Are Paleo Diet and CrossFit Training Compatible?

Before and after doing a CrossFit training session, it's important to have good nutrition that goes in line with this discipline. Is the paleo diet and CrossFit compatible with each other?
Are Paleo Diet and CrossFit Training Compatible?

Last update: 04 November, 2019

The paleo diet has become quite popular in the last few years. However, it’s a strict diet and oftentimes with some health effects. Therefore, you may be asking yourself if the paleo diet and CrossFit training combined can have health problems? In this article, we’ll discuss all you need to know about this.

Here we’ll explain what this diet consists of, more than just stating the benefits people seem to get from it. Although it’s very popular nowadays, many people seem to ignore what it really is.

What is the paleo diet

The paleo diet calls for returning to the origins of our nutrition, as human beings, in a healthy way. This style of nutrition claims that it’s the same diet paleolithic beings followed, around ten thousand years ago.

At that time in our history, there was no agriculture, and humans ate what they could gather and hunt. So the diet consisted mainly of seeds, nuts, fruits, vegetables, meat, and fish. The nutrients excluded from this diet are carbohydrates and sugar.

Fans of this diet argue that the human body is not genetically adapted to process the foods of a modern diet. Consequently, the evidence of this is the overwhelming rate of obesity, diabetes, and coronary disease.

Up to this point, it seems quite healthy. However, is there compatibility between the paleo diet and CrossFit? Below we’ll give you a few tips to have optimal nutrition and exercise in a healthy way.

Compatibility between the paleo diet and CrossFit

Carbohydrates are fundamental for people who exercise regularly. This macronutrient is essential in order to have enough energy to achieve our fitness goals.

However, the paleo diet completely prohibits cereals and all its derivates. Therefore, we’re losing an important macronutrient with this diet.

The paleo diet prohibits essential carbohydrates

In order to reach the desired sports performance levels, we need to give the body the energy it requires. And so, the best option here is to consume a large number of fruits and vegetables. Many people don’t know that these foods also have good quality carbohydrates.

Eating fruits and vegetables daily in large amounts have a similar effect in the body if you get them from other sources. Additionally, fruit contributes to raising your sugar levels, which is also not allowed in this diet.

Therefore, if the base of the paleo diet is fruits and vegetables, you could complement it in a healthy way. Additionally, you could pair this up with the CrossFit exercise discipline. However, some paleo dieters argue that you have to restrict fruits and vegetables as well.

Benefits of the paleo diet

The paleo diet has multiple benefits, and therefore, it’s becoming increasingly popular. Here are some of its benefits:

  • Reduces the risk of obesity: this is so because it’s based on completely natural ingredients.
  • Regulates insulin naturally: since it calls for a total reduction of sugars and the only source of glucose is from natural unprocessed sources.
  • Healthy diet: it’s healthy because it prohibits the consumption of fast and processed foods. Restricting these foods is essential to avoid diseases.
  • Satisfying diet: you won’t feel hungry, although it doesn’t call for large amounts of food per meal.

These are just some of the benefits of this diet if you do it well and use natural ingredients. It seems like going back to our original nutrition is a really good option to stay healthy.

Paleo Diet and CrossFit can have good results if done well


Considering the observations in this article, the paleo diet, and CrossFit can be quite compatible. However, you must make sure you ingest your carbohydrates and sugars from fruit and not from processed sugars.

Following these specifications, you shouldn’t encounter any health problems when exercising. In any way, we recommend that you progressively make these changes to your nutrition and exercise. Then, the body will have the right time to adapt.

Of course, consulting a doctor is also a good idea when looking to pair the paleo diet and CrossFit together. A health professional will analyze the specific needs of each person to do this in a healthy way.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Cox, R. W. (2012). Crossfit Nutrition Guide. NeuroImage.
  • Maxwell, C., Ruth, K., & Friesen, C. (2017). Sports Nutrition Knowledge, Perceptions, Resources, and Advice Given by Certified CrossFit Trainers. Sports5(2), 21.
  • Kramer, S. J., Baur, D. A., Spicer, M. T., Vukovich, M. D., & Ormsbee, M. J. (2016). The effect of six days of dietary nitrate supplementation on performance in trained CrossFit athletes. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition13(1).
  • TURBON, D., & PÉREZ-PÉREZ, A. (1991). Paleodieta y Paleopatología. In Arqueología. Nuevas tendencias (pp. 45–56).

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.