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High Intensity Workout Nutrition: What Does and Doesn't Work For You?

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  • High Intensity Workout Nutrition: What Does and Doesn't Work For You?

    I am in the ramp up stage of getting into Crossfit. My strength, body fat % are good but my metabolic conditioning, capacity and cardio are terrible (the transition from Primal to Paleo has definitely unmasked some extensive weakness in my cardio performance: Move Slowly screwed me! ;] ). Luckily I find these areas improve faster than the others; as such I am doing 5 sessions a week (with some two a day lifting in addition to build/maintain). It's a lot of work and currently I don't have much of a life outside of work and training/eating/sleeping.

    In order to support this activity level though I need to be seemingly perfect on my nutrition and post work out meals so I can recover for the next one. I was hoping people that do met con/crossfit/high intensity workouts at a high volume can share their food regimen, what works and doesn't work. I'll post some things that I have noticed in regards to my own diet and performance. My goal is to maintain/gain muscle weight and improve met con and cardio capacity.


    Pre-Met con Workout Meal (~45 minutes before WOD)
    half a sweet potato, two eggs, *no water*

    I generally eat two meals after a workout - the immediate get-glycogen-to-my-muscles-asap meal with a relatively high amount of sugar and then a follow up larger meal with more fat and protein.

    Metabolic Conditioning Post-workout meal (10 minutes after WOD)
    Half a bottle of Coconut Kefir (sugar, fat, pro biotics)
    Raw, organic gluten, grain free food bar (19 grams fat, 16 grams sugar, 9 grams protein)
    (any suggestions for portable protein sources to take with me to the gym?)

    Lifting post-workout meal
    Whey protein shake w/Coconut milk, water
    2 servings of vegetables + EVOO
    Can of tuna (or) 4-6 eggs (or) 1 lb of hamburger etc


    - I aim for about 200 grams of protein a day. It's hard to achieve and why I supplement with whey. However some days I will eat an entire rotisserie chicken for lunch -- a terrific source of fat and protein -- after doing a lot of heavy lifting. After this I feel great - like my muscles sponge it up. No bloating or discomfort. HOWEVER my workout performance the next morning suffers noticeably. I feel tired and out of wind. It's like a trade off for muscle recovery or metabolic performance.

    - An entire meal consisting of vegetables affects me poorly. It makes me gassy and afterward I feel like I did not gain energy from eating at all. I value the fiber and nutrients and taste but feel as a fuel source non-starch vegetables are worthless for me.


    What I have determined is that my body doesn't respond well meals consisting of just one thing (just meat/ just vegetables etc). I know this is ideally common knowledge that meals should have carbs, fat and protein though on the go and when 2/3 meals I consume are outside of my own home - building a balanced meal of vegetables, protein and fat is a lot more challenging.

    I hope others can give insight and share tips/strategies?
    ad astra per aspera