Well it is now the Crossfit Season for competitions, with some sort of competition going on almost every weekend for the next few months.
So how can you nourish your body so you can compete to your full potential? Whether you are an athlete or not; don't we all want to work as hard as possible?
Here are a few tips:
1. Start with the previous day; dinner the night before a comp - it is time to carb up; add some rice/pasta/noodles to your meal to top up your glycogen stores. Carbs are your bodies preferred fuel source on a competition day! So topping up your stores means you will be fresh and ready to go the following day.
The same goes with the breakfast on comp day. Oats/muesli and yoghurt, a smoothie with oats, fruit, honey and coconut water or milk, raisin toast with honey/jam. The same rules apply you are topping yourself up to make sure your body is fuelled to go.
2. You need to eat!! Most people tend to avoid eating throughout the day because they are either too nervous or have no appetite. As a result, they get to the end of the day and bam they have nothing left. I know I used to do it, I would rarely eat on a competition day because I was so nervous or the thought of food would make me want to be sick. Fluids will be your saving grace (dextrose/gatorade powder/staminade are good options!) or high carb bars like cliff bars or fruit/dried fruit! You have to get something in. I promise it will help.
3. Carbs are your best friend, not fats nor really protein. This is something most crossfitters typically lack especially when you are completing 3-4 hard intense workouts. If you don't, the the last 1-2 workouts will be quite hard to get through. Most would put it down to hard day of competition. I put it down to not refuelling your body appropriately.
Depending upon the workout will depend how much carbs you need. A few short 3-4 minute workout or a pure strength will not need as many carbs much as a workout that lasts 15-20 minutes and you just grind away at it without stopping. Good options are muesli bars; dried fruit and nut balls; bread rolls; fruit; cliff bars; oat based slices; banana sandwiches etc... and make sure you consume 1-2 things after each workout!.
4. Hydrate - dehydration can impair your performance by up to 60-70%. Which is quite a lot! If you are competing outdoors, you will experience some sort of dehydration unless you are continually rehydrating.
5. If the workouts are only short, I wouldn't really take on too much protein. Maybe 1-2 serves throughout the day to help with muscle repair, but on a competition day it isn't as much of a focus. Cliff bars have some in them that is why I like them, or you can 1/2 serve of protein powder.
6. Eat a good nutritious meal high in carbs and a moderate serve of protein post the comp and try to avoid alcohol. Alcohol will decrease your recovery!
I hope this helps you get through your competition day/weekend. If you would like us to write one out for you send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org