Fueling Elite Fitness: What Do Top CrossFit Athletes Eat?


Do you think that it is possible to experience all the benefits delivered by CrossFit while just ignoring your diet? That’s never possible.  The top CrossFit athletes pay special attention towards what they eat.  Most of them follow specialized diet plans, which help them to get their desired results.

Just What do Top CrossFit Athletes Eat?

If you are looking to achieve fitness goals with CrossFit workouts, you should have a clear understanding about effective CrossFit dieting plans as well. WOD Fever gathered a round up of advice from top CrossFit athlete.

You can get inspiration and a lot of knowledge by going through these diet plans. As a result, you will be able to pick up a few tips and create your own CrossFit meal plan.

Danielle Sidell

  • CrossFit Regionals Athlete 2012 & 2014
  • CrossFit Games Athlete 2012


“I would describe it as simple, I don’t do anything special. I don’t avoid a whole lot of foods, I don’t stress over weighing out my food. I really just focus on taking in quality food sources, plenty of calories and stabilizing blood sugar. I want to maximize my workouts by getting the best recovery possible. I already have a very good idea of how much Macro’s are in most foods from changing up my diet so much in the past. So when I say 6 or 8 oz. of meat of sweet potatoes, I am not actually measuring it, but I would say its pretty accurate.” - Danielle Sidell

Nothing too complex - it comes down to a few staple rules. Simplicity often generates the best results while still ensuring proper nutrition.  CrossFit athletes tend to differentiate junk food from high quality food. Then they take necessary steps in order to stay away from junk food. Moreover, CrossFit athletes prefer to have a general idea about how much food they consume. This helps them to have a clear idea about the calories and nutrients that they gain out of their diet plan.

Emily Bridgers

  • CrossFit Regionals Athlete 2012 - 2017
  • CrossFit Games Athlete 2012 - 2017


“I may have more of an open approach than other Games athletes these days, in that I don’t follow anything specifically. When I started CrossFit, I tried to eat mostly Paleo, because that’s what everyone else in my gym was doing. But now that I’m competing and training all the time, I know I need to eat more carbohydrates and not just through [eating] fruits and vegetables.” – Emily Bridgers

As per the words of Emily, no specific diet plan is followed. Like many others, she began with a Paleo diet to end up with positive results. It doesn’t take a lot of effort for a person to follow a Paleo diet plan. When following a Paleo diet, you eliminate most processed foods in favor of healthier options.  This is best done through fresh meats, vegetables, rice, and legumes. Hence, you don’t have to worry about any negative side effects in the long run. Therefore, any CrossFit athlete can think about following a diet plan similar to Emily.

Chris Spealler

  • CrossFit Regionals Athlete 2009-2014
  • CrossFit Games Athlete 2007 - 2008, 2010 - 2014


“Lots of the regular stuff. Mornings consisted of eggs, some sweet potatoes or some fruit. Sarah made me some Paleo pancakes one morning as well. While competing I ate things that sat well with lunch meat, Lara bars, some chicken salad from Whole Foods, and a Paleo kit here and there. Cashews and almond butter were easily accessible in by bag.   I was also taking recovery drinks from Progenex after each workout to keep myself feeling good. Night time we ate more consistent again.  Competitions were finishing late so I’d get back to the hotel and make some chicken and sweet potato or something similar, and go to bed. I didn't change much since I didn't want to disrupt my digestive system.  I think people get geeked out on their nutrition during competitions but I believe it's more important to stay consistent and not change things up too much and risk having your body respond differently than you are used to. I also drank a TON of water.  Partly because it's a nervous tick, but also because I notice a huge difference when I drink more water at long competitions.” - Chris Spealler

Chris offers plenty of valuable insight into an effective CrossFit diet.  It seems like Chris is paying special attention towards his breakfast. He consumes a lot of proteins and carbs early in the day. This provides Chris with energy needed for the day filled with intensive workouts. In addition, Chris is consuming a lot of recovery drinks. Even though it is not a must to consume recovery drinks, they provide an excellent assistance for Chris to repair his body after CrossFit workouts.

Alyssa Christian


"I don't like to feel heavy during my workouts, so I snack often on small things that pack loads of nutrients. Think nuts, Greek yogurt, or baby food pouches for a quick carbohydrate blast." — Alyssa Christian

If you feel heavy, won't be able to fully get into a WOD (and you might get a visit from good ol' Uncle Pukie). It would be wise to refrain from adding heavier foods, such as rice and bread, into your pre-WOD meal. Instead, stick with something simpler, such as yogurt and nuts like Alyssa.  You'll be able to maintain energy levels while not worrying about making it to a garbage can.  

So How Can You Eat Like a Top CrossFit Athlete?

A quick round-up from some of the top athletes in the game highlights a few key items.  Supplement your existing meal plan or start a new diet protocol following the advice of these CrossFit athletes?

Do you follow any of these guidelines?  

 In Summary:

  • Stick with Fresh, Non-Processed Foods
  • Don't Stress about Macros 
  • Eat a Strong Breakfast
  • Eat Light before a WOD

For more information on specific foods; check out these diet resources that align with the above summary:


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