So maybe you’ve been working out, and spend several hours training at the gym per week. While it’s good to exercise regularly, you need to fuel up with the right food and of course, avoid the bad ones, if you wish to maximize your performance.
Unfortunately, most people tend to overlook nutrition, and sometimes feel like they earned themselves a big, unhealthy meal, just because they hit the gym on a regular basis. But here’s the hard truth: you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. That’s why you should do what you can to ensure that your body gets the nutrients it needs!
Have you been munching on food that you should be avoiding? Today, Evolve Daily reveals 15 Foods And Drinks That Martial Artists Should Never Eat:
While it’s alright to have some carbs, you should opt for healthier choices such as starchy vegetables, brown rice, and quinoa. This is because white pasta is refined – that means it lacks fiber and other key nutrients that whole-grain food retains! However, if you really want to have pasta, we suggest going for whole-wheat pasta as it’s a much healthier option.
2) Sugary breakfast cereal
Although breakfast cereal seems harmless, it’s actually loaded with sugar! When you consume too much sugary food, you’ll add extra inches to your waistline. What’s more, you’ll be at risk of getting heart disease and diabetes. So start your day with something healthier, perhaps some fruits if you wish to sweeten your mornings.
3) Flavored instant oats
Besides cereal, flavored instant oats are considered as another convenient breakfast option. Unfortunately, this convenience comes with a very unhealthy price. This is because instant oats are dehydrated and pre-cooked. Hence, they aren’t as nutritious as rolled oats. In fact, they contain a large amount of hidden sugar and salt, which you should be avoiding!
4) Canned soup
Like flavored instant oats, canned soup is another convenient (and unhealthy) kind of food which you shouldn’t consume too often. As it has a long shelf life, there’s no surprise that it contains preservatives. What’s more, it is high in sodium – which can lead to high blood pressure when consumed in excess.
5) Nutrition bars
These calorie-dense bars might appear to be the perfect pre- or post-workout snack, but looks are deceiving. Whether it’s a protein or energy bar, one thing’s for sure – these bars are loaded with saturated fat and sugar. So you might want to think twice before munching on one of these bars next time! We suggest having a banana prior to, or after your workouts instead. Besides being a healthy alternative, it gives you energy as well.
6) White bread
Like white pasta, white bread is also refined. That means its fiber and nutrients have been stripped off, making it a not-so-healthy choice. Because it’s highly processed, white bread causes your insulin levels to rise, as well as weight gain and dips in energy. A better alternative to white bread would be its wholegrain counterpart, so munch on that instead!
7) Lunch meats
It doesn’t matter whether it’s ham, turkey, or salami, because these lunch meats that you pick up from the supermarket contain a high amount of salt and nitrates, which contribute to the meats’ flavor and color. If you eat too much of these processed meats, you’ll be at risk of getting cancer and heart disease. Opt for lean meats such as chicken and turkey breasts to give your body the protein it needs.
8) Vitamin water
Although vitamin water sounds healthy, it’s something you don’t want to be drinking! If you don’t already know, plain water is a much better choice for hydrating yourself. This is because plain water has zero calories and no sugar at all, as compared to vitamin water, which contains 120 calories and over 30 grams of sugar per bottle!
It’s a fact that coffee helps to burn fat, and can enhance gym performance – thanks to its caffeine. However, coffee becomes not-so-healthy when it’s a frappucino! Think about it: you’ll be gulping down a ton of whipped cream, milk, and add-ons such as caramel or chocolate sauce. Basically, it’s a drink that contains empty calories and a ton of sugar and fat! Hence, reducing the fat-melting effect of coffee.
10) Energy drinks
When you need a quick boost to power through your workout, an energy drink might do the trick. This is because energy drinks usually have a large amount of sugar, and contain stimulants which provides short-term energy. Psst! This is probably why you’ll experience a dip in energy after a few hours. When consumed in excess, your energy levels and performance at the gym could be affected greatly.
Yes, we know that happy hour deals can be pretty tempting, especially when it’s a Friday night and you’re ready for the weekend. But did you know that alcohol can prevent you from making progress at the gym? When you drink frequently, your muscle recovery slows down and strength decreases. What’s more, it has been found that alcohol slows down your body’s healing ability, so you could be more susceptible to injury and illness! Perhaps you might want to think before you drink next time.
12) Frozen Yoghurt
Although frozen yoghurt, or froyo, is healthier than ice cream, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy! Most frozen yoghurts are low in fat, however, they’re still rich in calories and sugar – especially when you add toppings such as sugary cereals, candy, chocolate bits, and caramel.
The thing about pretzels is that they don’t help you feel satiated because they lack healthy fiber and fat. Also, pretzels contain heaps of calories and salt – so you’re basically getting all this into your system, and you might still feel hungry after. Eek!
14) Fast food
We’re pretty sure that this comes as no surprise. Fast food is usually highly processed, and offers little or no nutritional value, which is is why it’s unhealthy. Due to its high content of unhealthy fats, sodium, carbs, and sugar, fast food can lead to health problems such as stroke, diabetes and heart disease. What’s more, it can make you fat if you eat too much of it.
15) Anything that’s “low fat/carb”
On the surface, these “low fat” or “low carb” foods appear to be healthy. But take a closer look at the labels and you’ll realize that they aren’t what they seem to be. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! This is because such products usually contain artificial ingredients which contribute to their flavors. Also, they’re mostly processed and don’t offer much nutrition.
Food is your body’s fuel. And you only have one body. So make sure you avoid these food and drinks, make healthy choices, and eat well!