It’s unfortunate that we live in a society that is overfed, yet undernourished. The fact of the matter is that we just don’t get enough of the vital vitamins and minerals from the foods we eat, to adequately function and operate at an optimal level. So what vitamins should you take, so that you ensure you’re getting the critical nutrients you need to live a healthy well-balanced life and compete at an elite level? Below you’ll find our recommendations for the best vitamins and minerals every crossfitter should be taking.
It Takes A Personalized Approach
It’s important to remember, that there is no cookie cutter method to what vitamins you should take. Everyone is different with unique nutritional needs. Taking a customized approach to your nutrition and supplementation, is dependent upon dietary choices, genetics, food availability, and lifestyle. If you’re a vegan, it’s important to supplement with adequate levels of protein. On the contrary, if you have a high fat, high protein diet, it’s crucial to supplement with essential vitamins and nutrients you’re most likely missing out on.
If you truly want to optimize your potential, it’s important to know what your diet consists of and how to bridge dietary gaps in your nutrition. (READ MORE about how to create a food journal to keep track of your nutritional needs). However, we’ve researched the most important vitamins everyone should include in their diet, in order to feel great and obtain optimal health.
What Vitamins And Minerals Should I Take For CrossFit?
The typical American diet is loaded with an Omega Imbalance, high in Omega-6 and Omega-9, yet severely deficient in Omega-3. Maintaining an optimal balance of Omega fatty acids is critical in obtaining optimal health. Omega-6 fatty acids are present in highly processed foods and foods cooked with vegetable oils, which have a severe impact on your health. It’s important to maintain a balance of Omegas with foods such as avocados, walnuts, and fatty fish like salmon or tuna. And on the days when you’re just too busy to cook Salmon for dinner, or too tired from your WOD, then relying upon a high-quality Omega supplement, such as Krill Oil, is vital to maintaining optimal Omega balance. Additionally, it will help with post workout joint pain and inflammation. Diets with a higher ratio of Omega 6 and 9 are more prone to chronic illness and disease and added chronic inflammation. Krill Oil is the best Omega 3 supplement, since it’s based upon phospholipids, making it more readily available for your body to utilize, (absorbed within 2-3 hours) as opposed to Fish Oil (absorbed within 24-48 hours) which is structured with Triglycerides. (READ MORE on the differences between Krill Oil Vs Fish Oil) Krill Oil also contains the worlds most potent antioxidant Astaxanthin, which helps with oxidative stress and inflammation. Supplementing with a high-quality Omega is not only important for overall health and wellness, it’s important for your recovery.
A diverse diet is crucial in obtaining optimal and recommended values of Zinc. Zinc plays a role in many biological functions, most notably the immune system, wound healing, and cell division. While zinc plays a well-versed role when it comes to metabolic function, zinc deficiency can cause severe stress to your immune health. As an athlete, training under intense physical stress compromises your immune system making you more susceptible to illness. Therefore, Zinc plays a vital role in your overall health and well being.
Zinc is widely available through the foods you eat, however, it’s more bioavailable through animal products than plant foods. Read meat, Oysters, Lamb, and Beef offer the highest concentrations of Zinc, while dairy, vegetables, and poultry also make contributions. Eating a varied diet containing lean meats, fish, eggs, fruit, and nuts will provide an adequate amount of Zinc. If you’re still falling short, then we recommend supplementing with ZMT
Often referred to as the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ and for good reason, Vitamin D is a critical component of your diet. More difficult than other vitamins and nutrients to obtain from your diet alone, Vitamin D plays a substantial role in bone metabolism and helping you absorb calcium. Your skin synthesizes Vitamin D after exposure to sunlight. Besides bone health, Vitamin D regulates a host of different biological functions such as inhibition of cellular proliferation, inducing terminal differentiation, and stimulating insulin production. Without a sufficient amount of Vitamin D, only 10–15% of dietary calcium and about 60% of phosphorus are absorbed. But, do you really need a Vitamin D supplement? That depends. If you have adequate exposure to sunlight, then the answer is probably no. If you live in the pacific northwest, then it’s a different story. Vitamin D is quite hard to find in naturally occurring food sources, and if you don’t have a fair amount of sun exposure, you could be part of the estimated 1 billion or 50% of the world population, that is Vitamin D deficient.
(READ MORE about the benefits of Vitamin D3)
Magnesium has been the latest health craze lately and created some buzz amongst health enthusiasts lately, but why? Without adequate levels of Magnesium, you can feel exhausted, achy, and experience restless sleep. And with a heavy training schedule, chances are that you’re already feeling exhausted. Dietary surveys show that a vast majority of the population, especially men, do not get the recommended amount of Magnesium from diet alone. It’s recommended that you should take between 320 and 420 mg of Magnesium per day. However assessing your Magnesium levels may prove difficult, because most of the body’s stores are found inside tissues, not blood. Regardless, eating a well-varied diet will help in getting the adequate Magnesium levels you need. If you’re having trouble sleeping, or experience restless sleep, we recommend taking ZMT.
CoQ10 is an antioxidant vitamin-like molecule that facilitates the process of ATP or energy metabolism, which powers every, single, human cellular action.CoQ10 also supports heart health, helps reduce fatigue, and regulates blood pressure. Coq10 might be one of the most underrated or undervalued supplements when it comes to CrossFit, considering that CrossFit relies on explosive movements, power, speed, and endurance. The way it works is that Coq10 increases cellular energy. You see, the conversion of energy from the carbohydrates and fats that you consume is called adenosine triphosphate or ATP; this process fuels almost every cell action in our bodies. CoQ10 support muscle cells to become more efficient and effective at producing and using energy. What does that mean for you? CoQ10 enables the human body to restore the rate of mitochondrial respiration, muscle strength, coordination and exercise tolerance. As an athlete, you demand a lot more from your cells in order to supply the organs, tissues, and muscles with the appropriate nutrients and energy required to perform at a high level for long periods of time.
(We recommend Swolverines CoQ10)
Probiotics are a critical element in regulating your gut flora and promoting digestive and immune health.
Probiotics are “good bacteria” that when consumed properly, colonize within the body, and optimize your body’s microflora or microbiome. The bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other microorganisms that make up your body’s microflora actually outnumber your body’s cells 10 to 1 and recent research increasingly shows that they play a major role in both mental and physical health. And when I say major, I mean they play a role in basically every human function from your ability to lose weight, to your bowel movements, to your energy levels, to your ability to remember your anniversary.
Probiotics also help regulate critical bodily functions within the digestive and immune system to help you ward off illness and stay healthy. (READ MORE about the health benefits of probiotics.
If yogurt or fermented foods aren’t a staple within your nutrition program, chances are you aren’t getting enough probiotics through your diet and you should probably consider taking a high quality probiotic supplement. The last thing you want is an achy belly in the box.
(We recommend PROBIOTIX)
(READ MORE on how to find the best probiotic supplement)
What vitamins should you be taking for CrossFit? Honestly, all of the vitamins and minerals above will benefit more than just your athletic performance, they will benefit your overall health and wellbeing. We live in a society that is built upon bad nutritional choices, misdirection, infomercials, bad advice, and misinformation. I can’t tell you how many times I overhear people talking, or have friends ask about supplements, or share health advice that is completely misguided and plainly wrong. It scares me, not for my own well-being, but for yours. The fact of the matter, is that these vitamins and minerals will help you perform better, help you feel better, and in the long-run make you less susceptible to illness and chronic disease.
Need Help Bridging The Gaps In Your Nutrition?
Look at our ONCE A DAY Vitamins & Minerals And Find What You Need To Power Your Active Lifestyle