Nutrition Tips for the CrossFit Open


It’s officially here!! The 2022 CrossFit Open kicks off today and for most of us it’s a big deal!
May 12, 2022
Nutrition Tips for the CrossFit Open

It’s officially here!! The 2022 CrossFit Open kicks off today and for most of us it’s a big deal! It’s a chance for us to test all the work we put in over the last year, a chance to celebrate with our gym community and uncover the things we need to focus on in next year’s training. Most of us are looking at the next 3 weeks trying to figure out what we can do to get a slight edge on the floor this year. For me, nutrition has always been a huge part of my performance and recovery plan and it’s made all the difference in the world. Wanted to share a few tips for you to take and apply so that you can perform your best this year.

First off, I am making the assumption that you are already eating a well balanced diet filled mostly with whole foods, lean meats, healthy fats, fruits, veggies and unprocessed carbohydrates. If you are not currently doing that, I would recommend starting there before moving on to the next tips I have listed out. Starting this week use the guide below to create 3 fully balanced meals each day in the portion sizes recommended. If you are not currently doing this, just changing this for the 3 weeks of the OPEN will greatly increase your performance and recovery.

nutrition tips

If you are already eating this way 80% of the time, here are some more advanced tips that will help fuel your performances.

1. Eat more carbs the day before you plan to do the OPEN workouts. Increasing your levels of stored muscle glycogen gives you the ability to increase your performance, specifically in how many reps you can do before fatigue sets in and burn out occurs. If you have a strong foundation on how many carbs you eat during a typical day, a general guide for an increase would be 1.5X the average amount of carbs that you eat in one day. So if you eat 200g of carbs a day, 300g would be the amount you eat on the day before competing. Or if you are using the hand guide and you usually eat 3X cupped hands of carbs in a day, you would increase that to 4.5 for the day before. You can eat the extra carbs all at once, or spread them out over the day. I personally like to eat the bulk of them at night right before I go to bed with my night time snack. I sleep like a rock with a belly full of food.

2. Eat more carbs in the meal before the workout. This might be a better solution for most people that are newer to eating for performance and/or are currently working towards fat loss. A whole day of eating extra carbs will most certainly stall fat loss for that time period. It will resume when and if you go back to a calorie deficit the next day. However if you are looking to fuel your workout and stay in the Fat Loss period longer, increasing carbs 1.5X the regular amount, just for that meal before you plan to do the workout. Based on your goals, consider the trade off. Is weight loss or performance the most important thing to you right now? Answer that, then choose your strategy.

3. Focus on your hydration. When you consume extra carbs the risk of bloating may also be something that can hinder your performance. Whatever your normal amount of water intake is ( I recommend a minimum of ½ your body weight in ounces) increase slightly and make sure you are hitting it for that day of increased carbs. Also watch for increased sodium in those carbs. Instead of going for salty carbs, eat more rice, pasta, potatoes or fruit.

4. Keep up on your recovery routines. This tip isn’t nutrition specific, but it’s so important for your success as an athlete. Sleep and stress specifically have a huge impact on your ability to perform at your highest level. Do everything in your power to remove stressors and remain relaxed in the days leading up to the Open. Obviously there are things that happen in our lives that are out of our control, but you can always choose how to react. Choose to stay calm, breathe and respond accordingly. These are some habits I have built in my life that have greatly reduced stress; 1. Wake up an hour early to read, journal, breathe, reflect. 2. Turn off all notifications on my phone. 3. Remove my phone from my room, put it away at a certain time at night. 4. Stretch nightly 5. Read & meditate before bed. 6. Have a set bedtime.

These habits have also greatly increased the quality sleep that I get each night. General rule of thumb is 7-9 hours for most athletes to compete at a high level. Some people can get less than that and feel great, some need more. You will know that you got enough when you wake up full of energy, not tired and groggy. Prioritizing sleep will make a huge difference for your performance.

Finally, go out there have fun and leave it all on the floor!

– Coach Shanna

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