7 Pre-Workout Foods That Will Kill Your Stamina
You’ve probably heard this before, but your body is like a machine. With the right fuel, it can crush any workout placed in front of it. Eat the wrong stuff, and you’ll quickly run out of gas – or end up badly bloated. Read on to find out what foods to avoid if you’re looking to build up your stamina and endurance:
You should try and avoid any dairy products pre-workout. This is because its low sugar levels can cause some people to have an upset stomach. (That after taste dairy leaves behind may also be unpleasant as you begin to breathe heavily during exercise).
The same can be applied to yogurt too – however both of these are perfect recovery foods, providing a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat.
You might be thinking that carbo-loading before an endurance is the right thing to do. Whilst the aim of carbo-loading is to increase your muscles’ reserve of glycogen, research has shown that this process usually takes at least a week to fully maximize glycogen stores.
Therefore, by eating too many carbs close to an event, you’ll just be weighing yourself down and hindering performance.
Whilst a blend of nuts, seeds and dried fruit is a great source of vitamins and fiber, the latter is actually a bad pre-workout food.
Eating too much fiber close to an event can cause GI distress as well as cramping; because the fiber found in trail mix is generally insoluble, making it difficult for the body to digest.
By far the most obvious entry on this list, booze significantly reduces your stamina (as well as a host of other things). This is because it slows down your nervous system which is needed for coordination and activation of muscle fibers.
These effects usually carry through well into the next day along with severe dehydration. You’re best off staying away from alcohol the night before an endurance workout.
Yes, avocados are bursting full of healthy nutrients, however they also contain fat and fiber, both of which are stamina killers. Instead, save this superfood as a post-workout meal – its minerals, vitamins and healthy fat is exactly what your recovering body needs.
Foods high in fat take a very long time to digest. In addition, fat molecules are harder for your body to break down and use as energy.
Eating fried food right before a workout is obviously not a good idea, but ideally you should try and avoid them altogether. A greasy morning breakfast can make you feel so sluggish that you might even be tempted to skip the gym later that day.
Artificial sweeteners, in particular sugar alcohols, are never properly digested by the body and can have a loosening effect on some people’s systems.
Foods that usually contain them are vitamin-enhanced water, soda and even drinks which are designed to improve your performance. Make sure to check the label of diet-friendly snacks and protein bars – many of them carry warnings that they may cause intestinal distress. Not exactly what you want before a long run.
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About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.