If you have ever done a CrossFit WOD, you know they are brutal. Nowhere else can a three minute WOD named Fran leave you gasping on your back. We don’t need to work out for hours and hours to get a good workout. We do need to be sure we are recovering properly after these WODs though.
How we recover after workouts is as important as the workouts themselves. The workouts are where we physically tear our muscle tissues so that as we are recovering our bodies can rebuild them into something even stronger. The key is to make sure we are giving our bodies adequate recovery time and all the necessary resources to do that. Getting stronger in one way or another is usually at least part of our workout goals. And our bodies need all the right tools to do that.
The first thing we need to make sure of is that our bodies have all the right nutrients to build our muscles bigger and better. Whether you are vegan or vegetarian or Paleo or primal or Zone, be sure you are getting enough nutrients to sustain your current schedule and intensity of workouts. Also make sure to consider what your goals are, if it is weight loss, you may need to watch your calories a bit more, if you are looking to build mass, you may need more calories.
The best thing to do is research each of the above mentioned eating lifestyles, try them out, see how you feel during them and how you perform and recover and then tweak them little by little to fit your lifestyle and goals (it can be overwhelming, but a Nutrition Coach can help.) You need to look at how and what you are eating and see if you need to fill in any nutritional gaps. Maybe a multi-vitamin is in order for you. If you are vegan/vegetarian, be sure you are getting adequate protein from other sources. Your Coach can surely offer some advice and insights for you as well.
Natural ways to get nutrients is always best, but there are a few supplements that may be worth looking into. An after workout protein/recovery drink and fish oil/omega-3 supplements are two of the biggest ones for athletes. A good protein drink will have a decent amount of protein (20 or more grams per serving), it should come from a good source (like grass fed cows), and it should be low in sugar and not contain any artificial sweeteners.
Fish oil will help reduce inflammation and swelling in the joints. Be sure to look for one that is in high in omega-3 primarily from fish with a ratio of roughly 2:1 EPA to DHA when choosing one.
Sleep is so vitally important to our recovery and probably the most overlooked piece of the puzzle. The amount of sleep per night varies per person, but is usually around 8-10 hours a night for adults. Many of us do not get enough sleep or sleep poorly when we do sleep. And sleep is usually the first thing to go when we are stressed or busy. Magnesium (which is a powder mixed with water and taken before bed,) may be something that is helpful is making sure that the sleep we do get is deep and uninterrupted.
You work your body hard when you CrossFit, make sure you are giving it everything it needs and letting it rest and recover properly.
If you would like more information, please visit our Nutrition Page.