Sunday, February 28, 2010
Yesterdays post helped show you why the Paleo diet and lifestyle is the one to adopt. However, today we are going to focus a little more on why we are at CFNE, for results. We all are here to make something happen. Maybe you’re here because you want to lose some body fat or to gain some strength. Maybe its because you want to just get healthy and know that you are doing well by your body. Whatever that reason may be, your performance during the WOD’s will show you if you are getting anywhere. Along with living a Paleo lifestyle there is something else that you can do to help improve your performance and see great results. For some, it requires a step back from the traditional Paleo foods, for others it doesn’t but the choice is yours. We are talking about your Post WOD (post workout) nutrition. During a workout you are not getting any closer toward your goal or result. You are actually taking a step back! You are breaking down your muscles and taxing your body (WHICH IS GOOD!) and then you going to rebuild it…better, faster, stronger. If you do a good job of refueling the machine (your body) then you will see better results, improved recovery, increased strength and a whole host of other great benefits. There are two ways in which we think to refuel. The first and one that we recommend, is taking a step away from Paleo. The recommendation for your Post WOD meal is a Whey Protein shake and depending on your goal (fat loss, increasing strength/muscle) and duration of the workout, Sweet Potatoes. The other way to refuel after a WOD is by staying Paleo and consuming a protein source (chicken, beef, tuna, eggs) and a fast and denser source of carbohydrate. Lets take a look at both options.
Option 1: Whey Protein and Sweet Potatoes
Whey protein is taken from dairy, making it not Paleo. However, having a shake with whey in it is the fastest way to get nutrients into your body and muscles and start the rebuilding and recovery process. Many of you have seen members and coaches after a workout run over to the water machine and to the front desk and start shaking those cups and chugging whatever is in them. Those are protein shakes. There are different flavors and brands but if you have questions about what to get ask one of the coaches and we can help you. The second part to our post workout meal is the sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are different from regular potatoes in that they are much more nutrient dense and not actually potatoes, they are Convolvulacae better known as the morning glory family. Sweet potatoes help replenish glycogen (energy) stores. Generally speaking, shorter duration workouts do not deplete glycogen stores and sweet potatoes are not necessary for individuals with higher body fat. After a longer workout however, they are the best source of quick glycogen replenishing nutrient dense food that you can get. Depending on how much body fat the athlete has, sweet potatoes may not be needed for every workout, but protein is a must.
Option 2: Protein source (chicken, eggs, beef, tuna) and fruit
There is one major issue with whole food sources being consumed post WOD. We are trying to get nutrients into our bodies as fast as possible and when consuming whole food, the body must work harder to break down the food. Many people have allergies to dairy (Whey) and choose whole food, which is still very good. As with Option 1, protein is a must after a workout so when choosing a protein source, make it a lean protein so that the body can break the protein down and not have to take more time with the fat. As for a carbohydrate source, fruit would be the other option. The issue with fruit is that when fruit is consumed in order for the body to use and store the energy from it (calories and sugars) it must break down the fructose (the type of sugar that is in fruit) into glucose to be digested. The glucose is then stored as glycogen if the previous stores have been depleted. So that extra time of converting the fructose into the glucose and glycogen is time being wasted to get nutrients packed away. An athlete could choose to use whole food protein sources and then sweet potatoes.
Whether it is a whole food source or a liquid source, the post workout meal is essential to improved performance and health. The topic of post workout nutrition has been widely discussed and each time the final conclusion is that a post workout meal is essential for the CrossFit athlete.