CrossFit is a transformative lifestyle. It consists of a system of exercises prescriptions powered by customized CrossFit nutrition. The intensity of the workouts requires that you have a diet that can power you through and help you recover.
Many experts and nutritionists provide suggestions on the nutrition profile and healthy diet. However, the expert's advice and the nature of your diet depend only on your goal, physique, current health, lifestyle, and experiences.
Nevertheless, the best approach is to go with the standard diet and to deactivate the necessary things to achieve your specific goals.
CrossFit Nutrition Guidelines
Generally, CrossFit diet guidelines stipulate that you should have a macronutrient split of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in proportions of 40%, 30%, and 30% respectively. The foods you should focus on are fresh fruits, whole foods, vegetables, and lean proteins. Even if you are a fan of processed foods, avoid them in your CrossFit journey.
The Zone Diet
This diet structure offers the required carbohydrates for energy, protein to maintain and build the body, and fats to help you with nervous and hormonal systems. There is so much nutrition in the zone diet, but the overall goal of this diet is to help you consume a balance of nutrients.
This diet structure focuses more on whole foods as your body system is not designed to consume the processed foods. Instead, the body thrives on natural foods, which have been a source of nutrition for thousands of years. Therefore the paleo diet primarily comprises plants and animal products.
The Problem of High Glycemic Carbohydrates
Glycemic index refers to the insulin response to foods. Compared to carbohydrates, fats and proteins naturally have a low glycemic index. However, simple carbs have a high glycemic index because they can be easily broken into sugars, therefore, causing a spike in insulin level.
The focus of CrossFit nutrition is on low glycemic index carbohydrates such as whole grains and fibrous vegetables. This class of carbohydrates is absorbed slowly into the body thereby causing a moderate insulin response that the body can tolerate.
CrossFit Diet for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain
Since overweight people have higher insulin resistance, it makes most of the carbohydrates consumed to be stored as fat. So, if you want to lose weight, make sure that your diet is low on carbohydrates.
In a low carb diet, the absorption rate of protein and fats is slower than other nutrients. This makes you feel fuller for longer. The result is that you will be able to repress your hunger hormones and will not be eating as much.
If you want to build muscle and increase your performance, lower your fat intake, and increase your carbohydrate and protein consumption. Even though low fat isn’t healthy to a CrossFitter, combining it with high-calorie levels will help you enhance the muscle mass and performance.
Concerning nutrient timing, ensure you get carbohydrates and protein immediately after your workout. If you are already muscular and lean, your insulin sensitivity will be high at this time. This also means that the nutrients you will consume will get shuttled to the muscle cells for recovery.
Lastly, the call is still to avoid processed foods and high glycemic carbs in your CrossFit nutrition.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 03 Aug 18