If you’re into CrossFit, then you are all too familiar with the term Workout of the Day or WOD.
Creating a new WOD every day is part of the challenge and thrill of CrossFit, and certainly annihilates any fears of bottoming out or reaching that dreaded training plateau.
CrossFit is a demanding way to work out and this is part of its appeal. It is proving to be one of the most efficient ways to train and the fastest way to elevate your fitness levels. It is widely practiced by people from the police force and military to collegiate and professional teams.
But what about NOD or nutrition of the day?
When you train with this kind of intensity, you need to fuel the machine and follow a strict diet. Providing your body with a frequent flow of nutrition and eating protein with every meal will keep your body fueled and in an anabolic state. This is important for muscle repair and growth.
Working out is only 20% of the equation. The other 80% stems from nutrition.
Many CrossFit practitioners follow The Zone diet, while others have adopted the Paleo Diet. Whatever diet you follow, your nutritional program should mirror your training efforts so you can excel and reach your athletic potential.
I find that eating six to seven well-balanced meals throughout the day is an effective way to stay lean and healthy. Following The Zone’s 30/40/30 protocol of 30% protein, 40% carbs and 30% fats is a good habit to get into when planning your meals.
Opt for lean proteins like chicken and fish and get the bulk of your carbs from fruits and veggies. Whole grains are another healthy carb option, as long as they aren’t over-processed. Fats should always be the healthy kinds of fats you find in fish, nuts and MUFAs like olive oil.
With The Zone diet, you choose your protein, carbs and fats from a list of foods or what is known as blocks and this helps you stay on track.
Sample Zone Meal
- 4 oz chicken breast
- 1 artichoke
- 1 cup steamed vegetables with 24 crushed peanuts
- 1 sliced apple
This is a well-balanced meal that sticks to the 30/40/30 spread – 28 grams of protein, 36 grams of carbs and 12 grams of fat.
There is one more component of nutrition that will help improve your training and that’s timing.
When it comes to nutrition, timing is everything.
Plan your meals around your training, so you are properly fueled before and after you train. For example, make sure you have a post-workout meal in that 45-minute window when your muscles are more receptive to nutrients and will respond readily to a protein and glycogen-rich meal.
Sample Post-Workout Meal
- 4 oz turkey
- ¼ cantaloupe, cubed
- 1 cup strawberries
- ½ cup grapes
- 2 tbsp slivered almonds
Again, this meal follows the 30/40/30 balance with plenty of protein to help repair muscles and enough glycogen to pump up your muscles and energize them.
By putting as much effort into your meal plan as you do your training program, you’ll get better as an athlete and your body will get stronger and more resilient.
Mark A. Samuel
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