We have a special blog post from FeedX Athlete Caleb Sommer, about fueling for the sport of crossfit. Being in the midst of The Open it is a great time to make sure your nutrition is dialed in so that you can not only perform your best but recovery optimally as well. Caleb has been to the CrossFit Games multiple times as a Teams athlete, and regularly competes in, places, and wins local and non-local competitions. Check out Caleb's great advice below!
You want to compete in CrossFit? CARBS are king!
CrossFit is predominately a glycolytic sport
which means our body uses this stuff called glycogen as a source of fuel. Glycogen is mostly produced when we eat carbs. Glycogen is the fuel for your muscles to function.
Where does all this come from? Well, I have spent the better part of 7 years trying to figure this out. I have had the amazing privilege to compete at the CrossFit Games 3 times and have reached the podium 27 times in various competitions.
Through these experiences I have failed more often than succeeded in having the right nutrition plan for pre, intra and post competition. Luckily, there are some big takeaways I have learned.
Flashback 5 years. I was competing in my 2nd competition ever. We had 3 WODs. I killed the first WOD getting 1st place overall. Post event I drank milk and had a protein shake. The second event came up and I crashed.
I drank more milk and protein shakes. I was frustrated and said, "I need to push harder for the last workout." So, I drank 3 cups of coffee to get "pumped" and crush the last workout. Also, my coach told me I didn't eat enough and gave me some tri-tip steak, a 1/4 of a sweet potato and some nuts to fuel up 90 minutes before the last wod. Take a wild guess what happened? "Crush" would be the opposite word I would use to describe my performance. I left the competition thinking, "Man I have to get fitter."
What happened? It's easy, I DIDN'T FUEL
, like at all. Here were my mistakes:
- I have no clue what I ate the night/day before and morning of which means I probably didn't eat right.
- Workout 1 I dumped my glycogen stores and did almost nothing to replace them (Hint: I needed carbs.)
I ate nuts and steak. Do you know how long those things take to break down? They did nothing for me in that last wod but sit in my belly and make the dang wall walks harder.
- Caffeine gave me a false sense of energy
Here's what I would do now:
Top off my glycogen store in the 48 hours leading up to the competition. Think carbs (breads, rice, pastas etc)
Eat a solid breakfast at least 3-4 hours before my first event. Include protein carbs and fat (not excessive but enough)
- Replace glycogen after the first event and all the future events. Immediately after the wod (while I am still breathing hard) I would have a scoop of a Carb andProtein (isolate or hydrosolate) supplements.
- Bring foods I will eat when I am not hungry. Fuel for Fire, Rice cakes, Cookies, Jelly beans etc.
Consume enough electrolytes, Fitaid, Nuun, Etc.
- Mid day eat a small meal. I like Epic bars because they taste great and break down easily (because they are blended meat) I also eat some avocado's for fat (it also breaks down quickly).
Use caffeine sparingly. You don't want to have significant highs and lows throughout the day. This is a good preworkout I use. 1.5 packets total throughout the day. 3/4 before the first WOD and 3/4 before last WOD.
- Have protein after you last event, before the beer (the beer can be your carbs). We all know we will want to be able to hit the gym on Monday.
Try a coupe of these tips out. Remember, eat enough, carbs are king and you might not just need to "get fitter".
You should spend the same amount of time thinking about your food as you do thinking about your muscle ups in 16.3.
Some of Caleb's Go-To Products:
Fuel For Fire
Nuun Active Hydration