"She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong." PROVERBS 31:17

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The 2016 Open: Nutrition Strategy Guide

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This time of year is special for our community.  We all get the oppurtunity to test our fitness on a worldwide level.  For every person this means something different – some of us are competitors, some of us are coming back from injury, some first time participants, and some simply want to prove they have put in a year of hard work and are better than they were last year.  Wherever you stand on that spectrum, this time of year should mean a lot to you.

There is no doubt it can get hectic and stressful.  You have been in class all year, studying material, taking practice tests…. but when it “counts”, it counts!  That whole concept can be nerve wracking.  As the sport grows, there are more and more “strategy videos” and “tips for success” popping up all over the place during this time of year.  As a nutrition coach year round, I thought it would be a fun idea to chime in with some Open Nutrition Strategy each week in hopes to clear up that space in your brain in order to use it on more important aspects of life in March – like perfect lockouts, getting below parallel, and making sure your heels are over that evil piece of tape on the wall.

After the workouts are released on Thursday evening, I will go home and issue a brief update on how I recommend fueling for that week’s particular workout.  I will get it posted sometime between the end of the release show and the time I go to bed – which hopefully isn’t too late.  In addition to helping you, this will be fun for me, because 1) it will take my mind off of the workout for about as long as it takes me to write the piece, and 2) it will help to hold myself and my team accountable in making sure we are properly fueled each week as well.  I will simply add to this blog piece and reissue the link every week (you can also bookmark it if you’re a smarty pants!).

Hopefully, the points I make and recommendations I issue are not that much different than your typical training day nutrition.  As my coach and team captain explained yesterday — goals aren’t just attained.  You will not be able to just set a goal and then turn around and make it happen.  Daily habits performed over periods of time allow goals to be attained.  If your nutrition has been completely off leading up to now, it is very probable that your training has been suffering and your biggest goals may be difficult to attain in the next few weeks.  There is simply nothing I can recommend to change that.  However, if you have been practicing good habits with your nutrition leading up to now, my recommendations should be easy to adjust to and should contribute significantly to you achieving your goals.

Let’s take the stress out of the next couple of weeks.  It is a test that we all knew was coming and have all prepared for.  Here is to realistic expectations, performing great reps, staying honorable, moving fast, being consistent, having fun.  In the end, it is still only exercise.

#honoryournutrition #HONORYOURGIFTS

16.5 Nutrition Strategy

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Well, who was expecting that?…….  Before I go into nutrition things, I am going to tell a little story about this workout and I – because we have some history in these streets.  In 2014, I went to regionals as an individual for the first time. This was still the regular region format (so top 40 qualified from the open).  I sat in about 20-25th place for 4 weeks… then 14.5 came.  I did it, almost threw up, couldn’t even get through the thrusters unbroken, finished, saw my time, and realized I was going to need to do it again if I wanted to go to regionals – GREAT.  Something about being 90% limbs, having incredibly weak legs at the time, and always wanting to sprint out of the gate… didn’t agree much with this workout.  My coach had somewhere to be on Monday afternoon, so we decided to do it early, around 8:00 am.  I showed up, confident I would improve and went at it.  SAME. EXACT. TIME.  Realizing I wasn’t about to waste the past 4 weeks effort, I headed into work and sat in a staff meeting with a piece of paper and a pen and wrote down a very specific time map I could follow to insure that I finished under 12:00.  I called my training partner at the time, had her meet me at the gym around 2:00 pm and went at it AGAIN – a third time, and twice in the same day!  I followed my new plan as much as possible, and finished in 12:26.  Over a minute faster than that morning, and the Saturday attempt, and good enough to allow me to finish 42nd in the region and get a regional invite.

SO GO GET EM KIDS! Hope that didn’t scare you!

Okay, now lets get on the topic of nutrition.  As far as time domain, this is obviously different for everyone – however we do know the majority of people will be between 10-15 minutes.  My recommendation on this one is going to be mostly about balance and timing. It is going to be a similar plan of attack as last week, as we are going to need both an adequate amount of carbs and fat to turn to during this exercise bout.

