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7 Top Supplements for CrossFit Athletes

As owner of CrossFitASG, a CrossFit gym based in Southport UK and throughout my coaching career, one of the first questions that crop up with new members is “What Protein should I get?”

The Protein supplement industry has done a brilliant job at marketing itself as the go to, first step to supporting a healthy lifestyle, essential to anyone who exercises. Well, in my experience and through research I’ve done, there is of course more to it than meets the eye.   It must be first stressed that this is an article about supplementation. You can not work your way out of a bad diet, and no amount of supplementation is going to cure a poor diet and the associated results of a poor diet, so that’s your first focus. EAT WELL. In a series of future articles I will set out Principles to a healthy life and for good Nutrition. For now though it’s Supplementation.   So here are 7 supplements that should be in everyone’s bag:    
  • OMEGA 3 Fish Oil. Omega 3 Fish Oil is one of the most essential supplements for CrossFit athletes, and if I’m being honest for everyone! The benefits are numerous and powerful. Brain Health, Powerful Anti-Inflammatory properties aiding muscle recovery and soreness, Protein growth, Joint health and Fat Loss.
  • Vitamin D3. Life is centred around the sun. Vitamin D3 comes directly from the Sun. Vitamin D3 is essential to reduce Inflammation, Brain Health, and aiding sleep by helping the body release melatonin, improve our mood and respiratory system. Not only will recovery be quicker, we will feel great too!
  • ZMA.This supplement is a specific ratio mix of
      1. Zinc: Zinc has numerous biological benefits. It’s been shown to contribute to protein synthesis, regulate hormones and possess anti-inflammatory properties. It also contributes to maintaining a healthy immune system.
      2. Magnesium: Magnesium is the second most abundant mineral in the body, but in the western world there is a high level of deficiency. Magnesium is key in regulating our heart and blood pressure, helps with contraction and relaxation of muscles, as well as energy production. It keeps our hormones in check as well as our nervous system.
      3. Vitamin B6: The Health benefits of Vitamin B6 include co-enzymatic activity (aiding the nervous system), building up the immune system and having a positive effect on metabolism (enabling the use of fats and carbohydrates for energy)
  • Recovery Protein. A Recovery Protein differs from a standard protein as it has a 2:1 ratio of Carb to Protein. This is important for two distinct reasons. Firstly, Proteins’ absorption is enhanced with presence of carbohydrate. Secondly, CrossFit workouts are generally highly Glycolytic. This means they use Glycogen (stored Carbohydrate) as an energy source. By fueling yourself post workout with a dose of Carbohydrate we will refill our Glycogen stores. This in turn means proteins will be reserved for Muscle growth, and as our metabolism slows Fats will be accessed for energy. Generally Protein supplementation will also protect the immune system, hormone levels and aid in a reduction of muscle soreness.
  • Creatine. One of the most studied supplements on the market, Creatine is a vital part of our energy cycle, and is naturally produced by our bodies. Creatine also has impressive anti-oxidant properties. Supplementation will lead to quicker recovery times during and after exercise. This product should be cycled as the more you use it the less our bodies produce naturally.
  • MCT Oil or Coconut Oil. Medium Chain Triglycerides. A powerful quick access energy source. Powerful for brain health, increases alertness and aid fat loss. In the form of a Cold Pressed Virgin Oil, it can also be used on your skin, hair and teeth and not to mention an amazing stable oil to cook with. Try it in your coffee.
  • Beta Alanine. Research has shown Beta Alanine increases the length of time fatigue takes to set in during exercise, meaning you can go longer, harder and faster. This will therefore improve strength and fitness overtime. Team up with Creatine for added potency.
There you have it, a whistle stop tour of Supplements! Remember that these should be taken as part of a good diet and in place of or in spite of! Coming soon: Healthy Living and Nutritional Principles Series. These subjects are too complex to tackle in one hit so, they’ll be broken down into several easy to ‘digest’ articles, with the same simplistic easy to understand approach. Until next time!

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