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Don't Eat These Foods Before a Workout

By Sara Butler

The food you eat before your workout is as individual as your exercise routine. The foods that may cause discomfort for some people before a cardio session won't bother someone else. But one thing that everyone has in common is that the food you do choose to eat before a workout is the fuel your body uses to get you through. That's what makes the food choices before your workout so important. Here are a few foods that it's safe to bet most people need to avoid before a workout.


Chili is a specific food but if you want to go general, then beans are probably best to avoid in the hours before you hit the gym. Beans are normally a very good choice for your overall health, but the fiber and belly-bloating qualities of beans can make you feel bad during a workout.

Another thing that makes chili dangerous before a workout is that it's spicy. While your taste buds may love spicy foods, once you start to move you may experience heartburn or indigestion that can bring your workout to a standstill.

Save the chili for after your workout -- you know, when you don't have to do that forward fold during yoga class.

Greasy, Heavy Foods

If you love a good mozzarella cheese stick, then save it for a special occasion that doesn't involve a workout. That's because salty, greasy, heavy foods can lead to dehydration when you workout as well as digestive upset that can make your workout less than enjoyable.

Too Much of Anything

A really full stomach can lead to you feeling lethargic and that's a terrible way to feel before you hit the gym. Overeating before you work out can make you tired, impact your performance, and even make your stomach cramp. So, be mindful of the foods you eat as well as the liquids you drink before you go to the gym and stay away from soda, too. Sugary drinks can cause you to crash before you reach the end of your sweat session, leading to nausea and an upset stomach.

Nothing at All

Just as you don't want to overeat, you don't want to avoid eating anything at all before your workout. Remember, your body needs food to fuel itself during exercise. If you go into it with an empty stomach, then you may not have the resources you need to perform at your best and get the most out of your workout. Have a whole-grain paired with protein, such as whole-grain toast with peanut butter or Greek yogurt with berries, before you start your workout.

You are what you eat -- and so is your workout. Eat healthy and fuel your body right if you want to have a productive exercise session!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Buford, Ga.

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