The best supplements for Crossfit

The best supplements for Crossfit

CrossFit is a powerful physical conditioning system that combines several sport disciplines, like weightlifting, gymnastics… These disciplines use mostly functional exercises at a high intensity. Their main appeal is the competitive factor, meaning that we will have to give our best in each workout.

Why are CrossFit Supplements Necessary?

This type of training includes different exercises which will subject our body to different types of effort. They combine several factors:

  • Strength
  • Powder
  • Resistance
…together with aptitudes like coordination, flexibility, balance or agility. Some exercises demand fast energy boosts when we will use the immediate energy supply. Others require vigor and they use the glycolitic system to produce energy. Moreover, we can carry long resistance activities thanks to the oxidative system.
If you want to learn more about the Energy Pathways in CrossFit, click right here.

As you can imagine, this discipline demands a lot of energy. Consequently, if we want to achieve our best performance, we will need a proper energy supply.

In fact, it is specially important to mind the amount of proteins that we need from the point of view of the recovery.

Energy Pathways CrossFit

Ignoring these important parameters can hinder our evolution, affecting our mood, vitality, state of mind…

It is not possible to create a specific supplementation pattern due to the many exercises involved in CrossFit. However, we can follow some general guidelines to enhance the physical capacities that Crossfit requires. Consequently we will improve our physical performance and recovery as well.

Supplements for CrossFit

Crossfit Supplements

Proteins

Whey protein, and more specifically, Whey Isolate, is one of the best supplements to practice sport and to feel physically well.

This protein provides a great aminogram (including essential and non-essential amino acids). Therefore, one of its features will be its high bioavailability, with insignificant amounts of fats and carbohydrates.

Like it happens in other similar disciplines, the muscle fibers break down in CrossFit due to its intensity.

This is part of the process because we are producing an “impact” in our muscles with the necessary stimulus. Then, the body adapts to said effort by regenerating the muscles.

Protein Shake and CrossFit

When should I drink my Protein Shake?

After finishing the workout, we can take a Whey Protein Isolate shake that will improve our recovery phase. Moreover, it will be easy to digest because it is a liquid supplement, specially for this post-workout period when our body is not ready to perform a heavy digestion.

In addition, we can take more shakes after waking up, before training, or between the meals to meet our nutrient requirements.

Creatine

Creatine is a substance that the organism produces during the metabolism of proteins. It is obtained from the arginine and glycine amino acids, and with the involvement of methionine, and it is mainly stored in the muscle tissue.

Those supplements that are made of creatine monohydrate increase the deposits of creatine and creatine phosphate (CP) that, along with ATP, generate the energy exchange measure that is necessary for those contractions that involve a high intensity in a short period of time.

Creatine has the ability to increase the volume of the cell and to produce a higher strength of the muscles and their increase in size in the short and long term. Mainly due to the fact that it increases the hydration of the cells and because it accelerates the rate of the synthesis of proteins.

If you want to learn more about How the Energy Systems work, click here.

Creatine and CrossFit

Creatine is a “must” for any crossfitter

How to Take Creatine Supplementation

There are two choices: with or without loading phase. Both choices will have the same results. If you choose the second one (my favorite one), you just have to adjust 1g of creatine per 10kg of weight.

You can take it at any time of the day, or even distribute the dose. My personal advise is to take it after the workout, even together with the protein shake.

Carbohydrates

Regardless of the type of activity, the carbohydrates are always a fundamental pillar of the nutrition of any high performance athlete in order to have as much energy available as possible.

We need to be aware of the fact that certain workouts are quite demanding, and they can knock us out if our stored energy deposits (muscle glycogen) are not “charged”. CrossFit is going to produce a great glycolitic demand due to the type of workout.

At the same time, when we do exercise, the sweating increases, as well as the excretion of minerals, which is why the recharge of mineral salts will be a key element in our performance.

Carbohydrates for CrossFit

Then, if you want to face an AMRAP workout or “survive” a Murph, maintaining a constant hydration and energy compensation (glycogen that is going to be spent fast) will be key to reach our objective.

How to take Carbohydrates?

My advise is that you should take them throughout the workout as an intra-workout drink.

However, there is also the possibility to carry out a previous “load” before and after the workout. This last load is quite important for those who train twice a day.

