26 Oct Game Day Nutrition
GAME DAY NUTRITION
With local CrossFit comps popping up weekly, we are getting plenty of questions about what to do when competing? What nutritional changes should you make for the day?
First of all we don’t want you to change a whole heap. You shouldn’t be trying any new energy drinks or pre-work out concoctions on these days, nor an excessive amount of coffee to pump you up. Limit yourself to your normal daily intake of caffeine. You’ve done the work leading up to this point. Once you warm up and get moving the adrenalin will kick in and if not, it definitely will on that “3.2.1. Go”! You can guarantee you’ll be firing!
You will have your own personal preference on wether you’d prefer to have an empty stomach or not when training. I can’t say I’ve ever come across someone who enjoys a full stomach when training, however it is crucial that you do eat throughout the day no matter how you feel about this. Your body will be craving energy between events and by the last events of the day you’re going to need all the energy you can get.
On a comp day you should have your whole day of meals pre-cooked and ready to go. You don’t have to eat them as whole meals. In fact I’d almost recommend picking at what you want and when you want it and eating only to briefly satisfy, not to fill up. We’d also recommend having a shaker with some spare protein and a few bananas as back up.
Most comps will be spread out over a day or 2 usually with 2-6 events within the day. So how do you space your meals out?
Theoretically speaking say there are 4 workouts within the day:
We would recommend hopping up around 6am or earlier and eating a normal breakfast straight away. This gives you time to digest the food and not feel ill when warming up or hitting the first WOD.
Post WOD 1, judge the next intake of food by how you’re feeling. A must do is plenty of water! If you are an athlete that takes BCAAs this would be a great time to down some of these. If you feel peckish, have a small snack or half a protein shake. If you are going to eat, this has to happen within half an hour of the workout to allow you time to digest before the next workout.
Post WOD 2, we recommend definitely getting some food in to you! Wether it be a shake or real food it needs to happen. At this point you do not have to focus on balancing your macronutrients. We would recommend getting in some carbohydrates (veggies or fruit) and some protein (meats, eggs or protein shakes). When you feel the need for a pick me up/energy boost is when it’s best to have your fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, oils, nut butter, olives).
The reason for not balancing the macronutrients here is your body will be craving sugar replenishment and muscle repair. This is where the carbohydrates and proteins come in handy. As your sugar levels start to slump is when you’ll be having the fats and potentially some more carbohydrates. Fats are a fast burning fuel and will help to pick you up and energise you throughout your next workout.
Once again keep your fluids high. Force the water down even if you don’t feel the need for it. We play an intense sport that exerts a lot of energy and expels a lot of liquid in the form of sweat which we need to replenish. If you’re worried about running to the toilet all day don’t be. We need you drinking so much water your urine is clear or as close as possible to it.
Post WOD 3, most people will be feeling pretty depleted by this part of the day. Within half an hour of competing get your proteins and carbohydrates in and then within the hour of competing get some fats and possibly carbs in. Once again this will be amounts of food that briefly satisfy and do not fill you up.
Post WOD 4, you’re done for the day baby! Go to town on what is left of your daily food. If you feel the need for an extra snack or shake then let your body have it.
Keep your dinner clean and go back to balancing your macronutrients. Just because you’re finished for the day doesn’t mean you necessarily need to go crazy on food. It’s one step of your journey. If you are at goal weight and composition then feel free to get a cheat night in post competition. Don’t have this mid weekend if you have a 2-day competition. Your body will not thank you for it.
Keep things as ‘regular’ as possible where possible on competition/game days. It’s alright to break up your macro nutrients on these days. Just remember carbohydrates and proteins first and then fats/fats and carbohydrates later on. No hidden secrets and no first time trials. Keep it simple and have fun.