BIG Nutrition: Fueling 60-90 Minutes Prior to 18.5


BIG Nutrition: Fueling 60-90 Minutes Prior to 18.5

Congratulations to all of the BIG athletes who are conquering the 2018 Open! Awesome job and commitment to BIG. Let’s take a look at a snack fueling strategy 60 to 90 minutes before the last WOD of the 2018 Open.


Absolutely, carbohydrates are what your body uses for fuel in a workout. Complex carbs (those that contain fiber) are recommended in a meal about 3-4 hours before a workout. However, for a snack 60 minutes before a WOD, make sure you know how your body responds because you may have GI distress if your snack is high in fiber. If you want to stop here, carbs are really all you need 60 minutes before a WOD.

How much? 30-50 gm (about 120-200 carb calories)


Research is scant on the helpfulness of protein before a workout so if you include it, it needs to be a smaller amount of protein because protein delays stomach emptying. Too much protein in your snack and it will still be in your stomach when the WOD is over.

How much? 20 gm (maximum)


Go easy on the fat in a snack 60-90 minutes before a WOD. Fat also delays stomach emptying. No one wants to feel like they just swallowed a brick during a WOD.

How much? Not more than 15-20 gm (1 oz. nuts or 2 tbsp. of nut butter is ~15 gm of fat)

Trying something new?

I don’t recommend you experimenting with a new snack prior to 18.5 or any important event. This should be something tried and true that works for you.

What are some options?

  • ½-1 banana with 1-2 tbsp. nut butter
  • ½ c. cooked oatmeal with ½ c. fruit
  • ½ whole grain bread/bagel with 1-2 tbsp. nut butter
  • ½-1 c. fruit and 3-6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
  • If you have pre-WOD jitters and find it hard to eat food, try a smoothie made from fruit and veggie. Adding a small amount of protein (yogurt, peanut butter or whey) is fine or have a Fuel for Fire.
  • A word on nutrition supplement products for ‘pre-workout.’ These can contain caffeine, sometimes a lot of caffeine. Time it correctly (15-20 mins pre-WOD) and use it only if you have used it before and know how your body responds.

Have a favorite pre-WOD snack? Share it. All the best on 18.5 and happy and healthful eating!

Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN


Want to eat nutrient dense for consistent athletic performance and optimal health? Contact me at [email protected]