CrossFit is a physically demanding sport that requires dedication to not just training but nutrition as well. In today’s post we look at 3 very popular top rated sports supplement products that aim to boost recovery, support our immune system, help us sleep better and reduce inflammation around our joints.
ZMA is a blend of the mineral Zinc, Magnesium andVitamin B6. ZMA is an important supplement for people training in CrossFit as increased levels of physical activity can result in levels of these vitamins and minerals decreasing and thus impacting performance.
The zinc part of ZMA is so important. Zinc plays an important mineral for testosterone levels. Low zinc in men impairs testosterone production, puts them at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer, and can cause infertility. Low levels of zinc has also been linked to low libido. Women also need zinc as well as men. Adequate zinc in women supports reproductive health. Zinc is associated with the growth of the oocyte. If women are zinc deficient then the oocyte (or egg) won’t grow properly and mature which can result in infertility.
Zinc also has some very good antioxidant properties as well. Zinc helps target free radicals that cause inflammation. It also helps remove toxins from the body and keep the body healthy. Diseases such as Alzheimer’s is accelerated by heavy metal build up in the brain. Supplementing with zinc can help remove these toxins.
The magnesium part of ZMA also has some kick ass benefits too.
Magnesium is known to support immune function. Low immunity can hamper post workout recovery by taking the body’s main priority from muscle repair.
Magnesium also is said to help with protein synthesis. Research suggests that there is a strong correlation with lean tissue growth and sufficient magnesium levels.
Magnesium also helps with muscle cramps and spasms associated with long difficult CrossFit wods or weekend CrossFit events and throwdowns where there is lots of workout volume. With this sort of physical activity magnesium is lost through sweat and therefore needs to be replenished which you can do through ZMA supplementation.
ZMA can help users have a better nights sleep with hundreds of thousands of individuals world wide supplementing with ZMA and feeling more rested after use. Sleep is in fact a key part to recovery, therefore if ZMA is helping you have a better night’s sleep chances are your recovery will be improved too.
Research was carried out on patients suffering with insomnia (an inability to sleep) and the study indicated that ZMA helped to ‘significantly’ improve their sleep efficiency. It is also worth nothing that people who suffer from chronic sleep deprivation lack certain minerals that are contained in ZMA.
#2 Omega 3
The research behind Omega 3 supplementation is very loud and very clear: omega 3 fats are essential for our health. Most people are over consuming omega 6 and not getting enough omega 3. Omega 6 is considered pro inflammatory and omega 3 is considered anti-inflammatory. The ideal ratio for omega 6 and 3 is 1:1, however nowadays most people have a ratio of 20 or even 50:1 for omega 6 over omega 3.
By over consuming omega 6 this pushes our bodies into a pro-inflammatory condition which makes us more susceptible to heart disease, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, autoimmune diseases and obesity. To cut back on omega 6 reduce your intake of vegetable oils and get a regular supply of omega 3 from a sustainable source such as the one ICON Nutrition provides which gets its fish oil from wild caught anchovies from Peru. Having more omega 3 in your diet helps protect our tissues and organs from inflammation.
#3 BCAA Powder BCAAs or branch chain amino acids have been used for decades in sports performance and recovery. BCAAs act as raw fuel substrates to working muscles and by consuming a BCAA powdered drink increases our ability to recovery faster, and keep our immune system strong and healthy.
When choosing a BCAA powder look for one that is gluten free and sugar free. Also if you’re sensitive to caffeine then try avoid ones without any stimulants. ICON Nutrition’s Amino Performance ticks all these boxes and more. They have also fortified their product with L-Glutamine and important electrolytes and vitamins.
Amino Performance can be consumed in a variety of workout situations. It is especially good for people that like to train fasted as it has fatigue reducing benefits so you can still perform at maximum capacity. It can also be sipped on during training to keep you hydrated throughout your workout. And lastly it can be consumed post workout for optimal recovery.