Hey CrossFitters. Cassie here and ready to share!
As a femaleCrossFitter with a passion for fitness and nutrition I have seen, observed, and tested just about every low carb, clean eating, carb cycling, trending diet there is out there. And there are two obvious things I have learned from my experiences:
1. carbohydrates are your friend and absolutely necessary for athletic performance
2. many athletes view carbohydrates as the nutritional monster of all things evil.
On my last blog post I definitely pushed carbs and how important they are so at this point I’m sure your thoughts are somewhere around “yep got it carbs good!” But stay with me for a minute and let’s really knock out the why…
Without consuming carbs before and after your workout your performance is going to suffer, putting on muscle will seem impossible, and you will probably feel very fatigued. Be real with yourself if your training volume is high…you need to eat a significant amount of carbs pre and post workout. You will also need to Carb throughout the day.
Let’s also take a second to look at the technical components. From Olympic lifting, gymnastics, to a 200 meter sprint I think it is safe to say there is a great amount of technique required to effectively attack a WOD. Well then it shouldn’t come as a surprise when I say carbs greatly affect our technique. Carbs aren’t only necessary for our muscles they are also necessary for our nerves. After all our nerves are the control panel to our bodies. They not only tell our muscles when to move, but nerves also control our breathing, stability, digestion and all other functions of our body. Bottom line they’re pretty damn important!!! Unlike muscles, our nerves don’t store carbs, so they need a constant supply. If we’re not supplying our bodies with the appropriate amount of carbs our muscles start to tap into our nerve’s supply and in return our technique is affected. Ever feel light headed, fatigued, weak, or just plain off? Listen to your body’s cues since they’re probably trying to tell you something.
Now that we have hit some important why topics lets glance into the HOW…
This is where it can get a bit tricky since there is not one magical formula for everyone. Every individual person is completely different and comprised of their very own set of hormones. It really comes down to trial and error and figuring out how to fuel your body to meet your goals. The best way to figure this out is by journaling, take pictures, measure and start logging what you eat and how your workouts feel. Accurate tracking and listening to body cues will help you to understand what you need to perform.
As far as carbs go I suggest a pre workout meal consisting of 40% of the total amount of carbs for their day, post workout meal about 30% and the other 30% is distributed throughout the day. Depending on your timing of meals some types of carbs are more beneficial than others. If you find yourself in a hurry and you have to hit your workout in a hour or less grab some simple carbs. Fruit and coconut water will digest quickly and you can effectively use those carbs for fuel and kick some butt in your workout.
Keep in mind it’s important for you to allow your body to adapt. You can’t just throw a ton of carbs into the diet and poof magic will happen. You need to slowly increase or decrease your amount, 10 g at a time every 1-2 weeks. Be patient it takes time. Enjoy the journey.
Remember if you have questions just ask me. See you at the box.