5 Foods That Have Come Back to Haunt Me During Workouts

5 Foods That Have Come Back to Haunt Me During Workouts

Though the term is kind of douchy, I’d call myself an equal-opportunity “foodie.” Okay, more of a food lover, really. The word “foodie” has a pretentious air about it, while I’m content to eat just about anywhere so long as my meal is good. I love sketchy burrito joints just as much as $400 meals at Fleur de Lys, and street food is just as delicious as [insert fancy dish with truffles]. Every year I even make a pilgrimage to Taco Bell, stuff my face full of grade-E meat and experience instant regret and self loathing. It’s been a tradition of mine for years.

Since I’ve started up the triathlon training, however, I’ve learned the hard way that certain foods will bite me in the ass once I’m exercising. It’s gotten to the point that I go out of my way to eat rather benignly on Tuesdays because that’s track night, and I don’t want to feel miserable running around in circles at various intervals while stifling nasty-flavored burps. Below are 5 of the worst offenders that have ruined workouts…or at least made them exceptionally uncomfortable.

  1. Anything with garlic and/or pesto. I love garlic, but Jason will attest to how stinky it renders me whenever I eat anything that contains a hefty amount of it. The funk emanates off me, repelling boyfriends and vampires alike. It’s kind of like that episode of The Simpsons where Moe opens up his Family Feedbag restaurant and a little girl draws a picture of him:

    "Aw, you drew the stink lines and everythin'."

    The garlic burps are no picnic, either. Today I went for a swim and am pretty glad it was in the pool, because burping in the open water would probably result in a lot of floating dead fish.

  2. Asian food. Most Asian food, while delicious at the time of consumption, ends up creeping back around and karate chopping me right in the gut. Japanese food is typically okay unless it’s particularly spicy — the main offenders are usually Thai food and Korean stuff like kimchi or bulgogi. As with garlic and pesto, the core concern here are the burps, although they probably do a pretty decent job of clearing a pathway for me during a race. Hmm, maybe I need to start keeping some bibimbap at transition…
  3. Nuun. This isn’t really a food and it is good for pre-race hydration and recoveries, but I eventually learned not to drink it during workouts. Since Nuun has virtually no calories, I’d end up getting a major case of gut rot on brick runs and feeling like I was going to hurl like a spitter in Left 4 Dead 2.

    This is what happens when you drink Nuun during a workout.

    It’s kind of weird to think that a lack of calories would make you feel nauseous, but that seems to be the case with a lot of athletes. Oh well, lesson learned.

  4. Heavy sauces. I would eat gyros from Aladdin’s every day of the week if I could, but their tzatziki sauce would come back and murder me later on. There’s also this place in the U-District called Shalimar, and they have these crazy delicious Middle Eastern sandwiches. I learned the hard way not to eat there before a track workout, as I spent the majority of my 400s clutching my stomach and hawking up yogurt-spiced loogies.
  5. Tequila. This one’s kind of a no-brainer, but to be fair, it’s not like I drank a few shots and then went for a run…I ran the day after drinking my body weight in añejo-y goodness. This is about 75% Mark’s fault and 25% mine and Jason’s, because we probably shouldn’t have gotten him two bottles of tequila for Christmas, but then again, he shouldn’t have made us drink about eight shots each after already having a few margaritas. Dear god.

Nowadays if I know I’ve got a really hard workout involving intervals, sprints, speed work, etc, I eat pretty “boring” stuff like a sandwich or some eggs or a salad. The shitty thing is that even an innocuous food item has occasionally kicked me in the proverbial balls — one time I had really gross burps at track after eating a Luna bar, and another time a banana has tried to smite me.

As 2009 draws to a close, one of my main goals for 2010 is to eat better, not only so I’m healthier and more trim, but to cut down on these B.S. burps and the ick factor during what will be many, many workouts next year. We’ll see how well that goes… 😉

6 Responses to “ “5 Foods That Have Come Back to Haunt Me During Workouts”

  1. Teresa says:

    You are too funny. Track workouts are tough on everyones gut. Takes some time to figure it out 😉 But yes, you gotta get those intervals in and your nutrition is key to your going to be super awesome Ironman Canada!!!! Go Mediocres!!!


  2. Bri says:

    Beer is also a bad one 🙂 I’m excited to have my track buddy back next week, I hope I can keep up!

  3. Triathlete-Wannabe... says:

    I have to disagree with the tequila… I did six shots at a friend’s birthday party, got home at 2am. Got up at 6:30 am, chugged a coffee, ate a banana, and slammed my fastest 5k time to date. Yeah, now I’m thinking had I simply NOT stopped drinking tequila and run drunk, perhaps I’d have broken some world record or something…

  4. Tori says:

    Nice list. My track nemesis is the most excellent antipasta plate at the best little Italian bistro in Victoria: Ottavio’s. All that cheese and meat (and one glass of wine) I had at lunch one time formed a heavy ball in my stomach that lasted through a track workout in the evening. I lasted the entire workout luckily without gastric mishap, but still. Never. Again.

    I’ve found my ideal pre-track meal is Vietnamese Pho – all those rice noodles with a bit of tofu or even meat in lots of broth makes me – well – relatively fast with no ill effects.

  5. Ken says:

    I was at a running store the other day, and I was thinking of trying Nuun and I thought about this post. One thing the representative said was that it has some type of laxative included. Could be the reason you feel so torn in the stomach. I tried it, but it actually makes me feel more thirsty in the back of the throat. To each his/her own I suppose.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Laxative? E-gads, that doesn’t sound good. I’ve drank them leading up to a race but not during a race.

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