CrossFit is the Easy Part. How’s Your Nutrition?

Posted by on Jul 23, 2013 in Nutrition | 0 comments

Following is a guest post by my wife, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner-in-training, Lori Oswald. She will be doing a series of nutrition posts over the next few weeks, so pay attention if you want some free performance-enhancing, health-improving nutrition advice!

If you’ve been coming to Sky’s Limit CrossFit for a month, 6 months, or two years, you’ve likely realized how to kick your fitness into gear with a fun and challenging program. You have gotten stronger, faster, and learned some new skills. You might even obsess about the workouts for the other 23 hours of the day, excited to see what’s next for tomorrow’s workout and personal record. But other than that active hour in the gym a few times a week, what are you doing outside the gym to fuel your body and improve your health? If you are addicted to Diet Coke, eat whatever is convenient, or think soy is a health food, I’ve got news for you: you are likely missing 75% of the health and fitness puzzle.

Our bodies are fascinating works of art, capable of doing amazing things. In CrossFit we break it down to build it up, and we push it to limits, just to expand the boundaries for next time. The body also works very hard to stay in balance on its own, constantly prioritizing physiological processes, such as digestion, cellular respiration, energy production/conservation, tissue building, hormone creation, and fighting sickness, among many, many others. And every one of these processes is dependent on specific nutrients, whether those are H2O, vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, or a combination. This means that if any of those nutrients are insufficient or out of balance, the body is going to have to beg, steal or borrow from another lower priority process to keep a higher priority process functioning. It has been described as an orchestra; if instruments are missing or out of tune, the song being played will be a sorry one.

So back to CrossFit – how does all this fit? It’s as simple as this: if you aren’t properly minding your nutrition, then you aren’t reaping the benefits of CrossFit in the long run. Whether your goals are to lose weight, improve athletic performance, or increase your overall health and mobility, your body needs the proper nutrition to support all its standard processes first, and then support the extra burden you are asking of it with intense exercise. CrossFit stimulates and increases a lot of physiological processes, so if all the building blocks of nutrition aren’t there in the first place, other physiological processes are getting kicked to the curb. And even though you may see short term gains from the program, poor nutrition can create health problems and injuries in the long run, no matter how great you are at working out.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting about specific aspects of nutrition as related to CrossFit and overall health, so you can begin evaluating your nutrition with some specific goals in mind. I’m fascinated and could ramble about all of it, but will try to keep it narrowed to the areas of Hydration, Digestion, and the dangerous duo of Sugar & Stress. I know there weren’t many usable specifics in this introductory post, so for now, start monitoring what you eat and drink, as well as how you feel throughout the day, as well as during and after your workouts. Learning self-awareness is the first step to improving your health and realizing how your body is working for your lifestyle. Until next time, happy eating, wodding and living!

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