Carbohydrates: For shorter duration events, mid-race carbohydrate intake has little to no effect. However, in longer events such as the opening event of the last 2 Reebok CrossFit Games, the time duration plays into the hands of the benefits of carbohydrate consumption mid-wod. However, the way to achieve a faster time is even easier than you might think…
Current research has found that in short to middle distance events (20 minutes to roughly 90 minutes), merely washing out your mouth with a carbohydrate based food or drink product will increase glycogen sparing and improve your performance.
Simple. About half way through a longer, endurance based CrossFit WoD, simply swish around some sports drink (or even a baked potato!) in your mouth and spit it out. Your mouth has enough sensors to identify the carbohydrates and help you pick up the pace!
Caffeine: There is A LOT of research regarding caffeine as an ergogenic aid. Virtually all of the scientific literature points to the positive effects of caffeine consumption pre-race or WoD. If you are utilizing coffee as your caffeine source, anecdotal evidence provided by many successful endurance coaches suggest consuming black coffee a few hours before race time. However, if your stomach can handle coffee during high intensity exercise, then the closer the consumption is to the start of the race or WoD, the better.
Similar to carbohydrate consumption, caffeine can also be swished around your mouth to provide aid. This can be achieved with caffeine gum, coffee, or carbohydrate gels infused with caffeine.
Experimenting with these two techniques in practice before a race is recommended. Make sure your stomach is able to handle mid-race carbohydrate or caffeine consumption before you put it to the test in an important event like Regionals or The CrossFit Games.
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