In Part 1 of the 8 Nutritional Principles for Crossfit Success, we discussed the following four areas.
- Divide your plate
- Track your nutrition
- The big fat dilemma
Now we will concentrate on the final 4 principles that will help you to become a better athlete and live a healthier lifestyle.
5. DRINK, DRINK…AND DRINK
Drink a lot… of water! Experts all around the world highlight that drinking about 1.5 L of water per day is necessary for your health, but why is it so important? And above all, why for an athlete is it even more important to keep your body hydrated?
Sweating during an intense WOD is thirsty work. But what really is important to understand is that a balanced level of hydration should be maintained all day long. Our body is mainly composed of water, and it is absolutely essential for optimal performance.
In addition, more water in means more water out. The more water you drink, the more ‘accumulated’ water will be flushed out, detoxifying your body. And, as we are Crossfitters, it is good to know that having your body properly hydrated increases energy levels, relieves fatigue and prevents cramps… So keep on drinking!
6. SUPPLEMENTS: YES? NO?
‘It is important to underline that nutrition is the foundation for your Crossfit performance’
Despite the debate around supplements, there is no ‘rule’ on which supplement is a ‘must have’ or not.
Saying that, if you talk with other Crossfitters, you will get many common answers about the benefits of BCAA (Branch chained amino acids), vitamin D, vitamin C, fish oil (for the omega 3 intake) and magnesium.
On average, these are the most widely consumed supplements. However, each nutritional approach should be tailor-made and personal.
- Extra vitamin D can be useful if you live in a country without much sunlight.
- BCAAs are popular and widely used since, being amino acids, they provide a positive impact for the building of muscle fibres.
- Protein Powder can also be highly useful throughout strength cycles, when you need to pack in high quantities of protein to replenish your muscles and allow for growth.
7. FAILING TO ‘FOOD PREP’ IS PREPARING TO FAIL
‘An important ally for your nutritional success is to start planning and preparing your meals in advance.’
It can be hard at the beginning, but preparing your food for the days to come will give you the chance to put attention and thought behind what you are going to eat.
With the appropriate food-prep attitude, you understand if you are balancing all the nutrients you need both before and after your training. You will avoid ‘starvation’ moments, and be much less likely to choose poor quality foods.
TIP: Use your rest day(s) for meal prepping, so you will be ready for the rest of the week.
8. DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT RESTRICTIONS, YOU ARE HUMAN AFTER ALL
Now that you are aware and ready to focus on your nutrition to boost your performance in every WOD, it’s normal to think ‘if I go off track, will I spoil all my efforts?’
You are a Crossfitter, committed and dedicated. You know that nutrition is key as much the training itself. But, despite transforming into ‘beast mode’ during each WOD, you are still human. You also have to enjoy your Crossfit path and not feeling like you are ‘punishing’ yourself all the time for no reward.
First of all, healthy and balanced nutrition should be enjoyable and tasty. Ask around your fellow Crossfitters for new recipes and dishes that they cook, in order to keep things exciting. Besides, having your favorite burger or giant ice cream once in a while is part of the process. Share your reward with your Crossfit friends. No one understands better than them a well deserved cheat meal from time to time!
After all these words, we couldn’t agree more with Mr. Glassman that nutrition is the base for all performance and should reside as the foundation for his pyramid of fitness.
When you put these 8 principles into effect, your Crossfit performances will improve and you will fall in love with the wider process to achieve your goals. Adjusting your nutritional intake will not seem like an obligation, it will become fun, and something that you will not want to live without.