The warm summer weather may be good for holidaymakers, but in the CrossFit gym, it brings about the discussion on hydration and how it impacts on workouts. Experts in hydration, thermal regulation, and electrolyte replacement have been at the forefront in explaining to athletes what constitutes hydration and how to assess its severity in the body system. There has been a lot of myths and general misunderstanding about hydration, and it is important we separate fact from fiction. The Color of Urine Depicts the Extent of Dehydration According to experts from CrossFit gym, striving for clear urine is a mistaken hydration goal. This is because urine color tends to be a delayed response and as an athlete who is constantly sweating, exercises, and drinking fluids to hydrate, your body system is in constant flux which means you can’t use the color of urine as a metric in those scenarios. In addition, substances such as vitamins which you ingest can change the urine color. The bottom line, therefore, is that anytime you see your urine almost clear, chances are high you are overhydrated. By the Time You are Thirsty, Your Body is Dangerously Dehydrated This is not true. The reason is, the moment you feel thirsty, your body is still normally hydrated. In the same manner, some people may lose touch with hunger pangs; most people ignore their thirst which means they don’t understand how it feels like. If you are the type of a person who walks with a bottle of water always, the first sensation of thirst doesn’t mean you are dehydrated. According to CrossFit gym, you should stop drinking fluids when you are not thirsty. The body system is equipped to let you know when it needs fluids.  To Replace Electrolytes, You Need a Sports Drink Quite a number of sports drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade have small amounts of carbohydrates and sodium. However, these are not designed to replenish sodium, but rather to help the drinks be palatable. The problem with sports drinks is that they create a notion amongst athletes that they are putting in enough electrolytes. The reality is, these sports drinks do not put enough electrolytes to cover the losses in sweat and other means. If you are truly concerned about the loss of sodium during exercise, experts advise that you take your CrossFit diet with water after you are through working out. This will replace the sodium without running into the risk of overhydration. Irrespective of the Level, Dehydration Adversely Affects Performance If you are hydrated well, it is normal that over time you will experience dehydration. Simply put, dehydration is just a process of losing fluids, but not an illness. Dehydration and its impact on athletic performance largely depend on the hydration level of the athlete before the competition or exercise begun. If you begin the exercise and you are well hydrated, you may lose up to 4% of your total body weight through dehydration and still remain competitive.Pay attention to your body signals and only drink when you are thirsty. Flooding your body with fluids irrespective of their kind may lead to exercise-associated hyponatremia(EAH). If you have always believed that you can’t drink excess water, now you know that you can and the dangers of doing so.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a CrossFitter who is experienced or you are simply a beginner looking to curve your way out, the first few weeks of your exercises can be hurting. You need time to adapt so that your body can be in sync with the frequency and magnitude of your workouts. The pertinent question many people ask is how they should know they have optimized their recovery in between CrossFit workout of the day. Unfortunately, the answer is, there isn’t a way to tell. There are no markers or signs to show that you have fully recovered not even the delayed onset of muscle soreness. This is why you can always enhance your recovery efforts even if you feel you are getting better at handling WODs. For every athlete, optimal recovery is a dynamic and systematic physiological process which changes as the athletes change. The following tips will help you in optimizing your next WOD. Clean Up Your Diet What you eat and how you eat it on a day-to-day basis is one of the major factors that will impact on your recovery. The WOD is simply a stimulus for growth. However, the body won’t grow during the workout because real growth happens in the repair and recovery process. A clean CrossFit diet should include lean protein to support muscle growth as well as lots of fruits and veggies for the vitamins. Veggies and fruits contain antioxidants which are crucial in protecting your body against muscle cell damage. Similarly, the phytochemicals in the dark leafy greens can help in repairing connective tissue and reduce inflammation. Pre-WOD Nutrition An excellent way to optimize your recovery is to lower as much as possible the amount of stress your body encounters when working out at CrossFit gym. To do this, you have to eat as much energy packed nutrients as you can before the start of your session. Even though every person handles pre-WOD snack differently, try and consume a small meal or snack an hour or two before the training. Aim at getting 250 to 350 calories particularly coming from non-sucrose carbohydrate sources. Post-WOD Activities When you finish your WOD at CrossFit gym, you can engage in some light activities so as to cool down. Go for biking, jogging, or rowing, or even some light gymnastics. This will continuously push blood through your vessels thus helping in circulating out any waste products from muscle contraction. After Workout Massage To reduce swelling for the affected tissues, go for physical manipulation of the muscle tissue using lacrosse ball, roller, or even better, partner massage. This breaks up the tightness of the muscles. Sleep Inadequate sleep can sacrifice your growth and progress in the CrossFit gym. Research shows that much of the anabolic process takes place during sleep. Also, the regulation of growth hormones, cortisol, melatonin, and others which affect the adaptation of your muscles to training, takes place at night. Try about 8 hours a night of sleep and avoid intake of foods and drinks such as alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and water a few hours before your workout. Remember to stay hydrated, supplement adequately, and ensure that you follow your post-WOD nutrition carefully.
