When you hear the word carb what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Evil? Fattening? Cheat day? When I hear carbs I think recovery, essential, gains and even sleep! There are so many strong opinions surrounding carbohydrates and with any diet and food topics, it’s a jungle out there. What should you believe? Who do you trust? Well one thing I have learned over the years as a competitive athlete is one size certainly doesn’t fit all. You need to find what works for you and unfortunately that means a bit of trial and error. And to confuse things more, what’s considered a low amount of carbohydrate to some may be considered too high for others. At the end of the day it is down to what suits you.
When I first started CrossFit I began eating Paleo. This really didn’t suit me. I gained weight, felt tired and weak, I had a lot of water retention and generally felt and looked terrible. I didn’t know what was wrong or why I was gaining so much weight when I thought I was eating so healthily. I met a nutritionist who after a quick analysis of my diet put me on a high carb diet. I was told to eat lots of starchy carbs and what scared me the most was I had to eat a large amount of carbs just before bedtime. This went against everything I had really believed in before. Anyway, I trusted him and after a few weeks my weight had dropped, my energy levels had gone up and my sleep had massively improved. Now I swear by porridge before bedtime!
As we approach week 3 of the Open this weekend, I am sure a lot of you are starting to feel the effects of having to go hard every week. I haven’t been able to do the Open this year due to a couple of injuries, but having done it last year I know how it can feel. You perhaps aren’t able to fully recover each week, your normal training schedule is disrupted and even your sleep patterns can be affected. So now is as good a time as ever to make sure your diet is on point. Make sure you’re eating not just to fuel your workouts, but to recover as well. Ensure you’re getting a good balance of carbohydrate, protein and fats.
I saw a good article posted the other day and I thought I would share this with you. It explains all about carbohydrates and why they are so good for you, especially when following a high intensity training programme such as CrossFit. Have a read and judge for yourself. But in the meantime, carb up and look after yourselves!