Supplements for CrossFit Athletes: Enhancing Performance and Recovery

 

CrossFit, with its high intensity, varied workouts, demands peak physical performance and efficient recovery. While nutrition plays a central role, supplements can complement dietary intake to optimise performance, support recovery, and promote overall well-being for CrossFit athletes. In this blog post, we'll explore the science behind key supplements tailored for CrossFit athletes, highlighting their benefits and practical considerations.

Protein Supplements

Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, making it a cornerstone for athletes, especially those engaged in CrossFit.  Whey protein in particular stands out due to its rapid absorption rate and the fact that it is a complete protein, meaning it contains all essential amino acids that your body needs to function properly. Studies have shown that whey protein can help increase muscle mass, improve muscle strength, and reduce muscle damage after exercise. Protein supplements can offer a practical, time-efficient and convenient method of meeting protein needs if you are time-poor or just don’t have the high-protein foods to hand. This is particularly true for CrossFit athletes who regularly train to a high intensity. Plant-based protein supplements offer alternatives for athletes with dietary restrictions or preferences and Clear Whey provides an alternative to those who struggle with their appetite or are sensitive to high lactose levels. Protein supplements are also very versatile, they can be added to baked goods, smoothies, yogurts, mixed with milk/ water to help you meet your protein targets.

Creatine

Creatine is one of the most researched and effective supplements for enhancing strength, power, and muscle mass. CrossFit athletes can benefit from creatine supplementation, as it supports high-intensity activities like weightlifting and sprinting. By increasing phosphocreatine stores in muscles, creatine aids in the rapid regeneration of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy source for short-duration, high-intensity efforts. The amount of creatine needed to enhance performance, typically ranges from 3-5g per day- which is one small scoop of Kinetica’s creatine.

100% Creatine Monohydrate Powder - Unflavoured 500g - Kinetica Sports

 

Caffeine

For those looking for a competitive edge, supplementing with caffeine has consistently shown to improve exercise performance by decreasing perception of fatigue (things feel easier), increasing speed & power outputs, enhancing concentration and coordination, and improving reaction time. The recommended caffeine dosage is ~2-6 mg/kg of bodyweight 30-60 minutes before your training session/event. Caffeine is usually absorbed within 45 mins & its effects associated with performance typically peak at ~60 minutes. Kinetica’s Prefuel has a total of 94mg of caffeine per serving and comes in watermelon, citrus and berry flavour. All you need to do is mix it with water and consume 30-60 minutes before exercise. Another caffeine option lies within the Caffeine Gels, here you’ll get 105mg of caffeine per sachet alongside some additional carbohydrate to fuel your performance.

Caffeine Gel Cola - 24 x 70g - Kinetica Sports

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil supplements, possess anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in reducing exercise-induced inflammation and promote recovery. Additionally, omega 3's support cardiovascular health and cognitive function, contributing to overall athletic performance and well-being. For CrossFit athletes facing high training volumes and intense workouts, omega-3 supplementation may help manage inflammation and support joint health.

Electrolytes

Electrolyte imbalances can occur during prolonged or intense exercise, leading to dehydration, muscle cramps, and diminished performance. One simple way of maintaining peak performance is staying hydrated. Electrolyte Tablets, containing sodium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride, help replenish lost minerals through sweat and maintain proper fluid balance. CrossFit athletes training in hot environments or engaging in extended workouts can benefit from electrolyte supplementation to support hydration and performance.

Electro-C Single Pack - Kinetica Sports

 

Recovery Powder

After high-intensity, long-duration Crossfit workouts, your glycogen (carbohydrate) stores typically become depleted. Alongside hydration, replenishing your glycogen stores is critical to allow you to recover and perform at a high level consistently. Recovery powder was created with every athlete and active person in mind. Formulated specifically to meet the body's needs for muscle recovery. It contains a mix of carbohydrates and protein in a ratio of 2:1, which is key for replenishing glycogen stores and repairing damaged muscles.

Recovery Powder 1.5kg Orange & Mango Kinetica Sports 

Supplements can play a valuable role in enhancing performance and supporting recovery for CrossFit athletes, but they should complement a well-rounded diet rather than serve as substitutes. By strategically integrating evidence-based supplements into your nutrition plan, you can optimise your performance, support your recovery, and give yourself a competitive edge.

References:

1. Buford, T. W., Kreider, R. B., Stout, J. R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., Ziegenfuss, T., Lopez, H., Landis, J., & Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4, 6. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-4-6

2. Guest, N.S., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Nelson, M.T. et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 18, 1 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-020-00383-4

3. Jouris, K. B., McDaniel, J. L., & Weiss, E. P. (2011). The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on the Inflammatory Response to eccentric strength exercise. Journal of sports science & medicine, 10(3), 432–438.

4. McLellan TM, Caldwell JA, Lieberman HR. A review of caffeine's effects on cognitive, physical and occupational performance. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 71:294-312, 2016

5. Tang JE, Moore DR, Kujbida GW, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM. Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. J Appl Physiol (1985). 107(3):987-92, 2009

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