Conventional wisdom has it that missing the early morning CrossFit workout class, is the common mistake athletes make when going paleo. However, it is worth noting that paleo is a serious dietary lifestyle which has the books, the blogs, and the products to prove its case. Depending on who you ask, you may get varying definitions of paleo. That said, a paleo diet is simply an exclusion of dairy, grains, beans, processed foods, sugar, and legumes. The main focus of this diet is on meats, fats, vegetables, and occasionally, some fruits for a sweet treat. There are lots of paleo diet versions depending on the dieters and their preferences. However, a few rules should be kept in mind to avoid messing up when going paleo. Eating Excessive Meats Since paleo advocates for meats, eating a boatload of them can have ill effects including possibilities of weight gain. A majority of paleo dieters advocate for eating meat once a day which is absolutely fine. At all costs, try and limit meats that are high in saturated fats. Where you can stick with organic poultry and fish and when you decide to go the red meat way, ensure you keep it lean. Grass-fed red meat taken no more than 2 or 3 times a week is recommended. Failure to Plan Ahead Authorities in paleo literature, point to planning as the biggest hurdle dieters face in their attempts to stick with the paleo CrossFit diet. Some of them realize late that they haven’t packed a healthy snack and this pushes them to revert to foods which are non-paleo. When planning your CrossFit diet for the week, have a checklist that you go through to ensure everything is within reach. Foods that cannot be sourced locally for one reason or the other should be replaced with locally available foods that are still paleo approved. Overstepping the Boundary on Baked Goods While it is true that paleo has hundreds of deserts you can explore, the bottom line is, you need to have some self-regulation concerning the quantity and frequency. For instance, maple, honey, coconut sugar, and flour made from nuts are approved foods. However, you should take them in moderation and avoid or minimize intake of foods which change the structure of ingredients. Ignoring the Quality of Ingredients Ensuring that everything you buy is 100% paleo approved is excellent, but of greater importance is rating the quality of the ingredients. For instance, bacon has varying degrees of quality depending on how it is cured. Usually, a little bit of sugar and some salt are necessary for the curing process. Avoid foods that have ingredients labels which you do not quite understand. Fudging Your Nutritional Requirements Since paleo doesn’t allow you to get protein from beans, grains, and dairy, you have to ensure that you boost your portions of meat or their equivalents to bridge the gap. Paleo dieters may have to eat 8 to 9 ounces of meat daily to cover up for the difference. Because of the elimination of healthy food categories in paleo, it is important for anyone considering a paleo CrossFit diet to first meet with their dieticians or nutritionists so that they can be made aware of the risks involved and personalize a plan to meet their CrossFit nutrition needs.
