If you’ve mustered the willpower to drag yourself outside for that lunch run good for you—that’s half the battle. But the real challenge is finding the energy to go hard.
Dr. Goglia shares a few foods to avoid before a workout:
While a diet rich in salads and veggies is normally great, raw greens like kale, spinach and broccoli can cause serious discomfort when you’re on the move. “Thanks to their high-fiber content, leafy green vegetables are almost guaranteed to cause abdominal distention—a.k.a. gas and bloating,” says Philip Goglia, Ph.D., author of Turn Up The Heat: Unlock the Fat-Burning Power of Your Metabolism. “If you’re in the mood for something light before your workout, swap a green salad for a green smoothie,” says Katie Serbinski, registered dietitian and founder of Mom to Mom Nutrition. “Just mix your favorite fruit with a half a cup of greens, water, and some dried oats or granola.” It’ll go down way easier.
Hummus or Bean Dip
There’s no doubt that beans are a great source of protein. But prepackaged hummus and bean dips often contain lots of added oils—and are also prone to molding. “If you’ve personally soaked the beans prior to cooking them, then you’re releasing the mold from them, but if not…you run the risk of consuming a high-mold food that can lead to inflammation and reduction of oxygen consumption,” says Goglia. “Most athletes distance themselves from prepackaged dips of this sort for that very reason.” Fuel up with a few bites of low-fat cottage cheese, instead—it’s light, satisfying, and protein-rich, without all the oil.
Grabbing a fistful of raw seeds to nosh on pre-yoga might only leave you with bloat and stomach discomfort. “It’s all because of their fat content, which can be limited when you combine them with other foods that are lower in fiber,” says Serbinski. “Consider mixing just a teaspoon or two of your favorite seed with a half cup of oatmeal. The combination of fat, protein, and carbs is the trifecta your body needs to perform at its best.”