This upcoming Saturday, a group of our CrossFit Tantrum members are competing in CrossFit Focus’s Third Annual Rookie Ruckus competition. Since I’ve gotten the question, “what should I be eating during my competition” a lot, I figured I’d share since I haven’t posted in a while!
The first thing I’m going to say is this: Bring what you know you will want to eat. Don’t bring chicken and broccoli just because it’s healthy. You are going to be exhausted throughout the day, so you will need to replenish calories lost for energy gains. Since I cannot end my blog post simply on this, let me expand on some more detailed instructions.
The night before:
Don’t carb load or eat some magical competition prep meal that you saw on the internet! You should be drinking plenty of water and consuming the same healthy foods you normally eat.
Day of the competition:
Wake up in order to eat 2.5-3 hours before your first WOD. This will be your most balanced meal of the day. Your breakfast should consist of a healthy balance of macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. This will be the only meal that you will have fats. It is imperative to avoid fats between wods. Fats delay the digestion of carbohydrates and proteins. In order for your body to perform optimally during a CrossFit workout, you will need to quickly absorb proteins and carbohydrates for recovery purposes. You do not want to risk your body working on trying to digest fats while you are in the middle of a 400 m run! Blood flow to the digestive tract will steal proper flow to the extremities, causing a lag in your time. For example, think fight or flight here. What does your body need to do to flee a certain situation? Your pupils dilate to see better, blood flows to your extremities to help you move faster and longer, your body excretes waste (urine and fecal matter) to make you lighter. This all is possible during a CrossFit WOD! Be prepared to not pee your pants!
Okay so plain and simple pre comp breakfast can consist ideally of whole eggs, bacon and sweet potatoes. Other options are avocado, almond butter and other meats.
Do not wake up to having just coffee or water. Fatigue will set in faster and your ability to recover between heats is reduced. Give yourself ample time to prepare breakfast.
Pre WOD 1
If you usually consume something 45 minutes to an hour before you WOD, bring whatever that is. Whether it be a protein bar or shake, eat something if you are used to doing so.
Post WOD 1
Consume 20 ounces of water (at least) and 20 grams of protein with either 1. coconut water (carb) or 20 grams of simple carbs. If you are used to mixing protein and a scoop of simple carbs, utilize that. If you’ve never dealt with a liquid mixture of carbs, don’t upset your stomach trying something new. I use TwinLab Ultra Fuel. Have a protein shake and fruit. You should be choosing fruit this day over vegetables, only because they are a quick form of carb and digests much easier than cruciferous vegetables. Bananas and grapes are pretty ideal here. Bananas have higher sugar (faster digesting carbs) and grapes are made up of a lot of water. Go easy on how many grapes you eat, they do have a bit of fiber that could slow digestion.
Post WOD 2
Again, stay away from any fats. Quickly digested carbs: white rice or fruit, 4-5 ounces of turkey or chicken. Some people like sushi. If you can find a sushi that does not have a fatty fish, have at it.
Post WOD 3
Usually this is the last workout of the day. Repeat another protein shake or bar, drink plenty of water, and you owe it to yourself to treat yourself to whatever you’d like post workout celebration!
Quick tip about warm up and recovery:
Since you are treating your body well and giving it the best proper form of protection through nutrition, you are going to want to make sure you warm up and recover properly. Warm up 30 minutes before your first workout. Simple bodyweight movements followed by practicing WOD specific movements. A good recovery would consist of an easy 1000m of airdyne or rower along with foam rolling and stretching. Push that lactic acid out of the muscles and keep the scar tissue from laying down to prevent knots in your muscles.
Best of luck at your competition!