A Crossfitters Guide to Balanced Nutrition
Crossfit is a sport that demands fuel. The exercise is intense and your diet should reflect that in the best way possible - with balance.
Let's break down how to achieve a balanced nutrient profile to optimize your workout
The enemy of training is a metabolic state called catabolism. Catabolism is a process that breaks down cellular molecules to be used as fuel - but during a fast, this can actually be muscle proteins. Eating protein in the morning becomes an effective tool for replenishing low amino acid concentrations in the morning.
Some research has shown that supplementing a high protein, low carbohydrate recovery drink in the evening, directly before sleep can help to stimulate muscle protein synthesis while you sleep - thereby delaying the onset of catabolism and enabling you to effectively recover faster. For best results try supplementing 25-30g of a clean protein prior to sleep.
When it comes to performance in the gym there is no better nutrient to have in your diet than carbohydrates. For optimal performance, you should be eating carbohydrates that have a low glycemic index, (foods high in fibre are generally low in GI).
Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and synthesized into glycogen - to fuel exercise and overall performance in the gym. Your carbohydrate intake should include grains, greens and legumes. Do your best to avoid all process carbohydrate sources such as pasta, crackers, potato chips etc.
This is where we run into a huge variety of opinions on performance and body composition. Your diet should consist of about 20-30% calories from Fat sources. Fat can be included in your morning meal but should be from lean meats and nuts. One of the best and most researched diet regimes for performance is the Meat and Nut breakfast, popularized by world-renowned strength expert Charles Poliquin.
Balancing the Nutrients
Success in your crossfit regime will come with a balanced diet. You can't out train your diet. For best results, we recommend a macronutrient split of 50% carbs, 30% protein and 20% fat.