- Brooke Wells shared an average day of eating and her macros in the lead-up to the 2022 CrossFit Games.
- Wells eats a high-carb diet with lots of bagels, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and rice, she said.
- Nutrition and sleep are the key to recovering well, she said.
Wells said she’s gradually increased her carb intake over the years which has improved her performance.
“It’s a lot of food, over 3,000 calories,” she told Insider.
Wells dislocated her elbow during a 190 pound snatch at the 2021 CrossFit Games, underwent surgery, and spent a year focusing on recovery to compete again in 2022.
She said her high-carb diet, along with good sleep, helps her recover between sessions and get the most out of her workouts.
Wells eats a high-carb diet
In the final few weeks before the Games, Wells said she ate 3,000 calories a day, with an average daily diet of:
- Breakfast before morning training: large bowl of oatmeal with protein powder and fruit
- Lunch: rice, sweet potato, and chicken
- Snacks during afternoon training breaks: overnight oats, apple sauce pouches, and bananas
- During training: carbs shakes
- Dinner: chicken or steak with sweet potato or rice
- Before bed: bagel with jelly or oatmeal
“I’ve been counting macros for probably the last five years but I feel like the numbers just keep getting higher, my carbs just go up each year,” she said. “I definitely don’t think I was eating enough carbs four years ago and my performance seems to be better as I eat more.”
Wells is not the only CrossFit athlete to have reaped the benefits of eating more carbs — fellow elite Katrin Davidsdottir previously told Insider she used to fear carbs and didn’t eat bread for 10 years, but they’re now a key part of her diet.
Wells never struggled with her relationship with food, she said, but when she wasn’t eating enough carbs, she would find herself overeating them on days off because she was so hungry, she said.
“Recently, when I have a cheat meal or whatever, I don’t go overboard because I don’t feel like I need to anymore, I don’t have as many cravings because I’m eating the appropriate amount of food,” she said. “I would say my relationship with food’s pretty good. I’m not scared to eat sweets or anything.”
After the 2022 CrossFit Games, Wells celebrated with pizza and cookies, and in the weeks after the competition she relaxed her diet and just ate whatever she wanted, she said.
Sleep and nutrition are Wells’ recovery essentials
Recovering well between training sessions is important to ensure Wells can perform at her best, and sleep and nutrition are the two key factors in this, she said.
“In between sessions, I feel like the best way for my body to recover is just eating more food,” Wells said.
The athlete is an ambassador for Eight Sleep, which makes temperature controlled mattresses that also give users sleep data, and it helps her sleep more deeply and for longer, she said.
Wells uses other recovery techniques like hot and cold therapy in saunas and ice baths, but she believes the vast majority of recovering well comes down to eating and sleeping well, she said.
To avoid injuries, Wells’ coaches are encouraging her to take a break from training after the CrossFit Games, she said.
“This year I’ll probably take two weeks completely off then two more weeks just doing stuff that’s easier on my body like swimming and biking,” she said. “I’m ready to get back into it.”