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The day before: Let’s refeed here.  You can lower protein slightly, but lets keep fat intake normal (unless you are eating +100g, then decrease by 10g.).  Similar to last week, go with a 50-100% increase in carbohydrates depending on the size of human you are (bigger the human, bigger the increase).  I cannot explain this enough – on a refeed day before a workout/competition, carb sources should be as clean as possible!  We will have plenty to worry about, and enough stress on your body already – we don’t need 100 trips to the bathroom because of an unhappy gut. Suggested carb sources include foods such as fruit, potatoes, rice, quinoa, and granola.  Your body will respond well and wake up rested and refueled!  Water is always important, but on refeed days it is even more crucial because of your excess intake.  Make sure your hydration is a priority.

If you workout in the morning:  My morning group is the group that works out after only one meal.  I recommend a breakfast of about 25% protein, 45% carbs, 30% fats. – the same as we did last week.  Eating about 1.5-2 hours before is optimal however everyone is different with how they feel after eating.  This is a workout that can cause Pukey to come around pretty easily, so know your body.  However, I wouldn’t ever recommend eating any further away than 2 hours.  You are going to want immediate fuel sources available.  I will still recommend sipping on juice or sports drinks, as well as lots of water, between wake up and workout.  That carb pre-load strategy that we have come to love is still in effect – about 10-20 mins before tip off, I recommend getting some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit!

If you workout in the afternoon:  You are in this group if you are going to be eating two meals before doing the most fun workout ever created by Castro.  A breakfast about the same size as the morning exercisers will do, with a small change in breakdown: 25% protein, 40% carbs, 35% fats.  We want a higher fat meal earlier because we will taper off to higher carbs as the workout gets closer.  Some of you larger athletes – both male and female – will need a snack between breakfast and your second meal.  I recommend a similar snack as last week (something like a sweet potato topped with Nutella – YES that is a real thing).   Your lunch, or second meal, should then be higher in carb and lower in fat than your breakfast, and should look more like 25% protein, 45-50% carbs, 25-30% fats.  The main strategy here, as was last week, is to not go into this workout hungry.  If we execute a refeed correctly the day before, and follow these guidelines on the day of, all should be going smoothly.  Constant hydration should be a priority.  Remember both a juice/sports drink as well as plenty of water is most beneficial.   As always, carb pre-load strategy, about 20-30 mins before GO, get some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit.

If you workout in the evening:  Oh here we are, the last “Friday Night Lights” of the season!  At Crossfit Overtake, #TeamDensity usually does the workout in the last few heats, capped off by our men’s trio, and then we all head to Fuddruckers for dinner.  I heard a post 16.5 pizza rumor this week though! So I am really looking forward to that.  Okay, back to nutrition that will actually fuel your workout….. This FNL group will follow the same plan as the afternoon-ers with the addition of a smaller meal about an hour to an hour and a half before “GO”.  Remember that fats should come on hard in the morning and taper throughout the day.  Carbohydrates will follow an opposite pattern.  Lower percentage of carbs in the morning and it will increase as we get closer to the evening.  The smaller meal closest to your workout should hold a ratio of 25% protein, 50% carb, 25% fat.  This should be eaten about 1-1.5 hours before you are going live.  Leading up to now, you have made sure to stay comfortably fed and hydrated.  Keep a fresh source of glycogen available at all times by sipping on juice or sports drink from mid-afternoon until workout time.  Of course the same plan here as we have had the entire time so far – the carb pre-load strategy!  About 20-30 mins before GO, get some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit.

Intra-workout nutrition: Nothing here y’all. Unless you count sweat, snot, possible puke and or blood as intra-workout fuel, you are not going to have much time to stop for anything here.  If someone out there does this workout with a Camelbak filled of juice strapped to them, PLEASE video it and tag @honoryournutrition in it.  Maybe I can convince Ashton to do this……..  In any case, this is even more of a reason to stay properly hydrated and fueled the day before and day of the workout.  You will not have a good time if you find yourself wishing you were better hydrated halfway through this piece.

Go to work here guys.  It is the last week of all of this madness and the last workout to lay it on the line.  No matter how the previous 4 weeks have gone for you, put your head down and keep moving.  It won’t feel better ’till its over!

Thank you all for tuning in every week and following along.  The Open is always a crazy ride and I hope I was able to do my part in providing some assistance for you!

