Should You Change Your Diet Around the Open?
The CrossFit Open is upon us!! And although it may be VERY different this year given that only the top individual in the WORLD will be qualifying for the CF Games, many of us still put a lot of weight on the Open and it is a time of high stress!
So you may be wondering some things:
Should I be changing my nutrition at all leading up the Open?
What should I be doing the day before the workout?
I usually workout in the evening, but now I’m doing the Open at 10 am – what should I do?!?
First of all, take a deep breath! Then CF Open is meant to be FUN. It is a time to get together with your community, compete against YOURSELF (no one else), and see what you’re made of. Like I said, unless you are the top of the top in the world – the Open should not be THAT stressful.
So some things to think about when focusing on your nutrition during the Open –
Will you be training less than normal?
A lot of times, the week leading up to the Open, you take it a little bit lighter in training. You may take an extra day off prior to the workout, and then if you are only doing the workout, it may be less volume than you are used to compared to a class workout. Or maybe you get SO sore from the workout that you take an extra lighter day on Monday/Tuesday and really only workout hard 1-2 days a week.
Or for my top level athletes, if you are training 2-3 hours a day, one CF Open workout probably doesn’t seem like much (even though it is severely taxing your Central Nervous System), but consider that you might do it over and over again multiple times.
A lot of people are quick to cut intake because they feel like they aren’t doing “as much” as they normally do, but be careful here. If you want to drop carbs slightly, then you should discuss that with your coach, but if any changes are made, they should be SMALL. You still need to fuel yourself leading up to that workout, and it is only 5 weeks.
Is your current diet less than impressive?
If you don’t have the greatest quality food in your diet and are worried about making tons of changes now, DON’T BE! There is no bad time to start cleaning up your diet! You can absolutely start feeling better immediately once you start incorporating more nutrient dense foods instead of crap like fast food and processed sugars. So please, by all means, if you change ONE thing around the Open – change the quality of your diet! It can only help.
On the flip side, if you already eat well and track your intake, now isn’t the time to change up intake levels or add in new routines.
Are you working out at a different time than normal?
Do you usually workout at 5:15 am or 7:30 pm and now you’re all of a sudden doing the workout at 10 am on a Saturday?
No worries! There are just some things you may need to adjust. If you usually workout in the early hours of the day and don’t eat anything prior, now you may have to consider taking in a light breakfast. Make sure you’re done eating 2-3 hours prior to the workout and do something easy on the stomach including proteins and carbohydrates. Something like some eggs and toast w/ nut butter or fresh fruit.
Some things we don’t advise you do prior to the workout that aren’t already part of your routine:
1. Coffee – If you typically don’t drink coffee prior to your workout, now isn’t the time. The caffeine will speed up a possible already sped up bathroom situation because of anxiety. And it will also spike that heart rate higher than it needs to be given we will spike it plenty high with our nervousness and way too hot out of the gate start on that first Open workout.
2. Pre-Workout/BCAA’s or Beta Alanine – Again, this could be a great option to sip on 30-60 minutes prior to the workout, but only if your body is used to it!
3. Eating prior to the workout – Like I said, if you normally workout fasted, now is not the time to eat a full on meal 2 hours prior to the workout because you are working out at 10 am instead of your normal 5;15 AM. We recommend something LIGHT 2.5-3 hours prior.
In our next blog, we will discuss more specifics behind the Pre and Post-Workout that could benefit you around the Open workouts, so keep your eyes peeled!