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Hello,

It's my first time. And today's my Day 14. I do crossfit twice a week and I struggle with it...

On day 8, for the first time ever, I felt like I was about to faint (never fainted, so I don't know). But I saw the stars and got really dizzy towards the end of my workout.

I talked to my trainer, and she was telling me that it's a sign that my body needs more food.  I had 2 hard-boiled eggs and a banana with 10ish almonds as a pre-workout meal that day. She told me that I need to find a decent source of carbs. 

*Before the Whole30, I used to eat only dinner (unhealthy one) most days, so I was used to working out with an empty stomach, so I was confused. but I guess this is the change the book was talking about.

So, now I'm taking pre/post-workout meals more seriously.  And here comes my question.

1. Has anyone experienced something similar?. I am used to feeling like my lung/legs are about to explode, but never felt dizzy, so I'm concerned.

2. On this Whole30 Meal Template, it says, "Include a small amount of protein (1/2 a meal size or smaller), and (optionally) a small amount of fat (1/2 a meal size or smaller). Do not add fuirt or carb-dense vegetables to your pre-workout snacks," and this article says, "your pre-workout meal should focus on protein and high-fiber carbohydrates – think chicken or turkey breast, lean beef, fish and seafood, as well as sweet and white potatoes, squashes, berries, melons, bananas, and beets."

Protein, I get. What Am I supposed to do about Carbs?....My trainer says I should eat more carbs, but I just want to make sure I'm following Whole 30. When I google things,other posts seems to focus on protein and fat sources without carbs, so help me please.

 

 

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Hi @Alliswell - sorry for the info conflict! Being uncomfortable or "out of gas" is common in the first 2 weeks-ish of Whole30 while your body adapts to processing fat as fuel. Being dizzy is usually a sign on undereating to begin with but then also that lack of fuel because your body hasn't figured out fat adaptation yet.

We do know that we have a bit of a conflict in some of the pre and post workout info so here is the most current statement from Melissa: 

First, the ISWF pre-workout recommendations were created back in 2010. Exercise nutrition best practices are always evolving, which is why we reached out to an expert in the current science; an RD who works with clients on a daily basis.

We asked Paul to explain more his rationale on eating carbs pre-workout: "Eating carbohydrates before a workout will provide the muscles with readily available fuel--taken from the blood and sent wherever it's needed, which is faster and easier to access than digging into stores glycogen. Plus, depleting glycogen levels set off fatigue sensors in the body – and we want to avoid that happening mid-workout."

The Whole30 books aren't being updated with this information at this point (book updates are a HUGE process), so please refer to the most current post for your best pre- and post-workout strategies.

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Oh dear, that article blew my mind a little bit. It Starts with Food and the Meal Template are my Whole30 Bible. And now they're wrong! *Gasp* 

What I got from that article is this: 

  • Pre-Workout: 2-3 hours before workout; combination of protein and high-fiber carbohydrate
  • IntraWorkout (for continuous, moderate-to-high intensity workouts longer than 45 minutes): protein and fruit juice or fruit  
  • Post-Workout: within 60 minutes;  lean protein, high-fiber carbohydrates, and lots of veggies 

So, no more fat when it comes to fueling a workout? So what happened to the whole concept of being fat adapted?? 

Hmmm... Wow.... I really liked understanding the science of this all and now this doesn't make as much sense to me!

Are there any other resources that might help? Any chance that at least the Meal Template will be updated in the short term?

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Hi @kirbz - it sort of wrecked the Whole30 team too because that has been our speech for years. But - as Melissa said, the research changes and 10 years is a long time to go without reviewing and making revisions to what we know and what we recommend.

On a Whole30 you would still become fat adapted if following the template. People who don't exercise at all become fat adapted on their Whole30 so eating a bit of carb before workout won't prevent that. Of course if you were feeling fine and doing well on the original recommendations, keep going - there are no Whole30 Police. ;) 

Yes, the meal template is going to be updated and when it is I will issue it here!

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19 hours ago, SassySal said:

I'm confused about how much juice to carry to my workout...

For during a long, intense workout? If you check out the article: https://whole30.com/2019/02/whole30-pre-workout-post-workout/, there's a chart showing grams of carbs based on length of workout -- so if your workout is up to 45 minutes, aim for 0-10 grams of carbs. So check out how many carbs are in the juice you're thinking of using and adjust the amount accordingly. So for instance, a cup (8 oz) of orange juice has about 26 grams of carbs, so if you exercise for 45 minutes you could have 3 1/4 ounces of orange juice, if you wanted.

Food before and during workouts is still a pretty individualized thing, so you may have to try a few options to figure out what works best for you. 

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I'm glad for the updated information. Someone on a FB post reminded me that I need to eat 15 - 30 minutes after working out. That is not doable for me. I also appreciate having protein and fruit pre-workout since that is way easier for me to do (manageable). I had protein and fat before working out today. And while I could lift more and increased my reps, I was shaking towards the end of the session (60 minutes with a trainer and we always finish with ropes). I work out three times a week with a trainer and 1-2 times a week at home. The nutrition part of working out is fairly new for me. Thanks for the information.

