How Nutrition Can Impact Your Performance in the Open (or any workout)
Whether or not you have participated in the open before, one element, good nutrition, remains critical for everyone who wants to achieve their peak performance and improve recovery following a workout. Nutrition can either enhance or hinder your performance. Even though Open workouts are typically just one workout per week, they should be treated like any other competition. Recovery is absolutely essential, especially if you intend to repeat any of the workouts. Remember, recovery starts with proper nutrition immediately after you finish a workout.
Here are some tips from your Block CrossFit dietitian, “Shet”, for getting the most out of your open workouts:
Make nutrition as much of a priority as workouts. People often put in a tremendous amount of time in the gym each week and spend a fraction of their time in the kitchen planning and meal prepping. Emphasizing proper nutrition throughout the 5 week span can have a significant impact in one’s overall standing on the leaderboard.
- Take time to grocery shop and to prepare the majority of what you eat at home. Fast food should be considered a last resort!
- Plan meals and snacks ahead of time.
- Aim for consistency each week, not perfection.
- If you really want to step-up your nutrition, try keeping a food journal for a few days or weeks to help you identify patterns or areas of improvement.
- Eat frequently throughout the day to avoid getting too hungry and ultimately making poor decisions.
Promise me that you will not restrict carbohydrates on the day you intend to perform one of the Open workouts. That would make your muscles sad. That doesn’t mean eat junky carbohydrates like refined breads, cereals or sugar-sweetened beverages. Those will most likely work against you. Choose easy to digest carbohydrates like fruit or starchy veggies, whole grains, etc. Yogurt and a banana would be an example of a good pre or post-workout snack depending upon the individual. See other ideas below.
Hydrate. Drink water. Add lemon, lime or fruit for a little extra flavor if you’d like, but drink it all day, every day. Even slight dehydration can have a detrimental impact on performance. Being dehydrated by just 1% can increase you heart rate by 10 beats per minute!
Eat as soon as possible post-workout even if it’s just 10g of protein and 10g of carbohydrates. Recovery does NOT begin until you eat post-workout. Refuel with a mixture of protein and carbohydrates (approx.15-30g protein and 45-75g carbohydrates). Nutrition can help start to repair damaged tissues, speed muscle repair, reduce inflammation, reduce core temperature and aid in rehydration (you rehydrate better if you eat protein and carbohydrates with fluids).
Here are some pre-post workout meal ideas for competition day. Remember, nothing new on competition day! The best pre/post workout meal is one that is well tolerated!
- Whole wheat toast with nut butter or jam + eggs
- Low-fat Greek yogurt + low-sugar granola + fruit
- Oatmeal + milk + nuts + fruit
- Low-fat cottage cheese + fruit + whole wheat English muffin
- Turkey/ chicken/ salmon/ veggie burger on whole wheat bun + salad or low-fat yogurt
- Turkey sandwich + low fat cheese + fruit
- Tuna Sandwich + fruit + low-fat yogurt
- Chicken or fish with veggies and brown rice or quinoa
If you have questions about your nutrition see Caitlin! I’m always happy to help. Good luck with the last few workouts!