by Aimee Wojtowecz
Murph is coming! It’s basically our CrossFit marathon and is generally the biggest workout of the year at our gym.
Nutrition is the key component for maximizing athletic performance and overall health! When preparing for a fitness event, planning your nutrition is just as important as planning your workouts leading into the event. If you want to perform your best and optimize your recovery there are a few strategies you might want to consider:
- Eat your veggies! And your fruits. Fruits and vegetables are full of micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients) that are essential for energy production and aid in blood flow, cell and muscle repair and overall recovery. Eat a high quality, nutrient dense diet.
- Get and stay hydrated. Most of the time plain water will do just fine but sometimes in workouts that are more intense, or a longer duration, or if it’s especially hot & humid, you might need a little more. Try coconut water, a pre-made sports drink (we love O2 Recovery), or an add-in like Nuun or Liquid IV. A loss of sweat equal to 2% of body weight causes a noticeable decrease in physical and mental performance. Losses of 5% or more of body weight during physical activities may decrease the capacity for work by roughly 30%. Post-workout hydration is equally as important to aid in recovery.
- Carb load, but do it smart! There’s a lot of misinformation about carbs. Carb loading the night before is actually a big mistake as it takes time for the body to adjust to a sudden high influx of carbs. Keep your meals balanced in the weeks leading up to the event and make sure to include a serving of carbohydrates at each meal. Quality is key! Two to four hours before the event, have a carbohydrate rich meal or snack. Some ideal combinations include cereal with milk (or premade protein shake: The Fairlife Vanilla one is pretty amazing in Life cereal is all I’m saying); Greek yogurt with fruit and some granola; half a peanut butter sandwich and a banana; oatmeal and protein powder; or an applesauce pouch and a small protein shake.
- Don’t try anything new! The day of your event is not the time to try something new. If you want to experiment with your nutrition try out some options you think you will like before a few regular workouts leading up to the event. You do not want to find out as you arrive that oatmeal makes you feel bloated and sluggish or makes you run to the bathroom.
- Maintain a healthy relationship with food! Eating should be both healthful AND enjoyable.
- Sleep 7-9 hours a night.
- Take a rest day! Your body needs time to reduce stress levels and solid nutrition to accelerate recovery.
- Add in relaxation and recovery strategies such as:
- Rhythmic breathing
- Stress reduction techniques
- Massage therapy
Do you typically think about your workout nutrition? If the answer is no, why not?