Two things are important to consider when learning to fuel your body appropriately for a workout:
1. What type are they (i.e. cardio based, heavy lifting, short or long duration)?
2. And how have you been feeling the past few weeks during your workouts (i.e. tired, weak, bloated)?
This usually means your diet needs work. Understanding how to eat correctly takes a lot of conscious effort and willpower. Is the WOD more of a cardio intense 30-minute workout; is it more heavy lifting EMOM; or is it short intervals of AMRAP weight and intensity?
This makes a difference in what you should be eating prior. Although lifting weight does build muscle mass which can increase our metabolic rate, muscle mass does not replace our body fat. Doing 10 minutes of back squats along with a five minute, for time, workout does not mean you will burn enough calories to enjoy a high-fat, carb loaded meal afterwards.
All calories are not created equal. The calories you get from a Chipotle burrito are not the same as the calories you get from a bowl of oatmeal made with skim milk, fresh berries, and walnuts.
All foods provide us with unique properties our bodies utilize for different reasons. What we eat throughout the day or immediately before a workout does play a role in our performance. The burrito will most likely make you feel sluggish throughout your day.
With the CrossFit Open workouts coming up, I challenge you to think about your pre-workout meals and snacks. The workouts are later in the day so plan accordingly. There will be enough time to eat breakfast and lunch, and 1-2 snacks should also be included.
No matter what the workout released entails, your breakfast and lunch should be well-balanced meals (include a carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fat source). Preferably both of your carb sources should be whole grain and full of fiber at your meals. Portion sizes will be based on your weight and gender. You will be building up your energy stores to be used later during the workouts. Make sure you are also drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Look at the workouts the night before. Again, is it cardio based, weight/high intensity based, or more heavy lifting? No matter what, a snack beforehand is going to be beneficial.
Cardio based (i.e. rowing, burpees, wallballs etc.) you will want more of a simple (low-fiber) 30-gram carb-based snack about 15-30 minutes before the workout is starting. If it is weight and high intensity based (i.e. dumbbell or kettlebells), stick to the simple carb as well as a protein source about 45 mins beforehand. If it is heavy lifting (i.e. max back squat test) plan for a higher fiber carb, fat and protein source snack about 1 hour before hand. These guidelines also apply for everyday WODs.
Keep an eye out on the Facebook page after the Open workouts are released for some examples of pre-workout snack ideas!
Click here to schedule a free No Snack Intro.