We know how important it is to fuel our workouts with the right food. But some of the seemingly healthy options we reach for could actually be sabotaging our exercise efforts. Everyone varies in the way they react to what they consume. "Every athlete and gym-goer is different regarding what they can handle; some have an iron stomach while, for others, the mere thought of something fibrous, fatty, sugary, or filling sends them scrambling to find a nearby restroom," sports dietitian Pam Nisevich Bede, RD, tells Shape. The best strategy is tuning into your body to tell what triggers discomfort or inflammation and cutting them from your diet. But as a heads up, there are common health foods that have been proven disagreeable to digest before a workout. Keep scrolling to see the usually healthy staples that are best avoided before you break a sweat.
Flaxseeds: "While a small serving of flaxseeds may help you clear your digestive tract, too much (especially without water) may cause constipation or loose stools," says sports dietitian Marni Sumbal, RD. Stick to under two tablespoons and consume after a workout, not before.
Avocados: Sumbal also warns against healthy fats like avocados as a means to fuel your workout. Not only can fat make you feel weighed down when exercising, but it also takes much longer to digest than carbs, so it isn't providing you with the fuel you need.
Smoothies: While a morning smoothie can be a great way to kick-start the day, having one right before a workout is ill-advised. Sumbal notes that sky-high blood sugar levels will lead you to a crash mid-circuit. Save your smoothie for a healthy post-workout recovery meal.
Now check out seven pre-workout snacks that make your gym time exponentially more effective.