Nutrition for Performance
-- by Nutrition Coach Eric Elliott
When you think about dialing in your nutrition, if you’re like most people, you think about weight loss. People often associate ‘nutrition’ with diets that are going to help shed fat and get them to looking the best version of themselves.
But what about everyone else?
What about those looking to add muscle and/or, increase their performance inside the walls of the gym?
Unlike the needs of those trying to decrease fat, those trying to add muscle or just maintain their size and increase performance need to increase the amount of food they’re eating.
Weight loss is created through eating less and moving more.
The equation for weight gain?
Well, the exact opposite -- move less and eat more.
Any time you’re talking about adding something to the body, be it fat or muscle, you’re talking about needing more nutrients to create that adaptation within the body.
Think of your body like a bank account. If you have the same amount of money coming into the account as you have going out, you end up with a net zero.
If you have more going out than coming in, you end up in the red.
We want to end up in the black.
Plain and simple, we need to have more money coming in than going out to grow.
In food terms, we need to have more food coming in than going out so that the basic amount supports the basic functions of our body while the additional nutrients can be used to build muscle and/or support the recovery process.
If we want to simply increase performance, at minimum we must ensure we are matching the amount of energy (food/calories) going out as we have coming in.
As a starting point, ensuring you’re eating 15-16 times your bodyweight in calories will be a good way to ensure you’re eating enough to fuel your goals.
To some degree, increasing protein intake is important as well. There is a certain limit on how far we can go with this but assessing your current protein intake if muscle/strength gain is your goal, is a priority.
If it’s not at least between 0.8 and 1.2g per pound of body weight, we need to address this first.
When it comes to protein, assuming you’re eating the proper amount, the next thing to focus on is making sure you divide your protein meals evenly throughout the day.
Therefore, eating 5 nutrient packed meals per day will provide the fuel to perform well in your workouts while supplying you with the building blocks you need to recover.
Lastly, to gain muscle, we need to ensure we’re training the right way.
Completing CrossFit workouts are going to be one good way to do that because of the variation in programming including heavy loads & high-repetitions that create a hypertrophic effect of adding muscle.
Doing steady state cardio (ex. a 10km jog), if muscle gain is truly the goal, should be omitted until you can get to your goal.
If you are looking to get bigger, stronger & fitter, shoot us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get you moving in the right direction.
Ps. That direction is a straight line to Gainzville!