If you enjoyed this help each week and felt it made a difference in your performance, you can explore options as to how I can further help you.  I have a few different services that I offer, as well as some informational guides in PDF form.  All of this can be found by clicking here: HONOR YOUR NUTRITION ! Head over and check it out.  

16.4 Nutrition Strategy

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A chipper! Every CrossFitter loves a good chipper.  This should be a fun one, but it is going to hurt.  It is almost a guarentee that some of you love one of these movements and hate another.  Everyone is going to have a different plan of attack and that will be awesome to hear about and watch!  I was interested to learn that we were exercising for 13 minutes this week, as I expected something more along the lines of 10 minutes.  This nutrition strategy is going to fall more in line with week 1, as it will be of a long (ish) aerobic piece for most athletes.  Depending on personal workout strategy,  some of you may actually keep it fairly anaerobic and still be able to do pretty well.  This will not effect fueling much differently though, and I will mention some small pointers that will help everyone – no matter the energy system your body turns to during week 4 of #stormdeCastro.

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The day before: Yes, lets refeed!  We are going to follow our basic refeed rules, however I do want to keep a bit more fat in the daily intake than we would on a traditional refeed day.  Let’s go with a 50-100% increase in carbohydrates, keep protein the same, and lets keep fat the same – unless you are consuming over 100g of fat daily.  If that is the case, lets decrease it by 10g.  This should be the group that is on the higher end of the carb increase as well.  Remember, it is imperative that on this day we keep with clean carb sources as much as possible.  You do not want to feel bloated, heavy, or upset your stomach in doing this refeed.  Suggested carb sources include foods such as fruit, potatoes, rice, quinoa, and granola.  Your body will respond well and wake up rested and refueled for the workout. Water is always important, but on refeed days it is even more crucial.  Make sure your hydration is a priority.

If you workout in the morning:  Morning group is the group that works out after their first meal.  I recommend a breakfast of about 25% protein, 45% carbs, 30% fats.  It would be smart to eat about two hours to an hour and a half before this workout.  You want some immediate fuel sources available, however eating a full meal too close to this one will be a bad idea.  I will still recommend sipping on juice or sports drinks, as well as lots of water, between wake up and workout.  Keeping with our carb pre-load theme from the previous weeks – about 10-20 mins before tip off, I recommend getting some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit!

If you workout in the afternoon:  This group is the group that is going to be eating two meals before exercise racing.  A breakfast about the same size as the morning exercisers will do, however the breakdown should look more like 25% protein, 40% carbs, 35% fats.  Some of the larger humans out there will need a snack between breakfast and your second meal.  For those athletes, I recommend a similar snack as last week (something like an apple and 1/2 Tbsp of almond butter).   Your lunch, or second meal should then be a bit higher in carb and lower in fat than your breakfast and should look more like 25% protein, 45% carbs, 30% fats.  The main strategy here, as was last week, is to not be hungry going into this workout.  It would be responsible to continuously fuel your body from the minute you wake up.  Constant hydration both with some kind of juice/sports drink as well as plenty of water is also key.   As always, carb pre-load strategy, about 20-30 mins before GO, get some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit.

If you workout in the evening: My “Friday Night Lights” crew! I am in this group with you, and I have to admit it took me three weeks to really get comfortable.  Daily, I train around 11am… fairly soon after having breakfast.  It was a huge adjustment for me to figure out how my body would best handle nutrition all day when I was asked to be at optimal performance at 6:30pm – something so far off my normal routine.  Some personal trial and error always makes for great learning.  I am sure by now you all have learned what your best practices are and hopefully all of my tips have helped guide you.  This group will follow the same plan as the afternoon-ers with the addition of a smaller meal about an hour to an hour and a half before “GO”.  That smaller meal should hold a ratio of 25% protein, 50% carb, 25% fat.  We want to make sure we are comfortably fed all day and are not hungry at any point.  Stay hydrated and keep a fresh reserve of glycogen available at all times (sip juice or sports drink) throughout the day.  Of course the same plan here as we have had the entire time so far. The carb pre-load strategy! About 20-30 mins before GO, get some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit.

