The fuel you put into your body before exercising is critical to your performance - and what you decide to leave out is just as important. Some foods will give you a boost, while others will improve your energy levels for a while, only to lead to a slump soon afterwards.
Here are five foods to avoid if you want to get the most out of your workout. And remember, no matter what you choose to eat, make sure it has enough time to digest before starting your exercise routine.
1. Spicy foods
Spicy foods are renowned for leading to heartburn and indigestion - two problems you can do without during your workout. They're likely to make you uncomfortable, which will only cut your session short and leave you feeling unwell.
2. Refined sugar
It can be all too tempting to overload on sugary snacks before your workout, but this is unlikely to have the energy-boosting effect you'd hoped for. You might feel invigorated for half an hour or so, but you'll soon come down from your high and feel unable to carry on.
3. Artificial sweeteners
You're prone to the same problem if you take in too many artificial sweeteners ahead of your workout. These are typically found in soft drinks, but also some foods you might not have considered, such as honey and jams.
4. Fried foods
Fried foods aren't great for your diet at the best of times, and this is certainly the case when it comes to working out. They are difficult to digest and won't give you the slow release you need to sustain your energy levels while exercising.
The last problem you need during exercise is dehydration. This can lead to severe headaches and in extreme situations, may cause you to pass out. It is better to avoid salty foods and make sure you drink plenty of water pre and post exercise.