It can be overwhelming figuring out what to eat after your workout in the CrossFit gym. The questions you need to consider are how much to eat and when you should eat. At times, you are too busy to plan, and this makes it challenging, especially when you are on a CrossFit diet such as paleo which demands strict adherence to nutrition rules. To help you in getting through this, it’s important to keep post-workout nutrition simple and sane. Meal Composition Post-workout nutrition is all about recovering and refueling. To do this, you will have to reach out too easily digestible sources of carbohydrates and protein. If you are trying to lean out, your primary focus should be on protein. When you have finished a high-intensity workout, or you are into multiple workouts a day, your post-workout nutrition focus should be on carbohydrates and protein. Fats are also crucial as part of your nutrition, but they digest slowly, an attribute that helps in keeping you full and satisfied. Try limiting fats in your post-workout CrossFit diet so that your body can have the opportunity of getting sufficient levels of protein and carbohydrates. Meal Timing In post-workout nutrition, the sooner you can lay hands on your diet the better. Normally, your muscles get damaged after a high-intensity workout, and your glycogen levels are also low. To replenish and repair, you need glucose and protein as fast as you possibly can.  Within 20 minutes of working out, you need to eat something and after that have your meal of the day which may be breakfast, lunch, or dinner depending on the timing of your workout. Within 2 hours of your workout, focus once more on carbohydrates and protein. Meal Size Your body system can process certain quantities of carbohydrates and protein at a time. This is why you need to make your CrossFit diet small and of easily digestible portions after your workout. It’s not advisable to eat boatloads of foods within 20 minutes after you finish your workout. Your nutrition will also depend on your size, your goals, and the extent of hard work you put in your exercises. Aim at between 15 and 35 grams and about 30 to 100 grams of protein and carbohydrates respectively. Meal Choices In your carbohydrates, ensure high levels of glucose. Look for something that has carbohydrates, but low levels of sugar or carbohydrate sources which do not have a sweet taste. Foods such as sweet potato, plantain, white potato, bagel, bread, oats, and cooked white rice are some of the best carbohydrate sources. On the part of proteins, go for chicken breast, bison, fish, low-fat Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, high-quality whey protein, and lean ground beef. In order to put all the above into practice, ensure you keep an open mind and try as much as possible to plan.
If you have not already realized, you may do so in due course that any part of your body irrespective of its location can come under severe strain while working out in the CrossFit gym. This usually happens when your form is bad and your flexibility poor. The elbows are among these vulnerable parts. Elbow tendonitis is one of the commonest ailments affecting a good number of CrossFitters. In other sports and fitness literature, you may find elbow tendonitis referred to as tennis elbow. Some in the fitness industry consider this term rather ironic because fewer than 5% of elbow tendonitis sufferers play tennis. Understanding Elbow Tendonitis Tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendons as they connect to the related bone. Tendons are nothing but elastic rope-like structures that connect the bone to muscle. They also absorb a huge amount of stress. Inflammation, on the other hand, is a normal process our bodies go through resulting in pain, redness, swelling, and the warmth. Cases of acute inflammation can immobilize you in one way or the other. Whatever the case, inflammation response is often fast, direct, and not extended. The unfortunate thing with tendons is that they have poor blood flow and this often delays healing and causes the inflammation response to become systematic or chronic. Causes of Elbow Tendonitis This problem is categorized as a repetitive strain injury caused by wrist overuse despite there being pain experienced in the elbow. Since the muscles controlling the wrist flexion and extension line along the forearm and connect at the elbow joint, any instances of repeated strain on the wrist can easily lead to elbow tendonitis. People new to particular sports such as CrossFit tend to suffer this injury because of their eagerness and gusto in attacking the CrossFit workouts. Unfortunate enough, the body system including the tendons and joints is not prepared to accommodate new and sudden movements, and this irritates the supporting tendons. Also, previous injuries may lead to tendonitis, and often joints that have suffered injuries in the past are more vulnerable to this condition. Reducing Chances of Elbow Tendonitis and How to Treat It The general stand in the CrossFit gym or industry is that elbow tendonitis can be avoided or addressed within the first few days. However, if symptoms do persist for more than 4 weeks, then the intervention of physical therapists is advised. Among the things to do include: Checking Your Technique –If the elbow tendonitis is caused by a certain activity in the gym, you should improve your ergonomic setup or technique. Consulting your coach at Crossfit gym can help on this. Stretching –Performing a gentle stretch of the forearm musculature can help pull along the muscles and minimize elbow pain. Stretches such as wrist flexor stretch, wrist extensor stretch, and voodoo floss can go a long way into helping you in this. Cleaning Up Your Diet –Your CrossFit diet plays a key role in managing inflation. Try as much as you can in order to keep track of the essential nutrients while avoiding inflammatory foods such as grains, sugars, transfats, and omega 6 fatty acids. Adding to the above, it is advisable not to play through the pain. If something doesn’t feel right such as your muscles and joints aching, don’t force yourself to complete a workout. Have adequate rest and opt for other exercises that don’t aggravate the situation.
