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CrossFit Fueling

Obtain maximum benefits from your workouts with this regimen

By Brian Frank

CrossFit training - tagged as "forging elite fitness in a coached atmosphere" - has gained a growing number of enthusiastic followers over the past decade. As many endurance athletes also have discovered, the program can be a great way to increase strength and overall condition, especially in the off season. Thousands of gyms offer CrossFit, but individuals can also do the daily workouts on their own.

Commonly used equipment includes weights, gymnastic rings, medicine ball, kettlebells, climbing rope, and rower; the workouts can include lifts, pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and basic gymnastics as well as biking, running, and swimming. CrossFit workouts are extremely varied but intended to be short (45-60 minutes) and intense, whatever the form. Nutritionally, the CrossFit program advises "meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar."

For CrossFit or other gym workouts of high intensity, here's the fueling protocol that I recommend.

Before/During the Workout

When you are going to exercise all out for 20 minutes or longer, a fuel that supplies high-quality complex carbohydrates, such as HEED or Hammer Gel, will provide necessary energy in an easy to digest form. I recommend 1 scoop of HEED (100 calories, 25 grams of carbs with only 2 of them from sugar) in a 20-ounce bottle of water.

Begin sipping HEED 10 minutes before your workout, and continue sipping throughout the workout. If you prefer to drink plain water during your workout, a serving of Hammer Gel 15 minutes before the start will keep your blood sugar levels at their peak for 50-70 minutes.

Post Workout Recovery

For immediate, post-CrossFit workout recovery, Recoverite is good, but it does contain corn (30 grams per serving). Instead, I recommend Hammer Whey pure protein isolate (with 6 grams of L-Glutamine per scoop) in water, or mixed in almond, hemp, or oat milk.

Endurance Amino, our branched chain amino acid (BCAA) formula, can be taken separately or in place of Whey Protein. I use 1 capsule per 30 pounds of bodyweight post workout, along with Whey Protein. For those who are completely vegetarian and/or do not tolerate 100% whey isolate, Hammer Vegan Protein powder is a suitable alternative.

Anabolic Supplements

We also offer three products that produce excellent results without interfering with the endocrine system. All can be taken daily, ideally with a post-workout meal or recovery fuel:

Xobaline - Xobaline includes B-12 and folic acid in precise ratio for optimum results. It's as good as an injection, but without the needle and doctor. These nutrients are key in the RNA/DNA synthesis process, the primary catalyst for the production of lean muscle mass and red blood cells.

Boron - This little trace mineral has huge potential benefits. Boron is a catalyst in the absorption of calcium as well as hormone regulation. It will not elevate testosterone/estrogen levels above normal levels, but will bring up depressed levels (90% of all athletes) to normal. It's a safe, effective alternative to prohormones like DHEA, or oral HGH, etc.

Chromemate - Another trace mineral that regulates insulin, chromium is the third most powerful anabolic in the body behind testosterone and HGH. One capsule taken with each meal produces noticeable gains in lean muscle mass. It also helps reduce adipose tissue and stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day.

If you put this fueling plan to work, you will benefit not only this season, but also throughout the racing season to come.