When it comes to pre-WOD feeding, the general rule of thumb is to do what works best for you and your body. Some people prefer to scarf down a burrito and then WOD 20 minutes later, while others avoid everything altogether. However, there are some physiological reasons why this might not benefit you, even though you feel fine.
Here’s a breakdown of those reasons:
1. Exercise draws blood away from the gut (where it is needed for digestion), causing severe stomach pains or distress. These effects can be exaggerated when performing high-intensity exercise.
2. Competitions and some exercise sessions cause increases in stress hormones, which prolong digestion. So if you normally feel fine with an hour or two of eating, a workout with stress associated will delay that "fine feeling."
3. Fat takes a long time to digest and most meals (versus drinks) will contain some levels of fat. If you do eat close to a WOD or competition, stick to protein and clean carbohydrates.
4. If you eat a meal that is higher in carbohydrates from non-vegetable sources, your body’s insulin might crash, causing a decrease in performance and will increase draining of muscle glycogen stores, causing a quicker onset of fatigue and loss of strength!
There you have 4 reasons for why your last meal before the next WOD or training session (especially if you are about to hit something like Fight Gone Bad or Murph) should be about 3 to 4 hours prior to you working out. Also, keep it to clean carbohydrates and protein!
What do you do for pre-workout nutrition? Share it with me below alongside any questions you may have, I’ll be sure to follow up immediately.