Top performing athletes understand pretty well that nutrition is important if they are to gain a competitive edge over their peers. Through proper and well-planned nutrition, athletes can meet their goals whatever they are. In the 80/20 diet rule, it’s said that body fitness and optimal health is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise. This rubber stamps the importance of diet not only in sports performance but also in our lives as a whole. That said, there are certain foods you should as an athlete. This is because they derail your CrossFit workout performance and set you back. Among these foods include: Diet Soda Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners which have no health benefits to the body. A study was done by Purdue University revealed that consuming artificial sweeteners through drinks such as diet soda can expose your body to health risks and weight gain. Also, these sweeteners are more or less like tricksters to the body because they trick it into thinking that you have taken lots of food thus making it produce insulin for fat storage. Canned Soup The convenience that comes with canned soup makes it a favorite of most people including athletes. However, the bad news is these soups are highly processed and loaded with sodium which takes a toll on your health. Even though the body needs sodium to function well, excessive intake of this mineral through canned soups can have a severe effect on your blood pressure levels. You can opt for homemade soups instead. Rice Cakes Despite the long-held belief that rice cakes are good for snacking, nutritionally speaking, they are empty. These little crunchy snacks will severely affect your blood pressure, and their low-calorie count doesn’t even help in giving you the much-needed energy to fuel your workouts. The glycemic index of rice cakes is 91 which is closer to that of pure glucose which is 100. Foods that are high in glycemic index put your body at risk of developing insulin resistance type 2 diabetes and elevated sugar levels. Sugary Cereals Athletes may be active, but that doesn’t give them the leeway to consume sugary foods including sugary cereals. This is because including these foods in your CrossFit diet spikes insulin levels which in turn prime your body to store more fat. This stresses the body and lowers your overall performance. Intake of sugary cereals raises your blood sugar levels which fall afterward making your body yearn for more sugary foods thereby snowballing your health into a much bigger and unmanageable crisis. White Bread White bread may be popular, but its nutritional content is wanting. This is because the white flour used in making the bread is stripped off its nutrients including fiber, essential Vitamin B, and wheat germ. This leaves behind a processed food product which raises insulin levels when consumed. This is dangerous for an athlete because the dips in energy and the weight gain contributed by white bread can severely affect your CrossFit training schedule. Other foods athletes should put on their must-avoid list include microwave popcorn, granola, alcohol, nutrition bars, pasta, bottled salad dressing, packed deli meat, and pretzels. Instead of craving for these foods, they should look for their healthy alternatives.
In sports, the success of an athlete is determined by numbers of factors, some of which include motivation, training, talent, resistance to injury among others. This means accomplished athletes need to pay keen attention to every factor that influences their Cross Training Athletes performance. Nutrition is a key element in the preparation of an athlete for any competition as well as routine training. The foods athletes choose affect performance directly hence they need to be aware of their nutritional strategies and the foods that will help them meet their goals. In order to have a broad and comprehensive understanding of nutrition as it pertains to athletes, the discussion below has been divided into different topical issues. Food Groups There are three main food groups that athletes should include in their diet; energy giving foods, proteins as well as vitamins and minerals. The energy requirements of an athlete can be broken down into several components including energy for baseline metabolic needs, energy for growth as well as energy for physical activity. In order to meet the energy that is needed for all these processes,  therefore, athletes’ diet must contain sufficient energy giving foods. Athletes require carbohydrates for training and recovery as well as for energy during competitions. The protein requirements depend on the type of exercises and sport the athlete is engaged in. For instance, in strength training, dietary proteins help in enabling the muscles to synthesize certain proteins required to enhance performance. The contribution of proteins in the manufacture of new tissue, repair of worn out tissue and regulating metabolism and the immune system through hormones is critical. Cross Training Athletes should include a high-quality protein diet soon after Cross Training Athletes exercise to help in muscle protein synthesis. Vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals help the body in regulating metabolic processes by acting as enzyme co-factors. Some vitamins such as E and K have antioxidant properties which help in mopping up excess radicals hence reducing inflammation during exercises and competitions. Nutritional Needs of Special Populations In athletics, the needs of young athletes and female athletes vary nutrition-wise depending on whether they are training or in active competition. The diet needs of young athletes must be observed both before and during competitions so as to minimize gastrointestinal upsets and dehydration. Avoiding solid foods for about 2 to 3 hours before competition helps, however, the intake of fluids should be encouraged throughout. Because of active growth and the effects of adolescence, young athletes must be given the necessary nutritional support which includes energy, protein and vitamin intake. Female athletes have lower energy requirements because of their low muscle mass and body mass as well as a lighter training load. Their diets should contain lots of iron and less of fats. Types of Workouts Depending on the type of training an athlete is participating in, their Cross Training Athletes  diet intake changes. For instance, strength training which includes bodybuilding, powerlifting, throwing events, as well as weightlifting, requires a high intake of energy giving foods and adequate high-quality proteins. Power sports which include rowing, swimming, kayaking and track cycling requires moderate to high levels of carbohydrates intake, sufficient fluids, and high-quality proteins. Endurance sports including triathlon, marathon and road cycling requires athletes to have the ability to sustain performance over long periods. The diet here should be rich in carbohydrates to fuel the training phrase, fluids to prevent dehydration as well as high-quality proteins to promote muscle adaptation. In addition to the above sports, special consideration should also be made for aesthetic and weight class training such as gymnastics, figure skating, combative sports, and diving. Carbohydrates help athletes in this category to meet the energy needs for training and competition while fluids help to prevent dehydration.
