While a balanced diet should always be the foundation of good nutrition, supplements can be a valuable addition to support overall health and wellness. We are often asked about the benefits of some popular supplements.
Here are the 5 best supplements for CrossFit:
Whey Protein Powder
Whey protein powder is one of the most popular supplements among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. This protein powder is derived from milk and is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids. Here are some of the benefits of whey protein powder:
Muscle building: Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle tissue, and whey protein is particularly effective due to its high concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).
Weight loss: Whey protein powder can also aid in weight loss by increasing feelings of fullness and reducing appetite.
Recovery: Consuming whey protein powder after a workout can aid in muscle recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
Best practice for timing: Whey protein powder can be consumed at any time of day, but it is most effective when consumed within 30 minutes after a workout.
Fish oils are derived from the fatty tissue of cold-water fish and are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Here are some of the benefits of fish oils:
Heart health: Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve heart health by reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing triglycerides.
Brain function: Omega-3s are important for brain function and may reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia.
Joint health: Fish oils may help to reduce joint pain and inflammation in people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Best practice for timing: Fish oils can be taken at any time of day, but it is recommended to take them with a meal to aid in absorption.
Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
BCAAs are a group of three essential amino acids – leucine, isoleucine, and valine – that are commonly taken as a supplement. Here are some of the benefits of BCAAs:
Muscle building: BCAAs can help to promote muscle protein synthesis and reduce muscle breakdown, making them effective for muscle building and recovery.
Endurance: BCAAs may improve endurance by reducing fatigue and increasing energy.
Fat loss: BCAAs can also aid in weight loss by reducing appetite and increasing fat oxidation.
Best practice for timing: BCAAs can be taken before, during, or after a workout to aid in muscle recovery and reduce muscle soreness.
Multivitamins are a supplement that contains a combination of vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the benefits of multivitamins:
Nutrient deficiencies: Multivitamins can help to fill in nutrient gaps in the diet and prevent deficiencies.
Immune function: Vitamins and minerals are important for immune function, and multivitamins may help to boost immune health.
Brain function: Certain vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins and magnesium, are important for brain function and may improve mood and cognitive function.
Best practice for timing: Multivitamins should be taken with a meal to aid in absorption.
Creatine monohydrate is a popular dietary supplement used by athletes to enhance their physical performance. It is a natural substance found in small amounts in some foods, such as red meat and fish, but it is also available in supplement form. Creatine is one of the most researched supplements in the field of sports nutrition, and there is a wealth of scientific evidence that supports its use.
Increased muscle strength and power: ATP is the primary energy source for muscle contractions during high-intensity exercise, so having more phosphocreatine in the muscles can lead to increased strength and power output.
Improved muscular endurance: By increasing the availability of ATP, creatine can delay fatigue during high-intensity exercise, allowing individuals to perform more reps or maintain a higher workload for longer periods of time.
Increased muscle mass: When combined with resistance training the increase in strength and power output from creatine supplementation can allow individuals to lift heavier weights and perform more sets and reps, leading to greater muscle damage and growth.
Best practice for timing: Timing the consumption of creatine monohydrate can be a personal preference, but it is important to follow the recommended maintenance phases, be consistent with daily intake, and stay hydrated to maximize its benefits. It is important to note that if you plan to take creatine consistently for a long period of time, a loading phase is not necessary since the muscles will be saturated with creatine with consistency and time.
Loading phase: When first starting to take creatine monohydrate, many people choose to go through a loading phase, where they take a higher dose for the first 5-7 days to quickly saturate the muscles with creatine. During the loading phase, it is recommended to take 10-20 grams of creatine per day, split into two or four doses of 5 grams each.
Maintenance phase: After the loading phase, it is recommended to enter a maintenance phase, where a lower dose of creatine is taken to maintain the creatine stores in the muscles. During the maintenance phase, it is recommended to take 3-5 grams of creatine per day.
Timing: Creatine monohydrate can be taken at any time of day, but some people choose to take it before or after a workout to aid in muscle recovery and reduce muscle soreness. Taking it with a carbohydrate-rich meal or drink may also help to enhance its uptake into the muscles.
Consistency: Consistency is key when taking creatine monohydrate. It is important to take it daily, even on rest days, to maintain muscle creatine stores and maximize its benefits.
Hydration: It is important to stay hydrated when taking creatine monohydrate, as it can cause the muscles to retain water. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help to prevent dehydration and potential side effects such as cramping or digestive issues.
Supplements are the 10% in addition to a well balanced diet. If you need guidance or want to talk to an expert coach about nutrition and supplements please click the link below to book a call.