What NOT to Eat Before a Workout

5 Steps Toward Overcoming Your Nutrition Obstacles
July 21, 2020
Not All Weight is Created Equal
August 4, 2020

What NOT to Eat Before a Workout

We talk a lot about fueling your workouts the right way, so that you have energy to exercise while supporting your weight loss goals. But we don’t often talk about the “wrong” foods that you shouldn’t eat before exercise. However, if you frequently suffer abdominal discomfort, cramps, or bloating during activity, this blog is for you. And your pre-workout snacks might be the culprit.

We often remind you that carbs aren’t all bad, and some are actually good for us. Having said that, some people do appear sensitive to a certain type of carbohydrates. Carbs in this group can be harder for some people to digest, and they tend to cause bloating, gas, and other problems. This can be true all of the time, but many notice these symptoms much more when exercising.

That group of carbohydrates is called FODMAPS, which stands for

  • Fermentable
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Disaccharides
  • Monosaccharides, and
  • Polyols

That’s a lot of big words to remember! And you probably don’t recall seeing warnings about them on food labels. But that’s okay; what you need to know is that some carbohydrates ferment during digestion. This can draw water into the digestive tract, triggering diarrhea, and also cause uncomfortable bloating and gas.

So, what foods specifically should you avoid?

  • Wheat, spelt, barley and rye
  • Dairy
  • Beans
  • Foods that contain fructose
  • Foods that contain sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol, and mannitol)

Again, many people can eat these foods without any issue. But if you experience digestive issues after eating, especially during exercise, take a look at your food diary. If your pre-workout snacks contain these types of foods, eliminating them for a few weeks can help you decide if the FODMAPS group of carbohydrates is to blame.

In the meantime, remember that protein paired with a complex carb (one that doesn’t fall into the concerning group of carbs) will provide the right fuel for your workout. Try some peanut butter and a banana, or an orange with a handful of nuts.

If you have any other questions about the right fuel for your workouts that will also support your weight loss plan, give us a call. We can help you decide upon the right mix of nutrients to keep you healthy while helping you reach your goals.