By Jackie Babington.
Simply, if you eat junk you’ll train like junk, but on the flipside if your eating great, your training will feel awesome.
I just wanted to touch base on some of the essentials of pre-training fuel and the issues I’ve seen a few members having recently:
Not eating enough throughout the day and coming into a session feeling flat and light headed.
Our muscles need a certain amount of glycogen and overall good clean nutrition to get through high intensity exercise like we do in CrossFit, and if your running on empty or eating poor quality nutrition, your strength and overall capacity will be really affected. It’s essential that you get a good balance of food through out the day so your muscles have enough fuel and you can get the most out of your training sessions. Not having enough fuel can also affect your ability to maintain good technique throughout the session which can put you at risk of hurting yourself.
Solution – Try having a piece of fruit and some nuts or a small snack around 1-1 ½ hrs before training. If you are pushed for time, grabbing a small protein bar (although not super ideal) from a petrol station is better than running on empty. But most important thing is to be organised.
Eating too much or the wrong thing prior to the session. This can make you generally feel unwell and that can be really off putting in a session. Having too much food in your stomach causes fluid to pool around your stomach as our body prioritises blood flow to this area during digestion of food (and more so in large meals). This, just like not eating enough, can cause you to feel light headed and flat. It’s a similar mechanism to a fire, whereby if you put too much fuel on the fire, it goes out.
Solution – Keeping pre-training food (again without being obsessive) in the 2-3hrs prior to the session relatively light and making sure you have a loose plan with what you’re going to have. If you’re going out for a ‘big’ lunch at work make sure you keep it scaled down and your training will be much more enjoyable.
Not having enough water is another big issue I’m seeing.
Just like over and under eating this can cause lightheadedness, an overall feeling of low energy, and poor strength performance. Studies have shown that even a 2-3% drop in overall body hydration can have an impact on strength output!! Now add in a hot day, 2 coffees and a crossfit session… That’s a lot of awesome performance your missing out on from not being on top of your water intake. In addition to this our bodys ability to recover from training can be really affected by poor hydration.
Solution – Make sure you are aiming for 2-3litres of water throughout the day. The best way is to get a big water bottle that you won’t forget about or that wont easily get lost in your car or bag. Another method is having a goal for how much water your going to get in before a certain time in your day (everyone loves a little challenge ☺ )
Overall good balanced nutrition and optimal hydration will make your Crossfit journey a much more enjoyable and progressive one, because, lets face it, we all love crushing workouts on a regular basis.