What You Should and Shouldn't Eat Before a Workout

Have you ever had a bad workout but just couldn't explain why? You got enough sleep; you let yourself rest the appropriate amount of time, but your energy was low and you still struggled to get through the exercises.

It's time to put more thought into what fuels you. Just like a car, you need proper fuel to function efficiently. This especially rings true when it comes to energy for a workout.

Food is fuel. When you eat, your body has to break down the food, and digest and absorb the various nutrients in order to produce its end product, energy. If you're about to hit the gym, why wouldn't you fuel up your body with the best stuff for the most effective, energetic workout?

More: How to Fuel Your Body for Energy

Get the most bang for your buck by choosing the right nutrients and avoiding the ones that will bring you down and hinder your workout.

Let's break it down.

The goal is to fuel efficiently. If you take in complicated nutrients that need to digest before a workout, the body has even more work to do and can't focus all of its energy on the workout itself. It's like your body is multitasking. It's breaking down the food while trying to put energy into the workout as well. Fuel is more effective if digestion is complete prior to exercise.

Avoid Fats and Proteins

Consuming fat and protein prior to exercise is a no-no. They break down slowly while your body absorbs the nutrients over a longer period of time. This is great at other times of the day when you want to feel satisfied longer, but it's not ideal right before a workout.

If you have 30 to 60 minutes before exercise, avoid things like nuts, nut-butters, seeds and Greek yogurt.

More: How Athletes Can Choose the Best Dietary Fats

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