Are you the kind of athlete who is serious about what goes into your body and the impact this has on your physique? If yes, then the chances are high that you are closely monitoring your CrossFit diet macros, that is, carbs, protein, and fat. Many athletes have become obsessed with macros, and this has eclipsed a very important sub-group known as micronutrients which are essential for immune function, health, and the overall quality of life.
What many people are not aware is that micronutrients play a critical role in assisting your body system to optimize energy levels and boost exercise performance. Foods that are loaded with micronutrients include veggies and fruits. Summer may be beautiful because of the warm and lovely weather, but autumn brings with it its own tidings in the form of micronutrient-rich foods.
Therefore, if you want to improve your micro intake and by extension your exercise performance, you have the opportunity to know and incorporate the rich food into your CrossFit diet.
Beets are vegetables which are crimson-colored and rich in folate, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Potassium, in particular, is a key electrolyte that plays a strategic role in nerve signaling and muscle contraction.
Because beetroot enhances nutrient and oxygen delivery to working muscles, it beats many vegetables when it comes to exercise performance enhancement. The dietary nitrates contained in beets have a positive impact on the oxygen demand during workouts.
The Journal of Applied Physiology published a study which suggested that taking approximately 16 ounces of beetroot juice daily can decrease oxygen demand significantly during moderate-intensity activity. The time to exhaustion also increases and this means you can work out more in the CrossFit gym.
Winter squash is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and dietary fiber. It comes in plenty during early fall. However, the most interesting bit of winter squash is that it contains pectin which is a soluble fiber that plays such a huge role in the regulation of blood glucose levels. This is important to help you sustain your energy and as such working out for longer hours.
This vegetable literally squashes any chance of fatigue that may develop in the middle of your workout session. You can eat winter squash by roasting the seeds or baking them at about 280 degrees Fahrenheit for a period of 15 to 18 minutes.
Contrary to what some people have been claiming, pumpkin doesn’t have a single nutrient which is a magical performance booster. Instead, pumpkins contain micronutrients that combine synergistically to give you a milestone in the gym.
Pumpkins contain vitamin A, B vitamins, fiber, and selenium, which is an antioxidant. You can roast the pumpkin seeds and consume them while putting the delicious flesh to good use. One of the best ways of eating the flesh is by making it into a pumpkin hummus.
This is just because the ingredients you need are garlic, tahini paste, lemon juice, olive oil, fresh pumpkin cooked, chickpeas, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. When you combine all these ingredients in a blender and mix thoroughly for 30 to 60 seconds, and after that add a small amount of water, you will end up with pumpkin hummus.
There you go! Include these three wonderful vegetables in your CrossFit diet and power through your CrossFit training sessions.
KUNAL JHAVERI | 05 Feb 18