I consider myself lucky to do what I love. Being a nutrition coach, helping others achieve their goals and change their relationship with food is definitively what makes me tick.
I am constantly thinking of how to maximize performance and recovery and get the most out of my food while enjoying it too.
Being from the Crossfit world, I am very fortunate to work with a lot of athletes, both competitive and recreational.
For those of you who compete, if you work with me or any other nutrition coach, let us know when you have a comp/race coming up. That way we can have a plan in place for you heading into it.
Comp day nutrition is like any other workout nutrition. It should be practiced in training. Back in my marathon running days that was the number one advice we got and it holds true in all sports. Don’t go trying something new on game day! Practice and experience how things feel for you (and in your stomach) during your training in the weeks leading up to your event.
Comp day nutrition starts the day prior where we will want to top off your carbs a bit. Typically you are resting this day and may be inclined to eat less, but you need to remember it takes 24-36 hrs for your body to replenish it’s glycogen stores. You want to head in the comp well fed. Especially important for those who are currently following a program geared towards weight loss and may be on a lower carbs prescription. In this instance you will want to prioritize performance and bring in more carbs.
You want to plan and pack your food the night prior. Just like I would advise you any day, having a plan and being prepared takes the stress out of every situation and makes it easier to stay on track. If you know ahead of time the number of events and comp day schedule that is even better.
Pack your supplements first:
- Whey protein isolate + simple carbs shake. I usually make myself 2 recovery shakes and sip on them between workouts. Usually 1/2 shake per workout. I use what I normally use when I train. For me that it is one scoop of 5starformula Isolate key lime pie + one scoop of Mission6 Glycobomb. Taste like a treat!
- A shaker bottle BCAA with electrolytes that I will sip on during the day to stay hydrated. I like 5starformula Razzberry Hydrate the best.
*If you take Creatine, add a scoop to your shake. I put in 1 dose in each shake.
And last but not least comes real food. Food may not be the first thing on your mind when competing. But I can assure you not eating all day and expecting to perform well is not an option. You may be nervous and excited and the adrenaline may zap your appetite but food is fuel and energy and you need it.
Especially important for multi-day events where you may suffer on Day 2 if recovery is not a made a priority on Day1.
Start by eating a normal breakfast before leaving your house. Your first meal should fuel your day ahead, maximize your recovery and feel good in your gut. This is something where putting that in practice leading up to your event is important. For me I find my protein oats fill me up and feel light enough in my stomach to perform. Regardless, you want a decent amount of carbs for energy, some protein to help maximize your recovery and some fat for taste and palatability (but not so much that your meal feels heavy and is harder to digest.)
I tend to avoid eggs myself for that reason, as well as fibrous veggies tend to send me to the washroom. But again, best to experiment yourself. If you have a go-to meal before the gym that should be what you go to on game day too.
Annie’s Favourite Protein Oats.
- Start with 1/2 cup of oats* + 1/2 cup of egg whites + 1 cup of water.**
- Microwave on high for 1 minute + stir and cook for 1 more minute. Stirring is key of the egg whites will start to set.
- Add in 1/2 scoop of your favourite protein powder for flavour (may I recommend 5starformula Creme Brûlée) and stir.
- This is where your microwave may differ you may need to cook an additional 15 to 60s to desired consistency.
- Top with berries or any fruits you like + nuts and/or nut butter.
*For big gents, please double the oats &/or fruits.
*In step 1 you can also add a 1/2 frozen banana to boost carbs or since it is the season, 1/4 cup of pureed canned pumpkin.
Now you also need to keep eating during the day while competing. In between events keep in mind how long you have before you must go again and the nature of what you need to perform. That will dictate how big of a snack you should be having.
What you can tolerate and need before 100 burpees and a max effort deadlift is quite different!
But goal is to keep yourself well fed and feeling good into the day and the next.
Think of food that are easy to digest and pack.
- White rice and salsa
- Hard boiled eggs (don’t eat too many yolks)
- Chicken and yams
- Ground lean meat and rice
- Wraps with hummus or salsa and deli meat
- Overnight oats (make sure to use quick oats)
- Baby food pouches
- Rice crackers and hummus + deli meat
- Cereal bars
- Breakfast cereals and almond milk (I like to mix a little protein powder in unsweetened almond milk, make sure cereal is not too high in fibre)
I often fall back on quick oats since I often eat it during the week before after-noon sessions. I know I feel good on it.
Annie’s favourite overnight oats:
- In your favourite jar, mix 1/2 cup of oats + 3/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk + 1/2 to 1 scoop of your favourite protein powder. If you love Peanut butter you can also add a serving of PB2 powder at this step to give it a good peanut butter taste.
- Shake well + top with your favourite fruits.
*gents again can double the recipe if you have a big appetite.
Great combo ideas:
- PB2 + chocolate protein + bananas
- peanut butter protein (I love the Cellucor Peanut butter marshmallow and Bio-X peanut butter chocolate) + PB2 + low sugar jam
- key lime pie protein + coconut flakes
- vanilla protein + fresh or dried blueberries & a shake of cinnamon
- chocolate protein + a few chocolate chips
Go ahead make your own and have fun with it.
If you would like to read more on workout and performance nutrition this is a solid article.
But the most important rule of competing in my mind is to remember to have fun, give it your best and make sure you relax your rules and celebrate afterward. For me most of the time it ends up being pizza and gelato! My tummy is not big on dairy before working out, but I can make up for it after!
Below are links to some of the products mentioned in the post. Remember to use the code POWERUP10 if you order any 5starformula products.