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CrossFit Pre Workout Meal

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Are you struggling to get through your grueling CrossFit workout? Maybe you are not eating enough or the right foods.

Either way, you need to make sure that you are properly fueled before heading to the CrossFit gym.

In this article, we will discuss what CrossFit pre-workout meal will help power you through your next WOD. We will also explore, some frequently asked questions.

Stay tuned!

CrossFit pre-workout meal

There are two aspects that you should focus on for your pre-workout meal. The timing and composition of your pre-workout meal can have a huge impact, so make sure to pay attention!

Pre-workout Macronutrients

You will want to focus on carbohydrates mainly and some protein for your pre-workout meal. 

Carbohydrates are essential for providing energy to muscles, while protein helps to repair and rebuild muscles.

Pre-workout meal timing

The ratio of macronutrients in a given pre-workout meal depends on how much time you have before your CrossFit workout.

There are two times to take into consideration 2-3 hours and 30-90 min before you stater your workout.

2-3 hours:

If you want to have a good performance during a long endurance event, eat a balanced meal with a good portion of carbohydrates 2-3 hours before the event.

In studies where people did endurance events, like time trials or exercises on an ergometer for a long time at a high intensity, individuals that consumed carbohydrates beforehand, had improved performance. (1)

2-3 hours before your CrossFit workout, your focus should be on consuming balanced complete meals (containing protein, fats, and carbohydrates).

30-60 minutes:

Maybe you do not have 2-3 hours to eat a balanced meal. If that’s the case then eating a full balanced meal may not be the best idea. Rather eating a small mostly carbohydrate snack before your workout is better.

A study done on cyclists showed that eating a small meal or carbohydrate-rich snack 30-60 minutes before an endurance event improved performance. (2)

The main takeaway is that some easily digestible carbohydrates 30-60 minutes before your CrossFit workout may lead to improved performance.

Top 5 CrossFit pre-workout meals

1. Toast with honey and sliced banana

First on our list is the classic toast with honey and sliced banana. This snack is simple, effective, and will help you power through your CrossFit workout.

The honey toast with banana is an ideal snack because it is high in carbohydrates and low in fat. The complex carbohydrates in the toast will help will break down slowly, giving you a steady stream of energy. (3)

Honey provides a quick easily digestible source of energy. The banana also provides easily digestible carbohydrates in addition to electrolytes that help with muscle function.

To make this CrossFit pre-workout:

  • Toast one slice of bread
  • Spread 1 tablespoon of honey
  • Top with 1/2 a sliced banana

Calories and Macronutrients:

Calories: 250Protein: 5 gCarbs: 53 gFats 2 g

Summary

  • The toast, honey, and banana snack is simple, quick, and easy to digest.
  • The complex carbohydrates in the toast will help you break down slowly and provide a steady stream of energy.
  • Honey is a quick source of energy that is easily digestible.
  • Bananas are a good source of electrolytes that help with muscle function.

2. Fruit with a granola bar

Next on our list is a fruit with a granola bar. This is a great CrossFit pre-workout meal because it is not only high in carbohydrates but provides but it also provides different sources of carbohydrates.

The simple carbohydrates in the fruit will be quickly digested and provide you with an immediate source of energy. The complex carbohydrates in the granola bar will help you break down slowly, giving you a steady stream of energy. (3)

This CrossFit pre-workout meal is also high in other nutrients like vitamin C and B Vitamins.

To make this CrossFit pre-workout:

  • 1 serving of your favorite fruit
  • 1 granola bar

Calories and Macronutrients:

Calories: 220Protein: 3 gCarbs:  56 g Fats 5 g

Summary

  • The fruit and granola bar snack is a great pre-workout meal because it is high in carbohydrates.
  • The simple carbs in the fruit will be quickly digested providing an immediate source of energy.
  • The complex carbs in the granola bar will digest slowly providing steady energy.

3. Greek yogurt with granola and fruit

Another great CrossFit pre-workout meal is Greek yogurt with granola and fruit. This snack is high in carbohydrates and also provides some protein, which can help with muscle repair after your workout.

The complex carbohydrates in the granola will help you break down slowly, giving you a steady stream of energy. Layer in some fast-digesting carbs like those in fruit, and you’ve got an ideal CrossFit pre-workout snack. (3)

This snack also provides other nutrients like calcium, vitamin D, and B Vitamins.

To make this CrossFit pre-workout:

  • 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1 cup of your favorite fruit

Calories and Macronutrients:

Calories 300Protein 18 gCarbs 45 g Fats 5 g

Summary

  • High in carbohydrates and provides some protein.
  • The complex carbs in the granola will help you digest slower, providing a steady stream of energy.
  • The fast-digesting carbs in the fruit will provide a quick source of energy.

