Don’t #1: Eating Heavy
Pre-workout nutrition is important because you need all the fuel you can get to make the most out of your exercise. However, you shouldn’t eat too much before a sweat session. Loading up on food can cause nausea, cramps, acid reflux, indigestion, and sub-optimal physical performance.
So instead of eating heavy, try a light snack 30 minutes to an hour before your workout. Crabs are a great source of sugar and energy but try to fit in some protein for muscle development and fat for hormonal balance and slow-release fuel.
Don’t #2: Working Out on an Empty Stomach
Not fueling up before your workout is just as bad as having a heavy meal. Without a pre-workout snack at least 30 minutes before your session, you can end up feeling sluggish and fatigued so you won’t perform as well as you should.
A snack that has the right balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fats can help sustain your blood sugar and energy levels throughout your sets.
Don’t #3: Focusing on Static Stretching
Warming up before your main set is important to avoid injuries like muscle and joint strains. But instead of focusing on static stretches, go for a dynamic warm up. By moving while you stretch, you can ensure that your joints come to their full range of motion while you prepare your muscles for a more intense exercise.
This doesn’t mean you should shun static stretches all together. Just do them in the cool down part of your work out.
Don’t #4: Taking Anti-Inflammatory Medication Beforehand
Delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS is a common result of intense physical activity. To avoid the uncomfortable feeling of stiffness some people pre-load on over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen to minimize post-workout soreness.
However, this is a bad idea. Taking an anti-inflammatory beforehand can affect your pain signals which makes it more difficult for you to know if you’ve pushed past your threshold. Instead, use a foam roller and do some light stretching on your recovery days to help with the soreness. And if you need the help of ibuprofen, take it after your workout.
Don’t #5: Drinking Alcohol
Any amount of alcohol is a no-go before a workout. Alcoholic beverages can affect your motor skills, coordination, balance, and judgement. Furthermore, it acts as a depressant which slows down your reaction time, strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity. If you’ll be spending happy hour before your usual late-night workout, jus skip your sweat session.