So you have a CrossFit competition coming up and you’re not sure what to eat. We get it! The nerves are high, the excitement is real, but before you head out to your local box or venue you’re going to want to make sure you know what to eat the day of a CrossFit competition so you don’t bonk and are able to perform your best.
The Lead Up To The Comp
Often overlooked, the week of the competition is important, just as much as eating the day of the comp. Without doing so, your body can feel alarmed, stressed out, and respond in ways that you’re not used to, especially because we often go harder when the comp feels are high as compared to everyday training.
High Quality H20
Before we get into food, let’s talk about water. Water is SO often overlooked when it comes to optimizing our health, aesthetics, and performance. Everyday, and leading up to your CrossFit competition, we recommend consuming 80-120 oz water throughout the day. No, we’re not talking about slamming a gallon at 7:00 pm because you forgot. We’re talking about 1-2 cup per hour (general recommendation) to spread intake throughout the day. If you consume caffeine? We recommend drinking water between your cups of coffee. If you’re training? We recommend hydrating before, during, and after.
The day of the comp shouldn’t really e much different. You’ll want to bring water with you so that you don’t have to buy water at the event. As you compete throughout the day we recommend drinking 100-120 oz that day, spread throughout the day.
Ah, electrolytes. Before we get into what to eat the day of a CrossFit competition let’s put a little note in here about electrolyte replenishment. Leading up to the comp, as you’re drinking your water, you’ll want to aim for 2,000 - 4,000 mg sodium per day. On top of this, you’ll want to eat foods that are rich in magnesium and potassium. Electrolytes are just minerals are your body uses to function optimally. Not only do they help keep your pH levels in check, they also help your muscles contract/relax, hydrate you, regulate blood pressure, and more. Especially if you experience electrolyte imbalances.
High Electrolyte Foods:
- Leafy Green Vegetables (spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc.)
- Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli)
- Grains (whole grains, wheat germ, oat bran)
- Nuts & Seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds, etc.)
- Vegetables (sweet potato, beets, avocado, etc.)
- Beans, Lentils, Legumes
- Dried Fruit (apricots, mango, dates, etc.)
- Pickle Juice (does it work though?)
Electrolyte and BCAA supplements are also a great addition to your daily hydration routine. You can take them before, during, or after training/competition, mixed in with your pre workout, or on their own if you struggle drinking plain water throughout the day. You’ll not only want to do this to improve hydration, but to also prevent unnecessary muscle mass breakdown and Rhabdo.
Recommended Product: Swolverine’s BCAA + Electrolyte Supplement (Lemon Lime) 60 Servings
What To Eat The Week Of A CrossFit Competition
The biggest thing about eating ahead of time is knowing which foods do, and don’t, make you feel your best. The last thing that you want to do the day of a competition is try new foods. Stress and anxiety, albeit good, can wreak havoc on our digestion so incorporating familiar foods will keep the body at bay so you can focus on your performance and not barfing or how bloated you are.
Leading up to it, we recommend incorporating more carbohydrates, especially 2-3 days in advance. As far as a macro percentage split, we’re talking an increase of 10-15% of your carbs while keeping fat in the 15-20% range and filling the rest with protein. Carbohydrates contain glycogen which is going to be your muscle’s premier fuel source during competition. Yes, protein is important as well, but since you’re going to be doing more workouts in a day (typically 2-5) as compared to a regular workout day, your muscles are going to crave this optimal fuel source required for high intensity energy output. Carbs are king here my friends!
What To Eat The Day Of A CrossFit Competition
As stated previously, you’ll want to bring your water with you, your Swolverine BCAA + Electrolyte powder, as well as a robust amount of food and carbohydrates to fuel your performance all through the entire day. Let’s break it down a bit further though for a better understanding of what to eat the day of a CrossFit competition.
As needed, recommended 2 cups upon waking and 1-2 cups prior to your first event (this is typically drank with your pre workout supplements or by itself).
Leading up to a competition you’ll want to focus on slow digesting carbohydrates to load up the glycogen stores in your muscles. What is this going to do? As you head into a day full of fun, intense, and grueling workouts you’re going to be able to provide your body with the high quality energy it needs to support high intensity activity, like a CrossFit competition. We definitely recommend adding in plenty of vegetables, which are carbohydrates, but in addition to that you’re going to want to not be afraid of carb sources like sweet potato, yams, oats, rice and quinoa. Yum!