Intra-workout nutrition: Last week I told you there was no time for this, and all of you that performed 16.3 understood what I meant.  Anytime during those 7 minutes that you weren’t working cost you significantly.  This week is going to be a bit different.  There is going to be time for some intra carbs, and I recommend they be in liquid form.  For my higher level athletes that plan on making it through an entire round, or fairly close, I would say the time for this is right after the row.  We saw the Sara and Katrin get off the row right under 8 minutes.  That is about the time I suggest taking in these carbs.  It works out in the flow of the workout as well, as it is almost a guarentee that the majority of athletes will all be coming off the wall during HSPU and will have to stand there for some period of time to rest.  Have a bottle handy with some carbs! For those of you who are just hoping to get TO the HSPU, I suggest having your refuel station available mid wall ball, or on the transition from wall ball to row.  In any case, this should be a quick, easily accessible refuel that happens while rest in happening.  You should not be breaking your workout for the purpose of refueling.

I try and stay indifferent about the workouts until it is time for me to perform them, so I don’t want to say I like or dislike this workout.  It is classic CrossFit though, and when we get to CrossFit it is always fun.  Thats why we are here! Keep those midlines tight, embrace weaknesses, and demolish strengths.  Let’s prove those abs are not just for show!

16.3 Nutrition Strategy

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Week 3 and we FINALLY get something short and sweet! Also, for a third week in a row we see a movement that has never been in the open before.  This is fun, and really pretty simple on the nutrition side.  Your time to shine is only a quick 7 minutes this week so we need to make sure we are fueled and ready to go.  Athletically, we can compare this to a mile test. That is how I will recommending fueling as well.  It will be similar to last weeks talk about making sure carbohydrates are plentiful, as your muscles will want to tap into every available bit of glycogen to keep blood sugar levels stable and keep you moving.  To do well in this workout, you will need to use every bit of energy that can be yield from your glycolytic system – however, we don’t want to get there too fast.  The ideal situation would be staying in an aerobic state, until the end when you are ready to “burn it down”.  As we learned from week one, aerobic exercise runs predominantly off energy yield from fats – below I will explain how to have a good balance of both!

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The day before: Definitely a refeed day here yall!  Stick with clean carb sources as much as possible.  You do not want to feel bloated or heavy, or upset your stomach in doing this refeed.  Suggested carb sources include foods such as fruit, potatoes, rice, quinoa, and granola.  As we learned last week, refeeding takes a normal day’s worth of carbs and increase by 50-100% depending on the size of human you are. Different coaches have different opinions on protein intake on refeed days.  Some like to keep protein the same, others like to decrease it anywhere from 10-25g.  For the sake of strength, recovery, and the Open season, I would recommend keeping protein the same as usual.  Water is always important, but on refeed days it is even more crucial.  Make sure your hydration is a priority.

If you workout in the morning:  Morning group is the group that works out after their first meal.  I recommend a breakfast of about 25% protein, 50% carbs, 25% fats.  You aren’t going to want to eat anything very heavy too soon before this one, so I would reccomend this breakfast about 2 hours before.  If you go any further away than that, your immediate fuel sources will be dwindling.  I do recommend sipping on juice or gatorade, as well as lots of water between wake up and workout.  As has become a theme for previous weeks now – about 10-20 mins before tip off, I recommend getting some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit!

If you workout in the afternoon: You belong in this group if you are going to be eating two meals before doing the workout.  A breakfast about the same size as the morning exercisers will do, however the breakdown should look more like 30% protein, 40% carbs, 30% fats.  Some of my larger humans will need a snack between here and your next meal.  For those, I recommend a similar snack as last week (something like a sweet potato with 1/2 Tbsp of Peanut butter).   Your second meal should then be significantly higher in carb and lower in fat than your breakfast and should look more like 25% protein, 50% carbs, 25% fats.  The idea is to not be hungry going into this workout.  Make sure you are continuously fueling your body – both with some kind of juice/sports drink as well as plenty of water.   As always, same pre-workout carb strategy as above, about 20-30 mins before GO, get some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit.

