Free radicals can cause cell damage if not monitored. Basically, radicals originate from the body’s oxidation processes and are commonly associated with inflammation of the muscles, joints, and tendons. Antioxidants form the first line defense against free radicals. They literally hunt for the radicals with the aim of stabilizing them thus giving you the advantage of working out for long in the CrossFit gym without feeling the burning sensation in your joints and muscles. In case of injured tissues, antioxidants initiate and accelerate the healing process. Below is a discussion of some of the top antioxidants and how they can help you maximize your training.
Vitamin C is a vital nutrient involved in collagen synthesis. Where it is lacking, blood vessels become fragile, wounds take longer to heal, and lesions result. Free radicals lead to muscle fatigue, muscular damage, and inflammation. This is where vitamin C comes in to neutralize all these effects and flush out the free radicals by making them stable compounds. Collagen is the connective tissue in ligaments, tendons, and bones which helps in strengthening the body thus giving you flexibility in your workouts.You must consume the sources such a oranges, papayas, dark leafy vegetables etc as they have a rich amount of Vitamin C.
This is an electron carrier in the respiratory chain in the mitochondria. Coenzyme Q10 is a lipid-soluble antioxidant that scavenges free radicals which are generated through chemical processes in the liposomal membranes. The process of lipid peroxidation of the free radicals contributes to delayed tissue damage hence more workout power. So make sure you consume the sources such a cauliflower, broccoli, free-range chicken, grass-fed beef etc as they have a good amount of CoQ10.
Zinc contains more than 100 important enzymes hence its deficiency can have a widespread negative effect on almost every body function. Zinc deficiency in your CrossFit diet affects protein synthesis which is an important process in muscle building. It boosts the secretion of insulin-like growth factor 1, testosterone and growth hormone. These help in the building of muscle mass and giving you the vitality to power through your training. So, add oysters, cashews, shrimp, beef, flax seeds, spinach etc in your diet.
Calcium allows myosin and actin filaments which are the contractile filaments of muscle cells to associate and produce the force that translates into movement. Whenever the nerve cell is innervating a particular muscle cell signals it to contract, calcium is released into the region of the contracted filament hence causing the contraction to occur. A study done showed the effectiveness of calcium in prolonging the onset of fatigue in striated muscles. Calcium also helps in bodyweight regulation particularly in fat metabolism hence enabling you to shed excess fat and build lean muscles.Thus, you must include calcium sources such as whey protein, raw milk, beans, lentils, yogurt, okra, almonds etc in your CrossFit diet.
Chromium demand increases with exercise and hence the need for supplementation in active people including the athletes. Insufficient chromium in diets has been linked to the onset of diabetes and heart diseases. Chromium helps in enhancing insulin sensitivity and therefore boosting the ability of your body to burn fat as the preferred source of fuel. When combined with a conjugated linoleic acid, chromium helps in lowering body weight, visceral fat mass, and total body fat mass. Thus, adding chromium-rich foods such as cheese, bread, whole grains, fish, corn etc in your diet will be very beneficial.
There are other crucial antioxidants such as magnesium, potassium, and alpha lipoic acid which contribute immensely in fighting off inflammation during CrossFit training, which in turn enables your body to recover well, delay fatigue and prevent injuries. This is important in maximizing the effect of training and improving performance. So make sure you include more antioxidants sources in your CrossFit diet.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 31 Jan 18