If you haven’t heard of CrossFit, you might possibly be living under a rock. CrossFit seems to be everywhere these days! Just in my family alone, my daughter, son and nephew are die-hard CrossFit fanatics, and more and more paleos are checking out what’s going on in their local CrossFit gyms.
But wait, Tina! What is CrossFit?
I’m going to encourage you to research this more yourself (start with some of the resources below), but I get asked about paleo and CrossFit so much that I could not avoid talking about it on my website.
CrossFit is an exercise program, which describes itself as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement” with the goal of improving fitness. The program is practiced in approximately 5,000 affiliated gyms, which are mostly located in the U.S. Many individuals choose to use the company’s daily workouts posted on their website.
CrossFit workouts tend to be shorts (20 minutes or less) and extremely intense. They are comprised of a wide variety of movements including sprinting, rowing, weightlifting, and jumping rope. Equipment is also varied and can include barbells, pull-up bars, kettlebells, and medicine balls. Various movements and pieces of equipment are combined into various combinations of workouts known as “Workouts of the Day” or “WODs” for short.
Paleo and CrossFit
According to LIVESTRONG.com, CrossFit promotes the paleo diet in order to build a “solid molecular foundation” for fitness and health. The paleo diet is a balanced and biologically-appropriate diet that can improve athletic performance without refined and processed carbohydrates. With the complex carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables, the paleo diet promotes proper insulin and hormone levels, which can help improve athletic performance.
The CrossFit Paleo Diet
Just because an athlete is fit doesn’t mean that they’re healthy. The Paleo Diet is a way for athletically-inclined individuals to maximize not only their fitness level but their overall health level. If you’re asking yourself, “What is the paleo diet?” you must check out my page on the paleo diet.
The specific athletic advantages of paleo eating include prevention of illness, injury, and overtraining, as well as improvement of performance.
Paleo diet guidelines can vary, and CrossFit recommends a particular approach to the paleo diet that can enhance your athletic performance ( there are more):
The paleo diet isn’t about limiting caloric intake. It’s about quality rather than quantity. Eat as much as you want of optimal foods, paying particular attention to healthy fats and proteins.
The Zone Approach
Okay, folks. This is a little technical. The “Zone” approach advocates consuming calories from carbohydrates, protein, and fat in a balanced ratio of 40:30:30, respectively.
Protein consumed should range from about 0.7 g to 1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight. For example, a 200-lb. CrossFit athlete will need to consume between 140 g and 200 g of protein.
Carbohydrate intake can increase to as much as 60 percent of total caloric intake when a sporting event or competition is coming, and fat content can range from 20 percent to 25 percent at this time. Certain non-paleo foods such as pasta, bread and rice can be added to the diet during periods of extended recovery from workouts.
Pay attention to nutrient timing: Eat approximately 200 to 300 calories at least two hours before an intense workout or sporting event.
For hydration, water is adequate for CrossFit workouts, and sports drinks can be used during long workouts.
A post-workout recovery drink with carbohydrates and protein should be consumed within 30 minutes of finishing the workout.
I hope this page has been helpful. If you have any questions or suggestions just email me at Tina (at) Paleomazing.com.