Everyone wants an athlete’s body. We want to push the limits at the gym, but it’s always hard. It may be because of the food you eat. Eating the wrong food can kill your stamina.
Today, we’ll talk about common foods that reduce your stamina in the gym. Do you know what milk does to your endurance? You know French fries and burgers are bad, but what about avocado? we will discuss about all these and more.
Let’s start with milk. It’s one of the essential food items. In countries with large vegetarian populations like India, milk is a vital source of nutrition. In Scandinavian countries, the sun doesn’t shine much. People use milk and dairy products to cover their vitamin D requirements. Nowadays, fortified milk is also available. This has many more of the important nutrients.
Despite all this, milk is not a pre-workout recommendation. Dairy products are high in fat. They are digested slowly and can make you nauseous during workouts. Having milk or other dairy products can make you feel sluggish, gassy, and sleepy after the gym.
Now, many of you might gulp a glass of milk or a banana shake before a workout. But, things like milk, cheese, and yogurt are foods you should be having after. They are rich in protein, and can help you feel stable after your workout is finished.
And that’s not all, folks. Some people are lactose intolerant. If you’re one of them, must read. It can cause serious problems for your insides. This happens because your body doesn’t produce lactase, an enzyme essential for digesting milk. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all the benefits of milk. You can go for enzyme supplements. Just make sure you talk to a doctor first.
Carb-rich food has a similar effect on your body. It’s supposed to increase your muscle glycogen storage. Having carbs too close to your workout sessions will make you feel heavy. That’s because carbs are not immediately converted into energy. This extra weight can make you sluggish. You might even feel nauseated in extreme conditions, reducing your stamina.
Having carbs a day or two before some kind of endurance competition is excellent. This gives your body enough time to convert carbs into usable fuel. The glycogen stores provide you an immediate burst of energy when your muscles need it.
Cookies, Biscuits and Cheese
Many dietitians suggest that getting high on carbs weeks before the competition, as well as reducing fat consumption will boost your performance. Yes, cookies and biscuits are full of sugar and carbs. But they certainly don’t help promote stamina. Actually, that’s true for any processed food. It has been observed that processing strips the whole item of all its nutrients.
Most of these nutrients are essential for stamina. Whole wheat loses three-quarters of its zinc when processed into white flour. Zinc is necessary for energy. The same thing happens with processed cheese.
Carbonated drinks have a similar effect on your body. Usually, aerated (ay-ray-tuhd) drinks come packed with sugar and water, so it might sound a little off. You may have seen videos of people putting Mentos in aerated drinks, resulting in a bubble blast. Those bubbles are compressed gasses mixed with the beverage. It happens because the rough surface of the Mentos provides nucleation sites for bubbles. Which is followed by a chain reaction.
Your stomach also has uneven surfaces. This is to increase the surface area in order to facilitate nutrient absorption. When the gas-mixed drink interacts with the stomach surfaces, they react similarly, releasing a lot of gasses. It may cause bloating, making you feel nauseated. Its effect is exaggerated when you execute rapid movements. Similar to what you see after shaking a bottle of champagne.
Low fat foods
Nowadays, people are becoming more and more health-conscious. To get rid of fat, people try to cut as many calories as they can. This has created a massive demand for low calorie food products. To fulfill that demand, companies provide variants of food products with little to no calories.
Most food products are loaded with artificial sweeteners. Sugar substitutes are food additives that duplicate the effect of sugar in taste. Drinks like diet coke contain artificial sweeteners. They’re low in food energy. If you’re looking for stamina and endurance, you need to make sure your system has enough sugar. Your best bet is to avoid low-calorie foods.
Apart from being low in calories, artificial sweeteners have several other harmful features. An animal study suggests that these sweeteners cause weight gain, brain tumors, bladder cancer, and many other diseases.
Diet-friendly Food Products
Diet-friendly food products are also trendy. But diet-friendly snacks and protein bars need to be avoided. Not because they’re bad for you, but they can make you uncomfortable. In fact, many diet-friendly food products come with a warning saying they may cause intestinal distress. During a long and intense workout session, your system should be perfect.
