How to eat for the Crossfit Open
The Open for most Crossfitters is an opportunity to watch their progress and improvement over the years, as well as compete with other Crossfitters around the globe.
It’s an exciting and competitive time for a lot of us. To make it through successfully, possibly hit some massive PR’s, and recover like a pro, follow these nutrition tips and let us know how you do!
Tip 1. Eat something before you hit the WOD
If you’re like me (and a lot of athletes) your stomach might be in knots leading up to the workout. Nerves can do a number on our appetites, and it can make it very hard to eat.
To combat this, make sure you have a GOOD meal three to four hours before the clock counts down (6-8oz of protein, cup of carbs, some veggies). Then try sipping on a combo of protein powder and carb supplement while you warm up (I suggest Fuel Five, Vitargo, or Carbo Lean, but dextrose will work too).
If you’re working out in the morning first thing, make sure you eat well the night before, then in the AM at the very least get in some liquid carbs (even a Gatorade will work). If you’re working out MID morning, grab a protein bar and a banana when you get up, and then do a scoop of protein and carb supplement 30 to 45 minutes before you start.
Tip 2. Eat a good meal soon after you’re done
I get that it might have only been 10 minutes of fitness, but most of us put our heart and souls into those minutes, and it stresses the body out, A LOT.
Make sure you get a clean protein source (6 to 8 oz) and 40 to 60 grams of carbs into your body within an hour to help you manage your increased cortisol levels. Cortisol breaks down muscle- you want to prevent that from happening if you can! Eat as soon as your stomach is settled and will let you.
Tip 3. Pay attention to how much you’re eating daily
While it might have felt like a lot of exercise, and you thought you were going to die, with most of these met-cons we don’t actually burn THAT many calories- maybe 300 to 400 at most. So you don’t get permission to go balls to the wall these next four weeks, or even after every workout (especially if you want to do well in your gymnastics!).
If you want to celebrate, I would encourage you to wait until the end of the Open and have one splurge meal with friends. I know a lot of athletes who want to full send it on the food and drink post Friday Night Lights, and not only does this put you in a situation to gain some unneeded body fat, alcohol also delays recovery. If you’re not currently tracking your calories/macros you don’t have to now, just be mindful of the choices you’re making.
Looking forward to seeing everyone crush the next few WODS, and please comment below if you have specific questions!