Any effective training must be accompanied by the right mix of nutrition. Much like the unpredictability of CrossFit WODs, diet also varies from one person to another. When you mention fats, people mistake them for unhealthy components which should, by all means, be withdrawn from the diet. The kind of fats which should be avoided at all costs are the trans fats. This type of fats comes in two categories: artificial and naturally occurring trans fats. Artificial trans fats are added to make food taste better. They are tempting but should be replaced with healthier meals. In the body, trans fats raise your cholesterol level which in turn enhances the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Trans fats are commonly found in foods such as pie crusts, frozen pizza, crackers, cookies, stick margarine, cakes, droughts and others. The healthiest fats are monosaturated fats and omega 3 fatty acids. The former lower the bad cholesterol while the latter help in fighting inflammation, blood clotting, and high blood pressure. Healthy fats are important for cell growth and brain function. The following are some of the best sources of healthy fats. Tuna, Salmon, and other Fish Tuna and Salmon are known for their omega 3 fatty acids and healthy fats. They help in boosting cardiac health. The recommended intake is approximately 12 ounces a week. This is approximately 2 meals. The reason why the quantity is limited is, the increased intake may expose you to such substances like mercury which are often found in small amounts in seafood. Avocado A medium-sized avocado contains about 23gms of monosaturated fats. Also, it gives you about 40% of your daily fiber needs. Naturally, the avocado is cholesterol and sodium free and contains lutein which is an oxidant that protects your vision. Taking a half avocado at one time is recommended because of the high amounts of calories. Canola Oil and Olive Oil Olive oil contains polyphenols which help in fighting cancer. It also contains monosaturated fats such as oleic acid which plays a key role in strengthening the heart. Increasing the amounts of olive oil in your CrossFit diet boosts the level of serotonin in your blood, a hormone associated with satiety. On the other hand, canola oil has a healthy 2.5:1 ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids. This dietary ratio enables you to battle arthritis, cancer, and asthma more effectively. Nuts Getting a quarter cup of cashews, pecans, almonds, or pistachios gives you a good loading of healthy fats. Pistachios have carotenoids, zeaxanthin, and lutein which are important for eye health. Macadamia and cashews contain much fat, and therefore you should watch your serving. Eggs Eggs are famous for their role in lowering bad cholesterol levels. They also contain choline, a macronutrient that attacks the gene mechanism responsible for triggering the body system to store fat around the liver. Other foods containing healthy fats to include in your CrossFit nutrition are Greek yogurt, cheese, coconut butter, chia seeds, nut butter, and dark chocolate.
If you want to take your CrossFit training to the next level, you should boost up your commitment to nutrition. When it comes to fitness diet, there is no substitute for quality nutrition. Depending on your lifestyle, biology, training, and goals, what you eat will differ from one person to the next. If you respect your body enough and you want the best out of it, focus on quality. Refined Simplicity Nutrition doesn’t have to be complicated; you can keep it simple by picking the best ingredients that maximize your health and athletic performance. Take it upon yourself to strip away anything unnecessary so that you remain with the basic building blocks of nutrition. When you overcomplicate your diet, it may lead to failure. Simply, stick to your plans as long as they take you to your goals. There are 5 types of fitness foods that can help you in perfecting your nutrition. Coconut Oil Adding this to your daily nutrition will give you amazing levels of energy, help you burn fat, lower oxidative stress, improve cognitive function and digestion. If you are vegan, you have every reason to include coconut oil in your diet because it contains saturated fats which are a natural source of energy.You can blend coconut oil with matcha green tea or coffee and use it as a pre-workout drink. Alternatively, you can use the oil for cooking especially in roasting and sautéing. Bio Protein You can use this as a post-WOD fuel. After a severe workout, your body needs to recharge and maximize recovery. Bio protein is perfect for breakfast as it boosts neurotransmitter production, satiates hunger, and stabilizes energy levels. In muscle building, bioprotein supplies you with amino acids to help in the process. Nuts and Berries You can eat berries anytime, but the best timing is when you are in an intense training cycle. Nuts are packed with lots of nutrients including essential fats thus making it a perfect snack. Berries, on the other hand, contain fiber, polyphenols, and anthocyanins. They are a great addition to any CrossFit diet. Protein Porridge For a perfect start to your morning, try protein porridge. It has virtually every ingredient you are looking for to start off your training. You can add berries and nuts to form a meal that will take you through the day. Chia Seeds This is a superfood which you can easily throw into your smoothie or morning yogurt. Every athlete knows that chia seeds enhance concertation, give you a good amount of proteins, and contain anti-oxygens which are crucial in reducing inflammation and reducing muscle soreness. As always simplicity is the key to CrossFit nutrition. Using available foods, you can make your super diet that will help you power through your workouts and get that excellent performance.
