What To Eat Before A CrossFit Competition
You’re already going to be nervous enough for competition day and the last thing you need to do is forget to eat, let alone try to eat, and not know what to eat before a CrossFit Competition. You need fuel and glycogen for your muscles and for your body to produce energy to support your efforts, but what about protein? Or fat? We’re going to break down what to eat before a CrossFit competition so that you can crush your goals, set new PRs, and have plenty of energy all day long.
Feeing your body is crucial to be able to not only support your activity, but so that you can feel strong, confident, and powerful through a variety of movements. What you also don’t want though is to feel nauseas when you’re doing bar muscle ups or weak when you’re trying to get under a big snatch weight. The best way to prepare for eating before a CrossFit competition is to prepare in the days leading up to it, not just the day of. Why? Well, you’ll be able to know how to fuel your body, what foods make you feel the best, and not really have to think about it the day of.
What if you’re just starting out? What if this is your first competition? What if you have no clue what to eat before workouts, let alone a competition? Don’t fret! We’re going to breakdown each component of what you should eat before a CrossFit competition, whether you’re a veteran to the sport or true novice. Let’s dig in.
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Nutrition Two Days Before A CrossFit Competition
About two days before the CrossFit competition you’re going to compete in is a good time to load up your glycogen (muscle energy) stores with quality carbohydrates. Competition is stressful and demanding enough and if you don’t have enough gas in the tank, so to speak, you’re going to feel the ramifications when you try to step on the pedal. Glycogen is your muscles energy sources. It’s a sugar and it is stored in both your liver and in your muscle tissue, waiting to be used in power packed, energy demanding situations, like a comp.
Carbohydrates are not only going to be important to have a day or two ahead of time throughout your daily meal schedule, but also the day of, and before each event during the competition (there’s usually 3-5 events per comp and they last anywhere from 4 minutes to 20 minutes each). The goal of carbohydrates pre and post workout is to refill the liver and muscle glycogen stores so that when you need to call on that energy again in the next workout, you have something in there to use.
The carbohydrates that you should incorporate into your meals the two days before a competition should be slower digesting carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes, chickpeas, beans, legumes, brown rice, quinoa, old fashioned oats, yams, and lower sugar fruits like blueberries and strawberries. You should also incorporate vegetables, especially leafy green ones and vibrant colored ones, like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, and brighter ones like tomatoes, zucchini, and squash. As you may notice, these recommendations aren’t too different from your daily recommendations, but it's important to include them nonetheless.
If you're low on vegetables regularly in your daily diet or you flat out don't eat them, we recommend considering supplementing with a high quality greens and reds powder to deliver quality micronutrients to your body to stay injury free and on top of your game.
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Your body is dependent on water not only during your regular days as an active individual, but even more so leading up to a competition. We always recommend to our clients to drink ~100 oz of water per day for optimal recovery, hydration, and bodily function. Why? Your body depends on it! Whether it is your brain keeping you focused or your muscles keeping you strong, every piece of your body and bodily function requires water.
On competition day we recommend about the same amount, making sure that you’re regularly sipping on your water and not just pounding it all at once when you remember. Drink before, during, and after a workout as needed. If you’re prone to not drinking water or are looking to add some BCAAs to your water, we recommend adding one that has sodium, potassium, and L-Glutamine like Swolverine’s BCAA powder, designed for athletes just like you.
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Electrolytes For CrossFitters
When we demand a lot of energy from our bodies, we sweat and we often lose electrolytes, especially sodium. When drinking your water regularly, leading up to, and the day of your CrossFit competition you may want to consider adding in sodium here and there in your water and on your food to replenish what you lose through sweat.
Bananas and potassium based foods are also a great way to replenish electrolytes before and after workouts, especially before you start an event at a CrossFit Competition. Coconut water is another great go-to electrolyte replenishment option as well as a BCAA powder to prevent unnecessary muscle mass breakdown and replenish electrolyte loss.
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Symptoms of Electrolyte Imbalance
Pre-Workout Food Ideas
Carbohydrates and protein are the most important thing to incorporate into a meal or snack that you have and fuel with before a CrossFit Competition or right before an event. Most comps start early in the morning and athlete briefing is usually even earlier. Not a big morning eater? You gotta eat something! Try to opt for food that is rich in carbs and protein and minimal on fat. Fat can take longer to digest and slow down the digestion and absorption of carbs and protein pre-workout. Convenience is key and keep in mind that you don’t want to feel overwhelmingly packed with food, but you also don’t want to be hungry.
The Best Pre-Workout Foods:
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich on bread or bagel
- Greek Yogurt and fruit
- Sweet potato and chicken
- Whey Protein Isolate and Swolverine’s Clean Carbs
- Nut Butters
- Overnight Oats with Protein Powder
- Rice Cakes with Peanut Butter
- Barebell Bars
- Chicken and Rice
- Burrito Bowl
- Coconut Water with protein
- Protein Cake Bites
- Quest Cookies
- Lenny & Larry Cookies
- Quest Chips and Turkey Sandwich
- Power Crunch Bar
- Apple and Peanut Butter
What To Eat Before A CrossFit Competition: Takeaway
Competition day is full of nerves and excitement and you’ll need food to perform and feel your very best. What to eat before a CrossFit competition doesn’t have to be complicated, or stressful, so as long as you remember to eat. A few days leading up to a competition make sure that you’re eating plenty of quality carbohydrates, including a combination of starch based carbs and vegetables, fruit, high protein and high quality fats.
The day of competition convenience is going to be key and you’ll want a lot of options and variety in your bag, especially if you haven’t done this before. Munch on something right after competition and about 30 minutes before your next event. If you’re in a pinch, or you’re not up for eating a complete meal, we recommend combining 1 scoop of Swolverine’s Whey Protein Isolate and 1 scoop of Swolverine’s Clean Carb powder as a liquid meal replacement that is easy of the stomach and delicious tasting. After all, it was invented for athletes, just saying! Now go crush that competition, we believe in you and we’re rooting for you from afar!
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