What to eat before a workout – and foods to avoid

FAN Editor

Looking to feel good or increase your energy during your workout? What you eat before you head to the gym could make all the difference.

Coach and celebrity trainer Harry Hanson says eating the wrong foods right before getting your sweat on can drag you down.

“You don’t want to eat anything that’s going to sit in your stomach trying to break down while you’re training, especially if it’s an intense training session,” he told CBS News.

Some foods can be tough on your stomach right before a workout even if they’re fine for your diet at other times.

Foods to avoid before a workout:

  • Fried or fatty foods
  • Foods that are high in fiber, including vegetables
  • Carbonated drinks

Experts say you may also want to avoid nuts right before a workout. That’s because nuts have a high fat content, which can take longer to digest.

One of Hanson’s clients, Dimitri Ouattara, says he stays away from anything heavy before a training session.

“I like to feel light when I work out because I can do more,” he said. “I feel more free. I’m more mobile.”

What should you eat before and after a workout?

So what foods does Hanson recommend when you’re hitting the gym? 

He suggests clients eat a banana 20 minutes before a workout.

“Because it’s a light carbohydrate, a complex carbohydrate which will sustain insulin into your, or sugar into your system over a long period of time,” he said.

And what you eat after a workout is just as important. Hanson says having a protein bar or lean meats and veggies will help your body recover and repair itself.

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