If you workout in the evening: This is the group who has time for 3 meals before they workout. This is the group that seems to be most common, as most gyms are following this “Friday Night Lights” format.  Lets follow the afternoon-ers plan with the addition of a smaller meal about an hour to an hour and a half before “GO”.  That smaller meal should hold a ratio of 25% protein, 55% carb, 20% fat.  Key concept this week is – stay fully fueled at all times.  You will need that reserve of glycogen to tap into some gametime.  Of course the same plan here as we have had the entire time so far. Our pre-workout carb strategy that we have for every group so far is… about 20-30 mins before GO, get some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit.

Intra-workout nutrition: I think this goes without saying, but there will be NO time to fuel during this 7 minutes.  Some of you may have a hard time finding time to breathe! Get fueled, hydrated, and ready to go well in advance and exercise your little hearts out for 7 minutes straight.

This will be a very different feeling than the past two weeks, and gives us the chance to have fun with some new movements.  Be smooth, be calm, don’t stop moving!

16.2 Nutrition Strategy

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The second week of the open, and the possibility of a second week of 20 minutes of exercise! Touche Dave.  But, for the majority of humans, it will not last that long.  This workout is interesting metabolically.  You will be asked to go the distance but as those weights get heavier they will require some quick outbursts of max intensity.  This points all arrows at CARBS!  Carbohydrates are going to be the big rockstar this weekend as our bodies are going to need plenty of glycogen stores to tap into in order for us to be able to explode at max effort… after we have already been swinging on bars and jumping up and down for all the minutes.  For the minority, this workout will go long enough to eventually tap into that Kreb’s Cycle.  The majority will be fighting to survive through Glycolysis, a system fueled through blood glucose (SUGAR!) and muscle glycogen…. glucose’s stored form.  This does not mean ignore fat intake completely, but we need to understand that we MUST NOT be short on carbs this weekend.

If you are confused in ANY way where carbohydrates are actually found, do some research.  Cookies, cakes, donuts, pizza – those are not “carbs”.  They are high caloric foods which are high in both carbs AND fats.  Carbohydrates that are low in fats are the kind of foods I am referring to in this piece.

Because this blog is progressive, I am going to work with the idea that the same audience is reading week to week.  If something is repetitive from a previous week, I am not going to restate it.  I will explain that it is repetitive and have you refer back to a previous week.

 

 

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RMP FITNESS – Photo credit: Corey Jenkins

The day before: This would be a great day to refeed.  When we refeed, we take a normal day’s worth of carbs and increase by 50-100% depending on the size of human.  In addition to the carb increase, we will lower fat anywhere from 10-15g.  Different coaches have different opinions on protein intake on refeed days.  Some like to keep protein the same, others like to decrease it anywhere from 10-25g.  For the sake of strength, recovery, and the Open season, I would recommend keeping protein the same as usual. As I mentioned last week, this is not a time to be short on calories.  Pay attention to your eating habits the day before your workout as it will carry over and directly effect how you feel.  As always -clean, nutrient dense, carbohydrate sources should be the priority. Carbohydrate sources high in sugars should be consumed in moderation.  Drink plenty of water, as hydration is always cruical.

If you workout in the morning:  Remember, this is the group that works out after their first meal.  I am going to adjust the recommended breakfast intake to about 30% protein, 45-50% carbs, 20-25% fats.  For those of you who expect to get through 12 minutes with the barbell being relatively light still, I recommend using the higher fat ratio.  For those of you who know the 3rd barbell is going to require close to maximal attempts, use the lower fat ratio.  As we discussed last week – about 20-30 mins before tip off, I recommend getting some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit (I got some gummy bear feedback from some of you last week! LOVED IT!).

If you workout in the afternoon: My afternoon group are those of you who will be working out late enough to have to eat two meals before you swing, jump, and barbell.  A breakfast about the same size as the morning exercisers will do, however the breakdown should look more like 35% protein, 35% carbs, 30% fats.  Some of my larger humans will need a snack between here and your next meal.  For those, I recommend something like a sweet potato with 1/2 Tbsp of Peanut butter.   Your second meal should then be higher in carb and lower in fat than your breakfast and should look more like 30% protein, 45-50% carbs, 20-25% fats (same explanation on choosing which way to go as above).   Of course, same pre-workout carb strategy as above, about 20-30 mins before GO, get some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit.