The night before the competition you’ll want to have healthy fats, quality carbohydrates like the ones mentioned above, as well as sufficient protein (we’ll get to protein in a minute). Don’t eat something you’re unfamiliar with eating or are unsure of how it is going to sit with you. Similar to how you don’t want to try something new the day of the comp, we don’t recommend trying something new the night before, either.
The day of the CrossFit competition we recommend sending it on breakfast and fueling up for the day. The carbohydrates that you’re going to want to have aren’t too different than what you normally would eat, but they key here is convenience with quality snacks. Pureed food, mashed food, easy to eat foods like bananas, rice cakes, chicken and rice, peanut butter and jellies, or an awesome meal replacement shake/liquid made with one scoop of Swolverine’s Whey Protein Isolate and 1 scoop of Swolverine’s Clean Carbs so that you can get a meal in (especially when you’re not feeling hungry and NEED to eat) along with some hydration from the water.
Recommended Product: Swolverine’s Clean Carbs (45 servings) of Sweet Potato, Yam, Oat and Blueberry
Lastly, don’t forget to fuel between events. It’s easy to forget to eat, not feel hungry, or not prioritize it. However, if you don’t, you’re going to bonk and wish you did.
Leading up to competition day we recommend 30-35% of your total calories in a day to be made up with protein. Protein is a great way to stay in a positive amino acid balance, prevent unnecessary muscle mass breakdown, and to also encourage your body to build and rebuild muscle tissue from training the week of. Often times people think that just because they’re doing a comp over the weekend that they shouldn’t train at all - which couldn’t be further from the truth. Same thing goes with food - you’ve got to nourish to flourish!
The night before the competition make sure you incorporate protein of some sort with dinner in 4-8 oz servings. Think salmon, chicken, ground turkey, beef, shrimp, etc. Throw it with carbs, healthy fats, and vegetables as mentioned previously and you’re going to be fueling your body correctly for the day to come.
The day of the competition, remember, convenience is key. Bring chicken and rice, boiled eggs, protein bars, Swolverine’s Whey Protein Isolate, deli meat, peanut butter, and things that you enjoy eating so that you don’t upset your stomach along the way. Try not to do something new and make sure to refuel, as mentioned, between events so that you can recover and prepare well for the next Metcon.
Side note: we do not recommend fueling with Collagen. While collagen powder is great, it isn’t great for your muscles, and that’s what you need to fuel the day of a comp.
We do not recommend incorporating many fat based macros or foods into what you eat the day of a CrossFit competition. While there’s nothing wrong with fats as a food group, they do take a longer time to digest and give us more long-burning energy, as compared to readily available energy from glycogen and carbohydrates. In turn, this makes fat a very inefficient source of energy for our bodies during a CrossFit competition. We recommend keeping them at 15-20% of your total calories for the day and consuming them not around competition time, such as later in the evening or the early morning.
Pre Workout Supplements
The day of a competition you’re going to want to stick to your regular supplement routine and get plenty of water. For example, BCAAs need 12 or more ounces of water to be mixed with them so that they process well throughout the digestive system. Want to avoid stomach cramps? Drink your water! On top of it, most pre-workout supplements contain a ton of uncessary ingredients, fillers, caffeines and sugars. Instead of taxing and waxing your adrenal system, we recommend using a clinically dosed, scientifically proven, athlete tested, stimulant and sugar free pre workout. Does such a thing even exist though!? Yes, yes it does my friends, and it comes directly from the Athlete trusted and tested brand, Swolverine.
The other great thing about these products, aside from their effectiveness, is that you can take them multiple times throughout the day of a CrossFit competition to give yourself the best opportunity to push the needle on your performance, improve peak power output, and push right past the competition, leaving them wondering “how did they do it!?”.
What To Eat After A CrossFit Competition
Alright! You did it! It’s time to celebrate, but we encourage you to celebrate responsibly. No, we’re not the fun police here to ruin your afternoon. We’re just saying to be kind to your body and don’t forget to refuel and rehydrate it, while you’re also partying with your buds. Don’t overload yourself into a complete food coma and take it slow on the alcohol because it can hit pretty quickly. Additionally, the last thing you want to feel is hungover, bloated, and with digestive upset the day after. Capeesh?
Takeaway: What To Eat Before A CrossFit Competition
CrossFit competitions are one of the most fun ways to hang with your friends and showcase the skills you’ve been building day in and day out. With a little preparation, prioritization, and the right supplements, you’re going to prime yourself for the best CrossFit competition you’ve ever done. Good luck, you got this!
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