Wait! Don’t eat that!
Ok, ok we don’t mean don’t eat that ever. We hate denial and know that a little indulgence here and there ensures that we are the healthiest and happiest versions of ourselves. While we do encourage you to eat what you like in moderation, this advice doesn’t extend to what you eat before you exercise.
You may feel like grabbing a bar of Tony Chocolonely before you clip in will give you a sugar rush that will last you through class, but it can actually inhibit your workout. What you eat before working up a sweat plays an enormous role in your performance. So put down those bitterballen and keep reading. These tips may just help you achieve your goals.
Proper fuel is important, so don’t go hungry. Snag a handful of roasted nuts from the office before you run to class, or take your time luxuriously sipping The Power Breaky at Zuidas before you tackle Donna’s Ro’ride. Just make sure it’s a nutritious balance of fat, protein and carbs. So now you know what you can eat, but what about some things to avoid until after you’ve finished your sweat session? We’ve got a few for you here. Some of them might even surprise you.
Alcohol: Alright, so this one is probably no surprise to you. You know that knocking back a few too many beers might make you a bit dizzy (and no one wants to topple of their bike), but even one glass of wine will dehydrate you. Add in lowered concentration and diminishing energy levels, and you have a recipe for injury. Save the mimosas for an after-class celebratory brunch.
Dairy: In theory, a healthy bowl of yogurt or a slice or two of cheese should be perfect for pre-workout fuel. High in protein and healthy fats, what could be better? Even though that is true, many people have a hard time digesting dairy, which can pose a great problem during exercise. Think bloating, gas and upset stomachs. Be kind to your neighbours in class and reach for the coconut yogurt instead.
Avocado: All hail the avocado, right? Wrong. For a long time, we considered avocado the king of healthy food. It certainly is full of healthy good fats, but the amount of fat in it will increase the time it takes to digest. This will draw blood into the stomach to help the process, which, in turn, causes cramping and discomfort. The only thing harder than getting through three pyramids in a row is getting through three pyramids in a row with a stitch in your side.
Bubbles: Bubbles are your enemy pre-workout. And not just champagne. Any carbonated drinks cause air to build up in your stomach. To avoid the bloat, grab a bottle of still water or a fresh, cold-pressed juice. Then treat yourself to a sparkling water (or a G&T) after you finish those 45 minutes.
Beans: Love hummus for its taste and ability to fill you up but not weigh you down? We don’t blame you. But it’s better to save this delicious dip for after your workout. Legumes, while packed with energy-giving protein, are also high in fibre, including indigestible carbohydrates. This will cause bloating and gas, which makes a workout even tougher. After all, you know what they say…beans beans are good for your heart, the more you eat the more you…