More Than You Can Chew: Eating for the CrossFit Open

“If you want to be a beast you have to eat like a beast,” a bodybuilder once eloquently stated. By this logic, if you want to perform your best then you need to eat your best. For those of you new to CrossFit, the CrossFit Open is a series of five workouts done over five weeks. These workouts serve as benchmarks for all your hard work. Yes, the CrossFit Open is also the first step to qualify for the CrossFit games, but it is also an opportunity for the greater CrossFit community to coalesce around the values of Improved health, education, and Community. Now that you know why the Open is so important, we can talk about how to get the most out of all your hard work. Time to bolster your diet with a little knowledge. The following is a recommendation and not a prescription of advice that can help you eat your way to new personal records. The goal is to provide you with knowledge about how to properly adjust your nutrition for the rigors of the open. Let’s get started.

What to Eat

Let’s start with what to eat. It’s important to choose the right foods for the Open because the wrong foods can cause you to struggle with performance and lead to increased soreness. Try the following:
– Eliminate sugar and alcohol; (at least for the five weeks of the open.)
-Increase fruits and veggies.
-Increase starchier carbohydrates in moderation, especially around workouts.
Finally, make sure you focus on getting an adequate amount of protein. A good rule of thumb is one gram of protein per pound of body weight. So a 150-pound woman should aim for 150 grams of protein. As always, opt for lean sources of protein like chicken breast and pork loin. Vegans and Vegetarians should make sure they are getting adequate amounts of protein from quality sources like hemp, nuts, and seeds.

When to Eat

Timing is everything. That’s true for the Open and your nutrition as well. Here are some tips to help you plan when to have your next meal:
-Eat no less than 30-45 minutes before each event, ideally 1-3 hours before.
-Competition days are a great opportunity to increase your carbohydrate intake.
-On non-competition days increase your fats to help with cellular regeneration and increased recovery time.
– Take your post-workout recover shake 20-30miutes after your workout.

A good rule to follow is: the closer you get to your workout time the lighter the fare. For example, if you are 20-30 minutes from your workout choose applesauce or nonfat Greek yogurt. If you are an hour away feel free to have something more substantial like Ezekial bread with nut butter.

How to Eat

You don’t need me to tell you how to chew your food so, let’s jump straight to the real work–Meal Prep! The CrossFit Open is already s a stressor, whether it is a good stressor or a bad stressor the stress is there. Take a little bit of the stress out of your week by practicing meal prep!

– Make sure to have protein at all of your meals especially breakfast.
-Keep the right tools on hand. Tupperware and a crock-pot can be a big help.
-Don’t be afraid of eating the same thing each day. Just make sure it’s a little different for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Of course, there is always more to learn, but it seems appropriate to leave it there. If you are interested in finding out more about nutrition and how to eat for every aspect of your life, or you simply want to find out more about the CrossFit Open book a No-Sweat Intro at We would love to have you.

To your Continued Success,

Coach Don


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