It’s a good time to review our nutrition recommendations, especially for our on-ramp members. I’m not a nutritionist, but these principles work for me and many of our members. Do your own research and then decide what you want to eat. Basic CrossFit nutrition recommendations can be summarized in the following:
Eat meat, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, some fruit, little starch, no sugar.
Sounds simple, right? While we all tinker with the quality and quantity of the food we eat, we’d like people to be eating as close to a paleo or primal diet as possible. This means minimally processed whole/raw foods. We like our athletes to eat a lot of veggies when compared to the quantity of meat (probably 2/3rd to 3/4th of the meal quantity). CrossFit athletes get very good results on these diets (EXCELLENT READ: Ben’s Nutrition for Health and Performance Article) and sometimes by controlling macronutrient intake in measured quantities (EXCELLENT READ: Jon’s Zone Diet Article). By good results we mean: maximizing human athletic potential, minimizing inflammation, maintaining consistent energy levels, developing lean body mass, and feeling good about ourselves. Note: sugar, grains, legumes, dairy are all out of a strict paleo diet, so you need to figure out how your body reacts to these things. We will be doing a paleo challenge in a week or so if you’d like to participate.
Food as Fuel
Have you ever put the diesel gas in an unleaded engine (video)? Sure, it “works” in the short term, but it isn’t ideal and in the long term that engine will fail. People have a really hard time connecting what happens in the short term, in this case eating high-carb and highly processed diets, with the long term health problems. We know sugars are a poison, “obesity” is a global epidemic and pretty much every disease is on the rise. Do we make the connection between a sedentary lifestyle, an unhealthy diet and lack of exercise? We do, but that hasn’t changed prevalence of all these things. Think about food as a fuel. Do you feed it with humanely raised animals and local veggies or do you feed it with a highly processed sandwich of cold cuts, inflammatory grains and high sugar content dressing. It’s your life, you decide.
Supplements aren’t necessarily part of a paleo/primal diet, but given the shortcomings of modern food production certain supplements make a difference. Here’s what we suggest you consider after your own research:
- Fish Oil: Reduces inflammation, balances omega 3s, and much more. Also read this.
- Vitamin D. Read about it.
- Green Tea or other antioxidants.
For optimal recovery, eat a good amount of your daily carbs within 30 minutes post-workout. Consume balanced protein and fat meal within 2 hours.
If you are eating clean or want to eat clean, let us know what you are eating and the questions you have in the comments.
Some great resources:
- Robb Wolf: Paleo diet strength and condition guru.
- Mark Sisson: Primal diet guru.
- Paleo Diet Website
- International Joint Position Statement on Sports Nutrition and Performance
- Weston A Price Foundation Nutritional Recommendations