CrossFit trainer E.C. Synkowski offers practical nutrition information to help with day-to-day choices. At CrossFit Hingham, she talks to a group of CrossFitters about macronutrients, micronutrients, nutrient density and nutrient synergy.
“Food is our fuel for metabolism,” she explains. “Metabolism is all the chemical processes that go on necessary to maintain life, also to produce energy, to do CrossFit.”
When it comes to making choices about what to eat and what to avoid, she says it comes down to two questions: Where are you relative to where you want to be? How much are we talking about?
“Are you lean? Are you fit? Are you healthy? That’s going to tell us … are you … in excess already or are you at levels that are supporting exercise?” she says. “The quantity is always going to matter to some degree.”
Common CrossFit Nutrition
What are macronutrients?
Macronutrients are the primary building blocks of your diet – protein, carbohydrates, and fat – which provide your body with energy. Protein provides the building blocks of the body, and not just for muscle. Every cell, from bone to skin to hair, contains protein. Carbohydrates fuel your body, especially your central nervous system, and brain, and protect against disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. Keep in mind that the type of carb you eat matters. Go for whole-grain, low glycemic carbs, legumes, fiber-rich vegetables, etc. And finally, healthy fats support many of your body’s functions such as vitamin and mineral absorption, blood clotting, building cells, and muscle movement.
The zone diet is often considered to be the best CrossFit nutrition model for optimal performance. This diet uses blocks. A block meal is a simplified unit for measuring the 3 macronutrients in your food (protein, carbohydrates, and fats). With the right balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, you can control three major hormones generated by the human diet – insulin, glucagon and eicosanoids. In the zone diet, one block meal equals 7 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbohydrates, and 1.5 grams of fats. Learn more about how the zone diet works and how what a block meal looks like here.
The paleo diet is simple if the caveman didn’t eat it, neither should you. When you’re following the paleo diet, you basically can eat foods that we could hunt and gather back in the day – foods like meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. This means no process foods like pasta, bread, cereal, candy, etc. Instead of counting calories, macronutrients, and partitioning out a block meal like the zone diet, you just focus on eating the right foods. For some crossfitters, this a simple way to stay on top of their CrossFit nutrition. Learn more about the paleo diet and what foods you can and can’t eat at here.