The One "Healthy" Thing to Avoid Before a Workout

Victoria Hoff
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Whether you're a regular at your local gym or like to run a few miles here and there, chances are you have a specific pre-workout routine to get your body primed and ready to go—I know, for example, that I feel my most motivated early in the morning on an empty stomach, and I'll knock back a few arnica capsules to stave off soreness and inflammation before I even begin to break a sweat. But that's just me—some might love to fuel up with a protein shake, while others swear by a pre-gym cup of coffee.

While personal preference is obviously a key factor here, there's also science to back up some of these rituals. You probably already know that stretching and foam-rolling are shown to maximize results (and more importantly, stave off injury). Research shows that caffeine can enhance your mental and physical performance during a workout. But on the flip side, there are a handful of seemingly productive pre-gym habits that could be doing you more harm than good. (Spoiler: Taking something to preempt muscle pain isn't always the best idea.)

Keep reading to see which practices (and foods) to avoid before a workout.

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