Hello friends. We began this series by discussing 4 Practices to Improve Performance and Recover Like a Pro:
In the previous article, we elaborated on mobility by outlining 3 Steps to Drastically Improve your Mobility Practice and Performance.
In this article, we will hit on a topic that just might be the MOST important of the 4 subsets of recovery. Your nutrition or lifestyle eating lays the foundation for keeping you active and healthy. Without a structured plan you risk injury, burnout and a host of chronic conditions.
You will never hear me use the term diet with any of my athletes or patients. The main reason is a diet implies only following something for the short term. What I typically focus on is lifestyle eating. Lifestyle eating is the ability to implement changes into your eating habits that focus on sustaining long lasting changes. While we don’t have the time or space in this article to dive into the biochemistry of lifestyle eating and nutrition I can however focus on what should be important to you when stepping back and looking at your nutrition.
There are five areas of nutrition that an athlete should focus on in order to make things easier and at the end of the day the easier it is the better chance you will follow to success.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
The main problem athletes have is putting too much pressure on what to eat and when. While I have always been huge proponent of self experimentation so athletes need focus. This is where an expert in your community or box can come into play. Odds are with the active community that encomppases crossfit your box probably has a member who is a dietician or nutritionist. Not only do they have the educational requirements to give you direction but also understand the demands of your activity which is always important to growth. There are also so many blogs, websites and books available in this technological age which focus
especially in certain subsets of nutrition. Break Parallels very own Erika Theisen will be posting recipe after recipe of what has worked for her in crossfit and ways to alter options according to any allergens.
This is one of the bigger not talked about topics that athletes typically face. Coaching Ironman triathletes and some crossfit endurance athletes lately I can tell you first hand the caloric requirements is huge. The downside is that with eating clean the caloric density of most foods is low. So they eat and eat only to be at a deficit at the end of the day. Planning your meals (talked below) gives you a chance to master the art of always being one step ahead of what your body needs. You can match all the macros needed and at the end of the day be building a body for success and recovery.
Open Door Policy
How many times have you finished a workout, chatted with friends over PR’s, took a shower and went on your way? What is the main ingredient missing from this equation? If you answered fueling your body your correct. You have about 60 minutes post workout where all these small doors in your muscles are wide open saying “feed me!!!” This is the optimal time to get you protein recovery drink in, hydrate the tissues you just depleted and focus on providing the body the building blocks it needs to make tomorrows workout one where you are bigger, faster and stronger.
Systemic Inflammation Control
The typical western diet to no surprise is a diet riddled with foods causing systemic inflammation. The foods most people eat are so acidic in nature that our bodies have a hard time digesting these substances which in turn wreaks havoc on recovery. Following a diet that is based more on whole foods has an alkaline causing affect on the body thus helping neutralize the acidic levels produced systemically. People tend to always feel better when eating clean as almost no disease process can sustain existence in an alkaline state. When your body isn’t working overtime on acidic foods it can focus on rebuilding healthy tissue. At the end of the day you can still have a cookie, ice cream, etc…just make sure that you day is balanced towards living in an alkaline state.
I will admit this is one thing I admire the most and the one thing that I am not good at. I have plenty of crossfit and running friends that on Sunday they meal prep almost all their meals for the week. What this leads to is decreased temptation to eat out and an increased ability to eat clean throughout the week with increases daily recovery. The times I have prepped ahead have been the weeks my training has gone through the roof as I am constantly improving my bodies ability to recover between workouts. Using recipes from Erika Theisen on this website will give you variety throughout the week and give life to your planning. It will take the boring edge away of always eating the same thing and spice things up with foods designed to be clean and nail that recovery edge.
The take away is that nutrition can be an overwhelming process or one that taken with the right approach can be simple, effective and the main ingredient leading you down the road of success.
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