When you ask Siri what are the best supplements for CrossFit athletes, you’re going to a get few different answers. Some information is great when other search results will really just give you misinformation. What we’ve done is different. We've compiled a quick and dirty guide for the best supplements for CrossFit athletes to provide a framework for exactly what you need at which stage of your training, to gain a competitive edge in the box. Let’s get started
What Are The Best Supplements For CrossFit Athletes?
Food is always first, that’s a fact, but there are definitely ways to improve performance through supplementation that you just can’t get from food. For example, let’s take a look at Beta-Alanine. Eating 150 g of turkey breast has been shown to provide the equivalent increase in the bioavailability of beta-alanine as an 800-mg supplement. Most of the research showing the ergogenic and performance effects of beta-alanine supplementation has been conducted using dosing strategies ranging from 4-6.4 g per day. That’s a shit ton of turkey.
Beta-alanine is one of the best supplements for CrossFit athletes. The simple reason; it helps buffer lactic acid which results in higher rep volume. More reps, means more strength, better performance, and results. You get the picture.
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Benefits Of Beta-Alanine Include
- Delayed Muscle Fatigue
- Improved Endurance
- Increased Strength
When Should I Take Beta-Alanine?
Beta-alanine is best taken 20-30 minutes pre-workout. Side note, Beta-Alanine is one of the only supplements that needs to be taken consistently and loaded. According to research studies, you need to supplement Beta-Alanine 4-6 weeks before you notice a significant difference in performance outcomes. Also, Beta-Alanine causes what’s called parastesia, or a tingling sensation. When you’re purchasing a beta-alanine supplement, however, look for the brand name CarnoSyn® on the label.
Natural Alternatives International, Inc. is the patent-holder on the manufacturing process by which beta-alanine is made, and this product is the only one protected by use patents. It’s also the only beta-alanine supplement proven to be effective in repeated research trials.
If you don't see CarnoSyn® on the label, don’t buy it! You may instead just be consuming regular L-alanine or something different altogether.
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What’s Kre-alkalyn? Kre-alkalyn is ph corrected creatine monohydrate. Creatine is one of the best, if not the best supplement for increased energy, power output, peak performance, and strength. That being said, normal creatine monohydrate comes with a few negative drawbacks and side effects such as cramping, water retention and bloat.
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Joel Te, from As Many Reviews As Possible says it best, “With Kre-alkalyn, you don’t have to worry about cramping – which I think is the biggest benefit for anyone doing CrossFit. Ever find yourself doing a workout like “Kelly” on a creatine cycle? Cramp-city. Gym-bro’s don’t usually need to worry about cramping as much, but if you’re going high intensity for a ton of reps, for time…cramping mid-workout is the worst thing that can happen. You’re safe with Kre-alkalyn and you get the extra ATP and VO2 max to help you push through said workout.”
Benefits Of Kre-Alkalyn Include
- Increased Power
- Increased Strength
- Improved VO2 Max
When Should I Take Kre-Alkalyn
Unlike all other creatine products, Kre-alkalyn does not have to be loaded or cycled. Take 3g of Kre-Alkalyn 20-30 minutes before your workout, to get the performance benefits.
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Much like Kre-Alkalyn, Citrulline Malate improves aerobic energy through facilitating ATP generation, which improves peak power, strength, and endurance. But unlike every other supplement out there, Citrulline Malate may be the most impressive and the best for CrossFit athletes, due to how many ways it can improve your performance.
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The quick and dirty is that Citrulline Malate increases Nitric Oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is a vasodilator and widens your blood vessels without increasing blood pressure. More vasodilation means better blood flow, oxygen, and nutrient transport, which results in a stack of ergogenic and performance benefits to ramp of your CrossFit game. Additionally, Citrulline Malate increases phosphocreatine levels, improves amino acid utilization, enables protein synthesis, and expels protein waste. Like I said, impressive.
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Benefits Of Citrulline Malate Include
- Improved Endurance
- Optimized Recovery
- Increased Strength
When Should I Take Citrulline Malate?
Stacking Citrulline Malate with Kre-Alkalyn and Beta-Alanine is the absolute best way to go 20-30 minutes before your workout. You’ll notice a significant pump, as more oxygen and blood is being delivered to your muscle tissue. Look for a product that has a 2:1 Citrulline Malate ratio at a minimum of 5g per serving.
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Carbohydrates are crucial for exercise endurance and optimized recovery during high-intensity training like CrossFit. Glycogen, is your bodies main energy source, and is depleted quickly during training. Supplementing with a clean carbohydrate source is important to refuel glycogen stores, in order to workout harder for a prolonged period of time.
