I’m not quite sure why it’s taken me this long to write about the subject of pre-workout nutrition.
I mean, I’ve had this conversation with, I dunno, 50 or more of our members…
Maybe that’s why I’ve never written about it.
Maybe I just figured the people that needed the info have already received it straight from the horses mouth (did I just refer to myself as a horse? I wonder what kind of horse I’d be if I was one…) and so there was no point in writing about it.
Well, after having this conversation one too many times and having a few of our coaches tell me that they’ve had this conversation with a few members, I figured I better write this stuff down.
So, before we get started, I want want to warn you, this WILL NOT be a biology lesson.
I’m going to keep this very simple and high level with the hope that you won’t need a college text book to understand, but if you have more detailed questions, feel free to shoot me an email or ask me in class or ask your coach for more info.
Without further ado…
Step 1: Decide what time you’re going to work out. It’s really hard to decide what or when you should eat before your workout if you don’t know when you’re going to work out.
Step 2: Determine if you would like to eat something and have it in your stomach during the workout, or if you’d prefer liquid nutrients because you have a tendency to feel sick or get sick during hard training.
Step 3a: If you want food, have some form of carbohydrate (my suggestion is a piece of your favorite fruit) ready to consume approximately 30-60 minutes before your class starts. Most average sized pieces of fruit like bananas or apples contain approximately 25g of carbohydrates, which should be good to get you through a CrossFit class. If you want to eat a different kind of fruit, just type it in google to figure out how many grams of carbs it has an try to consume about 25-30 grams worth. For example, if you wanted to eat kiwi’s you’d have to eat 2 or 3 of them because an average kiwi has about 10g of carbs.
Step 3b: If you don’t want food because you think you’ll puke or maybe because you’re one of the crazies that comes to 5 am class and you wake up like 15 minutes before you have to be at the gym, you should look into drinking some quick absorbing carbs. Our favorite supplement company, Driven Nutrition, offers a product called GlycoDrive that is unflavored and has 27g of carbs per serving, so that’s a good option. I also like a product called Cytomax (I like the Cool Citrus flavor) that is kind of like Gatorade, but it’s got about half as much sugar and has 22g of carbs in it, so it can be a good option too. If you’re going to drink this stuff in the morning, you should try to drink it before class or before and during the warm up so it can begin to be absorbed and used by your body.
Step 4: Enjoy a well fueled workout without the light headedness, bonking, bobble headed zombie or any other weird feelings you’ve had in the past that are caused by lack of fuel. Having your body more well prepared with the proper fuel will not turn you into the next Rich Froning, but hopefully it’ll help you avoid feeling like you’re going to pass out for no reason 2-3 minutes into a 20 minute workout. Don’t get me wrong, you will still get REALLY tired when you do Murph (run 1 mile, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats, run 1 mile), but it’ll be because you are working hard, not because you’re running on empty.
Step 5: Reap the rewards of improved fuel in workouts with improved overall fitness. It’s really hard to get more fit when you spend half your workout just standing around doing nothing because you body has an empty fuel tank. Hopefully by following these simple steps you will be able to push yourself to new heights and it’ll all result in overall improved fitness.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve got answers.
And if I don’t, I’ll gladly find them and pass them along or write a Part 2 piece of this blog post so I can share them with the world.