Any digestive problems can reduce your performance significantly. The digestive discomfort caused by diet-friendly food products may not be experienced by everyone. But, if your body reacts in a negative way to these items, don’t eat any of these foods before a workout.
Fried food items absorb a lot of oil and fat. It takes time to convert oil and fat into usable energy. Greasy food is considered bad for your heart health. Research has shown that it increases blood pressure, lowers HDL cholesterol, and contributes to weight gain and obesity.
Among the three macronutrients — carbs, protein, and fat — fat is digested the slowest. This makes digestion really difficult. As a result, the food remains in your stomach for an extended period. Greasy food can cause nausea, bloating, and stomach pain. These can immediately reduce your stamina.
It can cause several heart problems in the long run. A healthy heart is key to better endurance. If your heart is not pumping blood efficiently, oxygen and nutrients can’t reach the muscles that need them. This slows down the recovery time of your muscles, making it so much harder to get in shape.
Keep in mind, there is a diet that recommends consuming fat. You’ve heard of it. The keto diet is where you have to cut carbs and sugar, and fulfill your energy demand with fat. Your body achieves ketosis when using fat as the primary energy source. It’s believed that once your body starts consuming fat, it starts eating away the accumulated fat as well.
But, this is not proven by a reliable study. In fact, one study suggests that ketogenic dietary habits can pose a risk to your heart in the long run.
Planning on hiking? A lot of people will tell you to pack trail mix. It’s full of vitamins and fiber. Snacking on it every now and then is really helpful. But apart from the fiber and vitamins, it’s also packed with fat. As we’ve already seen, fat is digested really slowly.
The fiber in the trail mix is insoluble in water. Your body is unable to break down the fiber, making it almost impossible to absorb. Having dried fruits moments before a physical activity can cause stomach cramping and diarrhea. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to be dealing with that while you’re on a hike.
Out of all the foods we’ve talked about on the list, avocado is probably the one you were least expecting. You might argue that it has a lot of nutrients, and yes, it’s an excellent source of essential micro and macronutrients. But, it also comes with fats and fibers, which you won’t be able to digest properly.
Having avocado moments before exercise can reduce your stamina. On top of that, it will also make you nauseous, bloated and cramped.
You can use avocado as a post-workout recovery food. This way, you will enjoy the benefits of avocado without the side effects. This superfood’s vitamins, minerals, and fat will help you recover faster.
There’s also something called avocado intolerance. Yes, you heard that right. Some people’s systems just don’t allow avocado. This might be due to FODMAP’s intolerance. These are sugars some people can’t digest. They ferment in their stomach, causing bowel irritation. Avocado contains sorbitol, a polyol, and can’t be digested by many. Others are hypersensitive and allergic to avocado. They can have sudden reactions to the consumption. Gas, bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, and stomach cramps are not uncommon in these scenarios.
Fatty fish are also considered a magic food. It has a ton of omega-3 fatty acids, which improve neurological functioning and help you fight depression. Several studies list the benefits of fatty fish. There is no doubt they have some.
But, fatty fish also come with a lot of side effects. As we’ve already learned, fat is digested slowly. It makes you feel heavy and less energetic. If it doesn’t make you uncomfortable, it definitely leaves a fatty taste in your mouth. The taste can make you feel irritated and cause breathing difficulty. Acid reflux and heartburns are not uncommon side effects after eating fatty fish.
During a hard exercise, the last things you want are trouble breathing and an overactive bowel. Needless to say, having fatty fish before workouts is a terrible idea. Instead, you should have it as a post-workout recovery food. It will give you protein and fat in balanced proportions, along with many micronutrients. Your body’s health is key to having a long and healthy life. You need to keep it moving efficiently.
Let’s keep the conversation going with a couple of related articles, shall we? Here’s what you need to know, Check out the Top 18 Fat-Burning Foods For Women. You can also read 9 Proven Ways To Flatten Your Stomach.