Many people set fitness-related resolutions around the New Year, and a lot of those people will find their way to the local CrossFit gym with an abundance of motivation and a passion to improve. They will initially get pumped for every workout they go into because of the excitement that comes with getting stronger, faster, leaner, and better overall.
One aspect that is also addressed is nutrition. What you eat matters even more than how you train. The problem is that most of those fitness rookies don’t take this seriously enough. As a result, they don’t see results and lose that passion that was there on January 1.
If you want 2020 to be the year you reach the next level of personal fitness success, then Kari Pearce is here to help you make those goals your new reality. Pearce is a gymnastics coach as well as a five-time CrossFit Games athlete. She has earned the title of “Fittest American Woman” multiple times. She most recently was the top American female athlete in the CrossFit Open.
She not only trains like a beast, but she also knows how to eat accordingly. So the four suggestions she shares here can and will benefit you next year and beyond should you decide to implement them into your 2020 strategy.
Pearce’s tips here are great starting points in helping you develop your own plan, but make sure you not only speak to a medical professional before starting a nutrition program but also consult a local coach or nutritionist so you can create your individual plan of action that will best suit your needs going forward.
1. Keep it clean
Eating for health isn’t only about eating fewer calories. As a matter of fact, what you eat should be priority No. 1 at the beginning of your process because the food choices you make serve as the fuel for your training. Lean meats, produce, and healthier options matter a lot. Knowing what not to have is key, too.
“Avoiding processed foods will make you feel better and give you more energy for your CrossFit workouts.”
2. Pre-Game Meal
You might see professional athletes stretching and loosening up before a game starts, but what you don’t see is that they have to eat a sufficient meal either before they arrive at the stadium or in the locker room. You should consider your pre-training meal just as important for what you do.
“Make sure you eat a meal two to three hours before training. This will ensure you have energy for your workouts but also enough time to digest your food.”
3. Protein for the Win
“Get enough protein. You will be strengthening your muscles so you want to make sure you are giving them what they need to recover.”
Proteins are made up of amino acids which play a big role in your muscular recovery and development. One gram of protein has four calories, and each one is vital.
To make sure you know you have enough, make eating protein the initial focus. Eating it first in your meal not only supports your digestive system but can also help you keep your blood sugar regulated. Also, if you eat everything else first, you might get full before you finish. Eating the protein first maximizes the odds that you get enough of what you need.
4. Nothing Beats Water
Your body is made up of water. It’s 75 percent of your brain, 65 percent of your muscles, and being even slightly dehydrated can affect your performance in the gym or at the event you’re competing in. Sports drinks and supplements are OK to have too, but it shouldn’t replace water. Pearce really advocates this.
“Drink plenty of water throughout the day. CrossFit is intense and you will be sweating a lot during your workout so ensure you are properly hydrated by carrying a water bottle with you.”
Roger Lockridge is from Lewisburg, WV. His work has been featured on numerous platforms and magazines in the fitness industry over the last 10 years. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @rocklockridge.