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Nutrition for Hyrox Training

Why Nutrition for Hyrox Training Matters

A Hyrox will be ran using carbohydrates as the main fuel. Because the intensity is high, your body will be unable to use fat as fuel. Fat takes time to use as energy. It is stored away from muscles and takes time to be transported from storage to your muscles. This means you want to make your body good at using carbs as a fuel. The more often you allow your body to use carbs as fuel, the better it will get. Carbs are rapid release fuel. If you make your body good at using carbs, you release energy faster and with more energy comes more speed!

 

Your body cannot store much carbohydrate, unlike fat which can be stored in high amounts. Consequently you need to eat carbs in your diet throughout training. Events longer than 3 hours will exhaust carbohydrate stores, this is unlikely the case for a Hyrox.


What should your plate look like?

We’ve established Hyrox training nutrition needs carbs, but what should your diet actually look like? Your required carb intake is dependent on your body weight and the amount of training you are doing. See the table below.

carb intakes for hyrox training nutrition

To achieve this intake you will want carbohydrates with every meal. Good sources of carbs are potatoes, rice, bread, pasta, oats, cereal. It is worth taking notice of food packaging to calculate if you are having enough carbs with each meal. If you are feeling lethargic mid-session, fatigued, dizzy, nauseous, it could be a sign your carb stores are empty. If so include more carbs with each meal in the future.

meal macros for hyrox training nutrition

You also want a decent protein intake. Although your goal is not body building, protein is needed for your muscle and tendon repair and keeping a strong immune system. You should aim for 1.5-2g of protein per kilo of body weight. Evenly distribute this through your day to keep a supply of protein delivered to your muscles.


Diet and Fatigue

With Hyrox training you will become fatigued, nutrition can reduce your fatigue. Reduced glycogen storage and low blood sugar are causes of fatigue. Glycogen is your bodies way of storing carbohydrate. Eating carbs throughout your long runs will reduce fatigue levels during the run and after.


 

You can also see reduced amino acids in your blood are a cause of fatigue. Amino acids are the molecules used to make proteins. This shows the importance of eating protein after a training session. The closer to finishing training the better as blood supply is higher to the muscles immediately after training.


Before sessions

You also want to top up your carb stores before your Hyrox training session. 1-4 hours before your session have 1-4g of carbs per kilo of body weight. The time and amount depends on you and the session. If you have a delicate stomach have less, further away from the session. If it is a longer session you want more carbs to fuel it. You will have to learn what works for you specifically through trial and error.


Low energy despite eating? 

You may find although you have eaten well just before a session, your energy drops quite quickly. A cause could be insulin. Insulin rises in response to eating and makes your body store carbohydrate. If you exercise while insulin is high, your blood sugars will drop doubly fast: your working muscles use blood sugar fast and at the same time insulin moves blood sugar into storage. To prevent this, try exercising sooner after eating when insulin hasn’t risen. Or wait longer to exercise so insulin has decreased again after eating. Everyone will react differently, so learn what works for you.

 

Hydration

You also want to make sure you are hydrated before your Hyrox training. Your blood is mostly water and if you are dehydrated your blood is thicker and harder to pump around your body. You can tell if you are hydrated by you urine colour. The darker your urine, the more dehydrated. Try drinking 500ml of water an hour before training. If your urine is still dark, or not needing to pee, drink another 500ml.

 

Exercising will hydrate you slightly during: each broken down sugar molecule releases 6 water molecules. This is one reason you sometimes suddenly need a wee during training. This isn’t enough water to prevent dehydration in long runs though.


After training

Finally, you’ve finished your training session. What should you eat and drink now? Within 20 minutes of your session eat 20g of protein and 60g of carbohydrates. Blood supply is still high to the muscle immediately after training. This means nutrition can be delivered to the muscle easily to repair protein and replenish carb stores; increasing recovery.

 

Drink to match the amount of weight lost in sweat in the session. As a rule of thumb, for each kilo you lose in sweat through the session drink 1.5L of water.


Remember everyone is different. Some trial and error is required to discover what works for you. If multiple trials are still resulting in errors consider speaking to a Sports Dietitian for professional advice.


Information Sources

1.     Atwater, W., & Bryant, A. (1900). The availability and fuel value of food materials.

2.     Burke, L. M. (2021). Ketogenic low-CHO, high-fat diet: the future of elite endurance sport? Journal of Physiology, 599(3), 819–843. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP278928

3.     Hansen, E. A., Emanuelsen, A., Gertsen, R. M., & Raadahl Sørensen, S. S. (2014). Improved Marathon Performance by In-Race Nutritional Strategy Intervention. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 24(6), 645–655. https://doi.org/10.1123/ijsnem.2013-0130

4.     Jeukendrup, A. (2018). Training the Gut for Athletes. Gatorade Sports Science Institute. https://www.gssiweb.org/sports-science-exchange/article/training-the-gut-for-athletes

5.     Lavoué, C., Siracusa, J., Chalchat, É., Bourrilhon, C., & Charlot, K. (2020). Analysis of food and fluid intake in elite ultra-endurance runners during a 24-h world championship. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 17(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-020-00364-7

6.     Newsholme, E. A., & Blomstrand, E. (2006). Branched-Chain Amino Acids and Central Fatigue. The Journal of Nutrition, 136(1), 274S-276S. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/136.1.274S



 

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