IF YOU'RE into fitness you might assume as long as you're eating healthy foods, it doesn't matter when you eat them but according to these exercise experts, that's not always the case.

Workout website Breaking Muscle have compiled a list of foods you should avoid before your workout - and some might surprise you.

So, if you think you're eating all the right things, you might want to double check you're not consuming them at the wrong times.

Eight foods to avoid before a workout


Fatty foods like nuts make for the perfect snack. However, they can take a while to digest.

If you’re thinking about having nuts as part of a pre-workout meal, make sure to consume them a few hours before exercise. This will give the fats a better chance at digesting.

Protein bars

Protein bars are a convenient snack and useful for helping to reach daily protein goals.

However, they may not be the most optimal thing to consume before exercise.

Try to opt for something with higher carbohydrate content, as these foods will digest quicker than foods with a higher fat or protein content.

Spicy foods

The effect of spicy foods can vary from person to person. For some, it can cause heartburn and bloating which can be a frustrating distraction when training in the gym.

If you’re consuming spicy foods of any nature, try to limit them until after you’ve finished working out.


Avocados are a great food to fuel your body but their high-fat content makes them less than ideal for a pre-workout snack.

Fat is the macronutrient that takes the longest to digest so it’s best to ditch the smashed avocado before training.

South Wales Argus: Experts say avocados should not be eating before a workout. Picture: PAExperts say avocados should not be eating before a workout. Picture: PA

Fried food

Try to steer clear of fried foods before a workout as they can make you feel sluggish due to their high-fat content. These foods can often be unkind to our stomachs, which can lead to headaches and nausea mid-workout.

Although this isn’t always the case, there are plenty of foods that are optimal for gym sessions to pick from.

Isotonic drinks

Some isotonic drinks can be extremely high in carbohydrates, especially ones containing sugars.

These can be great for replenishing energy after exercise but drinking one of these before exercise can leave you feeling full.

The last thing you want during your workout is to crash because of the poorly timed insulin spike.


Dairy products like yoghurt can cause bloating in some people, due to the high lactose content - and they are often high in fat too.

This can lead to digestive issues, which can be extremely uncomfortable when exercising.

Pick a yoghurt that is either lactose-free, fat-free or contains live cultures as these will be easier to digest.

South Wales Argus: Eating the wrong things before a gym session can seriously affect your performance according to Breaking Muscle. Picture: CanvaEating the wrong things before a gym session can seriously affect your performance according to Breaking Muscle. Picture: Canva

What the experts say about food before exercise

A spokesperson for Breaking Muscle said: "What you eat before heading to the gym can significantly affect how you feel during the session.

"It's true that some people can get away with eating anything before exercise, but this isn’t the case for everybody.

"It's best to err on the side of caution and keep things simple when it comes to pre-workout meals.

"This doesn’t mean you have to train on an empty stomach, but just be mindful when consuming food and drink close to exercise.

"Foods high in fat and protein will take longer to digest than foods with a higher carbohydrate content.

"Keeping calorific treats and fizzy drinks until after your workout is also advisable so that you don’t feel sluggish during the session."