7 Healthy Protein Sources To Maximise Health and Recovery for CrossFit Athletes

Besides the rest you have earned after your Crossfit WOD, you also need high protein sources to reward your body and optimise the results you hope to achieve through exercise. Some athletes may feel like rushing straight to the fridge, while others are unable to detect any signs of hunger in the lethargy that follows an intense training session, however, whether it shows or not, the body does need refuelling after exercise.

During your workout, the cells in your muscles are subjected to higher stress than they normally are, among them, the significant release of lactic acid which occurs in exercise. This leads to the organism having to recover a part of the ‘damaged’ cells, while also replacing some of the old cells with new ones, in the growth of which protein synthesis is vital.

Therefore, the post-workout diet must include high proteins in order for the body to be assisted in its process of recovery from effort.


As almost all proteins are unable to reach the cells of the body in their original form, they are broken down to their components, amino acids. Following this process, protein synthesis is carried out, thus enabling the new cells to grow and develop. In addition, studies show that consuming proteins alongside carbohydrates helps enhance glycogen re-synthesis.

crossfit athlete rope climbSource: RX'd Photography
After a tough workout, proper recovery is vital!

Now that we have seen why a high protein intake is necessary after exercise, it is time to bring up two questions which many crossfitters may have asked themselves with regard to gaining the best results from their diet, namely when to eat and what to eat in order for their body to benefit most from its consumption of protein. Although it is difficult to make a precise assumption regarding the most suitable time when food rich in protein should be consumed after a workout, there is general agreement over the fact that a snack or a meal featuring protein eaten soon after a training session greatly contributes to speeding up the recovery process.

When it comes to our second question, the answers are much less debatable. It is a well-known fact that meat is normally the main protein provider for omnivorous species like humans. However, there is no scarcity of natural vegetal protein sources, which cater for all kinds of diets. The following seven snacks and components of full meals are some of the most accessible and nutritious alternatives you should look forward to consuming at the end of every workout:



They contain the highest amount of protein after the animal-based foods, thus being the best natural sources available to vegetarians and vegans. Although they do not have all nine essential amino acids found in meat, they feature lysine, which is usually absent in plant-based compounds. Furthermore, they are low in fat.

Soybeans are among the varieties with the highest protein content.


There are numerous health benefits brought by the consumption of fish.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Phosphorus
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamins A and D
  • Significant amounts of protein

In comparison with meat, it has more protein and far lower quantities of saturated fats, making it a top candidate for a cooked post workout meal. Particularly protein-rich species are tuna, salmon and cod.

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Salmon is a nutritious source of protein.

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