You’ve managed to carve out time in your busy schedule for some CrossFit. You’re getting fitter, faster, and more energetic. You have a great group of friends, and you support and challenge one another. Life is good, right?
Every fitness program must also include sound nutrition. A clean, healthy diet promotes stable blood sugar, fuels your workouts, enhances recovery and supports your immune system. Here are some strategies to get you started:
Fuel throughout the day: Ideally, you should be fueling up with each meal or snack. Everything you eat should include complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. Foods such as nuts, sulfate-free dried fruits, yogurt, low-fat cheeses, eggs and lean meats are easy to prepare and are portable.
Avoid sports drinks or energy bars that are high in fats and sugar. Aim for several small meals throughout the day to avoid the 3 PM pig-out at the vending machine.
Find the ideal window: If you get queasy eating 20 minutes before your workout, experiment with different time frames. Keep in mind the optimal time to eat is within 90 minutes of your workout.
Choose wisely: You’ll need a combination of complex carbohydrates and lean proteins to fuel your workouts. Complex carbs (fruits, veggies, whole grains) ensure your blood sugar levels will remain steady throughout so you can avoid fatigue.
Lean proteins fuel your working muscles and prevent mid-workout hunger pangs.
Experiment to find out which foods sit best with you.
Choose fresh: Avoid processed foods. They’re low in nutrients and contain high amounts sodium, fat, and sugar.
Try an apple slice with a dab of nut butter, or choose another fresh fruit to eat in combination with 2 oz. of nuts as your protein source. If your diet includes dairy, enjoy your fruit with a cup of plain yogurt or string cheese as your protein source.
Eat for recovery: Post-workout recovery is vital to avoid muscle soreness and stiffness and to repair muscle tissue. No need for a post-workout feast; a light, protein-based snack will do. Banana slices with peanut butter or sliced avocado with lean turkey will quell your hunger pangs and deliver much-needed protein to tired muscles.
Chocolate lovers take note: Chocolate milk has been shown to be a beneficial post-workout treat, mostly due to its favorable carb-to-protein ratio. This is the perfect post-workout treat if you’re in a hurry.
At the very least include 8-10 oz. of fluids with your recovery snack and aim for eating within an hour of finishing your workout.
As with any dietary changes, consult a licensed sports nutritionist if you are pregnant, nursing, or have any illnesses or chronic conditions that can affect your dietary habits or food intake.
CrossFit is a great way to get in shape, meet new people, and to be part of a like-minded community. Add some healthy eating to the mix, and you’ll be adequately fueled to tackle your workouts.
Adam & Amanda
We have spent most of our adult lives training and guiding hundreds of people toward better health & fitness. We have created this A4 Blog in order to better educate our friends & members. We will answer any of your health / fitness / nutrition questions as well as keeping you posted on what's new at A4.