What to eat with your training
CROSSFIT AND NUTRITION
CrossFit athletes eat a ton of calories to fuel their performance. Often training up to 4 times per day they must replace the energy they use to recover. Unfortunately, many of us do not have the time to do this, so we have to be a little smarter as to what goes in our mouths. Continue reading below to find out more about the optimal post training recovery foods.
How much protein do you need after exercise?
When we exercise our muscles are starving for nutrients to allow the process of recovery to speed up. To do this, you must consume some protein after training at around 20-40g depending on your body mass, or in other words 1 – 2 chicken breasts.
Timing isn’t a huge priority, as long as it’s within a couple of hours of training. It is also important to eat whole food sources as opposed to supplements with recent research showing this is a superior method to adapt due to nutrient availability.
What kind of carbohydrates should we eat after training?
Carbohydrate after exercise has two purposes. The first is to replace used energy in the muscle and secondly to increase the response discussed above. To reap the rewards of the post exercise effect in the muscle, high glycaemic index (sugary) carbohydrates are best at this time. DO NOT TAKE THIS OUT OF CONTEXT! These types of carbohydrates should not be eaten all of the time, they lack fibre and spike the blood glucose response – a favourable process after exercise, but arguably not at other times during the day.
Examples of Sugary Carbohydrates: White rice, white pasta, potato, white bread, jelly babies and fruit.
Eat 20-60g depending on your body mass and intensity of session. E.g. Hard sessions with a lot of work done (40 min WOD) should have ~60g (200g white rice) carbohydrate meal whereas a strength session with 20min of 1RM testing may only require ~20g (a banana).
Could creatine help?
Creatine, along with caffeine, is one of the only proven supplements to work. It allows short term energy to be replaced quickly when exercising at high intensity. Essentially, allowing you to do a little more at any given intensity. 5g per day of creatine monohydrate is sufficient for this. There’s no real sweet spot for taking it, just when it is convenient for you.
How to prevent cramp
When you sweat, you lose electrolytes which are vital for muscle contraction. To prevent cramp, have electrolyte tablets at the ready for after the sweatier sessions, especially if you are prone to cramping. If you are caught short, salt water or Lucozade sport usually do the trick. Remember, you must replace sweat loss with water 1.5x the amount lost during exercise.