Eating This Before A Workout Could Give You Gas

While some people can get through a visit to the gym on pre-workout alone, many people need a snack or meal before they start exercising. But you shouldn't eat just anything before you hit the gym. While some foods give you quick energy, others can cause unpleasant side effects that will disrupt your routine. One food you want to avoid before your workout is beans (via Eat This, Not That!). Beans do contain carbohydrates that will give you sustained energy, but they are difficult for many people to digest.

"Unfortunately, some people lack the enzyme, alpha-galactosidase, which is needed to break down beans and cruciferous vegetables," said Robert Zembroski, MD. "After eating these beans, bacteria in the gut helps break them down. That process produces large amounts of carbon dioxide and hydrogen, causing bloating, gas, and pain—a situation you don't want at the gym." If beans are part of the meal you eat before a workout, you may find yourself in some embarrassing situations at the gym. It's best to avoid them until after you're done exercising.

What to eat before you work out

While beans are hard to digest, many other types of carbs are not. Carbohydrates are ideal to eat before exercise because they provide your body with energy. "When we eat [carbs], they break down into glucose, enter our muscle cells, and give us fuel to exercise at our maximum capacity," Jessica Jones, MS, RD, CDE, told Self. Granola, toast, fruit, and oatmeal are all healthy carbs that you can happily munch on before hitting the gym.

Protein will also fuel you through your workouts. This is especially true if you are lifting weights or doing any kind of strength training. During this kind of exercise, you will develop small tears in your muscles as they are used. Your body needs protein to repair these muscles, and eating some before you work out will help with that process. But be careful about which kinds of protein you eat. "Serious athletes and weekend warriors should avoid milk and milk-based foods; they contain lactose, [which is] the sugar found in milk," said Robert Zembroski, MD, functional medicine specialist via Eat This, Not That!. "For many people, lactose intolerance will cause bloating, gas, and often diarrhea from bacterial fermentation of lactose." Instead, choose easily digestible proteins like nuts, deli meats, and peanut butter.