Whether you’re a fully fledged personal trainer, thinking about undertaking personal training courses or just like to work out to your best ability at the gym, then you’ll know that there’s nothing more off-putting than working out on an upset stomach or feeling light-headed and tired after a few minutes in the gym because you’ve eaten the wrong thing.
If you’ve experienced this indigestion or gastrointestinal distress whilst working out then it might be because you were snacking on the following...
Protein shake or bar
Everyone knows that you need protein to build muscle but if you’re not getting enough carbohydrates then you can feel weak and dizzy as you work out – despite drinking a protein shake before you pump the gas. This is because protein doesn’t get to your bloodstream that quickly, so make sure you’re not neglecting your carb intake before the gym otherwise you’ll find that your energy levels will be seriously depleted.
Too much veg
“What..?!”, we hear you say. But it’s true; lettuce, broccoli cabbage and cauliflower are regular offenders for gastrointestinal discomfort, as are other high-fibre vegetables. Nuts and seeds can also cause the same problems, especially when doing intense cardio like running or cycling. They’re difficult foods to digest and nuts and seeds are high in good fats in protein, which won’t provide sufficient carbs for energy quick enough.
Carbonated drinks can cause bloating and gas, and the high level of sugar that’s found in them can cause a ruckus in your stomach. If you’re looking for a rush or pick me up before you start training, then opt for an espresso or a small black tea which could help boost your metabolism before exercise.
Lastly, bear in mind food tolerance...
Exercise can disrupt digestion, and each person has different levels of food tolerance, so the foods you would normally be fine digesting can sometimes not sit well when you exercise. Make sure that any pre-workout meal is a familiar one: this is especially true if you’re training for a race or rigorous gym session so that you aren’t faced with any unpleasant surprises during your workout! Don’t eat a big meal before you work out, otherwise your body won’t have time to digest it properly, and you’ll probably spend more time heaving than lifting heavy weights.