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The CrossFit eating mantra. But we’re not talking about cheat meals today, I can assure you that 😉

Have you ever come to the gym, totally fresh and pumped up because it’s a 1RM day? You’re ready to top that number on your favourite lift, and push through it, only to wonder why you couldn’t even hit your previous personal best.

What happened? A number of factors can be considered, but one that’s always overlooked is what we eat around our workouts. At a first glance, it’s easy not to think of food as something that could improve our performance, especially if fat loss is your main goal. As somebody who struggled to lose weight for years, one of the first tough lessons you learn is: you can’t outtrain bad nutrition. However, if you don’t eat right, no matter how easy your WOD looks today, you certainly will struggle.

In CrossFit, we need to eat properly because of two reasons:

  • Performance: Eating the right proportion and variety of macronutrients before the workout will enable you to lift heavier and keep a high-intensity pace. As simple as that. The better the fuel, the better your engine performs. If your workouts cannot reach top intensity, progress will be slower than desired.
  • Recovery: Having a proper and balanced meal after training is what helps your body repair and adapt itself after the WOD literally taking everything from it. Omitting this important step will impair your chances of getting stronger and faster by a hundred percent.

Of course we could get into all the technical details of this, but, being as pragmatic as I am, let’s just say we’ve got the what and the why figured out so far. Now, the part people have difficulties with: how? Let’s cut to the chase, because pragmatism!

DISCLAIMER: These are guidelines referenced by wide-known general research, and as such we cannot guarantee 100 percent effectiveness on your own physique. If you want a full meal plan tailored to your needs, the best course of action is always talking to a certified nutritionist or dietitian.

The following are recommendations based on research put together by sports nutritionist Alan Aragon, a well respected and established professional in the field (adapted of course for our CrossFit context).


Let’s say you want to train tonight at 6:30 PM. What should you eat? You have two options:

  • Eat a solid, balanced meal between 60 to 90 minutes before training that contains 0.5g of protein per kilo of your target body weight, and 0.5g of carbs per kilo of your target body weight as well. Or…
  • Eat a liquid, easy to digest meal containing the same proportions as the previous one 30 minutes before your WOD.

The type of carbs you should include in these meals should be of the complex type: whole bread, brown rice, sweet potato, oats, etc.


Another awesome WOD completed! Time to refuel and recover. This one is a bit easier:

Have either a solid or liquid meal after training that contains 0.5g of protein per kilo of your target body weight, and between 0.5g and 1g of carbs per kilo of your target body weight as well.

Regarding carb type, this is where simple carbs like white bread or milk can help speed up the process of recovery and muscle building, so it’s a good idea to use those ones here.


Four times CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning, Jr is famous for claiming he eats a whole tub of peanut butter daily. Please, DON’T DO THIS unless you’re a four times CrossFit Games champion.

Example – Target weight: 70Kg

Let’s suppose you want to reach 70Kg of body weight. That means in your pre-WOD meal you want to have at least 35g of protein and 35g of complex carbs. That also means your post-WOD needs to have a minimum of 35g as well and any carbs between 35g and 70g

Now, I expect some questions after reading this, and probably the most notorious ones are going to be:

  • I can’t really stand any food just straightaway after waking up! What if I train at Hurakan at 6:00 AM? Just have the same pre-workout meal one hour before going to bed. Most of the fuel will be there for you in the morning.
  • What if I’m on a paleo diet? Pretty much the same applies, only that you should not have any simple carbs like white bread, white rice or any refined sugar on your post-workout meal. Use complex carbs as well. Also avoid dairy as usual.
  • What if I’m on a low-carb diet? Remember that if you’re on a ketogenic-style diet, your main energy source is fat. Rely on your nuts, avocados, bacon, etc to give yourself the fuel you need on the pre-workout meal.

Eat smart and you will reach your performance goals easier and faster. We the coaches want exactly that for you!


Julio Gutierrez