Strategists will tell you that it is much easier to make a plan than to stick to it. People make excuses whenever they are inconsistent with their training and all this affects their outcome in CrossFit training. It all starts with a goal which most people tend to have. The next step is to have a plan that joins the dots from where you are to where your goal is. The third and final step is to work towards attaining the goal through the plan that you have set. This is where most people fail. There will always be athletes who are successful and others who are not. The separator is almost always consistency. Experts say believe that you are what you consistently do on a regular basis. Lack of consistency means you may reach your goals, but it will take a little longer. Applying this approach to CrossFit, there are 3 crucial areas that the spotlight of inconsistency shines on: training, recovery, and nutrition. Training There are two main dimensions of training. The first is the quality of training and the second is the volume of training. The quality of training is all about your approach and mentality. If you do not push yourself hard enough during CrossFit workouts, your peers who challenge themselves will certainly be better than you one day. The nature of human beings is that we do not want to step out of our comfort zones, but the whole essence of CrossFit is to make you uncomfortable so that you can achieve great goals. The second aspect of the volume of training is about decision making. How you prioritize your time will determine the hours you put into the box. Approach each day with a clear focus and plan on what you want to achieve. Recovery Recovery touches on rest as well as active recovery. If you train hard, it is important you plan your day so that you get enough sleep. If you are such person who doesn’t really care, the hours you sleep, and you still want to get up and train in the morning, you may experience inconsistencies in your performance. Target 7 to 8 hours of sleep. Active recovery, on the other hand, is about mobility work and stretching. This part of recovery is important because it enhances your performance and reduces instances of injury. Good functional movements require that you have a consistent warmup and cooldown schedule even if it lasts 10 minutes. Nutrition Having a consistent CrossFit nutrition is not as difficult as training. This is because we all love food and are clear on what we want. You need strict guidelines on your macros, and as you prepare your meals, you must be conscious about muscle building and fat loss. It all boils down to your plan and the commitment you put into it. Go for long-term solutions that you can comfortably stick to. Consistency and excuses cannot coexist. You always have to do your best because this will set you apart as a successful athlete in CrossFit.
When you switch up your CrossFit diet and workout routine, you expect some changes in your muscle growth process. However, this progress may decline or even come to a halt despite your continued efforts. The question many CrossFitters ask is, what causes such a decline in muscle growth? Numerous factors are influencing the ability of your body to pack on gains. Some of these contributing factors include diet, fitness program, sleep schedule, and even your state of mind. Knowing which of these affect you can help in putting you back on the road to packing more muscles. Inadequate Sleep If you are not getting quality sleep every night you go to bed; your muscle growth process will be affected. Sleep inadequacy increases the level of cortisol hormone which wreaks havoc on your human growth hormone. Also, the ability of your body to store glycogen is inhibited, and this has a negative impact on muscle growth. To fix this, target about 71/2 hours of sleep every day and keep your stress levels low as you go to bed. Insufficient Protein Intake If you want to add more muscle, you need to increase your protein intake. The reason is simple; protein has amino acids which are the compounds responsible for repair and buildup of muscle tissue. Failure to consume enough amino acids may hinder muscle growth. As part of your CrossFit nutrition, include approximately 7.7 grams of protein per kilogram of your bodyweight. This means, if you are weighing 200 pounds, your protein intake should range from 109 to 154 grams daily. You can combine both plant-based and animal-based proteins to fuel your muscles. Alcohol Intake Muscle growth tends to be hindered by excessive intake of alcohol. When you drink too much of alcohol, your body system summons the antioxidants used for muscle growth and instead redeploys them to metabolize the alcohol. To fix this, it would be a lot of good to cut out alcohol altogether or limit yourself to 1 or 2 indulgences per week. Also, take several glasses of water so that you can reduce the number of drinks you consume in total. Too Much Cardio Cardio is great for fat loss, but if you overdo it, it can suppress your muscle growth process and instead initiate a muscle-burning or catabolic state. Remember your goals are to increase in strength and size and these cardio workouts must not dominate your workout. You may include high-intensity interval training workouts and some cardio sessions into your workout of the day program, but your priority should be in weight training first. Dehydration It is good if you focus on ingesting proteins and carbs to bulk up, but to stay hydrated is equally important. Water is critical for the digestion process which means if you don’t get enough of it, it negatively impacts the digestion process. Your muscles will lack the essential nutrients, and your CrossFit gym performance will dive. Ensure you train all muscles not just the trophy muscles and mix things up. CrossFit is good at this, and if you maintain the discipline, you will get the best results.
