Skip the pre-workout hummus or lentil soup. Though both of these options are high in protein, the amount of fiber found in legumes can cause uncomfortable bloating and indigestion during your workout.
2. Protein bars
…unless they’re moderate/high-carb.
Nowadays, guys are choosing lower-carb bars, but before a workout your muscles need energy to burn. And depending on how intense your workout is, you’ll need more or less carbs in your bar. Protein itself is a slower-burning source than carbs so it might not give you the immediate jolt you need to power through a demanding lifting session.
3. Carbonated drinks
Energy drinks might seem like a good idea, but unfortunately they can have some nasty side effects like bloating and diarrhea because of the excessive sugar—neither of which you want in the middle of a workout. Certified personal trainer Nate Miyaki says, “I either have people eat nothing pre-workout [if they’ve eaten a mixed meal within the last two to five hours or so, there are plenty of circulating nutrients to fuel the workout, or some simple carbs like one or two pieces of fruit. If the workout is going to be longer than 60-90 minutes, that’s where sipping on a sports drink may be applicable.”
4. Simple sugars
While carbs are good to fuel up with pre-workout, “simple carbs” like candy or cereal could have a negative effect by causing your blood sugar to drop. “If it’s one or two hours before, I’d avoid high-glycemic carbs eaten alone. This can trigger rebound hypoglycemia in some [blood sugar spikes and crashes] which can lead to fatigue, light headedness/dizziness, energy crashes, and poor performance,” Miyaki says. We suggest opting for oatmeal or quinoa instead.
5. Cheese or peanut butter
Though fats do have their place in a balanced diet, they’re extremely slow burning and can slow down the absorption of nutrients to muscles during workouts. We recommend a protein-carb combination.