What to eat.. when you want to compete
What to eat towards and during a competition
The goal while following a nutrition plan for a competition it is to fight against factors that can cause fatigue or impairment, impairing performance during an event/comp.
Alongside with the reduction of volume and intensity in your training – what is recommended on the eve of a competition – in order to save your carbs reserve and avoid injuries, the correct nutrition becomes crucial for your performance.
Sports nutrition covers special feeding strategies to be followed before, during and after an event or competition based on the premises of rehydration, replenishment of energy levels and muscle recovery.
The ideal is for the athlete to put his pre-comp feeding strategies into practice alongside his daily training and during minor competitions to better adapt them to his own style.
For those who change their nutrition habit just before a comp, they may suffer the consequences of the adaptation and may also have associated discomfort (nausea, diarrhoea or constipation). Do not eat food or use supplements that you are not used to while training or in a daily basis.
What we’re saying is, keep it the same as you do during training, your body is used to it.
So let’s have a look in the most common questions regarding what and when to eat before/during/after a competition.
- Carbs: primary macro/nutrient for your performance, especially in a modality (CrossFit) which predominate high intensity! It should be part of every meal in the days leading up the competition.
- Focus on high amount of carbs and lean protein. Low fat and fibers (avoid intestinal discomforts) e keep high levels of hydration.
At the comp:
- Most comps start early in the morning – around 7-8am – so you should have a complete and solid breakfast 2-3 hours before your first event. Eg: bread + eggs + fruits + nuts + coffee OR whey protein + fruit + jelly on toast
45 to 60 minutes before a workout:
- The goal of this meal it’s to just offer or maintain the same energy levels throughout the events avoiding a huge decrease especially on your last workout. Eg: fruits (banana), protein bars, sports drink.
In case of multiple events back-to-back (short rest between them) throughout the day make sure you plan and organize your snacks/meals that can be transported and stored in thermal bags for the whole day. Each athlete should be responsible for their food. Do not forget to hydrate yourself all day!
Straight after the workout/event:
- Pick fast-absorbing carbs and protein sources immediately after your event. No fat source should be intake here.
After the comp:
- Your muscle recovery is extreme important and you must include meals rich in carbs and proteins. As well as ensuring replacement of electrolytes and and lost fluids.
Functional Transformation Coach