydration” and rehydration electrolytes (potassium and sodium) but you should still look out for fizz and sugar.
The fix? A low sugar pre workout drink with water, or just water for rehydration.
We’ve picked flaxseed as an example, but in truth, any high fibre food fits the bill here. Fibre helps your digestive system to work and that can cause not only bloating, but in turn, farting!
As covered by Supplement Centre in “How not to embarrass yourself at the gym”, no one wants to fart at the gym.
The fix? Eat fibre after, or a long time before your workout, and leave the trumping for another time