Beta-alanine is not a new supplement to the sports and fitness industry, and most people know what it feels like. That said, not as many people know what Beta-alanine does in the body. For this reason, below is a description of how this all-important supplement contributes to your CrossFit workout fitness. Beta-alanine is a non-essential beta amino acid which has quickly become invaluable in performance, nutrition, and bodybuilding. Due to the claims that it raises carnosine levels in the body muscles and enhances the amount of work you can undertake at high intensities, it has grown to become a shining star in CrossFit workout. Insofar as Beta alanine gives you real performance benefits, it is important to understand its unique chemical properties. According to research, this supplement has a unique relationship with taurine which you should carefully consider. Understanding Beta Alanine Also referred to as 3-aminopropionic acid, Beta-alanine occurs naturally and is one of the components forming vitamin B5, anserine, and carnosine. Regarding structure, this supplement is a cross between GABA and L-glycine neurotransmitters. Probably, this is the reason why athletes using it claim to experience some caffeine-like experience. The body has three ways in which it can produce Beta-alanine with CrossFit workout. One of them is the breakdown of anserine or carnosine; the other is through its formation as a secondary byproduct of a chemical reaction converting L-alanine to pyruvate while the last one is its formation during digestion where the microbes present in the intestinal chambers remove a carbon atom from L-aspartate thereby releasing carbon dioxide and Beta-alanine. When you consume this supplement in your CrossFit diet, it passes straight from the bloodstream and into your skeletal muscle through what is known as a Beta-alanine and taurine transporter. The transportation depends on the availability of sodium and chloride. When it gets into the skeletal muscle cell, Beta-alanine binds with L-histidine to result in the carnosine dipeptide. What Beta Alanine Does The ability of the Beta-alanine to raise the level of carnosine concertation in the muscles is what defines its function. The studies done have confirmed that in about four weeks of Beta-alanine supplementation, carnosine concentration can go up by about 58% and in 10 weeks, the concentration levels can go up to 80%. Carnosine is a potent antioxidant and therefore gives your muscles the first line of defense against any buildup and accumulation of hydrogen ions when performing high-intensity exercises. When hydrogen ions build up, they lower the pH in your muscle cells, and this negatively affects the function of the various enzymes as well as the muscle excitation-contraction coupling events which are important for continued high-intensity output. A drop in muscle Ph is often associated with muscle fatigue. Some of the known sources of Beta-alanine include foods such as pork, tuna, and venison. Since the body doesn’t produce enough of this non-essential amino acid, it is highly recommended that you supplement. You can take it as a pre-workout supplement to help you power through your CrossFit training routine.  
