Whether you are working out for weight loss or simply to feel healthier, there are many popular workout habits that some people swear can elevate your performance. However, some habits can make it harder for you to make the most of your workout. If you feel your exercise routine is not helping you as much as it could, then you might want to make sure you are engaging in practices that can only boost your performance. Here are some pre-workout habits that you are going to want to avoid.
Drinking Protein Shakes
Many protein shakes are good for you, which is why many bodybuilders will swear that they work to enhance your health. However, this does not mean that protein shakes are good to have before a workout. Most protein shakes have a lot of sugars, sweeteners, and processed ingredients that can make you feel sluggish while working out. Shakes also have dairy products, which you will want to avoid before a workout. While dairy is usually healthy, it can slow you down if you consume it before exercise because it is not easy to digest.
Drinking Too Many Coffee Drinks
Coffee has actually been shown to improve your workout performance. It also can cause your metabolism to speed up for a short while, making it easier for you to lose weight in the earlier stages of a weight loss plan. However, caffeine is a diuretic, which means it increases fluid loss and can put you at a greater risk for dehydration. Additionally, many coffee drinks are very sugary and can weigh you down while exercising. If you are drinking coffee before exercise, then make sure you are drinking a lot of water and try to avoid coffee drinks that are heavy on the whipped cream and sugar. You also might want to avoid putting too much milk in your coffee.
Anyone trying to lose weight might be on some sort of diet, but all exercise requires your body to be properly fueled. If your weight loss routine includes heavy workouts with no diet changes or even skipped meals, then you need to be careful. When you do not eat enough, you increase your risks of serious injury. You should try to eat at least a snack within an hour of working out. If you are worried that you will not digest your food properly, then you can try drinking something like juice. What you eat depends on how you plan to exercise. For cardio, you will want carbohydrates to make sure your body has enough fuel for the endurance required for cardio workouts. For muscle building workouts, you will want to eat foods with high protein content.
When you exercise, you need to drink more water than you are accustomed to in order to keep your joints moist, regulate your body temperature, and compensate for any water lost due to sweating. If you do not have enough water, then your performance will not be as strong as it could be. Dehydration can make you feel weak, dizzy, and nauseated. It can also lower your endurance or cause leg cramps and side stitches much more quickly. Do not drink too much water at once, but drink enough to stay completely hydrated.
Waking Up Early
You might have to wake up early in order to make time in your schedule for exercise, but try to limit how much sleep you lose. If you do not have as much sleep as your body needs, you end up exerting yourself a lot to make sure all your body’s processes are running smoothly. This means lack of sleep will cause an increase in heart rate, so exercise will tire you out more quickly. It can also make it harder for you to keep your balance, which can hurt your workout routine.
Drinking Energy Drinks
It may sound like it will give you more energy for a better workout, but energy drinks are usually full of sugars or artificial sweeteners that are incredibly unhealthy. Energy drinks tend to also be carbonated, which means they can cause gas, bloating, and fatigue during a workout. The caffeine might be able to boost your workout, but it can also cause dehydration, so there are better ways to increase your focus and endurance than with energy drinks.
Marijuana can treat a number of medical conditions and, now that marijuana is becoming more available for recreational use, some athletes believe it can also improve your performance or put you in the right mindset for a workout. However, while cannabis can help injured athletes manage their pain, it can also get in the way of your coordination and focus. Most forms of cannabis also impair your judgment. If you really need to use marijuana for pain control, then cannabidiol (CBD) is probably the healthiest option for you because it does not have too many psychological effects. However, your performance will probably be at its best if you do not use any forms of cannabis before working out.
Eating Green Bananas
Many people eat bananas before working out and with good reason. Bananas are a great pre-workout snack because they are high in key nutrients like potassium and natural sugars. However, some bananas are better than others are and you will need to make sure that any banana that you eat is ripe. Unripe fruit can cause gas and bloating because the sugar is starchier and more difficult to digest. Undigested sugars can weigh down your workout, so keep eating bananas, but avoid the green ones.
Doing Static Stretches
In general, you should always stretch before exercise so that you get your joints moving and your muscles warmed up in order to prevent injury. However, simply stretching your muscles is not a good warm up. Static stretching, which involves holding yourself in a position that stretches out your muscles, impairs your performance and does not do much to decrease your chance of injury. Instead, try warming up with dynamic stretches like moving your arms in circles or high knees.
There is more to staying healthy than simply eating a well-balanced diet and exercising. You also have to pay attention to when you are eating and what kind of things you do before you start your workout. There are many pre-workout habits that will help you with your workout, but make sure you avoid any pre-workout habits that can impede your performance.