The Ideal Nutrition For CrossFit And Other Intensive Training
There is little doubt that CrossFit is one of the hottest trends in the fitness industry today. More and more recreational and professional athletes are turning to CrossFit to help them reach their fitness goals.
CrossFit workouts are not for the faint hearted, with typical workouts including high intensity cardiovascular activity combined with Olympic-style weightlifting and functional exercises.
To perform at your best when completing a CrossFit workout you really need to ensure that your nutritional intake is spot on.
Athletes who neglect to fuel themselves correctly will not only lack the performance to complete the workout, their overall results will suffer. Often people overlook the importance of proper nutrition that goes hand in hand with regular exercise.
Please keep reading to learn the ideal nutrition for CrossFit and, keep in mind that this eating plan and snack suggestions are effective for any type of training you choose to do.
Fuelling high performance
To perform at your best it is important to choose foods that are rich in nutrients and limit empty calorie foods such as candies, biscuits, cake, and convenience foods.
When visiting the supermarket focus on selecting unprocessed foods. These can generally be found in the perimeter of the supermarket and include lean meat, dairy, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. When it comes to vegetables, choose leafy greens as they are the most powerful plant based foods that are loaded with essential vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
Ensure that you fill your shopping cart with these foods and stay away from the packaged and typically sugary, high fat processed foods in the center of the supermarket to a minimum.
One way to choose wisely is to consider if the food is perishable, most processed foods are made to prolong shelf life and are therefore filled with additives, preservatives, and sugar, fat and salt that the body does not need.
Fats in the diet should be limited to the healthy monosaturated varieties and can be obtained from olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
Starchy food with a high glycemic index, like bread should be limited in general, and when eaten should be only in whole grain form instead of the refined white varieties. Eating a high volume of high-glycemic carbohydrates can result in major health problems, and can lead to type 2 diabetes. They cause insulin spikes in the bloodstream and are a major culprit in obesity. Foods high on the Glycemic index include, rice, bread, sweets, sugar sodas and other simple carbohydrates.
Processed sugar should be eliminated from the diet.
While fruit has important nutritional value, it is also loaded with sugar and some people eat way too much of it. Remember the body cannot distinguish the source of sugar, so when you eat 3 oranges in one sitting you are ingesting 27 grams of sugar.
Preparing your meals and snacks
Now that you have done your shopping it’s time to prepare your meals. Experts recommend using a healthy plate model when preparing your main meals such as lunch and dinner.
Focus on filling half your plate with a variety of colourful vegetables, a quarter with lean protein foods such as chicken, beef, fish or dairy and the final quarter with high quality carbohydrates such as a whole grains that include Quinoa or brown rice.
This is a sure fire way to ensure that you are eating a meal that will give you the energy to perform at your best and provide well rounded nutrition from a variety of foods.
When snacking throughout the day, rather than choosing cookies, chips or crackers, choose vegetables, low sugar fruit, nuts, and seeds. Some of the healthiest nuts are almonds, walnuts, and peanuts. Almond butter on a slice of a green apple is a wonderful choice.
These highly nutritious snacks will ensure you are not starving by the time you sit down to your next meal and keep blood sugars stable.
Post CrossFit workout nutrition
After a strenuous workout, it is very important to choose your food carefully to ensure that your body has the nutrients it requires to repair your muscles and replenish glycogen stores.
Experts agree that the best way to do this is to consume a meal or snack that includes high quality protein and carbohydrates. For the average 70kg athlete research suggests consuming 20g of protein and 50-60g of carbohydrates is ideal.
How you achieve this is really up to you, but one simple option is a lean protein with steamed vegetables, it can include 80g of lean chicken, turkey, or fish.
Best of all each this option will ensure that you consume 2-3g of the essential amino acid leucine, which plays a critical role in the repair, and synthesis of muscle.
Anyone that has tried CrossFit will tell you that it is one of the most intense workouts around. Ensuring that you have fuelled your body correctly will help ensure that you can perform at your best and achieve your goals.
Remember that you only get out of your body what you put into it. When planning your next meal, skip the junk food, and follow our high performance nutrition tips, the results may well surprise you.