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Exercise calories

Should you eat more when training?

- Well, it depends (my favourite answer to 90% of questions).

**Keep reading to understand how this is relevant to you and your activity levels.**


Lets go ahead and talk CrossFit for a moment as an example of a sport where participant often over estimate their effort levels (whilst simultaneously under eating carbs).

A typical CrossFit, Coach led, 1 hour class does not require any extra calories.

- I know right!!

How can that BE????

- you work so hard.

- you're so tired after.

But realistically, if you are aiming for maintenance or weight loss, it doesn't require extra calories.


**I am assuming in all example and cases that people are tracking calories, macros and bodyweight in order to full understand their needs**



It might require looking at your macros.

eg. 80kg woman

2000kcals (maintenance)

Protein = 155g

Carbs = 190g

Fats = 70g

This provides adequate:

  • protein to support satiety and muscle growth

  • carbs to support energy

  • fats to be healthy (and to make up the calories).

This balance would work in most cases (not just CrossFit) and can be scaled up or down for the total number of calories required by the individual.


How to work this out

Use the MyFitnessPal app.

Open your 'goals'.

And whirl the wee numbers up and down.

Aim for something close to:

  • Protein = 0.7 x bodyweight in pounds

  • Carbs = 1 x bodyweight in pounds (*more on this below)

  • Fats = 50 - 70g (or make up any extra calories ie. fats can be higher)

Don't get too caught up in the weeds.

These ratios will largely work pretty well regardless of individual or sport.

With the overall calorie intake being the dictator of bodyweight.


Macronutrient split being important for body composition, muscle growth and energy requirements.


When to eat more & what to eat

- Well, it depends...

As humans we are flawed.

And we have a tendency towards over estimating our efforts with exercise and under estimating our calorie consumption.

NEVER!! I hear you cry!

*then sadly look introspectively and realise the truth is hidden deep inside denial.


More Detail - for the geeks

Here is a general guide to effort levels and carb intake:

Non-training day

- Carbs = 0.5 to 0.7g per pound of bodyweight

Light workout

- 30 to 60 mins

- Strength/skill & WOD (workout)

- Carbs = 1g per pound of bodyweight

Moderate workout

- 60 to 90 mins

- 1 hour session (typically strength & WOD) + extra workout/accessory work

- Carbs = 1.5g per pound of bodyweight

Hard workout

- 90+ mins

- eg. Strength & WOD + skills, extra 1 or 2 WODs, accessory work

- Carbs = 2g per pound of bodyweight

Consider trying to get the carbs in before and after training and have a liquid source of carbs for during the workout/s.



I fully appreciate this can be confusing.

If you have questions please ask in the forum or the 'Workouts Group'.

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