Citrulline Malate

This supplement has a strong effect as a supplement that improves the performance, which is why it will benefit us when it comes to facing the most demanding CrossFit workouts. This product will achieve this due to the fact that:

  • It enhances the production of nitric oxide (NO), which will increase the transport of nutrients and the oxygenation of the muscles
  • It reduces the metabolic waste, such as lactic acid and ammonia, that results from the intensity of the exercise
  • It increases the regeneration of ATP, the energy that is used for high intensity and short efforts

Citrulline Malate and CrossFit

Citrulline positively affects the phosphagen system, like the glycolitic pathway, since it is related to the enzymes that produce the release and production of the energy from glycogen, and which also allow to obtain ATP from glucose. The result will be more energy for a longer time.

 How to take Citrulline Malate?

We can take two servings, one when we wake up and the second and most important one around 30-45min before the workout. The dose can move between 5-8g.

Beta Alanine

Those supplements that include Beta Alanine improve the physical performance due to their ability to increase the levels of intramuscular carnosine, when it binds with the histidine amino acid. Beta Alanine buffers lactate (it delays its onset), which is produced during high intensity efforts, and it is a waste product of the anaerobic metabolism.

The result can be a drop or delay of the onset of fatigue, which sometimes forces us to cease the physical activity, apart from important changes on the resistance and strength of the muscles.

If you want to deepen into the relation between Beta Alanine and Carnosine, click here

Beta Alanine and CrossFit

Coincidentally, it can be perfectly combined with Creatine, which enhances its effects to improve the performance

How to take Beta Alanine?

The dose can range between 2-6g daily. It can be distributed throughout the day, or taken either before and/or after the workout. Its effects can start to be experienced after 2 weeks more or less.

Some people can experience “paresthesia” with doses over 1g, which frequently involve the reddening and localized itching in the face and hands. It is a benign symptom which can decrease after a few days from the consumption, even though another solution would be to divide the dose throughout the day (less than 1g).

Caffeine

Caffeine supplements have the ability to stimulate the central nervous system to improve physical performance, reducing the perception of fatigue, which is very important in a sport like CrossFit. They also increase our ability to focus, and they help us to avoid any type of distraction so that we can completely focus on the physical activity.

If we take caffeine before the workout, we will increase the alertness, stimulate the activity of the brain, favor the release of adrenaline, act as a soft diuretic, tone the heart, favor the thermogenesis, and increase the lipolysis, which is the breakdown of fat into its constituent fatty acids so that they can be used as an energy source, saving glycogen.

Caffeine and CrossFit

How to take Caffeine

The dose will vary according to the person, and it is always advisable to start with the lowest amount. With it, we can estimate that a dose of caffeine that is close to 5mg per kg of weight can improve the physical performance.

In this case, we could notice its effects with a dose between 200-400mg. It has been even proven that if we take caffeine for the post-workout it can help us to increase the glycogen resynthesis rate.

Omega 3

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid whose supply is indispensable for the correct functioning of the organism. Specially, there are two fatty acids within omega-3 known as EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (Docosahaexanoic Acid), which are going to compensate an unfavorable ratio of omega 3 in regard to omega 6, which tends to happen in our diet, producing certain metabolic problems, such as cases of inflammation.

From the point of view of sports, omega 3 can be an ally to gain muscle mass.

Omega-3 and CrossFit

One of the main benefits of omega-3 is its property as a natural anti-inflammatory element

How to take Omega 3?

There is nothing written about the daily amount of omega 3. However, when it comes to supplementation we can take at least 1g, according to the studies.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients due to the several functions that they perform in our organism. They act as cofactors to form enzymes, hormones, and other indispensable substances for the organism.

Nowadays, due to our lifestyle, we do not deepen enough into our nutrition in most of the cases, and we tend to ignore these pieces of advise. In this sense, multivitamin products can solve certain deficiencies from the diet.

Vitamins and Minerals for CrossFit

With such as an intense training like Crossfit we may need vitamins and minerals supplements, since we will possibly not be able to meet all the necessary amounts, which are going to be higher than the rest of the population

Magnesium

We can take a supplement with all the vitamins and minerals, or rather, we can choose that are more important for us, and which will obviously benefit CrossFit athletes. Without any doubt, Magnesium is one of them.

This essential mineral is involved in several physiological processes inside the organism, such as regulating the heartbeat, it allows the proper contraction and relaxation of the muscles, controls the blood pressure, and it is even necessary for the synthesis of ATP.

If you want to know how Magnesium Can Reduce Muscle Cramps, click here

Magnesium and CrossFit

How to take Magnesium?

The recommended daily amount moves between 200-400mg.

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