Fueling Female Athletes: 6 Nutrition Tips for the CrossFit Open

The CrossFit Open is an exciting event that pushes athletes to their limits and beyond.

Whether this if your first CrossFit open or you’re a seasoned veteran, your nutrition strategy plays a crucial role in optimizing your performance and supporting your overall well-being.

Here are six essential nutrition tips tailored specifically for female athletes participating in the CrossFit Open, with a focus on prioritizing the right kinds of carbohydrates leading up to the workout and managing digestive issues that may arise due to nerves.

Prioritize Complex Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the primary fuel source for high-intensity workouts like those in the CrossFit Open. Prioritize slower digesting (aka complex) carbohydrates such as whole grains, sweet potatoes, quinoa, and oats leading up to your workouts. These food choices will load up your muscles and ensure you have the energy you need to push through and be stoked on your performance. You’re shooting for having 40-60 grams of carbs in your pre-workout meal.

Time Your Nutrient Intake

To ensure optimal energy levels during your CrossFit Open workouts, it’s important to time your food intake strategically. Aim to consume a balanced meal containing complex carbohydrates, lean protein (30-40g), and healthy fats (10-20g) 2-3 hours before your workout. This timing allows your body to digest and absorb the nutrients effectively, providing you with sustained energy throughout your training session.

Then, 20-30 minutes before the workout, you can grab some easily digested, fast absorbing carbs like a liquid carb source or some gummy bears (yes you read that right) to top off your carb needs and make sure ALL energy systems are properly fueled.

Stay Hydrated

Adequate hydration is crucial for performance and overall health, especially during high-intensity workouts. Female athletes should aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, leading up to and during the CrossFit Open. Hydration supports optimal digestion, nutrient absorption, and temperature regulation, helping you perform at your best. This is even MORE important to pay attention to if you’re in luteal phase of your menstrual cycle, when hydration cues can be out of whack!

Manage Pre-Workout Nerves

Nerves and anxiety leading up to a CrossFit Open workout can sometimes lead to digestive issues such as nausea, bloating, or diarrhea. To manage these symptoms, eat easily digested foods before your session – opt for chicken and rice with some green beans versus a steak with broccoli. If you’re someone who tends to have a nervous stomach and you know this about yourself, don’t go too big on your preworkout meal and prioritize the carbs.

Experiment with Pre-Workout Nutrition Ahead of Time

Every athlete’s digestive system responds differently to various foods, so it’s essential to experiment with your pre-workout nutrition to find what works best for you. Keep a food journal and take note of how different meals and snacks make you feel during your training sessions. This experimentation will help you identify the foods that support your performance without causing digestive discomfort.

Focus on Post WOD Nutrition

After completing a grueling Open workout, it’s crucial to prioritize recovery nutrition to support muscle repair and replenish energy stores. Consume a post-workout meal or snack containing a combination of protein and carbohydrates within 30-60 minutes of finishing your workout. This will kickstart the recovery process, helping you bounce back faster and perform consistently throughout the competition.

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in the success of female athletes participating in the CrossFit Open

By prioritizing the right kinds of carbohydrates and managing pre-workout nerves you can optimize your nutrition to support performance and overall well-being during this challenging competition.

Looking for more nutrition support, including how much you should be eating for your goals and accountability to stay on track?

Check out our Nutrition Coaching program!