7 Foods You Should Be Eating Before a Workout (and 4 You Shouldn't)

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The list will surprise you
Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens are nutritious, but they aren’t the best foods to eat before a workout.

You’ve already been on the treadmill for five minutes and the thought of another 40 minutes of gym time is unbearable. Does this sound familiar? A lack of energy in the gym may be linked to your personal conditioning, but there’s a chance that your quick burnouts are a product of an improper pre-workout diet.

Click here to view the 7 Foods You Should Be Eating Before a Workout (and 4 You Shouldn't) Slideshow 

Though it’s tempting to want to skip a meal before hitting the weights or going out for a run — don’t; this is not the time to count calories. Without a steady stream of energy, the body’s blood sugar levels drop, which may lead to lightheadedness or premature exhaustion.

The length and intensity of your workout will determine what to eat and when to eat it. If participating in a grueling Cross Fit session, stick to small portions of easy-to-process carbohydrates like a banana, a handful or raisins, or a couple of crackers. If you’re preparing for a long distance run, make sure to eat a balanced meal of at least 300 calories such as a piece of whole-wheat toast covered with peanut butter and a sliced bananas.

But just as important as which foods to eat before a workout are which ones to avoid. Don’t be deceived by traditionally healthy foods like leafy greens and legumes; these diet staples will wreak havoc on your GI tract while you’re exercising.

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Here are seven foods you should be eating before a workout (and four you shouldn’t).