Published January 4, 2015
Written by Charlie Orantes, Crossfit Level 1 Trainer
So you’ve been doing CrossFit for a while now and you’re starting to realize that food is more than just food. It’s the fuel that either makes your body run like an amazingly engineered, well-oiled machine that’s killing WOD’s and smashing PR’s, or its running like the engine on that beater car you drove in high school. Either way, what you put in your body will directly effect your performance.
There are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to your health, fitness and overall wellness, but your nutrition is undeniably the biggest factor. Now, you don’t have to eat “paleo” or do the whole “zone” thing to see results and feel better. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to label yourself in any way or fall into any type of diet. All you really have to do is make smarter choices and go for the good stuff, the natural and unprocessed foods. This week we will be discussing PREWOD nutrition.
We often pair up the terms pre WOD or pre workout with a supplement of the likes of NO-Xplode, Assault, C-4 or any other supplement with a name that makes you doubt whether or not it is completely safe to take it. Supplements can be great but their long-term effects on the human body, the liver and kidneys in specific, are unknown. Lots of information is out on the interwebs, both positive and negative regarding these supplements. Honestly, you can save yourself some money and go for foods that pack a punch and will get you through that WOD like Rich Froning or Camile LeBlanc-Bazinet at the Games!
Now the tricky part is what to eat, when to eat it and how much. When to eat it depends entirely on you. Some people can’t have anything besides water 1 hour before their workout, while others can eat during their workout (See Mike Derocco). You don’t want to eat your preworkout meal too early or you may run the risk of burning that energy just by sitting around.
You can get the same benefit of a supplement by eating some fruit without the danger of those mystery ingredients. Fruits are great because they are natural, contain carbohydrates (your body uses this as fuel for energy) and they can be relatively cheap. You want to go for more nutrient dense fruits like bananas, berries, melons, oranges, and apples, among others. You want to eat a serving, not until you’re full! Consume 45-30 minutes before your workout.
Oats (not that microwaveable stuff!) are a great source of carbohydrates and full of fiber, which means they gradually release carbohydrates into your bloodstream (But they’re not so full of fiber that they’ll cause gas.) This steady stream keeps your energy levels consistent during your workout. Oats also contain B vitamins, which help convert carbohydrates into energy. Help yourself to one cup at least 30 minutes before you begin exercising. Throw a banana in there and you have the ultimate 1-2 punch snack!
What do you get when you blend a bunch of fruit, some ice and some protein/greek yogurt? Heaven in a cup, that’s what! The carbs will give you energy while the protein will slowly breakdown and digest, preventing muscle tissue damage (Don’t think to deep into it. Working out tears muscle fibers). Consume this 1 hour to 30 minutes before your workout.
Yes, Peanut butter but no Jelly! Grab a slice of wholegrain bread (None of that wonder bread crap. I mean even the name sounds sketchy!), Some nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower seed, cashew, etc) and add some real fruit! Now you have the ultimate snack! Carbs for energy, protein for the damage to your muscles and fat for some more energy! Fats are denser than carbs and take longer to digest, but they also provide longer lasting energy compared to carbs. Eat this 1 hour to 45 minutes before your workout
5) Charlie’s ultimate preworkout shake
This snack is not only tasty, but its full of protein, carbs and fats. Plus, its easy to make in the morning for on the go or you can whip this up in less than 5 minutes at work. Put two heaving tablespoons of canned pumpkin in a shaker cup with milk of your choosing. Add a serving of whey protein and 2 teaspoons of chia seeds. Mix it all up and let it sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Now take that deliciousness out of the fridge and chug. Tell me that wasn’t good!
6) Sweet potatoes and avocados
Not together people! Eat one of these 1 hour before a workout and you will kill it! You can make some guac out of that avocado (no chips!) and scarf it down or you can just eat it with some sea salt and pepper. Either way you will reap the benefits of this superfood! The sweet potato can be a bit trickier. This you have to either bake or microwave to cook, but once it’s cooked, you can just eat it plain or add a tablespoon of coconut oil and some cinnamon. You will thank me later for this. Eat half before your workout and the other half post workout!