What to eat during a CrossFit Comp
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What to eat on a CrossFit competition Day

April 24, 2016
What to eat during a CrossFit Comp

Here are some general tips on what to eat on a CrossFit competition day. These tips can apply to any local or regional comps you might partake of. They can also apply to other things like race days, running comps, triathlons, lifting comps, etc., with a few tweaks as needed, of course. (I.e. for endurance comps/races, more quick absorbing carbs may be needed. For weightlifting comps, you may need extra electrolytes/hydration drinks if you have had to make weight etc etc).

After quite a few years of competing alongside some amazing athletes, I’ve picked up some special tricks that make getting through your competition a little bit easier (baby food anyone? :). With more comfort overall & just feeling confident in your nutrition and hydration choices, you will be able to focus 100% of your energy on the actual events, which will leave you ready to CRUSH the workouts rather than stressing about what to eat or drink.

As an extra, I’ve also included a little bonus checklist of what to pack in your bag on a comp day. I thought this might be handy for any of you who are in a rush and need to double check they didn't forget anything (like their shoes -- true story haha!) or who just need a quick packing checklist the night before.

CrossFit competition day Eating:

-Start out with a breakfast around 2 hours before your first event with quite a bit of carbs (healthy carb variety, think whole grains and fruit). My personal favourite is a bit of oats blended in a smoothie with a banana, a scoop of protein powder and water or oat milk  (not a big amount though). The idea is to keep your fats & fibre relatively low and your protein moderate.

-Make some normal workout shakes (I like a 3:1 carbs to protein ratio, with higher GI carbs as they are digested quickest) & sip on those a bit before each event and finish right after the event is over.

-For your food overall on comp day, bring something you actually enjoy and that consistently sits well in your stomach. For example, a rich Indian curry probably isn’t the best competition day food.

-I’ve found convenience is super important. If it’s not convenient on the day of the comp I more than likely won’t eat or drink it. Do all your prep the night before. For example, don’t bring a whole roast chicken, as this is not the most convenient. I would take it off the bone and shred it up the night before and have this in a container for easy access. You can also prepare your protein shakes in the shakers the night before. Things like this will make it easier for you to grab and eat/drink without putting in extra effort or just not doing it because you are tired and can't be bothered.

-Rule of thumb is: Never try anything new or different on comp day. Don’t change your usual eating routine changes or make unique food choices on the day of your comp. For example, don’t eat a packet of prunes thinking this will give you extra energy if you aren’t used to eating them daily. You don’t want to end up on the toilet with stomach cramps all day.

-Make sure you have plenty of quick digesting carbs all throughout the day. My personal favourite is baby food tubes. They are so easy to eat (you can squeeze them straight in your mouth) and already puréed which makes digestion faster.

-Have small meals between events. Something like turkey slices with rice cakes, a banana and some Gatorade. *The closer your events are, the smaller you would want your meal to be. If your events are very close together, I would suggest eating something very light, like half a muesli bar, just to keep you going, but to ensure your stomach isn’t full during your event.

-Bars can be a good idea. As they are super convenient. Just make sure they are lower in fat, and higher in carbs.

-Remember the general idea for comp day is to keep your fats and fibre intake pretty low, as these sit in your stomach longer/are slower to absorb & digest. You also want to eat smallest lighter meals to prevent stomach issues during high intensity activity. No one would like to do burpees straight after a huge meal that you haven’t yet digested.

-It goes without saying, bring enough water! I like to buy a pack of small water bottles in bulk. These are easier to handle than big ones and in summer/hot days you can freeze them the night before and they defrost much quicker than the big ones so will be cold still when you need them. They can also double up as ice packs in your esky.

So to wrap it up it goes:

-High carb, moderate protein, low fat breakfast

-Workout shakes about 10-15 minutes before (sip on them) and then finish when you're done with the event.

-Small light meals between events while you rest

-Repeat small shakes




BONUS: Checklist of what to bring on a comp day:

-Shoes (CrossFit shoes, lifting shoes, relaxing shoes)

-Belt, wrist wraps, knee sleeves

-Hand protection: gymnastic wraps, tape

-Mobilising equipment if needed/wanted: golf ball, lacrosse ball, foam roller, etc)

-Skipping rope

-Long socks (in case of rope climbs)

-Jumper or jacket (for change of weather)

-Change of clothes (in case something happens), i.e. you spill beetroot salad on a pair of white shorts! TRUE STORY lol.

-Chalk (you’d be surprised how many competitions I have been too that didn’t have chalk or ran out of chalk)

-Sunscreen, sunglasses, sunhat (I’ve competed multiple times outdoors on some 40+ degree days, and it was a scorcher!)

-Hand care/tear care/small first aid kit. Hopefully you won’t tear but I have torn mid-comp and my boyfriend has severely torn his hands mid comp. We had nothing to clean them up with & had to drive to a chemist in the middle of the day, which was pretty inconvenient.

-Comfortable chair, tent, umbrella

-Phone charger


-PLENTY of bottles of water

-An esky

List of possible supplements to take with you:

-Protein powder

-Carb powder

-Shaker bottle


-Non-Carbonated Sports Drink: These can help replenish your sugar and electrolyte levels

-Caffeine tablets (these can be useful on comp day!)

-Painkillers/anti-headache meds (If you are prone to getting headaches from loud, busy places, stress, etc.)



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