If you workout in the evening: Lets follow the afternoon exerciser plan with the addition of a smaller meal about an hour to an hour and a half before gametime.  That meal should hold a ratio of 25% protein, 50% carb, 25% fat ratio, but be a bit smaller in size than your first two meals.  Like I mentioned last week, the most important thing for the evening exercise group is that you are not hungry all day.  If you are going in hungry, your energy levels are going to take a hit when it comes time to go hard.  My personal strategy when I workout in the evening is to push my first meal, or breakfast, back about an hour or so later than I would normally eat.  This doesn’t work for everyone, however I find it allows me to eat the majority of my food closer to the end of the day when I will be using it most.  Yes, you guessed it! We will be applying the same pre-workout carb strategy that we have for every group the past two week (and probably will for the duration of this strategy piece).  About 20-30 mins before GO, get some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit.

Intra-workout nutrition: Last week I didn’t recommend anything here because there was just no time to be wasted.  That was a workout where any stop in movement cost you on the leaderboard.  This week is a bit different.  For a handful of you, make or break reps will come after standing around for a bit between heavy cleans.  My suggestion is to keep something close by that is easy to access and is high in simple sugar.  My best suggestion here is juice, gatorade, or some kind of small sugary candy like gummy bears or jelly beans (however I don’t love the idea of wasting time chewing between reps).  Sugar in liquid form will be your best bet and will do wonders for maximal output under fatigue.

This workout will be a lot of fun, and will be very different for every athlete.  Because of this, nutrition for every athlete will be somewhat different as well.  I have vaguely covered when and why you should use certain strategies depending on the type of athlete you are.  Do your best to apply these strategies to your personal understanding of yourself as an athlete and how your body functions in relationship to certain nutrition strategies.  Lift all the heavy bars out there, and drink some apple juice along the way!

16.1 Nutrition Strategy 

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As soon as I sat at my computer to start this, I was reminded how much of a nerd I am and how much I wanted to go off on a tangent about a ton of exercise science madness about energy systems and the proper fueling for each system and purpose behind it.  Although interesting (to me), this is not the place for that each week as I would like this to be fairly short, to the point – and APPLICABLE.  Not just a ramble of science.

As you all have figured out by now, 16.1 is an aerobic workout.  This means first and foremost it is a workout requiring optimal oxygen uptake. So, BREATHE!  Because of the aerobic nature of this workout, your body is going to be running in the Oxidative Energy System (also known as the Kreb’s Cycle) for the majority of the time.  The other two energy systems (ATP-PC system and Glycolysis) that are primary utilized in short burst, high intensity workouts require carbohydrates as their main fuel source.  When we exercise, a shift from those two systems into the Kreb’s Cycle can happen anywhere from 3-8 minutes in (depending on threshold of the individual).  It is important to understand that as activity becomes longer in duration (like 16.1) and we spend more time in the Kreb’s Cycle, our bodies will shift from the use of carbohydrates as the main fuel source, to the use of fats.  If fats are not easily accessible for use, our bodies will have a hard time efficently fueling past the aerobic threshold and performance will suffer.  This is not a time where I would recommend a refeed (high carb, low fat) day before or on game day.  This is a workout that is going to require a great balance of both carbohydrates and fats as energy.

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So, what does this mean for an athlete about to take on 16.1?

The day before: The main thing here is going to be making sure you get ample calories in the day before you take on 16.1.  Now is not a time to under eat!  If you are currently following macro numbers, I suggest increasing your carbs by 25-60g for the day, and fats by about 8-12g (this will vary by size of athlete).  Although an increase in fats and carbs may look like an invitation for a few more donuts and cupcakes, hold off from that until after.  It would be wise to stay with clean, whole, nutrient dense food sources leading up to this workout.  There is a lot to be said for the acute, negative effects of processed foods on performance.  If I had to recommend a dinner for 16.1 eve, it would be a nice 4-8oz lean cut steak (varying on the size of human you are) with a side of 100-300g of potato (same variance) and a fancy spinach salad (eat your iron!).  Hydration is going to be HUGE here as it always is – work toward that gallon!

If you workout in the morning: By “morning” I am referring to those working out after only their first meal.  I recommend having breakfast about 2.5 hours before you are set to “3..2..1..GO”.  Be a responsible athlete and get up with enough time to accommodate this and get your day going correctly.  Your breakfast should be about 30% protein, 40% carbs, 30% fats.  This will give you a relatively bigger meal and a solid source of fuel for your body to tap into. About 20-30 mins before tip off, I recommend getting some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit.

