ARE YOU GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR DIET?
At some point, it simply won’t matter how talented you are, how much time and effort you put into sweating at the gym, programming your workouts and analyzing the weaknesses in your training if you don’t have the nutritional side covered as well.
FOOD IS THE FUNDAMENTAL FUEL FOR ANY PERFORMANCE
It gives your body the necessary tools to grow stronger, replenish itself and go the extra mile in all of your daily tasks.
So once you’ve got the basics of your Crossfit nutrition and clean eating covered, let’s talk about the benefits you can reap from adding so-called superfoods, meaning foods with an unusually high amount of important nutrients. Nutrients you, as an athlete, need in abundance.
‘Fancy name and hype aside, superfoods don’t have to be exotic or expensive – you’ll be surprised how many of these multi-talents you’re already eating.’
So here’s a list of the Superfoods that have the most benefits for Crossfitters:
10. COCONUT WATER
This beverage isn’t only good for hydration levels (and making you feel like you’re on a miniature vacation). Coconut water is the perfect solution to get back on track after a tough WOD:
Like a primal, healthy version of Gatorade, it will give back the electrolytes you lost sweating. The natural coconut sugar is a great way to quickly replenish the glycogen (= energy) deposits in your muscles, paving the way for efficient muscle recovery and growth.
Ever wondered why the Crossfit Dottirs are so successful?
It might be because of a special sort of Icelandic dairy, Skyr. Made from four times the amount of skimmed milk used in yoghurt, it packs a huge amount of calcium and proteins, with next to no carbohydrates and fat, which makes it a perfect fit to hit your protein goals.
8. BERRIES & CHERRIES
As an athlete, you require a lot more anti-oxidants than the sedentary population. Berries and Cherries provide them in abundance, while also catering to your sweet-tooth in a clean way.
Cherries are especially great if you’re working on your endurance: Studies have shown that endurance athletes that drink cherry juice recover more quickly and measurably increase their performance. Way to improve those cardio-WODs!
7. SUPERFOODS: QUINOA
A pseudo-grain that is actually a seed, Quinoa packs both a decent amount of proteins and complex carbohydrates, as well as essential amino acids, making it a perfect fuel for your body. Its use in sports nutrition is said to reach back all the way to the ancient INCA civilization and their famous warriors, which is not surprising if you look at its further benefits:
All hide in these tiny seeds that can perfectly replace the wheat in your diet.
6. MATCHA TEA
Made from green tea and usually found as a powder, Matcha is like the Hulk of the superfood family.
Feeling fatigued? Matcha boosts your energy level with a good amount of caffeine. It also contains iron, a mineral that especially athletic females need to maintain their vital functions and stay active. Additionally, it offers tons of important vitamins, calcium for your bones -strength and anti-oxidants to speed up your recovery. And the biggest plus for your six-pack ambitions: catechine, which studies have shown to speed up your metabolism and strengthen the immune system.
5. KIMCHI & FERMENTED FOODS AND DRINKS
Whether you eat them (Sauerkraut; Kimchi) or drink them (Kefir, Kombucha): Fermented foods have a lot more to offer than the fact that you can practically keep them in the fridge forever.
The probiotic bacteria they contain help the balance in your digestive system, helping your stomach get the most nutrients and vitamins from all of the other foods you eat. As an athlete, you’ll be able to digest the ridiculous amounts of food you sometimes eat, without having to compromise on the nutrient absorption. (This also means less supplements.)
A handful of Almonds after a strenuous your workout is the perfect snack to get your recovery started and your nervous system working properly. They combine healthy, mono-saturated fats and protein with Vitamin E, copper, riboflavin (a B-vitamin athletes need more of), potassium and calcium.
3. LEAFY GREENS
The superstar in this group is kale, but other leafy greens like spinach are just as good at living up to their healthy image.
Aside from the fact that they’re a low-calorie staple with loads of different minerals, they are also a fantastic source of folate, which is the natural form of folidic acid. This is a key ingredient in helping the body break down proteins and create new ones from the amino acids (hello, muscles!) and also forming new blood cells and DNA.
‘Truth: Everything tastes better with avocado on top!’
This delicious buttery fruit is full of unaltered, natural fatty acids, a great source of energy after your workout, especially if you’re avoiding carbs. They also contain vitamin A&K, promoting bone and heart-health, a lot of fiber for a functioning gut, and anti-oxidants to prevent soreness.
This Aztec superfood isn’t famous for no good reason!
High levels of healthy omega-3-acids that enhance concentration, plant-based protein for those muscles and fibre to keep you full and nourished when you’re trying to cut body fat.
Calcium and potassium help your recovery process and anti-oxygens prevent inflammation and muscle-soreness. For similar health effects, cutting costs, you can also turn to ground flaxseeds, although they aren’t as easy to turn into a delicious and guilt-free dessert.