A form of high intensity interval training, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning workout that is made up of functional movement performed at a high intensity level.There is a standard "workout of the day" (WOD) that all members complete on the same day. Crossfit is both anaerobic and aerobic meaning you use both fat and glucose for fuel to power through this highly challenging metabolic form of training.
As such, for performance needs it's important to incorporate a good percentage of carbohydrates into your diet and particularly befor training.
Although there can be a lean towards Keto and low carb diets with crossfit it could be affecting your performance and true potential as a crossfit athlete.
First we need to work out your calorie needs. Energy balance determines whether weight will be gained or lost. It's important to fuel adequately to help performance and recovery.
PROTEIN- Adequate protein ensures that we have the building blocks for recovery, growth and prevent muscle breakdown. It is also the most satiating of all the macro's so helps with hunger if on a calorie deficit. Aim for 1.4-2g of protein per KG of body weight.
CARBS AND FAT- Carbs and fat fuel the body with fat being essential for hormone regulation and carbs to fuel your training. Most will do well wil fat at 20-30% of their daily calorie goal whilst carbs make up the rest.
As previously mentioned a low carb diet can affect your performance and dietary adherence so worth keeping in mind when working out your ratios. Everyone is different so make this work for you.
MICRONUTRIENTS- Macronutrients are the fuel for the body whilst micronutrients are the oil that lubricate it. A diet with micronutrient deficiencies won't be immediately detrimental but in the long term will impact for performance and well being.
Here are some key points-
Aim to eat vegetables with every meal (at least a fist full)
Don't avoid fruit, its full of vitamins and fibre aim for around 3 portions a day.
Eat protein at every meal between 30-40g
Consider a multivitamin to cover all bases.
Magnesium is another great mineral, we are usually deficient of this.
Magnesium is involved in Hundreds of Biochemical Reactions in your body and may boost performance.
Essential fatty acids- Usually in the form of fish oils. Fatty acids help to reduce inflammation, enhance mood and aid in joint recovery.
Vitamin D3- Insufficient amounts of vit D in the body can compromise your immune system and especially important to supplement with in the winter months.
WATER- Ensure you are adequately hydrated to calculate is as follows
Your Weight (in Kg) multiplied by 0.033. For example, if you are 60kg, you should drink about 2 litres of water every single day. However as crossfit is such high intensity ensure you rehydrate during and after a WOD on top of the suggested amount.
NUTRIENT TIMING- Fuel adequately befor your workout preferably 60-90 minutes befor.
Opt for a carb source, protein can lead to cramps and is not neccesary for fueling your body. You can have a little fat but this can slow down the glucose release from your food choice.
Post WOD- This is where the protein comes into play. Aim for eating within 2 hours of your training (the 30 minute rule has been shown to be of no significance) Try to get a good amount of protein into your meal, 40g is optimal. Carbs are another essential component as your glycogen stores will be dipleted from around 22-40%. Carbs also assist with the enery needed for muscle protein synthesis.
Creatine monohydrate- By far the most tested and effective supplement.
It's benefits for strength and power production are widley recognised.
Aim for 5g per day.
Caffeine-Used as a pre-workout to enhance performance
Aim for 4-6 mg per KG of body weight
Beta alanine- Used for longer anaerobic performance
the recommended amount 3-4g per day but only if doing continuous high intensity for 60 seconds +
BCAA- A complete waste of money if your protein intake is sufficient unless training fasted.
Looking at fueling your body for performance is key whilst keeping a good balance of calories, macronutrients and micronutrients.
One last thing- get your zzzz's in, at least 7-9 hours and work on stress management and you'll be hitting your PB's like never before.