As a self-confessed "gym rat," I have come to appreciate my fellow patrons who exercise good sense, especially with regards to food and drink in the workout areas. There is no explicit rule banning, say, eating limberger cheese, in the aerobic studio but (most) people at my facility understand without being told why that's a horrible idea. But, for the record, here are five other foodstuffs I hope never to see at my gym.
5. Donuts. To infuse the smell of shortening and sugar in a space filled with people actively trying to tone up and/or lose weight is cruel and unusual punishment. It's tempting enough to make a break for a cheeseburger when the person working out next to you is watching Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Fresh glazed or cream-filled pastries within grabbing distance are an unnecessary temptation.
4. Durian. Similar reasons as to No. 5, only the effect produced is intense nausea, not hunger. Often cited as the worst-smelling food in the entire world, this "king of fruits" produces an odor that's been described as a cross between vomit and turpentine. The good thing is that durian is an exotic fruit, so there's little chance of it showing up unless your gym is in Indonesia. Or next to Whole Foods.
3. Hot Soup. Here's the thing about hot liquids. They spill. Or are spilled. INEVITABLY. If I had my druthers, I'd ban drinking hot coffee and tea at the gym; however, I get that working out at 5 a.m. requires some sort of stimulant. I don't care how careful you are spooning that chowder into your gob; some doofus will somehow manage to stick his elbow in it, burning himself and ruining your lunch.
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2. Raw Chopped Onions. The most ironic consequence of my love for onions is that even being in their very presence makes me weep uncontrollably. Blinding tears are manageable in the confines of your own home, but deadly when you're trying to keep your balance on the treadmill. Save those onions for after the cardio.
1. Cookie Dough. A few years ago, SNL produced a spoof commercial for Gatorade Cookie Dough Sport, which featured Will Ferrell and others gulping down chocolate chip dough while in the midst of pick-up footballs games. Yes, such a product would probably do wonders for temporarily raising your energy level, but it's a joke for a reason, folks. I don't want to rotate on to your machine only to find the handle coated with sugared butter, or worse yet, add salmonella to the list of other deadly bacteria floating around the locker room.