Why Do We Bonk?
Bonking generally results from not having enough energy to finish your workout (or feeling that way). When you are eating your “standard” non-challenge diet, you’re likely eating some grains, potatoes, etc. Your carb intake is definitely higher than it is when you’re in challenge mode unless you eat a lot of bananas and sweet potatoes. Your body is used to working out at that higher carb intake, and can take a while to adjust. And when you start a paleo or clean eating challenge, your diet usually ends up being low carb (at least at first) even if you don’t mean it to be. The change can be especially drastic coming off of holiday food and cookies. Your body will adapt to the lower carb intake over the next few weeks as the sugar withdrawals subside and blood sugar levels normalize. But still, keeping up a consistent carbohydrate intake is important if you want to get the most out of your workouts. I’m not saying you need to eat 60% of your calories in carbs, I”m just saying you need to get enough for YOU to feel good during workouts and have energy throughout the day.
Tips To Avoid It
- Make sure you’re getting enough carbohydrates throughout the day. Unless you’re into doing ketosis, you need roughly 130-150 grams of carbohydrates a day for basic brain function. Obviously you need more than that if you’re coming into the gym regularly.
- Time carbs to the workouts, and bring backup. While your body adapts, it helps to consume more carbohydrates around your workouts. If say, you have a banana for breakfast and still feel like you hit the wall, bring some juice (I would imagine 100% juice with no sugar added in very small amounts is OK, but I have not double checked the rules), coconut water, or dried fruit to nibble on between the strength and WOD part of the workout. You could also eat a Fuel For Fire (again, if compliant). A little bit of glucose here will go a long way.
- Get a good night’s sleep. I’ve already said a lot about sleep during the last challenge so I won’t bore you further.