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Thurs Jan 31, 2019

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Cindy, Strict!

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:

5 strict pull-ups

10 honest push-ups

15 squats



from Coach Courtney, RD

Ashley’s Competition Pancakes are a make-ahead snack that can be prepared and stored in the freezer before tossing into gym bags, lunchboxes, or anywhere you need a nutritious pre-workout snack. Credit to Ashley Young at CrossFit BRIO for sharing this fabulous recipe with me!

Many sports, including CrossFit, involve steady state effort in addition to high intensity effort. The primary fuel source for high-intensity efforts is carbohydrate. Planning “real food” snacks that are focused in carbohydrates with moderate amounts of protein and fat will provide a balanced nutrition profile for sustained energy during competition. Packing portable nutritious snacks should be a habitual routine for any athlete looking to maximize training and competition sessions!

Ashley’s Competition Pancakes are the perfect pre- or post- even snack for CrossFit competitions or any sporting event! Competition snacks should be items that are easily digested so that the athlete isn’t feeling overly “full” but at the same time feels energized and is not distracted by hunger. If the athlete eats too much and/or too close to the session, consequences such as cramps or sluggish muscles may be experienced. Such symptoms occur when energy and blood are drawn to the digestive system to process the calories consumed rather than to exercising muscles.

While most of this energy comes from balanced meals eaten prior to exercise, planning for pre-event snacks is essential as snacks provide the energy needed to optimize physical performance and improve mental focus. Click here for a specific blog post with more info, ideas, and food choices to fuel athletes! Since most competitions are typically multi-event / multi-workout with breaks in between heats, you’ll want something to eat between those events. This is where planning – or lack of it – can make or break the performance. Ashley’s Competition Pancakes make a fantastic between event snack because they are:

  1. Easy to digest

  2. Low in fibre

  3. Delicious

Tip 1: Easy to Digest

Competition Pancakes are high in carbohydrate and protein but low in fat making them a quick, digestible source of energy within the hour of an event.

  • Carbohydrate-rich foods digest the fastest. Competition Pancakes contain oatmeal and applesauce as a source of carbohydrate. Some athletes require a higher ratio of carbohydrate to protein than what is supplied in the pancakes. If needed, add an extra source of carbohydrate with the pancakes like a piece of fruit.

  • Protein-rich foods are digested more slowly than carbohydrates. Protein foods slow the digestion of the snack for sustain energy and provide amino acids to build and repair muscle. The closer the snack is to the exercise bout, the less protein it should contain due to protein’s slower digestion rate.

  • Fat is digested very slowly. Immediately before the event, lower fat choices are best to ensure energy is delivered to the muscles and brain. Furthermore, high fat choices can cause digestive upset and discomfort. Competition Pancakes are low in fat. If fueling up within 30 minutes before an event, I recommend keeping fat low. However, if the snack is being enjoyed closer to an hour to 90 minutes before the event, a small amount of fat (eg. a tablespoon of peanut butter or some almonds) will be well tolerated and slow the digestion of the snack for more sustained energy.

Tip 2: Low in Fibre

Fibre is an essential nutrient for optimal health but is not an ideal nutrient to consume between events on competition day! Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that is incompletely broken down for energy. This means, a high fibre snack won’t deliver the energy your brain and muscles require to perform optimally. Furthermore, high fibre foods can cause digestive upset and cramping - especially when coupled with pre-event nerves. Choose snacks that are lower in fibre. As an example, the majority of protein bars like Quest bars, ONE bars, or Kirkland protein bars contain carbs from fibre. These bars will not provide the carbohydrates needed to support a high energy output of competition! While competition pancakes contain some fibre, they are relatively and provide a useable source of carbohydrates that can be accessed by our muscles and brain!

This isn't to say high-fibre protein bars cannot fit into your lifestyle - they just aren't an energizing and fuelling snack to enjoy before or after exercise.

Where to find bars appropriate for competition:

  • Elevate Me bars: London Drugs (pharmacy section), Co-op Marketplace, or Dad’s Organic market

  • Oatmeal Gold Bars (Natural Flavour): Popeye’s, Supplement World

  • Rx bars: Supplement World, Popeye’s

Tip 3: Delicious! Competition is not the time to pack foods that you don’t LOVE or ingredients you have never consumed before. Many athletes feel nervous or unsettled on competition day which can decrease appetite. By packing foods you genuinely love, you ensure that you are eating enough carbohydrate, protein, and total calories to sustain energy levels. Personally, I find these pancakes delicious which makes them a fantastic competition snack! Whatever you decide to pack, make sure it is a snack you look forward to eating.

Ashley's recipe for Competition Pancakes yielded 5 medium pancakes. I store them in an Zip-loc bag in the freezer. I simple toss the Zip-loc bag into my gym bag and enjoy the pancakes cold before or after an event. Try toasting them for a warm snack! You can always pair the pancakes with fruit or berries for extra carbs, smear on some peanut or almond butter, or enjoy them alongside a few almonds. The Nutrition Facts are per one pancake. I recommend having 2-3 before or after an event - a larger athlete may need to eat the entire batch. Double or triple the recipe if you know you will require more energy or make extra to share with friends!


  • 1/2 cup (40g) oat flour*

  • 1/2 cup egg whites (125g)

  • 1 scoop (30g) protein powder

  • 1/2 cup apple sauce **

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • sprinkle of salt


  1. Make oat flour by grinding whole oats into a flour-like consistency in a blender or Magic Bullet

  2. Stir in the egg whites, protein powder, apple sauce, baking powder, and salt. Mix thoroughly to ensure there are no clumps of protein powder in the batter.

  3. Spray a non-stick skillet with a spritz of non-stick spray on medium heat.

  4. Portion out 1/4 cup of the batter and pour into your skillet. Place a lid on the skillet and let cook for 2-3 minutes. When bubbles form, it is time to flip the pancake! Cook for another 1-2 minutes.

  5. Let cool and enjoy OR add them to a Zip-loc bag and freeze them until you need them. Let them thaw or toast them for a quick pre- or post-event snack!

* grind regular old fashioned oats in a blender or Magic Bullet to make homemade oat flour ** I used 1 container of the snack-size Mott's apple sauce

Search "Vitality Nutrition Competition Pancakes in MyFitnessPal to add the recipe to your food tracking*

Yields: 5 Servings

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 76

Carbohydrates: 9g

Fibre: 1g

Protein: 9g

Fat: 1g

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