The CrossFit Diets Of Pro Athletes—What They Eat To Stay At The Top Of Their Game

Moritz Fiebig and Aniol Ekai
Moritz Fiebig, left, and Aniol Ekai both aim to eat 6,000 calories a day (Image credit: Reign Total Body Fuel)

When I got the chance to speak to top European athletes after the 2023 Berlin CrossFit semi-final event, courtesy of their sponsor Reign Total Body Fuel, I had to ask them how often do CrossFit athletes train? It’s upwards of five hours a day, so what does their diet look like to support these superhuman efforts?

The simple answer is that they eat a lot

Here, Wodapalooza 2022 winner Emma McQuaid, Games athletes Emma Tall and Moritz Fiebig, and Spain’s third fittest man Aniol Ekai discuss their daily calorie goals, nutritional focus and the foods that help them perform at their best.

How many calories do CrossFit athletes aim to eat in a day?

The first topic I broached with the athletes is whether they have a specific number of calories they try to consume each day. Some do, some don’t, but for those who do, the numbers are off the charts.

“I burn a lot of calories, so I eat about 6,000 calories a day,” says Fiebig. “If other athletes ate that, they would look a little bit too bulky, but I’m heavy.”

“It’s all about balancing it right. If you don’t eat enough throughout the week but you still have the high-intensity [of training] you can get sick or you can get injured.”

To maintain muscle mass, Fiebig’s diet is “packed with protein”. He also crams in carbs in the evening, to ensure he’s got enough energy for the next day’s training.

He also ups his daily calorie intake during competitions to support any extra expenditure. “In competition, I just want to gain weight throughout. That’s my goal, always,” he says. 

What do CrossFit athletes eat?

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To hit those lofty calorie goals, CrossFit athletes have to be clever with what they eat. After all, if you wanted to chew your way through 6,000 calories of chicken and brown rice you’d barely have any time left in the day to train. So what’s Fiebig’s secret?

“Firstly, I love eating. Secondly, eating a lot of fats can help with eating a lot of calories, so I like nuts, eggs and avocado, for example, for breakfast. Then easy things like oats and rice help.”

Aniol Ekai aims for a similar 6,000-calorie daily goal and, while he says he enjoys his food, he admits he can get “tired of eating”.

“It’s just about finding the balance, like with everything,” says Emma McQuaid. “Even for an athlete. 

“Obviously we don’t want to have high-sugar foods in-season for inflammatory reasons, but sometimes on a Saturday night you want a bag of crisps, so it’s like, ‘well, I’ll have a bag of crisps’.”

What should a CrossFit diet for everyday athletes look like?

While the average CrossFit box-goer might need to eat a little more than the average human, they won’t require 6,000 calories per day to stay on top of their game. 

“I think it’s important to see the difference between us,” says Fiebig. “We’re doing this for a living, and most people who will read this are doing it for fun.

“You have to understand that eating should be a good thing in your life and not something that you have to do. You have to stay healthy in two ways: with your food, but in your mind as well.”

So, what approach should you take to your diet?

“Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and sleep well is a good recipe for success,” says McQuaid.

Harry Bullmore
Staff writer

Harry covers news, reviews and features for Coach, Fit&Well and Live Science. With over a decade of training experience, he has tried everything from powerlifting to gymnastics, cardio to CrossFit, all in a bid to find fun ways of building a healthy, functional body.