Why are supplements necessary in CrossFit?
Everyone is different, but the demands of CrossFit pushes everyone’s bodies to the limit – especially if you give it your all. CrossFit has extended periods of high-intensity exercise, high impact explosivity, and movement of heavy loads, and so attacks the body from all angles. You don’t just feel it physically, it hits you hard mentally too! Eating good food and making sure your nutrition is sound should be the top priority. Supplements like multi-vitamins should be used to fill the gaps in your macronutrients).
With so much misinformation and products out there, I thought it would be useful to share with you my multi-vitamin stack.
My Everyday Multi- Vitamin Stack
Some people take 10+ tablets a day for their vitamins, but for me to save time, I like to take just one a day or maximum of one tablet in a morning and one at night. With only taking one, it’s important to ensure that one tablet has all the vitamins you’ll require such as the CNP Pro Vital + which is designed to conquer any deficiencies and ensure you get all those micro-nutrients in.
Taking a multi-vitamin should not be a solution to not consuming adequate amounts of vitamin-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. Instead, vitamin tablets should be swallowed to add to your consumption on the days where you may have unintendedly fallen short or there’s been unexpected changes to your daily routine. However, that said I am guilty of taking one every day just in case. But I could probably plan ahead and save money not taking one, on the days I have full control of my routine.
It’s important to know what you’re looking for with so many vitamins and minerals included as part of a ‘multi’-vitamin. CNP Pro Vital + provides me with all the support I need, but here’s what I look out for…
B-Vitamins increase energy production and help improve our mood. They help us detoxify which is what we need after exercise. The process of building and repairing muscle depletes our B-Vitamins, so if you’re going to work, working out, lifting heavy or damaging your muscle tissue, you need to take extra B-Vitamins to help the rebuilding process because you are burning through them at an alarming rate. These are the vitamins which make your urine yellow! So don’t be alarmed, but the more yellow/orange your urine the less you actually needed to absorb.
Your body does not naturally produce the Vitamin C it needs, but it’s important you get it from food or supplements. Vitamin C; helps the body produce collagen, L-carnitine, and some neurotransmitters, acts as an antioxidant, helps the body absorb iron, boosts the immune system and it also enhances wound healing. Fruits are the most significant contributor of Vitamin C. The fruits contain fructose – thereby allowing your body to absorb the nutrient by complexing to the carbs. During and post-workout are the optimal times to take Vitamin C.
With our busy 21st century lifestyles of working in indoors or offices, we do not receive a sufficient amount of sunlight to produce the required levels of vitamin D. Overall, vitamin D is a key component to reduce inflammation, better your respiratory health and improve your mood. As people and athletes, we could definitely benefit from those factors to improve our lives and lifts. Vitamin D also helps us sleep better, as it allows the brain to release melatonin, letting us know it’s time to rest. Try to take vitamin D approximately an hour before bedtime.
Omega 3 Fish Oil
Omega 3 fats are one of the most popular supplements that I see people supplement and it’s easy to see why. When it comes to building strength/ muscle mass and improving all-around performance, recovery is just as important—and fish oil is great at this. I’d recommend the Pro Omega+ as the omega-3 fatty acids help massively in the recovery process.
The two essential fatty acids found in fish oil, EPA and DHA have been found to help reduce muscle soreness and speed up the recovery process. With this, it’s a ‘no brainer’ to include it within a CrossFitters supplement stack. The main benefits of Omega 3s have been found to include:
- Maintaining a healthy heart
- Powerful anti-inflammatory properties
- Improved brain health and function
- Exercise recovery
- Muscle protein synthesis
Magnesium is key as it manages the contraction and relaxation of your muscles, helps regulate your heart, plays an important role in energy production and reduces blood pressure. Although often overlooked, it is an important supplement for everyone, but especially for the everyday athlete. It’s the most common mineral you may be deficient in, which could be improved with supplementation. Ideally, you should take magnesium before bed to aid your recovery process.
If you don’t already take a multivitamin which includes all of the above, I would suggest adding one to your morning or nightly routine. You’ll be surprised by how much difference it can make to your energy levels and mood and recovery.
Health is wealth and without the right amounts of all of the vitamins and minerals mentioned above you may fall ill or leave yourself open to becoming ill more easily. You cannot buy health, but you can do the little things right to put the odds in your favour. If you have a busy lifestyle of work and training like me, I would advise ensuring supplementing your vitamins. This way you don’t need to worry about ensuring you attain all of those micronutrients in your diet.
Author: Joe Taylor