CrossFit is a form of functional training focused on high intensity, varied movements that really test your individual capacity. The training method has gained widespread popularity for being one of the most demanding and effective on the market, with CrossFit devotees increasing by droves every year. There's even a professional CrossFit Games annually televised to a mass audience.
A mix of gymnastics, weightlifting and HIIT cardio populates CrossFit workouts, challenging your endurance, strength and ability to recover. While your body gradually builds a certain threshold for pain, and factors like strength improve with working out regularly, supplements should always be used to aid recovery and enhance your abilities. There are no shortcuts in CrossFit, but the right supplements can ease your journey, and even help you get there faster.
Photo credit: nerdfitness
TO IMPROVE STRENGTH — CREATINE
As probably the most tried and tested performance supplement, creatine is renowned for being able to boost explosive strength, and increase energy. Since all CrossFit workouts function at a high intensity, taking creatine will help you fulfil your targets and power your body. Start off with 15g per day for 5 to 7 days if you're intending to gain muscle stores, and taper off to 5g for maintenance to reap the best results.
TO REDUCE FATIGUE — BETA-ALANINE
During hardcore training, especially with compound movements, your body tends to accumulate hydrogen ions, which turns your muscles acidic. This leads to burn and fatigue, putting a damper on your performance. With beta-alanine, your body is able to produce carnosine, a defence against the onslaught of fatigue and pain. Rarely found as a standalone supplement, Beta-Alanine is an ingredient in most pre-workout formulas on the market. If you're training daily, Beta-alanine should be taken in 28-day cycles, with 3 grams a day. Ideally, take it at least half an hour prior to working out.
TO AID RECOVERY — FISH OIL
There's nothing worse than aches in your muscles that hamper you hitting the gym for your next training session. Recovery supplements are essential to any dedicated CrossFitter, and fish oil ranks at the top of the list. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil helps reduce muscle soreness, ensuring that you'll still feel alright even after a brutal workout. Fish oil is best taken in the morning, one capsule with breakfast.
TO REPAIR MUSCLES — BCAAs
When you work out, you tend to cause damage to your muscles, which causes soreness and pain. BCAAs, or branched chain amino acids, act as a regulator for muscle damage, reducing how far your muscles are impacted by strenuous activity. Consuming BCAAs before and during a workout will also ensure your muscles repair faster, easing up on the physical stress your body undergoes. 6-10 grams before your workout is ideal, or you could split half a dosage prior to hitting the training room, and the other half at intermittent periods during the workout.
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- March 10, 2017
- Beatrice Bowers