Potassium can help ease muscle cramping, but people tend to go a bit overboard. “Potassium loss during exercise is pretty minimal,” says Bonci. “If you’re eating a decent diet, you’re probably getting enough potassium already.”
Full of plant-based protein, fiber, and antioxidants, beans are one of the healthiest meals you can have. But beans, like other high-fiber foods, do have the unfortunate side effect of bloating and gas, which can interfere with your workout and cause unwanted GI symptoms, says Kelly Pritchett, PhD, RD, national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If you’re one of the lucky people who have a high tolerance for beans (and suffer minimal gas), you don’t have to worry. But if you aren’t used to eating them often or have experienced issues when eating them in the past, it’s probably best to avoid the three-bean salad until after your workout.
They’re delicious and healthy, thanks to all their healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. However, they can weigh you down during exercise. “High-fat foods keep you satiated longer because they take more time to digest,” says Pritchett. “But they may leave you feeling sluggish as your body is trying to digest them.” That’s mainly because your blood and other bodily resources are diverted to your digestive system, not your muscles. Too much fat of any kind can also prevent carbs from leaving the stomach quickly enough to fuel muscles. That’s why it’s best to avoid high-fat foods, including things like nuts and nut butters, as well as unhealthy fried foods, before a workout.