7 Quick Fueling Tips for CrossFitters
Whether you want to PR a lift, move through a WOD efficiently, or finally know what it feels like to have a second (or even a third!) gear in a workout, these quick fueling tips for CrossFitters are the first step in getting there.
Although personalizing your approach with an experienced coach is the best way to go, you can follow the general fueling tips below to see and feel immediate results.
Top Nutrition Tips for Athletes
1. Eat Enough
When you’re aiming for a lean body composition and optimal performance, it is easy to get stuck undereating which will hinder performance and recovery. The exact amount you need is based on a host of factors like age, sex, NEAT, exercise intensity and frequency, and more. The free WAG Macro Calculator will help you determine your calorie needs based on your goals.
2. Track Your Intake
Once you know how much you should eat, regularly tracking your intake will help you determine if and when you need changes to your program. Tracking also helps you hold yourself accountable to your goals when you need a little extra push to stick with it.
3. Know Your Macros
Carbs, protein, and fat play different roles in your body when it comes to training and recovery.
- Carbs are the fuel to your fire. Stick to quick-digesting, high GI carbs right before and after your workout to give your body immediate fuel to use for performance and recovery.
- Keep protein steady throughout your day. Aim to eat lean protein options around workouts and get protein in ASAP after a workout to optimize your recovery.
- Fat slows down the digestion of the other foods you eat it with, so limit it right before and right after your workout.
4. Timing Matters
Aim to eat a meal or larger snack 1-2 hours before your workout, a pre-workout snack 30-45 minutes out, and get in a post-workout meal 2-4 hours after training. Get more guidance here. Wondering about the 40 anabolic window? Although it doesn’t hurt to eat your post workout meal within this timeframe, this is generally most important if you’re training fasted. Consistent daily macro intake is more important.
5. Focus on The Big Bills
Speaking of what is most important, don’t skip over dollars to collect pennies. The “non-sexy” stuff like sleep, hydration, food quality, and consistent calorie intake gives you more bang for your effort buck than supplementation or “perfect” meal timing. Those things become more important and worth your time when the lower levels of the pyramid are solid.
6. Go With What You Know
Especially when it comes to CrossFit competition day, stick with foods you’re familiar with around important workouts. Save new foods, supplements, or timing techniques for lower-risk training sessions. This ensures you aren’t surprised by GI upset or other unwanted side-effects when you need to perform at your best.
7. Keep the Healthy Choice the Easy Choice
You’re much more likely to eat the foods that are convenient to you. So, make sure you keep whole, healthy foods that help you reach your goals in the front of your fridge, on your countertop and in your line of sight in your pantry. Leave harder-to-moderate foods at the grocery store or put them in hard-to-reach or see places in your home when you have specific goals and need to be consistent as possible.
Final Fueling Tips for CrossFitters
Nutrition is a contradiction—it can both incredibly complex and pretty simple. It depends on your goals, what you’re willing to commit to, and how long you’ve been at it.
As you get started, focusing on overall intake, food quality and macro ratios will make a big difference in your performance and body composition. Once you’ve nailed the basics, micronutrients, meal timing, and supplementation start to play a role in optimal performance and recovery success.
If you want support navigating the nuances and finding what works best for you, a 1-on-1 nutrition coach will make all the difference. Learn more about Working Against Gravity and get started with a coach today!