4. Smoothie

A smoothie is a great CrossFit pre-workout meal because it is easy to make and digest. This snack can be made to your liking and can be tailored to your specific energy needs.

Adding, fruit, milk, greek yogurt, and honey to your smoothie will provide you with complex carbohydrates, protein, and simple carbohydrates. My favorite CrossFit pre-workout smoothie is the strawberry peanut butter smoothie.

To make this CrossFit pre-workout:

  • 1 cup of low-fat milk
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of your favorite fruit
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Calories and Macronutrients:

Calories 325Protein 12 gCarbs: 38 gFats: 8 g

Summary

  • Easy to make and digest.
  • Provides you with protein and carbohydrates.

5. Dry cereal with milk

Last on our list is a bowl of cereal with milk. This is a great CrossFit pre-workout meal because it provides a good source of carbohydrates and is easy to digest.

Grain-based cereal like cheerios or corn flakes is a good source of carbohydrates. The milk will provide you with some protein and fat to help slow down the digestion of carbohydrates.

This CrossFit pre-workout meal is also a good source of other nutrients like calcium and B vitamins. In addition, cereal is commonly fortified with other nutrients.

To make this CrossFit pre-workout:

  • 1 cup of dry cereal
  • 1 cup of low-fat milk

Calories and Macronutrients:

Calories: 210Protein: 9 g Carbs: 37 g Fats: 3 g

Summary

  • Provides a good source of carbohydrates.
  • The milk will provide some protein and fat to help slow down the digestion of carbohydrates
  • Easy and quick to prepare

Frequently asked questions

How do you fuel CrossFit?

When it comes to fueling CrossFit, you need to make sure that you are getting the right balance of macronutrients. Carbs are the most important, so make sure to focus on carb and fiber-rich foods. 

Protein is also important, as it helps to rebuild muscle tissue that is broken down during a workout. 

Finally, healthy fats are essential for overall health and hormone production.

Some of the best foods to include in your CrossFit pre-workout meal include:

Carbs: Sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal

Protein: Chicken, beef, pork, tofu, eggs

Healthy Fats: Nuts, seeds, olive oil, avocado

In order to fuel your workouts, the goal should be to consume enough of each nutrient, from a variety of sources each meal. When it comes close to the time to workout, shift your focus towards carbohydrates.   

What should you eat after CrossFit?

After you have finished a CrossFit workout focus on the 3 R’s, Refuel, Rebuild, Rehydrate.

Refuel: Eat a meal that contains carbohydrates and protein after finishing your workout. This will help to replenish glycogen stores. Glycogen is how your muscle stores ready-to-use energy.  

Rebuild: Eat a meal that provides high-quality protein. This will help to rebuild damaged muscle tissue and promote recovery.

Rehydrate: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to replace the fluids lost during exercise.

The main takeaway is that you should focus on refueling (carbohydrates), rebuilding (protein), and rehydrating (fluids/electrolyte) after a CrossFit workout.

What should you eat before the CrossFit workout?

You should focus on consuming carbohydrates before a CrossFit workout. Carbohydrates are your body’s main energy source and will help you power through your workout.

Eat a meal or snack that is easy to digest so you don’t feel sluggish during your workout. If your need a few ideas for snacks, check out my post on macro-friendly snacks. This is a comprehensive list of ~70 different snack options. 

Some easy-to-digest foods include

  • Fruit
  • Smoothies
  • Yogurt
  • Cereal
  • Granola

You should also focus on staying hydrated before your workout. CrossFit workouts are tough and you will sweat. It is important to drink plenty of fluids so you don’t get dehydrated during your workout.

What to eat before CrossFit in the morning

If you are heading to CrossFit first thing in the morning, you will want to eat something that is easy to digest and provides you with energy. A good choice is a light breakfast such as cereal with milk or toast with jelly.

Summary

So, what should you eat before a CrossFit workout? A good rule of thumb is to focus on the timing and ratios of your macros.

Ideally, you want to eat 1-4 hours before your CrossFit workout. This will give your body time to digest the food and convert it into energy.

As for the macros, you should focus on consuming carbohydrates before your workout.

This will help give you the energy you need to power through your WOD. Easy-to-digest foods include fruit, smoothies, yogurt, cereal, and granola.

It is also important to stay hydrated during a CrossFit workout by drinking plenty of fluids.

Finally, make sure to refuel, rebuild, and rehydrate after your workout with a balanced meal that includes protein and carbohydrates.

If you want some help planning your pre-workout meal, email me at noah@noahsnutiriton.com.

Thank you for reading.

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