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But, be careful. If you’re looking for a good carb supplement they’re hard to find. The problem with the majority of carb supplements is that they are made with modified corn starch, such as maltodextrin, highly-branched cluster dextrin (HBCD), waxy maize, or dextrose, which is really just sugar, or simple carbs. If you’re going to supplement a carb, go with a whole food natural source to get longer lasting complex carbs you need for better performance and recovery.
Benefits Of Carbohydrates Include
- Improved Energy Levels
- Faster Recovery Times
- Better Performance
When Should I Take My Carb Supplement?
If you decide a carb supplement is right for you, I highly recommend Clean Carbs. It’s made with 100% real complex carbohydrate super foods, sweet potatoes, yams, oats and blueberries. Not to mention it tastes like a deliciously rich brown sugar oatmeal breakfast bar.
Whey Protein Isolate
Protein is the most crucial macronutrient to provide you with the essential amino acids you need to build and rebuild lean muscle mass. Not to mention, protein is also crucial for adequate recovery. Without a sufficient amount of protein in your diet, your performance and recovery will undoubtedly suffer. The issue, especially for athletes, is getting enough protein in your diet. That’s where supplementation comes into play.
Whey Protein Isolate is the best type of protein powder, period. It’s the fastest absorbing, cleanest, and the purest form of protein on the market. The only protein source that compares to Whey Isolate is Whey Hydrolysate. Studies prove that Whey Protein Isolate helps you burn more body fat while becoming more anabolic and building lean mass.
Benefits Of Whey Protein Isolate Include
- Increased Strength
- Increase Muscle Mass
- Faster Recovery
When Should I Take Whey Protein Isolate?
You can supplement with protein at any time of the day, to increase your protein intake to help with strength and recovery. However, the best time to take your protein for improved exercise performance can either be before your workout, or immediately after. To learn more about post-workout nutrition and nutrient timing read the related article below.
Krill Oil [Omega-3]
Forget about your fish oil. Krill Oil is a far superior source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can aid in joint mobility, brain health, heart health, and reduce inflammation. Krill Oil also contains the world’s most powerful antioxidant Astaxanthin, which helps reduce free radical damage and inflammation.
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Benefits Of Krill Oil Include
- Better Bioavailability than Fish Oil
- Supports Heart Health
- Improves Joint Mobility
- Decreases Joint Pain
- Reduces Inflammation
- Improves Brain Health
When Should I Take Krill Oil
Supplement with 500mg of Krill Oil daily. This will help ensure healthy joints and improved mobility. Considering all the heavy Olympic movements and gymnastics in CrossFit, supplementing with a once-daily Omega-3 is highly recommended to reduce post-workout joint pain and inflammation.
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Sleep is an often overlooked and crucial aspect to your athletic performance. Without an adequate amount of high-quality rest and uninterrupted sleep, your performance will suffer. Zinc, Magnesium, and Vitamin B6 (ZMA) is a powerful combination of macro minerals that have been proven to aid in sleep. Sleep is also crucial, since the timing, length, and quality of sleep influences cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol can lead to increased physical exhaustion, fatigue, disrupt hormonal patterns, and increase body fat. Therefore, supplementing a high-quality ZMA into your regimen is highly recommended. I personally recommend Swolverine’s ZMT since it also includes key active ingredients to help with the muscle rebuilding process, vitality, and hormonal balance such as Rhodiola Rosea, Fungreek, DIM, and Tongkat Ali.
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Benefits Of ZMT Include
- Better Quality Sleep
- Increased Testosterone Levels
- Hormonal Balance
- Reduced Stress
- Increased Sex Drive
- Increased Strength
When Should I Take ZMT?
Take 2 capsules of ZMT 45 minutes before sleep, to ensure high quality and restful sleep.
Your digestive system is filled with over 40 trillion microbes, collectively known as your gut microbiota. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can provide a huge benefit to your digestive health and bolster immune system health by enhancing the integrity of the intestinal barrier.
Probiotics also help turn your nutrients into fuel, aiding in the digestive process and nutrient absorption. It’s important for CrossFit athletes to supplement with probiotics, to ensure adequate nutrient absorption and immune system function. Regularly engaging in high-intensity training and exercise weakens your immune system and increases your exposure to bacteria and microbes, leaving you susceptible to getting sick. If you’re a competitive athlete, the last thing you want, is to get sick.
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Benefits Of Probiotics Include
- Digestive Health
- Brain Health
- Immune System Support
When Should I Take Probiotics
Supplement with Probiotix daily, to ensure healthy immune and digestive support. I suggest an advanced probiotic with at least 5 billion organisms.
The Best Supplements For CrossFit Athletes
Numerous clinical studies have proven that the nutritional supplements listed above can help improve overall health and athletic performance. If you want to increase your competitiveness in the box, then adding these to your diet and workout plan, will you reach your goals.
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