Many people claim that dairy, gluten, carbs, or even wholefoods are giving them issues. Surprisingly, some of them didn’t have problems with those foods early in life. The question is, could there be a reason for this? Experts in CrossFit training have observed that excessive dieting just like excessive exercise may force the body to adapt to the stress that is constantly being exposed to. There is no doubt that our bodies are super adaptive machines, but this can work against us depending on the scenario. For instance, an adaptation imposed by diet may favor or work to your disadvantage. Dietary Distress Cycle Going on a fad diet or moving back and forth between diets can cause digestive distress and many other negative symptoms. There is a cycle which develops carrying with it the element of food intolerance. When you are exposed to a new diet, your hormones which include glucagon and insulin change. This, in turn, causes a change in metabolism and negative symptoms which then make you go back to your old diet. The old foods may also react with your body leaving you either helpless or with no option other than getting back into your new diet. Carbs Not Serving You Well Most of the people who have problems with carbohydrates never had them before. In fact, they used to load decent amounts of carbohydrates without any signs of negative health effect. However, somewhere in the course of their life, they try out a fad diet from which they start experiencing digestive issues such as acid reflux, bloating, and lethargy. In some cases, these people have been told that the problems they are experiencing are as a result of adaptation or detox of the new diet. Others believe that the reactions they are experiencing are because of their age and their bodies cannot handle the same foods they did before. Getting on to the Wrong Diet When you start seeing problems with your CrossFit diet, it could be that you are on the wrong diet. For instance, ditching animal products can cause a lot of metabolic adaptations. Increasing the number of vegetables and cutting down on meat can push the stomach into an alkaline state which works to reduce stomach acids. If you avoid fats and all of a sudden you introduce higher amounts of fat in your diet, can make you queasy. When you are on a low-fat diet, your gallbladder adapts. If you re-introduce fats at higher levels, it creates confusion and puts you at a greater risk of gallstones. The above scenarios are quite common, and chances are high you may have encountered one of them. The bottom line is, if you don’t have a diagnosed medical condition, it is a good idea to revise your CrossFit nutrition and establish a healthy relationship with your diet. Listen to your body and not just the diet app or guru.
Even with moderate training, you can gain more muscle mass and strength. The secret to this lies in CrossFit nutrition. There is a common trend among athletes where they train hard, but they do not give as much attention to nutrition. The result of this is that the effort expended on training goes to waste. This is tantamount to sabotaging your own success.Interestingly, nutrition is not a complicated subject, and if you put your mind to it, you can master the fundamentals quite fast. Understanding how nutrition works help in your fitness and strength gains. To start you off, below are some of the foods that can enhance your muscle mass and strength, key aspects of CrossFit performance. Lean Beef If you want to gain serious muscle mass, lean beef should be part of your diet. This food is loaded with lots of minerals including zinc, iron, and B vitamins which are conducive to muscle growth. The quality of protein found in lean beef contain high levels of amino acids which promote muscle growth. Cottage Cheese You may not know it, but cottage cheese is one of the purest sources of casein protein. Compared to the other protein sources, casein is a slow digesting type of protein which plays a key role in muscle maintenance. This is particularly useful for athletes who go for long periods without eating. Other nutrients found in cottage cheese include calcium and vitamin B12. Whey Protein Whey protein supplements are not just popular in CrossFit diet plans, but also in the entire fitness industry. The reason behind this is that they provide a convenient and fast source of protein at a price that is affordable. Most bodybuilders put themselves on whey protein immediately when they wake up, after a workout, and mix it in some of their meals. Taking whey protein after workouts can enhance muscle mass gains. As expert advice, it is recommended that you get quality protein from whole foods and then top up with whey protein. Oatmeal This is an excellent source of carbohydrates because it is minimally processed and has a low glycemic index value. Because of this, oatmeal has an impressive micronutrient profile compared to fiber, increases satiety, and decreases hunger. It can also help you in fat loss while preserving your muscles. Fruits and Vegetables In your CrossFit exercises, one of the things you need to sustain your performance is a well-functioning immune system. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals in your body. Also, this food group contains lots of other nutrients such as vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene.Once you make nutrition and workouts your areas of focus, chances are you will meet your CrossFit goals much faster and without lots of struggles.