Over the last six months, I (along with other fellow Hardbat coaches and members) have done a handful of local CrossFit competitions. While these competitions are just for fun, it’s crucial to fuel properly for them, especially if you’re not used to the amount of volume of a competition day.
If you’re interested in doing one, I highly recommend it. The beauty of some of these competitions is that even if you don’t think you’re in “competition shape,” they have scaled divisions!
Here are some of my recommendations for what to eat before, during, and after a competition.
Before: Most comps start fairly early in the morning. It’s crucial that you get a big breakfast in before you start working out; your body isn’t going to be in its usual shape to take in food throughout the day, so starting the day off with a lot of calories allows you to set yourself up for success later in the day. I would recommend either a big bowl of oats with honey, fruit, protein powder, and peanut butter, or a breakfast sandwich on a bagel with some breakfast meat. These will probably be the biggest meals your body can physically stomach all day.
During: When you’re in the midst of competing, your stomach will not be able to digest high-fiber or high-protein food, so my recommendation is to steer clear of those foods. In other words, probably don’t eat a salad! Your body is going to need carbs. During the competition, eat foods that are high in calories and sugar, so definitely have some crackers or candy on deck. Uncrustables and Gatorade protein bars are also ways to get a lot of calories without your stomach feeling like it’s doing backflips.
After: Eat anything you want! You probably have never worked out for that many hours in one day; treat yourself to a solid meal that’s high in calories so that you can recover the next day! My post-comp food usually involves tacos and ice cream.
If you’re looking into doing a competition of any kind, talk to a coach about different ones and how to prepare for one, and stock up on snacks!