CrossFit is one of the most challenging sports or physical events on the planet, combining a mixture of many training disciplines and utilizing every energy system in one grueling workout.
For many CrossFitters, the addition of a few research-proven supplements can have tremendous effects on their results. By improving aspects of performance such as strength, endurance, aerobic fitness, and energy capacity, your WOD scores will soar.
Keep reading for an overview of four of the most beneficial supplements to include, along with how they work and how to implement them for maximum CrossFit performance benefits.
An Overview of Supplement Types
There are several different supplement categories of interest to a CrossFitter, including:
Proteins are the building blocks within our muscle and are key for muscle growth, recovery, strength adaptations, and even fat loss. The majority of our protein needs can be obtained from foods such as meat, fish and eggs; however, protein supplementation is often utilized by athletes involved in CrossFit.
Not only is protein supplementation convenient, it is often lower in cost and free from fat or carbs. This can help you to easily increase your total daily protein intake without eating too many calories and storing body fat.
There are numerous types of proteins, all with different benefits and amino acid profiles. The key protein sources for a CrossFitter would include:
A fast-digesting protein consisting of the key amino acids and BCAAs such as leucine.
A slower-digesting protein that provides your muscles with amino acids over 6-8 hours, making it a perfect choice before bed or if you’re going long periods without food.
The purest form of protein which is already broken down and contains three of the essential amino acids needed in high doses by athletes such as CrossFitters.
2. Blended Supplements/Pre-Workouts
Blended supplements take several ingredients and combine them into a complete solution. This is extremely convenient and useful for the consumer, ensuring they’re getting what they need, in the right dosage, without having to use numerous products.
The most common blend is a pre-workout, which utilizes several ingredients for different purposes. Many other blends have been created, including post-workout solutions, fat burners, and green powders.
3. Fat Burners
Fat burners are either single or multiple ingredients that can enhance fat loss by boosting your metabolism, helping you utilize more fat for fuel, or reduce your appetite which lowers total daily energy intake. The goal of a specific fat burner is dependent on the brand and ingredients included.
For a CrossFitter, fat burners may be useful as the sport relies heavily on bodyweight to strength ratios. To prepare for a competition, an athlete will want to be in the best shape possible, and carrying extra body fat can hinder your performance. One of the simplest ways to eradicate this is to shred body fat that doesn’t provide any athletic benefit and is basically ‘dead weight’ for a crossfitter.
4. Other Amino Acid Variations
Along with the basics such as BCAAs and Leucine, there are other important amino acids or amino acid-like molecules that can be important for a CrossFitter. These include but are not limited to:
Combined, these ingredients have dozens of benefits for a CrossFit athlete, including enhanced strength, muscular endurance, sprint performance, energy, nutrient delivery, and reduced fatigue.
Why You Need Supplements
Most people say you don’t need supplements, which is true—if you aren’t concerned with maximizing your performance.
However, for most CrossFitters, that extra push can make a big difference to their WOD, overall training results, and most importantly, be the difference between 1st place and 10th place in a competition.
For any athlete, supplements are important as they support and maximize the results you get from all your hours of hard work in the gym and your dietary regime. Athletes put extreme stress on their body, and can benefit from any added nutrient support to keep their body performing at the level they require.
Specifically, for CrossFit, here are the supplements we feel should be non-negotiable, along with a brief overview of their benefits:
Protein: As mentioned, it plays a role in recovery and supporting muscle growth and strength adaptations. CrossFit is a strenuous sport and its athletes require optimal recovery, especially when hitting the same muscle groups back to back without rest days in between. Whey protein is best timed around the workout, as part of your pre- and post-workout meals. Casein can be also effective before bed to enhance recovery and fuel your muscles overnight.
Pre-Workout: A well-made pre-workout is a no brainer for a CrossFitter. As CrossFit requires both aerobic and anaerobic fitness, a high-quality pre-workout can enhance both, helping you run faster, improve pull up performance, strength on the powerful lifts, reduce fatigue, and then increase your ability to recover after the workout.
Fat Burners: While fat burners are only useful alongside a good diet and exercise regime, this isn’t usually an issue for the dedicated CrossFitter, they’ve got both aspects in place. Therefore, a fat burner can help you shred the last few percent of body fat, which can yield drastic improvements in performance, especially bodyweight dependent exercises such as sprints, push-ups, and pull-ups.
If you’re ready to take your performance to the next level, then here is an example CrossFitter stack using KAGED’s premium grade and banned substance-free product range.
PRE-KAGED: A leading pre-workout supplement that contains all of the essential amino acids and ingredients discussed above, including beta-alanine, creatine, BCAAs, leucine, citrulline, and betaine. Combined, dozens of studies have shown these ingredients can enhance numerous aspects of performance. Take one scoop 30 - 45 minutes before your workout with 16-20oz water.
CLEAN BURN: A powerful fat burner, Clean Burn contains several patented ingredients that are thoroughly researched and proven to help with fat loss. By boosting your metabolism, reducing your cravings, and helping you burn more fatty acids during exercise, your ability to lose fat is enhanced. Take three servings daily with meals; you can also add in PurCaf Organic Caffeine, if you want extra energy around your training session, and to further boost fat loss.
RE-KAGED: The perfect post-workout protein solution. Not only does it provide fast-digesting protein, Re-Kaged goes one step further and offers other key nutrients such as glutamine and creatine to improve recovery. Take one scoop immediately after your workout.