Why You Should Never Eat Broccoli Before Exercising

Yes, broccoli is one of the healthiest vegetables around — but eat it before exercising, and you might find yourself sprinting for the nearest restroom, or potentially dealing with some uncomfortable gas-related gut discomfort. That's because it's a fiber-packed cruciferous vegetable, which can be hard on your digestive tract when working out.

Broccoli, along with other fiber-packed leafy greens, is tough for exercise thanks to the fiber that, in other circumstances, is vital to your overall health. "Thanks to their high-fiber content, leafy green vegetables are almost guaranteed to cause abdominal distention — aka gas and bloating," gut expert Philip Goglia, Ph.D., told Runner's World.

Because broccoli is also very filling and not calorically dense, you could also end up under-fueled for your workout. Pre-workout, simple carbohydrates — like a small bowl of cereal or a slice of toast — are optimal, and if you're eating a huge plate of broccoli, while you're getting plenty of micronutrients, you're not getting the energy that you need to get through a hard exercise session (via Verywell Fit).

What if you did eat some broccoli?

If you forgot about your workout and chowed down on some broccoli beforehand, don't panic ... but make sure that you know where the nearest restrooms are, and stay downwind of the people you're working out with. In a yoga class, the spot in the back of the room nearest to the door might be the best spot if you know you'll be gassy during a downward dog. Since certain yoga stretches and strength training moves can be great for relieving gas, you'll feel better letting it out, but might end up embarrassed if you had a front row spot (via Refinery29).

Remember, this only applies to the eating window a couple of hours before your workout: High fiber cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are nutritional powerhouses. Broccoli isn't just high in fiber: It's packed with iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. So you should be consuming it (along with plenty of other vegetables) when you're not about to head out for a run (via the BBC).