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So I normally eat breakfast around 8 or 9:00, then go to Crossfit or run at 11:30. i then eat when I return from Crossfit, usually around 1-1:30.

Thus far, I have NOT been eating anything extra prior to or after my workout. Right now, I would not call my Crossfit workouts continuously high-intensity. As a general rule, I do about 15 minutes of warm-up, 15-20 minutes of slow strength training, and 15-20 minutes of a Metcon with my heartrate in my aerobic zone. 

My current weekday runs also are not what I would call "high-intensity" - usually 2-5 miles of low heartrate training, which does mean a LOT of walking at this point. 

I Crossfit three days a week and run 3 days a week, with Saturdays being my long runs - currently will max out at 10 miles.

I know we are all different, but would love some feedback as to whether I should add anything extra? 

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@LindaLee As a (former) CrossFitter and half-marathon runner I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you might be undervaluing the intensity of your workouts :) 

If you are doing and of the strength or metcon portions of your WOD as intended you need to "account" for them.  If you don't mind my asking - what is your HR% in your "aerobic" zone... I've never done a metcon with a heart rate that I would consider my aerobic zone (which I would call <80-85% of HR max).  When performed as written, metcons are meant to be hard - so are you not doing them hard or just not "counting" them as hard? 

Per your runs... at this point if you really are doing A LOT of walking... and they are 2-3 miles, then, yeah, I don't think you need a pre or post workout.  I routinely walk 3 miles carrying my 40 lb son on my back (when we go for a hike and he suddenly decides he'd rather not walk :lol:) and I don't change my food intake for the day because of that.  BUT if I did a 5+ mile run I would. 

Have you read the new guidelines regarding pre and post WO meals?  You can find it here

In general - if you are looking to optimize performance you need to fuel well so you CAN go hard during your workout.  Your meal 1 at 9 may be just perfect.  But I'm not sure what you are eating.  Is it in line with the article posted?  If so, cool.  Stick with it. 

However, your post workout... you'll feel better *tomorrow* if you re-fuel after a hard workout (which I would consider CrossFit, at least it was for me).  Eating some protein and carbs right after a workout may also help make better food choices later because you won't be starving.  Nothing huge - a small piece of leftover protein and a half a sweet potato or something. 

Again, I think the recommendations in general are about optimizing performance.  And if you optimize performance you build muscle and can workout harder - both of which I'd assume might be part of your goals. 

Good luck tinkering with things and finding out what works well for you!

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32 minutes ago, littleg said:

@LindaLee As a (former) CrossFitter and half-marathon runner I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you might be undervaluing the intensity of your workouts :) 

If you are doing and of the strength or metcon portions of your WOD as intended you need to "account" for them.  If you don't mind my asking - what is your HR% in your "aerobic" zone... I've never done a metcon with a heart rate that I would consider my aerobic zone (which I would call <80-85% of HR max).  When performed as written, metcons are meant to be hard - so are you not doing them hard or just not "counting" them as hard? 

Per your runs... at this point if you really are doing A LOT of walking... and they are 2-3 miles, then, yeah, I don't think you need a pre or post workout.  I routinely walk 3 miles carrying my 40 lb son on my back (when we go for a hike and he suddenly decides he'd rather not walk :lol:) and I don't change my food intake for the day because of that.  BUT if I did a 5+ mile run I would. 

Have you read the new guidelines regarding pre and post WO meals?  You can find it here

In general - if you are looking to optimize performance you need to fuel well so you CAN go hard during your workout.  Your meal 1 at 9 may be just perfect.  But I'm not sure what you are eating.  Is it in line with the article posted?  If so, cool.  Stick with it. 

However, your post workout... you'll feel better *tomorrow* if you re-fuel after a hard workout (which I would consider CrossFit, at least it was for me).  Eating some protein and carbs right after a workout may also help make better food choices later because you won't be starving.  Nothing huge - a small piece of leftover protein and a half a sweet potato or something. 

Again, I think the recommendations in general are about optimizing performance.  And if you optimize performance you build muscle and can workout harder - both of which I'd assume might be part of your goals. 

Good luck tinkering with things and finding out what works well for you!

VERY helpful...thank you.

I'm doing Maffetone Low Heart Rate training for running, and the recommendation is to keep the HR at or below your MAF max for strength training as well as all runs. So I do go as hard as I can on my Metcons, but of course they're not all created equal, LOL. Anything overhead or involving burpees = instant max heart rate! I just started the training, so I'm hoping my intensity will increase even at a lower heart rate. But of course they are usually extremely short - I think the max length last week was 15 minutes. i will try that post-workout recommendation - I did see the new guidelines and found them most interesting!

My 9 am meal is a usual Whole30 breakfast - protein, surrounded by tons of veggies (usually squash and turnips) plus some sweet potatoes and a fat. Ditto for lunch, actually. 

