If you’ve ever experienced an uncomfortable session at the gym and not known why, it might have been your pre-workout meal. Here is a list of foods to avoid before your workout and why:

Processed food
Paul Chek, an international expert in exercise kinesiology is famous for saying, “eat food that increases your mood”. So, if you feel sluggish after eating something, it usually means that the food you ingested was not quality. It was likely also filled with chemicals that your body is trying to get rid of, thus draining your energy reserves that should be going towards your training session.  The worst culprits are fast food and microwaved boxed, “meals”.  There’s a time and a place for fast food but before a training session is the worst possible time. Eating foods that are whole, organic and as fresh as possible is always the right choice. For this to become practical, it takes preparation one or two days per week. It may seem like a pain to you in the beginning, but the long-term benefits are worth the hour of time weekly.

Some forms of dairy have proven to have health benefits, but consuming dairy before a workout in the form of cheese or milk might leave you feeling bloated with gas, lethargic or inundated with acid.

Any water other than water itself and energy drinks 
Labels can be deceiving. Those “Sport”, “Fitness” or “Energy” drinks that are basically artificially flavoured sugar water and/or caffeine will not improve your performance in the gym. In fact, they will disrupt your stomach’s digestive process and how it processes nutrients. While you might get an initial caffeine boost, the artificial flavours and sugars will cancel out any gains with dehydration and bloating.

Spicy foods
Although delicious, spicy foods can wreak havoc on your workouts if you eat them too closely to gym time. While eating cayenne may be a great way to rev up your metabolism, it can cause heartburn if it comes back up to your esophagus during a sweat session.

Fruit juice
Instead of downing a glass of orange juice or apple juice before your workout, it’s better to just eat the real fruit instead. The juice usually had added sugar and no fiber, so there are no real benefits to drinking a glass.