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Post-CrossFit-Games: What’s next?

With the CrossFit Games officially behind us and the Open far enough away to feel no urgency to prep, what are we to do?
 
Slack on our training and abandon those habits we’ve worked so hard to achieve?
No way. We all know that the most important training time is actually in the off- season.
 
Begin preparing for next year’s open right now. While there are so many factors that go into training – like hydration, mindset, programming, sleep, etc. – we’re going to start by giving you some pointers on the aspect that we know best: Nutrition.
 
Below, we break down our recommendations for pre-training and post-training so that you can use your nutrition to perform your best and reach your goals.
 
PRE-WORKOUT NUTRITION 
1-3 Hours Before WorkoutThis time-frame gives you time to digest and supplies your body with vitamins and minerals for optimal organ and muscle function.

Which Macros And Why?

Carbs: Whatever the workout entails (long, short, endurance or resistance) eat a mix of high and low-GI carbs (for example, grains with leafy greens).

Protein: Exercise damages muscle tissue, but protein keeps amino acids stocked while promoting protein synthesis. Make sure this meal includes a bit of lean protein.

Fat: Fat slows the digestion of food so eat some but keep it low. This will ensure that the protein and carbs you’re eating are more effectively utilized. 
30 Minutes Before WorkoutEating earlier is optimal but if you’re unable (for example, if you’re working out early in the morning), then eat immediately before.

Which Macros And Why?

Carbs: With less time to digest whole food, stick with high-GI carbs. Examples include (but are in no way limited to) white rice, fruit, baby food, fuel pouches and carb/protein shakes. High-GI carbs digest easier and absorb quicker.

Protein: Protein is important and we recommend opting for a whey protein shake because it is fast digesting.

Fat: Fat should be mostly avoided in this meal, it further slows digestion and you want those nutrients utilized as quickly as possible!

POST-WORKOUT NUTRITION 
0-2 Hours After WorkoutThis meal enhances your recovery for the next day. So if you’re doing more challenging, competition-style workouts multiple days in a row then the earlier you can refuel the better! The sooner you’re refueled, the sooner you’ll kick into ‘recovery mode.’

Which Macros And Why?

Carbs replenish glycogen stores, particularly right after a heavy workout. Sticking to high-GI carbs will be especially beneficial. If you workout multiple times daily or go to your job afterward, then carb intake is extra important.

Eat protein ASAP. Protein will continue promoting muscle maintenance and growth. A whey protein shake or another lean protein source will do the trick!

Keep fat intake low here: Fat will slow the release of glycogen and decrease the rate of protein and carb digestion (which means a longer time before your fuel can aid in recovery!) 
2+ Hours After WorkoutThis meal allows you to stay recovering from your earlier workout, and if it is one of your last meals of the day it also prepares you for a good night’s sleep. This is important because certain recovery is specific to sleep! Recovery also ensures proper preparation for the next workout. Now is the best time to fit in those essential macronutrients, micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that you didn’t eat around workout times, such as fats and more fibrous vegetables.

Which Macros And Why?

Low-Gl carbs keep glycogen and glucose stocked without spiking insulin. You will get the benefits of carbs and feel full without the unnecessary spike of energy while you rest.

Protein, especially slow-digesting (casein) protein, is ideal for continued muscle growth and maintenance while you rest.

Fats keep the digestion and release of carbohydrates and insulin steady. So, the majority of your fat should be eaten during this time window. Fat also transports important vitamins and minerals around your body, required for healthy organ function. 

These are general recommendations and your specific needs may vary based on gender, lean muscle mass, what time of the day you’re doing the workout, temperature, recovery time until your next workout and so many more variables! You can use them as a starting point to see what works for you for optimal performance.
 
Can’t wait to see what you accomplish!

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