What should I eat before and after CrossFit training?

Pre and Post-WoD Nutrition

A few people at Fenrir Fitness have been asking me about pre and post workout nutrition. Namely, the question is “What should I be eating before and after training to optimize my¬†performance?”

Here’s my opinion below and I’ll keep it as brief and simplified as I can. This is written for performance purposes. If you’re trying to ‘cut weight’ or ‘lean out’ then maybe training in a fasted state isn’t the worst idea. Don’t expect to set any world records, however.


Pre workout:

If training in the very early AM, I wouldn’t recommend much of a meal at all. Consider a small piece of fruit (I like dates) and maybe a fast digesting protein such as whey. A pre-workout carbohydrate product I like to use is Karbolyn if whole foods are not convenient.

If training in the evening, have your last big meal at least 2 hours before training (but not more than 5 hours). If it’s a longer, endurance metcon (>20 minutes or so) then consider fruit/other ‘fast’ carbohydrate and a fast digesting protein approximately one hour before training. I also like Caffeine, Creatine and BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids) about 15 minutes before training. I take these in the form of a ‘Pre Workout’ powder.


Intra workout (during):

Water if 60 minutes or less, liquid carbohydrates, electrolytes and water if >60 minutes of actual work time.


Post workout:

If recovery is the goal, a fast acting carbohydrate should be consumed immediately post workout (eg dates or a carbohydrate drink) (approx 50-100g depending on training duration) followed after about 30 minutes by a fast acting protein (such as whey) (approx 30 grams) . Once again, if you are trying to lean out, then you have the option of remaining fasted. Aim to get a full meal in (consisting of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats) within 2-3 hours of training. An optimal example would be chicken breast, sweet potato and some avocado slices.

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