What you put into your body greatly affects your performance. If you eat crap, you will perform like crap. But if you eat the right foods at the right time, you have a much better chance of taking it to the next level and setting some PRs. We all know that if the gas tank in your car were low you wouldn’t get very far and if it was empty you wouldn’t get anywhere at all.
Properly fueling your body after your workouts is just as important as properly fueling before your workouts. During a strenuous workout, such as those we do almost every day, your body’s glycogen stores get significantly used up. It is important to properly replenish them to help you to recover from these intense workouts and set you up with the energy you’ll need for your next session.
SHOULD I BE TAKING SUPPLEMENTS?
Supplements can aid every aspect of endurance – from muscular strength and stamina to cardiorespiratory endurance. They’re responsive to changes in nutrition; making supplements a great choice to keep your endurance up.
The ability to recover and perform well repeatedly within one session, under restricted time.
This is exactly the kind of recovery you’ll need on a day to day basis. CrossFit incorporates many aspects from circuits and intervals, where you perform high-intensity exercise followed by low-intensity exercise, or even rest.
Recovering between these bouts is a hybrid of good endurance and good recovery. Supplements play a key role in both of these. Replenishing fuel allows you to continue after a short break – a key aspect of optimum performance in HIIT, and CrossFit specifically.
This is the ability to recuperate between training sessions and perform at peak capacity.
Recovery between sessions is an entire half of your ability to progress and get better. It requires far more attention than most athletes give it, but supplementation is one step towards fixing that. If you recover better than your competition, you can progress faster.
Supplements that aid in the recovery process tend to improve metabolism, hormonal health, or muscle-protein synthesis (MPS). MPS is the key process for repairing muscles after hard exercise. Whether its endurance or weight-training, MPS allows you to recover and improves muscular size/strength.
These categories make it easy to discuss the role of each supplement and we’re going to tag each supplement with its key benefits.
What makes a good supplement for CrossFit athletes?
Anything that has notable effects on one of these five categories or provides big benefits in one specific area. The best supplements provide strong benefits in several categories, as well as general health and wellbeing benefits.
Things to Know Before you Supplement Anything
Supplements aren’t a magic bullet: they won’t fix your diet and make you into Mat Fraser overnight. They provide an additional buffer or edge to a diet that is already heading in the right direction. The best supplements in the world can’t make up for a diet full of junk food and malnutrition.
You need to put your diet together as the foundation for your diet to ensure that you’re making progress. Nutrition is about ensuring that you have enough calories, protein, and the right balance of fats and carbs. A good diet always comes before supplements.
This is an essential part of your diet and it must be prior to your supplement routine. For example, there’s no point taking creatine if you’re not getting enough calories for your muscle-growth goals or supplementing fish oil when your diet is 90% fast food.
However, some powerful supplements you can add to a solid nutrition plan include:
- Preworkout (caffeine)
- Beta Alinine
- Vitamin D
- and of course, Protein and Casein Protein Powders!
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