Sep 102013
Leah Hardin liked this post

Here is a great article brought to you by the people from with nutritional advice on what to eat post WOD. Enjoy

“Well I’ve Um’d and Ah’d about the ‘next’ post for a while since there’s so much information to give that’s crucial to your performance, energy, health and fat loss.

So, why did I choose to write this post? You’re already a CrossFit athlete. And since post workout nutrition is so important I wanted to tackle this one early on allowing you to make the most of your WODs right away.

CrossFit is responsible for numerous benefits including health and aesthetics and while yoga or similar activities affect our hormones in a positive way providing balance and reducing Cortisol (stress hormone produced by the zona fasciculata in the adrenal glands) levels, CrossFit, for all the good it provides, is a considerable physiological stressor most interestingly in the form of muscle micro-damage (micro tears) and glycogen depletion (carbohydrates stored in the muscle and liver) which isn’t a bad thing since it means that the exercise has produced a stimulus to change or adapt to the stress forced upon it. This promotes lean tissue growth and improvements in strength or aerobic capacity depending on the type of session undertaken. In other words, our WOD times will come down.

However, this is only one side of the coin. Let me put this simply. Leaving your body to undertake this task of ‘rebuild’ on its own without the tools it needs to do so can be likened to you having planning permission in place to build a house, a builder recruited to do the work but leaving him without the raw materials; the bricks, to even start the job. This is how important post exercise nutrition is to your CrossFit lifestyle to enable you to reach your fullest potential.

So, since you’ve broken your muscle down, depleted glycogen and stimulated the immune system to clear up the mess it makes sense that our post workout nutrition should comprise predominantly these two macronutrients.


So I should just eat a steak and a potato right?

No. Firstly, when we exercise intensely we increase production of adrenaline which satisfies a low blood sugar in itself thus reducing appetite making a solid meal less desirable for many of us after a session. Add to this the fact that we need to deliver the post exercise nutrients as quickly as possible; whole foods take just too long to break down. Our ‘window of opportunity’ is gradually diminished the longer we leave it before having our post workout nutrition, therefore if a whole foods meal can deliver its nutrients to where it’s needed some 2-3 hours after its eaten then proper glycogen repletion and protein repair will be severely diminished.

Enter liquid nutrition. If ingested immediately post workout, the nutrients can reach the muscle around 30-60 minutes later! The faster the nutrients reach the muscle, the better your chances of building and repair so it makes sense to choose a protein which is absorbed quickly and effectively and the same goes for the carbohydrates.

My choices of liquid protein (powder) would be whey protein isolates and hydrolysates and my choice of carbohydrate would be maltodextrin for the reasons stated above.

The next question is how much of each. This will always be up for debate with individuals and with individuals in different sporting arenas but I will come from the standpoint of my experience, optimal recovery and repair while being sensitive to maintaining a lean physique and preventing any carbs being stored as fat. Therefore I recommend a liquid meal immediately post workout of:

  • 0.8g of carbohydrates per kilogram of bodyweight
  • 0.4g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight

You’ll notice a 2;1 ratio. So for an 80 kg individual you would have 64g of carbohydrates and 32g of protein already prepared and weighed the night before or in the morning in a shaker ready to mix with water immediately post WOD. I prefer to buy my whey protein isolate and maltodextrin to ensure i get the correct ratio and weight specific to me.

I have used bodyweight instead of Lean Body Mass (LBM) to keep it simple for most users and suggest that no fat is added at this time since fat will only slow the breakdown and increase the time it takes for the nutrients to reach the desired location.


To take this further you may want to have some blueberries or other high antioxidant fruit available to help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, but only have these handy to eat after the protein/carb post workout shake has been digested around 60 minutes later.

Following your post workout shake I recommend that you have a prepared (if you’re out and about) whole foods meal ready for you to eat around 90 minutes later consisting of lean protein, vegetables and fat.

The post workout solutions I’ve given you, forms part of an all-round good nutrition plan. They will help you move closer to your performance goals but there’s 23 hours left in the day in which things can go really well or horribly wrong! So remember not to isolate the information and hypothesise that this will completely turn your recovery around. Remember that good, whole foods nutrition, sleep, recovery, getting outside and stress reduction all play their part. This information will help but it’s only one piece of the performance puzzle.

The information covered in this article really is really just a small amount of the information you need to know to help you perform at the optimum level. Much more is covered in my Pre/Post Workout nutrition module part of the 14 module system in Paleo In A Box. Check it out by clicking here.”

Strength:High Hang Squat Snatch

KB swings (50#/35#) 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1
Burpees 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10

  One Response to “09.10.13 – Post WOD Nutrition”

  1. 09.10.13 – Post WOD Nutrition » CrossFit Sunnyvale
    Thank you for this article.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.