Nutrition for CrossFit Athletes Who Want to Maximize Performance
We’re starting a three part blog series today talking about CrossFit and nutrition. Maybe you’ve heard the saying “Abs are made in the kitchen”? It’s true. You can’t out-workout a bad diet, so we thought some tips might be helpful as you navigate the barrage of nutrition information out there.
- Protein should be lean and varied and account for about 30% of your total caloric load.
- Carbohydrates should be predominantly low-glycemic and account for about 40% of your total caloric load.
- Fat should be predominantly monounsaturated and account for about 30% of your total caloric load.
- Calories should be set at between .7 and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass depending on your activity level. The .7 figure is for moderate daily workout loads and the 1.0 figure is for the hardcore athlete.
What makes up those calories:
- Minimally processed foods should be the basis of any diet. If it has a shelf life, it’s probably best to avoid it.
- Aim for the highest quality protein sources you can afford.
- Focus on veggies—lots of greens, and try to eat a variety of colors to get all the micronutrients you need.
What Foods Should I Avoid?
- High glycemic carbohydrates like rice, bread, sweets, sodas.
- The more processed the carbohydrates, the higher their glycemic index and the more likely they are to raise blood sugar.
What’s Paleo got to do with it?
- The Paleo diet is in line with the recommendations of CrossFit: avoidance of high glycemic carbs, focus on veggies and quality protein.
- Further research into the Paleo diet has shown that coronary heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, obesity and psychological dysfunction have all been scientifically linked to a diet too high in refined or processed carbohydrates.
- Lots of CrossFit athletes find that the Paleo template is a great way for them to get all the nutrition they need to fuel their performance in the box.
Many folks experience a jump in their metabolism when they start CrossFit or any other exercise program. It’s important to give your body the fuel necessary for these workouts and for recovery—especially when you can’t seem to stay full. Make sure you’re getting the right balance of protein, healthy fats, and roughage to keep you satisfied and to avoid being hangry.
Have more questions? Grab Brad and ask away!