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Congrats! You’ve signed up for your first day at CrossfitOP! You are likely beginning with our Essentials Program, 3 private training sessions with one of our coaches to help you get your fitness journey rolling.
Let me start with a quick nutrition lesson; Your body uses calories for energy. The type of calories it uses depends on the type of physical activity you are partaking in. Calories come from Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats (aka: macronutrients). Our typical day-to-day activities are performed at a pretty low intensity (walking around the grocery store, sitting at work, cleaning the house ect) and during this type of activity, FATS are our main fuel for energy. We pretty much always have fats available for energy within our body.
The type of physical activity you will be doing at OP is going to be higher-intensity. Your heart rate is going to get up and you are going to be breathing heavy! This type of activity uses CARBS for energy. When oxygen availability in our body is low (because we are using it up in our working muscles), Carbohydrates become our main fuel for energy. However, our bodies don’t always have an infinite resource of carbs available, it mostly depends on what we ate 2-3 hours prior to our workout!
So there’s step number one, before coming in for your first day, make sure that you are properly fueled for your workout! Eat a small meal including carbohydrates and proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of our muscles, and we also don’t have an infinite resource of these available either so they must come from our diets! Some examples of this could be:
½ cup of oatmeal and 2 eggs
1-2 pieces of toast with eggs
1 small sweet potato with chicken/turkey
½ cup of rice with chicken/turkey
1 rice cake topped with jelly
1 banana or apple
½ cup of low-fat yogurt with berries or honey
These options should be eaten 2-3 hours before your workout. If you are still feeling a little hungry before beginning your workout, you can include one additional serving of carbohydrates before your workout. Faster-digesting sources are good at this point too since we will not want food sitting in our stomachs during our session and we want this energy to be available for our muscles! Things like apple sauce, fruit juice/sports drinks, fruits, or rice cakes could all be good options here too. It’s important to keep our blood sugar levels balanced as well going into exercise so we don’t feel light-headed or ill.
When it comes to post-exercise nutrition, ask your coach what the best options may be for you to recover from your workout and feel great before your next session!