Trying to figure out where you should go on a big date? That includes deciding what you should eat, or rather not eat. If you want to make a good impression, take a little extra time planning a romance-friendly menu. Don’t let eating the wrong grub get you trapped in a fog of your own gas-tly mistakes.
What and when you eat has a direct impact on the way your body functions. There are certain types of foods that cause immediate distress, like stomach pain, fatigue, or gas.
It’s worth noting that how you feel also depends on how you eat. For starters, Jim White, owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios, says that eating too much too fast can lead to heartburn and distension.
To avoid unpleasant moments, here are some tips on what to eat and not eat on a date.
Thinking about gorging on a big plate of pasta? Avoid doing this on a date, unless you are prepared for a nap. A large helping of carbs can bring on fatigue, spiking you up and then rapidly pulling you back down. “We need carbs, but a lot of high processed carbs can make you feel sluggish,” White says.
Most of us know that garlic can cause bad breath, but it can also cause pungent body odour for some people. As White notes, “Some of the compounds that are in these types of (sulphuric) foods can cause bad breath. Some people can even sweat-smell it.” There’s a reason why vampires don’t like this stuff.
These tiny cruciferous cabbages contain insoluble fibre, otherwise known as roughage. Although packed with nutrients, the fibrous leaves are basically indigestible. For some people, “eating too many of them can cause intense gas pain,” warns White.
A hearty bowl of chilli contains both acidic and spicy ingredients, like tomatoes and hot peppers. A large helping of these foods can severely disrupt your digestive chemistry, stirring up heartburn. Avoid chest pain and burning by choosing milder foods.
Related: The 8 Best Foods For Building Muscle
A substantial dose of high-fibre foods, like the refried beans in burritos, can wreak havoc on your your digestive track. White advises: “Fibre is important for your digestive system, but too much can cause gas and bloating.”
Date night isn’t cake night. Generally chocolate isn’t so bad in small quantities, and may even have some health benefits. But eating chocolate on a full stomach, after an alcohol-infused meal, can contribute to the symptoms of acid reflux, White notes.
Leaning in for that kiss goodnight? Check the ingredients in your breath freshener first. Many sugar-free gums and mints contain xylitol, a kind of sugar alcohol. White says this popular calorie-free sugar substitute is known for creating gas, bloating, and cramps.
So which foods should you eat on a date? Here are a few options to safely get you through the night.
Salmon is a nutrient-packed protein. Along with a small serving of carbs and veggies, it’s a well-balanced meal that will satisfy hunger and give you energy. Salmon is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids.
Feeling some first-date jitters? ‘Beet’ them down with this bright red root veggie. Studies suggest that beet juice may actually reduce blood pressure. It may also increase oxygen in the blood, giving you more energy, White says.
Combined with protein, in moderate amounts, carbs like brown rice will pick you up instead of making you feel tired. Plus, going to a sushi place may boost your odds of snagging a second date, according to data from Match.com.
Related: How Much Protein Can Your Muscles Absorb In One Sitting?
Poultry is a safe bet. It’s tasty and a nutritious and lean protein that is generally easy to digest. Chicken also pairs well with just about any side dish.
Another tip? Drink water. Even a little bit of dehydration can make you feel, well, totally drained.
The article 7 Foods You Should Never Eat On a Date was originally published on MensHealth.com