4 Diet Mistakes Crossfit Athletes Make
In my Physique Formula Premium coaching program, I work with a lot of high level Crossfit athletes. What surprises me the most is that about 90% of them come to me making the same mistakes. This article will highlight the bigghest Crossfit diet mistakes that I see competitors make and the suggestions that I give to fix things fast.
Blind Reliance On The Paleo Diet
While I truly believe in The Paleo Diet and feature what I call Paleo For Performance in my Physique Formula book, too many Crossfit competitors blindly rely on the paleo diet and it’s wrecking their performance. Most of the time, Crossfit athletes don’t even know that the paleo diet is hindering recovery, limiting muscle mass and causing all types of hormonal dysregulation. While I wrote a more in-depth article on this topic that you can read here, in summary, the paleo diet can wreck havoc on your cortisol levels which leads to under recovery and metabolic damage
Now I’m not bashing paleo and I believe that it is the healthiest diet in the world but there’s a big difference between the activity level of someone trying a Crossfit class out for the first time and a regional or Games competitors. Athletes that are really pushing the pace multiple times per week, or even multiple times per day,need to prioritize recovery.
By severely restricting starchy carbohydrates, most athletes don’t get nearly enough carbohydrates to reduce cortisol secretion. When cortisol is elevated, athletes typically experience the following issues.
-Lack of full recovery leading to constantly sore muscles
-Waking up feeling tired
-Difficultly getting to sleep and staying asleep
-Needing a pot of coffee to even get your day started
-Inability to gain muscle and burn fat.
The obvious answer is to slightly bump up your starchy carbohydrate intake on training days. Sticking with rices, potatoes and oatmeal will never hurt and be sure to use some berries, which are lower in fruit sugar than other fruits.
I often recommend that my athletes use Physique Formula Glucose Support to create a more positive storage environment in their muscle tissue. Glucose Support helps to shuttle nutrients into muscle tissue and enhance recovery.
Not Eating Enough
Now I know this next point seems unrealistic but the reality, in my experience with Crossfit athletes, is that many of them come to me UNDER EATING. Traditionally many of my Crossfit clients own their own Crossfit affiliate boxes and they are so busy running their business, teaching classes and training twice a day themselves, that they literally don’t have much free time to sit down and eat a meal. In today’s nutrition world, protein powders like The Physique Formula grass fed whey make it very easy to meet your protein requirements but in order to fully recover, gain muscle and burn fat, you’ve got to eat real food.
I’m not advocating that you need to eat every two our three hours, though that would help. My suggestions for making sure you eat more are the following
1: Use 2-3 scoops Of Physique Formula Grass Fed Whey
2: Pre pack a few quick meals such as
Cheese and pepperoni platters
Nut mixtures with coconut flakes and dark chocolate crushed up
Frozen protein bars that you can make yourself with whey protein, organic peanut butter and almond meal.
3: Get more healthy fat in your diet with Shimbo’s Organic Coconut Oil or Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Not enough diet variety.
While we all likely make this mistake since we choose to eat what we like and avoid what we don’t like (cauliflower!). By doing so, we’re missing a variety of nutrients in different amounts. This is especially true in the paleo community, enough those paleo dieters are eating nutrient rich foods. A lack of variety, especially with fruit types and carbohydrates sources leaves a huge void.
Especially when you consider research on food sensitivities that state whichever foods that you commonly eat, your body develops a sensitivity to.
What can you do?
For starters, make sure you eat a variety of different colors fruits.
While I suggest organic and grass fed meat, don’t ignore other meat alternatives like organic or grass fed lamb or bison.
Eggs should always be a staple in your diet but rotate your sources of eggs by reading inside the egg carton to find out what the chickens were fed.
Under prioritizing recovery
Recovery in the Crossfit world has a lot of different meanings. It could mean general time off. It also means mobility drills like Kelly Starrett suggests. It also means sleep and other modalities like ice bathes and contracts showers.
But do you know where the MAJORITY of Crossfit competitors fail with their recovery? They ignore the need for proper nutritional supplements and their role in recovery.
Now I’m not suggesting that you take every supplement under the sun. What I’m telling you to do is add two supplements to your routine that have been shown, by research, to reduce muscle soreness and increase recovery.
#1: Adrenal Support
Adrenal Support is a product that I designed to help your body handle the stress of training. We discussed cortisol above and how training too much and eating too little can cause your body to overproduce this stress hormone.
Remember, if your sleep is impaired by high cortisol, your body can’t recover. Using proven nutrients like L-tyrosine, rhodiola and other herbs like ashwagandha, licorice root and eleuthero, you can stabilize your cortisol levels and kick up recovery.
Another nutrient is curcumin. An extract of the Indian herb Turmeric, Curcumin has been shown in research to
Reduce muscle soreness
Increase insulin sensitivity (so you can burn more fat)
Decrease joint pain
Improve joint recovery.
The Physique Formula brand of curcumin uses the research proven C3 extract that studies suggest has some very powerful anti-cancer benefits.
Fix these 4 mistakes and watch your Crossfit performance jump up.