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@LindaLee Maffetone for CrossFit... I've never heard of that.  Are you actually trying to keep HR low during WODs?  I think Maffetone and CF come at performance gains from totally different perspectives... CF is meant to get your HR up, Maffetone is to keep your HR down... so if one does a WOD trying to meet both those goals he/she is actually not meeting either.  But maybe not...? I'm not a trainer so don't necessarily listen to me :lol: But in general... I think it is best to stick to one training philosophy and not mesh more than one.  What is your ultimate goal?  Run a marathon?  Clean and jerk a ton of weight?  Lose body fat?  Get healthy? 

Your meal 1 sounds great.  If you feel good for your workout I wouldn't change it.  All I'd do for a post WO for CF is to have a small serving of protein and carbs within 1 hour of your workout.  The research actually shows that protein over the course of 24 hours will be sufficient IF you are eating enough protein (which a W30 meal plan should be if you are eating to template) and you don't necessarily have to get it in in that "magic" 1 hour window.  However if you are training hard day after day OR doing 2 a days then the carbs during or within an hour of the workout will likely help your NEXT workout because you'll replenish your glycogen stores.  That magic window does seem to exist for glycogen from what I've read.  But again, my gut feeling is that this is really more important for those athletes that are pushing the competitive/elite level.  Not those of us just doing CF for fun :)

The ultimate metric will be how you feel.  If you are in too deep of a caloric deficit you'll just feel sorta crappy and your workouts won't be good.  But if you feel fine, are sleeping ok, and are seeing improvement in performance/strength/physique/etc then stick with what is making you feel good. 

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12 hours ago, littleg said:

@LindaLee Maffetone for CrossFit... I've never heard of that.  Are you actually trying to keep HR low during WODs?  I think Maffetone and CF come at performance gains from totally different perspectives... CF is meant to get your HR up, Maffetone is to keep your HR down... so if one does a WOD trying to meet both those goals he/she is actually not meeting either.  But maybe not...? I'm not a trainer so don't necessarily listen to me :lol: But in general... I think it is best to stick to one training philosophy and not mesh more than one.  What is your ultimate goal?  Run a marathon?  Clean and jerk a ton of weight?  Lose body fat?  Get healthy? 

Your meal 1 sounds great.  If you feel good for your workout I wouldn't change it.  All I'd do for a post WO for CF is to have a small serving of protein and carbs within 1 hour of your workout.  The research actually shows that protein over the course of 24 hours will be sufficient IF you are eating enough protein (which a W30 meal plan should be if you are eating to template) and you don't necessarily have to get it in in that "magic" 1 hour window.  However if you are training hard day after day OR doing 2 a days then the carbs during or within an hour of the workout will likely help your NEXT workout because you'll replenish your glycogen stores.  That magic window does seem to exist for glycogen from what I've read.  But again, my gut feeling is that this is really more important for those athletes that are pushing the competitive/elite level.  Not those of us just doing CF for fun :)

The ultimate metric will be how you feel.  If you are in too deep of a caloric deficit you'll just feel sorta crappy and your workouts won't be good.  But if you feel fine, are sleeping ok, and are seeing improvement in performance/strength/physique/etc then stick with what is making you feel good. 

I actually have been combining Crossfit and running (Galloway) for a couple of years with great success for a couple of marathons, though this is the first time I've introduced a lower heart rate into the mix. I'm not an elite runner by any means; my goal always is just to cross the finish line with a smile and no injuries. I've been following the PowerSpeedEndurance training plans since my first marathon, and have cut 40 minutes total off my (admittedly slow) time. So my goals right now are threefold:

1.  Get my hormones back in balance and my sugar consumption under control. I suspect I'll lean out some when I accomplish that. I also pray that this will get my blood pressure under control too, so I can go off the meds.

2.   Run one last marathon next fall and PR, even if just by a minute or two.

3.   Continue to work on building/maintaining my overall strength. Like I said, I'm not looking for some major weight crushing goals - but doing strength work has benefited me in more ways than I can count.

I don't have any desire to lift tons of weight, but strength training has been a critical part of my half and marathon training and PSE does a great job with programming strength work and Metcons that are runner specific. As for getting my heart rate up...it really depends on the WOD. Some movements get it way up there...others don't. Since high intensity interval work is not my goal right now, I can get the functional movements in and work out with my buds without jacking my heart rate into my anaerobic zone...I just go slower or reduce or modify the reps, and I rest/stop if my heart rate goes too high. Thus far it's actually been much harder to keep my heart rate down while running! Though I know from experience that after I've been training for a while, I'll be able to go further and faster within the same heart rate parameters. 

And all of this is kind of sideways to the thoughts about the food. I'm experimenting this week with not eating pre or post-WOD, but the training picks up next week and we'll see if that still applies. Certainly once I hit 5+ miles, I'm gonna need something.

Thank you so much for the advice!

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