CrossFit has really blown up in popularity over the past three years or so. Whether you’re an average gym goer looking to get into better shape or an elite athlete, CrossFit promotes a single training philosophy, and that is one of hard work!
Many of CrossFit’s workouts will tax multiple energy systems and have been known to leave participants both physically and mentally drained. Because of this, it is important for CrossFitters to get their nutrition and supplementation correct in order to give themselves the best chance of recovery for the next session.
Below we discuss some of the best supplements to use for CrossFit training to support the physical demands that CrossFit brings.
Supplements for CrossFit
L-Glutamine is a naturally occurring non-essential amino acid which is stored in the muscles and released when the body experiences stress, such as starvation, physical trauma and intensive exercise.
When the body is subject to prolonged intense activities, such as multiple CrossFit WODs, the body will often be depleted of its’ glutamine stores. As a result the immune system can suffer and the body can feel run down and become more susceptible to illness.
Replenishing those glutamine stores is important for recovery and maintaining healthy immune system function. Studies suggest that 3-5g of glutamine a day can prevent muscle breakdown and decrease the incidence of illness and infection with athletes involved in extreme training regimes.
Krill Oil is an omega-3 oil with tremendous health benefits. Like omega fish oils, Krill Oil has been shown to reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL (good cholesterol). It is a natural non-inflammatory and can help with joint function, circulation and even boost mental focus.
Krill Oil has gained widespread popularity with CrossFitters because of it potency in comparison to regular fish oil. A recent study suggests that consuming 1-3 g per day was found to reduce blood sugar levels, total cholesterol and triglycerides.
Greens supplements can help boost your vitamin and mineral intake, though they are not there to replace whole fruits and vegetables. Popular supplements such as Alkalive, are believed to neutralise the bodies blood pH.
Many athletes who engage in weight lifting focused workouts will often tend to consume large amounts of meat, which can subsequently make your blood pH more acidic, leading to a fast build-up of lactic acid. Greens supplements can help to reduce the negative effects of lactic acid during exercise.
Whey Protein is a fast absorbing protein and is considered the staple for many athletes and fitness enthusiasts. The main benefit of whey is its’ quick digestion and its’ ability to recover muscles after intense exercise. Whey Protein can be consumed before a workout or after as a recovery drink. 20-30g after exercise is thought to be the optimal amount.
L-Carnitine is an amino acids that helps to mobilise fatty acid stores for energy and is naturally found in foods such as red meat and avocado. CrossFit promotes a Paleo Diet, which can be generalised as a low (complex) carbohydrate diet. Therefore, L-Carnitine is a great addition to a CrossFitter’s diet, whom may consume large amounts of protein and fat.
ZMA is a combination of Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B6. Magnesium is said to positively affect sleep quality, while zinc and vitamin B6 has shown to aid tissue repair.
CrossFit exercises can be very taxing on the central nervous system. The body releases the stress hormone cortisol as a by-product of intense exercise. ZMA can help to reduce the bodies cortisol levels after heavy bouts of exercise, improving sleep and general recovery.
So whether you’re a regular CrossFitter or just starting out in the sport, you’ll be well versed in walking like John Wayne after a hefty squat session. Keep up the training, reap the rewards, and tap into sports supplements to boost your performance (or simply to help ease the pain!).