If you workout in the afternoon: I will refer to afternoon as late enough to have to eat two meals before #StormDeCastro.  In this case, I recommend a breakfast of about the same size as the morning exercisers, however I would recommend a slightly different breakdown.  Because this group has a bit more time before GO, it would make sense to have a breakfast with a breakdown of about 35% protein, 30% carbs, 35% fats.  Depending on how late in the “afternoon” you are going, you may need a snack between here and second meal.  If that is the case, I recommend a bar with a similar macro breakdown to that of an RX Bar (12p/23c/9f).  Your second meal should look more like 30% protein, 45% carbs, 25% fats – as you have already had a higher fat meal earlier.  Same pre workout carb strategy as above, about 20-30 mins before GO, get some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit.

If you workout in the evening: Here I reccomend following a similar plan to the afternoon exercisers, while adding another smaller meal about an hour and a half before GO.  That meal should carry a pretty standard 30% protein, 40% carb, 30% fat ratio, but be a bit smaller in size than your first two meals.  The most important concept in this group is to understand that it is crucial we do not go into this workout hungry.  Twenty minutes is a long time and your body is going to need reserve fuel sources to tap into – especially fats.  If you are going in hungry, your energy levels are going to take a hit.  Everyone is different, and as an athlete you should understand what portions will be most beneficial to you in this situation.  As with the first two groups, use the pre workout carb strategy – about 20-30 mins before GO, get some “quick carbs” in your system (about 30-80g depending on size) in the form of liquid or fruit.

As for “intra-workout” nutrition, I really do not recommend it here, even with the long duration.  This is a 20 minute piece where you should go in and do nothing but lunge, burpee, and pullup until the clock beeps.  Fuel properly beforehand and you will not have to stop to take a sip from your shaker bottle.  That being said, if you are someone who is prone to getting lightheaded or feeling weak during workouts (email me if this is the case, because it should not happen) then I would suggest having a shaker nearby with some juice in it for easy access to a quick carb source.

Through this whole series, it is important to remember that nutrition is a very individualized process.  What works for some people may not work for others.  Some people generally respond better to carbohydrates, and some to fats – there are many factors that contribute to that. Now is really not the time to try something completely different from your normal routine.  Finding the best gameday nutrition practices for you will be an ongoing process.  These strategy tips should simply be some education on what your body is going through during the workout and get you thinking how to properly fuel yourself to perform at your best.  Have fun out there y’all! See you next week!

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4 responses

  1. This is awesome and one thing I think gets over looked for games prep every year. Everyone gets focused on the movements and weights, forgetting the most basic thing, fueling the machine. Looking forward to your updates

    February 25, 2016 at 11:13 pm

  2. Izzy

    Unfortunately that I read this after my 16.1 work out. I have to say …. I feel like crap, my lung were burning. I went to he gym in the morning without breakfast. It was a big mistake! I will check on the blog before I go for 16.2 for tips and nutrition:)

    February 27, 2016 at 8:03 pm

  3. 16.2 nutrition worked out really well! I’ve been eating those Paleo meals you most graciously brought to our gym (THANKS NICOLE!). I did not workout on Thursday but did a bunch of mobility and romwod throughout the day to break up all the bad stuff. Shoulders, arms, wrists, even hands and fingers! Psoas, hip flexors, thoracic and lumbar spine, neck, hams, quads, well everything! I followed a blend of your morning and afternoon nutrition with a solid dose of carbs before (2+ cups of mixed fruit & grapefruit juice close to the workout.) I didn’t know what to expect here, my weakness is T2B. Rather than waste all that preparation on a 4 minute workout, I decided to go scaled so I could get something out of 16.2. 426 reps, 4 reps shy of a finish and a awesome 20 minute WOD! Thanks again Nicole, your Open nutrition blogs are tremendous and we are so lucky to have you as a coach!!! #teamdensity #crossfitovertake #miamisurge #open2016 #winning

    March 4, 2016 at 8:29 pm

  4. Paul Ouellette

    Great article!

    March 11, 2016 at 7:32 pm

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