Avoid These 13 American Foods Prior to a Workout

When setting out for a workout, fueling your body right is essential to optimize performance and recovery. The foods you eat directly affect your energy levels and stamina, potentially making the difference between a game-changing workout and a lackluster one. 

Fast Food

Fast food may be convenient, but it’s loaded with unhealthy fats, sodium, and sugar, which leads to digestive issues during a workout. Also, the high-calorie content sabotages your weight loss goals.

Sugary Drinks

Sodas, energy drinks, and even fruit juices are packed with sugar, and this causes a spike in blood sugar levels followed by an energy crash. For hydration before a workout, stick to water or natural electrolyte-replenishing beverages.

Fried Foods

Fried foods like French fries, fried chicken, and mozzarella sticks are high in unhealthy fats and affect your digestion before exercising. Opt for baked or grilled alternatives instead.

Large Meals

Eating a large meal before a workout causes discomfort and makes it difficult to move freely. Eating smaller, balanced meals throughout the day rather than one big meal before training.

Processed Meats

Processed meats like deli meat and hot dogs are typically high in sodium, preservatives, and unhealthy fats. These cause bloating or cramping during a workout, so avoiding them before exercising is best.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods may boost energy but cause digestive issues and discomfort during a workout. Before hitting the gym, stick to milder options.

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High-Fiber Foods

High-fiber foods like beans, lentils, and broccoli are great for overall health but cause gas and bloating during a workout. It’s best to consume these foods at least two hours before exercising.

Energy Bars

While marketed as a healthy pre-workout snack, many energy bars contain sugar and artificial ingredients. Instead, stick to natural sources of energy like fruit or nuts.

Dairy Products

Dairy products are difficult to digest before a workout, leading to discomfort during exercise. Opt for non-dairy alternatives like almond milk or coconut yogurt instead.

Greasy Foods

Greasy foods like pizza, burgers, and wings are high in unhealthy fats, which cause digestive issues and discomfort before a workout. Stick to cleaner, leaner options for fuel.

High-Protein Foods

While protein is vital for muscle building and repair, consuming much before a workout can cause stomach discomfort and hinder performance. Stick to moderate amounts of protein instead.

High-Sugar Cereals

Cereal may seem like a quick and easy pre-workout option, but many popular brands are loaded with sugar, which causes a crash in energy. Choose low-sugar options or make your oatmeal for a healthier alternative.


Caffeine may temporarily boost energy but cause jitters and anxiety before a workout. Instead of relying on caffeine, use more natural energy sources like green tea or fruit.

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