Fatigue in CrossFit: Are You Eating Enough?

4th November 2019
CrossFit took the world by storm and the popularity continues to grow each day. But CrossFit is extremely demanding, so participants need to prepare adequately. For example, a healthy diet is essential.

The right diet is crucial in a healthy lifestyle and seeing improvement in workouts. This is especially true for high-intensity workouts where the body turns to glucose for fuel. A lacking diet is almost always the cause of poor performance and fatigue in CrossFit.

Just as you need fuel to start a vehicle, you need to give your body energy to get going. And your body really needs energy if you do high-intensity workouts.

Reducing their carbohydrate intake to nearly zero grams is a common mistake among people who strive to live a healthier lifestyle. Consequently, muscle fatigue increases.

The extreme lengths of overworking the body translate into not only reduced capacity but an increased risk of suffering muscle or bone injuries as well. In addition, people who lack a healthy diet can also suffer from severe imbalances and feel dizzy or faint as a result.

A healthy diet is key for preventing fatigue in CrossFit

CrossFit is a high-intensity workout. It combines different exercises together in an intense session that demands a lot physically from the body.

The routines combine strength exercises with other challenging disciplines and the result is a complete body workout. That’s precisely the reason why CrossFit delivers such great results; it burns calories, tones and increases muscle mass.

But the key to a good session is having glycogen reserves, which mainly come from carbohydrates. Generally speaking, carbohydrates give the body the energy that it needs to work– especially the nervous system. The nervous system plays a crucial role in helping the body run smoothly.

If you want to increase muscle mass, you need glucose in order to be able to do the exercises correctly without hurting yourself. Without enough glucose, your body goes into emergency mode and your body struggles to respond to situations appropriately.

fatigue crossfit nutrition

Carbohydrates help sharpen your attention, concentration and motor coordination, allowing you to progress in your workouts. Just make sure to avoid the fats that come high glycemic index sources, which are often highly-processed foods such as refined flours or sugars.

Staying hydrated is essential

In order to see physical progress, you have to know how your body works on the inside. Imbalance can cause problems that negatively affect your body internally— especially when it’s a hydration problem.

You should drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Keeping your body hydrated will maintain optimal temperatures in addition to healthy organs and the right blood consistency. When everything in your body is in order, you can avoid injuries and heart-related problems.

When you do high-intensity exercises, your body needs more hydration to keep up with the pace. Thus drinking water helps reduce the sensation of muscle fatigue during CrossFit workouts.

While water is the best source of hydration around, other sources can keep you hydrated as well in addition to providing you with lost vitamins and minerals. Some examples are green juices, fruit and vegetable shakes, milk and soups.

Proteins can’t be missing from your diet

When you consume proteins, your body rebuilds muscle. In addition, consuming proteins also helps your body create insulin. High-intensity workouts often wear and tear muscle tissue. But by eating lean protein, you can make sure that your body has what it needs to repair the affected areas, which will help you grow stronger and avoid injuries.

However, keep in mind that consuming an excess of protein means pushing your kidneys and liver to work overtime. Overworking these organs can lead to serious health problems. In some extreme cases, the problems can be so severe that you won’t be able to continue exercising.

fatigue crossfit protein

So, what should you eat if you want to reduce fatigue during CrossFit?

Following a Paleolithic diet is a great way to prevent fatigue during your CrossFit workouts. The Paleo diet is rich in proteins while containing no trace of highly-processed food products nor refined sugars.

The name comes from the pre-historic period that inspired the diet. Long, long ago, people ate the meat from the animals that they hunted along with seeds and fruits that they could find.

But the Paleo diet is by no means the perfect diet that can suit everyone. Every individual should consult a nutritionist to meet their needs in the way that best suits him or her.

  • Guía de entrenamiento en Crossfit. Extraído de: http://files.lesionesoutdoor.webnode.es/200000148-29231299f1/Gu%C3%ADa%20de%20entrenamiento%20de%20Cross%20Fit.pdf
  • Gorka Salvatierra Cayetano. 2014. Nuevo fenómeno: el Crossfit. Extraído de: https://buleria.unileon.es/bitstream/handle/10612/4185/8_SALVATIERRA_CAYETANO_GORKA_DICIEMBRE_2014.pdf?sequence=1