You know you have to workout today; you have set time aside and made a careful plan. You are going to give it your all; you want to make sure it really counts. Yet one or two things you may have done throughout the day can totally RUIN your workout and halt your weightloss.
Grabbing that chocolate bar or cookie before a workout may seem like a good idea, an extra burst of energy right? Wrong! Eating refined sugars causes a rapid spike in your insulin levels, leaving your body screaming for more. Unless you keep feeding your body sugar you WILL crash and burn, and then ultimately the excess sugar your body can’t process will get stored as fat. If you want a quick burst of energy go for a banana, as they contain no added or refined sugars.
If you drink energy drinks before a workout because all you’re thinking is “caffeine = energy” you may be ruining your workout. Although energy drinks do contain caffeine, they also contain tons of artificial sweeteners and are carbonated. As I mention above, refined sugar is only going to make you crash and burn. They also won’t offer you any hydration, which is what your body needs most of during a workout. Being carbonated they will cause gas, bloating and fatigue which all make a massive impact on your performance. If you are looking for a little caffeine hit before your workout try s ome natural green or black tea.
Fast Food, High-Fat Meals:
You’re in a hurry and think grabbing that fast drive thru meal won’t matter because you plan on going to they gym later. Maybe you ate the fast food and then feel really guilty so you plan to work it off, as long as it gets you to the gym right? Wrong. High fat meals can take hours to digest, even as long as four hours. This will seriously slow down your workout, as all your blood is flowing to your stomach to help with digestion, which means it’s moving away from your muscles when they need it most.
Don’t be fooled by these! Many protein bars on the market are just as bad for you as chocolate bars. If you are eating a bar with more than 200 calories and very little protein, it could be weighing down your workout. Not to mention the added sugars most bars contain that generally outweigh any protein benefits. A great alternative is to make your own so you know exactly what is going into them, or check the ingredients and don’t buy any with added sugars or sweeteners.
Don’t be fooled by the low calories of rice cakes. Beside the fact they don’t contain a lot of calories, they actually offer very little nutritional value to your workout. Compromised mainly of salt, sugar and puffed rice they will not keep you full or give you any protein to sustain you throughout your workout. Spread some apple with peanut butter as a pre-workout snack instead.
Fruit Juice & Pre-Packaged Smoothies:
The right smoothie can be a great pre-workout snack or meal, however if you buy one pre-packaged or on the go chances are you will be getting weighed down with extra sugar and fat. The same goes with fruit juices, even if you make your own homemade ones they have no fibre and lots of sugar. The best option is to make your own smoothies at home, with some added proteins as an extra bonus.