At CrossFit Forte, our philosophy on nutrition can be boiled down to three succinct words: eat real food. That is our prescribed route we advise everyone to follow when it comes to diet. The paleo diet is an excellent template for this. Of what does real food and the paleo diet consist? The founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, pretty much nailed it on the head: eat meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar.
A Guide to health and wellness:
“Eat meats and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.”
-Greg Glassman, CrossFit CEO
The simplicity of the diet blends optimum performance and health. We can’t say it any simpler than this.
Eat with abandon: meat, fowl, fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables, roots, tubers, bulbs, herbs and spices as well as animal fats, olives & olive oil, avocados, and coconut (meat, oil, flour) and dairy*.
*Dairy is a gray area, while it is a powerful tool in the strength and weight gain category you have to be smart. Individuals with autoimmune disease should avoid dairy products of any kind. For those without autoimmune diseases, dairy from grass-fed animals is permissible, with raw dairy being ideal. Dairy from grain-fed animals will not have an ideal omega 3 profile. Heavy cream, butter, and ghee should not be problematic. Occasional consumption of fermented dairy options such as raw cheese and greek yogurt is acceptable. Experiment with milk but eliminate it if it is found to be problematic.
**Pasteurized whole milk from grain-fed cows treated with rBGH offers an increased anabolic environment for the consumer.
Limit: nuts, seeds, and fruit.
Better choices in the nut category include macadamias, cashews, and hazelnuts. Almonds aren’t terrible. Seeds are generally rich sources of linoleic acid because they can be eaten in large quantities (the serving sizes are typically in the tablespoon to 1/4 cup range and can be misleading). Sunflower and sesame seeds are a terrible choices in the seed category. Soaking nuts prior to consumption is recommended but not necessary.
Reduce the serving size if you are going to pick a fruit that has a high metabolic fructose content.
Avoid: Cereal grains including: all varieties of wheat (spelt, einkorn, emmer, durum), barley, rye, triticale, corn (maize), wild/brown rice, sorghum, millet, fonio, and teff and legumes.
Grain-like substances or pseudocereals including: Amaranth, Breadnut, Buckwheat, Cattail, Chia, Cockscomb, Kañiwa, Pitseed Goosefoot, Quinoa, and Wattleseed (aka aacacia seed). Pseudocereals are the seeds of broad leaf plants whereas grains are the seeds of grasses.
The goal is to consume at least 1 gram of protein per lb. of body weight. The way to maximize muscle growth is to provide the body with adequate protein for growth and recovery, hormonal control for better body composition…and improved growth and recovery!
One gallon of whole Milk contains 2400 calories. This is an excellent source of proteins, carbohydrates and fat. Dense calorie sources are a must, like whole milk and meats.
There is growth potential beyond calories by consuming whole milk. Increased IGF, hGH, insulin, testosterone come from drinking whole milk. These are all potent growth promoters. Whey Protein acts similar to milk. It is a fast acting protein and a good supplement when trying to achieve 1 gram of protein per lb. of bodyweight.
For most Football players there is no calorie restriction. 4 to 6 meals per day is the goal.
Post workout or practice meals should contain proteins and carbohydrates. Whole milk and whey protein are ideal and a non-insulin mediated glucose transport takes place. So take advantage of growth and recovery potential post-workout by making sure to eat a protein and carbohydrate meal with 1 hour of working out.
A performance based nutritional approach is critical for success on the field and long-term health. Making progress on the field and in the weight room starts with proper nutrition. The key to gaining muscle, increased strength, and overall health come from paying attention to what you put in your body. The problem most people, athletes included, have is that the popular nutritional culture in this country is far from ideal. We have 16-year-old kids weighing over 300 lbs. because they believe this gives them a chance to attain a scholarship or play on Sundays. This is not a path to the NCAA or NFL; it is a path to obesity and illness. Being overweight is a problem and it doesn’t matter if the athlete is a football player or not. Eating everything to put on size is not the answer. Don’t power down junk food just to gain size, because the size you will gain isn’t good weight. It is fat; it’s useless, it will slow you down on the field, and will decrease performance and overall health
Although, absolute size and strength are vital, better body composition means a more powerful athlete.Recovery and muscle gains cannot happen with poor nutrition.
The eating habits we establish remain with us throughout life. It is very hard to eat one way while playing football and expect to change the diet after a football career is over. Good habits are formed while the discipline of training hard develops too.
Remember: what you don’t know can hurt you. In this country the American Dietetics Association recommends a high-carb, low fat, grain-based diet. This is a pro-inflammatory diet, counterproductive for muscle growth, recovery and performance.
Grains cause stomach problems for some people and play havoc on your body’s chemistry. Removing gluten improves digestion and improves recovery.
We are finding that a Junk Food diet causes even more problems than the ADA Diet. This is where an athlete consumes garbage calories with no nutritive value. This leads to decreased performance and excess body fat.
For more information read the following information:
– John Welbourne, CrossFit Football