Do you ever look around the gym or track and think, “Those people look so light on their feet—this looks easy for them—and for me, using the elliptical for ten minutes feels like I’m lugging elephants that are attached to my legs.” There might be a few things at play that makes exercise look so much more effortless for your gym companion. First off, they could be faking it to make everyone else around them feel bad and are secretly suffering on the inside. Second off, they might have just been at this whole fitness thing much longer than you have. And Finally, they might know what to eat (and what not to eat) before going to the gym. Some foods are designed to make your body feel lighter and more energized, and some just make you feel heavier, lethargic, and sluggish. These are the worst foods to eat before a workout.

Cruciferous veggies

A salad might seem like the right, light snack to have before working out. But that depends on what’s in it. Iceberg lettuce might be okay, but things like kale, celery, or broccoli will cause digestive discomfort that will weigh you down during your workout.

High fiber bars

Having tons of fiber before a workout isn’t a great idea. It digests slowly, which is great for weight loss, but not great when you’re trying to get into some intense exercise—then you’ll just have a tummy ache and bloat.

Spicy foods

Spicy food should be avoided before hitting the gym because it can cause heartburn during a workout. Furthermore, it will make your nose run extra hard while you’re hitting the treadmill, which is just a nuisance.


Dairy causes serious congestion, and you need all of your passageways to be clear when you’re running—you need to be able to take in as much oxygen as possible.


For the sake of those around you, don’t eat onions or garlic before hitting the gym. They have their health benefits, but onions and garlic cause some nasty-smelling sweat, and when you exercise, you release extra sweat.

Low-quality protein bars

The protein must far outweigh the sugar to make these snacks worth it. Obviously, if you can find one that’s low in sugar, that’s great, but if you do find a sugar content of around 15 to 25 grams, make sure your protein content is at least 18 grams so you don’t face a blood sugar crash.

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