Your carbohydrates should majorly be composed of unrefined complex starchy as well as fibrous carbohydrates. It is advisable that you limit your intake of simple carbohydrates as much as you possibly can and also cut down or eliminate refined carbs from your CrossFit diet. There are three main types of carbohydrate groups as discussed below. Simple Starchy Carbohydrates These include foods such as fruit juice, honey, sugar, and fruit. Simple carbohydrates are referred as such due to their simple molecular structure which comprises one to two sugar molecules. Glucose is the simplest of the carbohydrates. Contrary to what some people may believe, not all simple carbs are detrimental to your health. There are simple natural carbs such as those found in milk and fruit which are perfectly healthy. Non-fat or low-fat dairy including milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese are rich sources of calcium. Although fresh fruit juices and fruits are packed with minerals and vitamins, it is recommended by CrossFit diet to eat them in moderation because if weight loss is your goal and you are carbohydrate sensitive, these foods are superior. The best time to take food is before and after your workout. Complex Starchy Carbohydrates These carbohydrates consist of simple sugars whose molecules are strung together to form complex and longer chains. The complex starchy carbohydrates include foods such as beans, peas, and grains which are super rich in minerals, vitamins, and fiber. The problem is that most complex starch carbs are often refined. Refined carbohydrates, according to CrossFit diet, basically refer to foods whose high fiber parts have been removed through processing. When a complex carb is refined, it loses the properties that make it healthy which include its complex structure. Examples of refined carbohydrates are white flour, white rice, sugary cereals, white bread, noodles, and anything that is made from white flour. The best form of carbs that will give you the ingredients to power through a CrossFit training routine is the unrefined complex carbohydrates. They contain whole grain which includes the germ and the bran. This makes them be high in fiber thereby keeping you fuller for longer. Look for foods such as wholemeal bread, whole grain rice, whole wheat pasta, and porridge oats. Complex Fibrous Carbohydrates This third category of carbohydrates is praised for its rich content of minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, as well as other nutrients found in green vegetables. They are also rich in fiber, the portion of plant material that is indigestible. What this means for you is that as the food passes through the gut, much of it is not absorbed therefore acting as the great colon cleanser. Fibrous carbohydrates are also low in calories, and this means you can never overeat on green vegetables. There are some vegetables such as celery which is so low in carbohydrates that it takes many calories to eat them than you can get from them. When it comes to carbohydrates, the rule of thumb is, green or brown is good while white is bad. The only exception to this rule is the cauliflower which you should fight to get it into your CrossFit nutrition plan.  
There are many reasons why CrossFit athletes seem to be obsessed with protein. First and foremost, this macronutrient helps in building and repair of muscles. Additionally, it helps in revving fat burning metabolism and slows down the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This, in turn, prevents the sudden spikes in blood sugar levels which are responsible for sagging energy levels and increased fat storage. It is recommended that physique minded individuals should go for at least 1 gram of protein for each pound of their body weight to build and maintain muscle. In order to get to this point which may seem lofty at first, you should ensure your grocery cart is full of varieties of high protein foods. To start you off, consider the following foods when planning your CrossFit diet. High Protein Dairy and Eggs In this category of proteins, there are foods such as Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, swiss cheese, eggs, milk, and whey protein. Greek yogurt contains twice as much protein as most of the other regular versions. It is also rich in gut-friendly probiotic bacteria as well as bone-building calcium. Cottage cheese, on the other hand, is full of casein protein which is a slow digesting protein which supplies your muscles with vital amino acids. Swiss cheese is a muscle-friendly CrossFit diet and forms a great addition to your burgers and sandwiches. The protein to fat ratio in most Swiss cheese varieties is about 8:1. You can’t possibly miss out on whey protein which should be taken in at least 24 grams per scoop. It is one of the fastest-digesting and cleanest proteins in the market. For any muscle building or fat loss CrossFit nutrition, whey protein is a perfect addition. High Protein Meat Here, options such as ground beef, steak, pork chops, chicken breast, and turkey breast are recommended to get added in a Crossfit diet. Steak provides at least 1 gram of protein per 7 calories. If you go for rib eye, you will get 1 gram of protein for 11 calories. Round steak is one of the most economical cuts. Ground beef provides you with the right amount of fat to make your meatloaf and burgers taste great. Beyond the protein they have, red meat is also an excellent source of creatine. Pork chops preferably the boneless variety has amazing muscle-sculpting protein and its far much easier to prepare. To make the chops tenderer, soak them in brine. High Protein Seafood Halibut, yellowfin tuna, octopus, and sockeye salmon are among the kinds of seafood you should incorporate into your CrossFit workout routine. Apart from the premium quality protein that yellowfin tuna delivers to your body, it is also packed with B Vitamins which have excellent antioxidant qualities. If you want to build muscle like a champ, you need to have halibut on your dinner plate. It is a white flesh species which gives you only 2 grams of fat per 3 oz serving. The Pacific halibut is considered much more sustainable than the Atlantic option. In addition to the above categories, you can also add some high protein canned foods such as corned beef, light tuna, sardines, navy beans, and dried lentils.