I get it. You’ve been training all year. You want to do well with the CrossFit Open workouts. You want to see how you stack up against every athlete around the world who has officially signed up for the CrossFit Open. And even if you are not officially signed up, you still want to challenge yourself. For some, it’s all just another workout and part of the fun. For others, it may cause stress and anxiety just thinking about it!
So how do you fuel your body for a CrossFit Open workout?
The good news is that 1.) You know what the workout is the day before, and 2.) historically, the workouts are anywhere from 5-20 minutes. This isn’t a grind it out, “Murph” type workout or a Spartan Race. These are the same length of workouts that you have been doing every day. And more than likely by now, you know what works for you.
What you really want to do before a CrossFit Open workout is maintain normalcy with eating. What you DON’T want to do is try something new – like carb load with a big plate of pasta, or chug a pre-workout beverage for the first time, or jump on the latest fad that someone told you works for them. What happened last time you fed your body something it wasn’t used to? Yep – intestinal distress and a belly ache. This is definitely something you don’t want to deal with on game day!
When it comes to the Open workouts, there are more important things to focus on instead of last-minute nutrition changes. What you can focus on:
- Hydration: not just the day of, but all week. Make sure you are drinking a minimum of ½ oz pure water per pound of body weight, with at least 8 ounces more for each hour of exercise.
- Recovery: don’t go 110% all week with your workouts. Workout at 80%. The day before, go 60% with a focus on mobility and light stretching.
- Rest & Sleep: give your body a chance to recover. Get 7-9 hours of sleep per night to let your muscles repair and replenish.
- Stress: relax. Take some deep breaths. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy your friends and the community. And have fun!
These things will have a much greater impact on your performance than any nutrition changes. Assuming you are not on a restrictive or fad diet, you should be able to perform your best during the Open. Nutrition is important and you should think about it. Not just because of the Open, but because you want to be the healthiest you all the time. Once you have dialed in your everyday healthy nutrition habits, you have control and can handle any workout that comes your way!
Michelle Ann Keely
Co-Owner, CrossFit Grail
CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
PNL1 Exercise Nutrition Certified
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