A good training plan, hours spent tackling weaknesses and commitment to your training regime can bring great results, but there are other aspects to your athletic endeavours that you should also account for, as they can have a big impact on your performance.
1. CLEAN UP YOUR DIET
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to most CrossFit athletes, as nutrition is a bit part of the sport. Regardless, many athletes still diligently go to the Box but pay little attention to their nutrition.
The food you eat has a huge impact not only on your performance – giving you the energy to perform – but also your recovery and development.
Eat for performance
During the CrossFit Open, eat to support your performance. This means three things:
- Eating for calorie maintenance
- Ensuring glycogen stores are topped off before each Open workout
- Eating enough to support recovery afterwards.
Because most CrossFit Open workouts are relatively short (typically not longer than 25 minutes) and of pretty high intensity, your body will rely on your muscle’s glycogen stores to provide the energy required to perform at your maximum capacity. Energy from fat stores, while efficient for endurance events, plays a way smaller role during Open workouts.
In the leadup to the Open workouts eat high quality, unprocessed foods as much as you possibly can. Lean proteins, some veggies, a good bit of starches like rice, oats and sweet potatoes are good places to start.
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Eat for mental health
Your gut and your brain are highly connected, which means your gut health can affect your mental health.
Being stressed can affect your GI tract, slowing down digestion to prioritise other tasks necessary for survival – that’s one way the brain can affect your gut. Equally, the gut can affect the brain if, for example, you’re experiencing issues with inflammation in your GI tract.
These can have negative consequences on your mental status, making you feel depressed, withdrawn, or less motivated.
One of the simplest changes you can make to take care of your gut health is to eat real food, avoid anything that causes you to have bloating or indigestion, and chewing your food well.
Putting yourself in a position of decreased inflammation could improve your mindset and cut down extra stress coming from within your body.