workout fuel tips

Pre-workout foods that will dampen your intensity and affect your results.

By Greg Marshall, The GYM at City Creek

1. Fast Food

Fast foods are not a good pre-workout meal because they have a lot of empty calories and fat content. These meals also have a lot of sugar-based carbohydrates, which spikes your insulin and makes you feel sluggish. It will not provide the energy levels you want and need.

2. Sugary Energy Bars

Any type of energy bar with sugar is discouraged. Many energy bars are laced with pure sugar and if you don’t balance it with something else, your blood sugar will spike, giving you a quick increase of energy, followed by a huge drop in blood sugar levels. Eating high-sugar energy bars, or things that don’t have any real nutrition in them, is not good for your pre-workout. They are marketed to make you think it provides energy, but it is really only glorified high fructose corn syrup. There is a time and place for these bars, but don’t rely on them to give you your best workout.

3. Soda or Sugary Juices

Any type of soda or juices is not good for you because they too are high in sugar, throwing your blood sugar levels out of whack. Carbonation will also slow you down and could result in cramps when you’re trying to run or breathe. Choose water or drinks lower in sugar content.

4. Energy Drinks

Energy drinks and even certain pre-workout complex drinks can be beneficial, but you don’t want to depend on them. You can build a tolerance to these drinks where your body needs more and more to get the same effects. Plus, they can wreck your sleep schedule, and therefore influence workouts. It is okay to have some caffeine, which most of these drinks are based around, but often there are fillers you’ve never heard of. Generally go for an all-natural type of pre-workout drink.

5. Eating Nothing

Don’t work out on an empty stomach. Despite the internet advice you may have read, not eating before your workout is typically not a good idea to accomplish a high intensity workout. A good training performance, where you’re pushing yourself to get the results you want, is harder on an empty stomach. Eat before the workout to put some nutrients in your body so you’re not running on an empty tank.

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