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Electrolyte Product Review

The crazy heat wave this year has brought up the hydration issue more than ever.

I’ve been digging around at different options for awhile and here is my review.

1.) Most of what I have found at the store is 100% awesome marketing and not worth the price (In my opinion).

2.) Most lack the sodium and chloride needed for optimal performance in the Texas heat and many others are just hyped up koolaid.

 

I left off photos and links to avoid issues so if you want a product you can search online 🙂

 

Re-lyte
5 star review 🙂
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

The tub is much cheaper per serving than LMNT and there are no food colorings, artificial flavors, and no sucralose/aspartame.

The Redmonds salt they use is also loaded with minerals.

The ingredients were clearly well researched and developed.

 

KTX IMMUNE
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Obviously I love this product (we created it)!  BUT it is not designed solely for electrolyte replenishment.

There is 500mg of pink Himalayan salt, coconut water powder, and magnesium but in this weather I would add an additional 1/4 – 1/2 tsp of salt to 1 scoop of this product.

Personally, I add 1/2- 1 scoop of re-lyte to KTX Immune and it is a great combo 🙂

LMNT
4 stars
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
High quality and dosed properly but super high $$$ per serving.

-No aspartame/sucralose so that is awesome.

 

Liquid IV
⭐️ ⭐️
Great marketing. Not that great for elite hydration. Super overpriced.

This is a step up from  the original Gatorade and Poweraid days so I will give this along with most of the other shelved products at the grocery stores 2 stars for the effort.

 

Gatorlyte (new)
⭐️ ⭐️
Huge step in the right direction for Gatorade. Easy to find and the kids might actually drink it.

The most expensive per serving on this list and only the clear one is free from food coloring.

If the cost was lower I would give the CLEAR version 3 stars…

 

Drinking Fluids AND Electrolytes for Exercise in the Heat

🐬🐬🐳🐬🐬🐳🐳

 

The Texas heat is here so I want to cut right to the numbers I personally stick to and hope they help you during the hottest parts of the year (now until October essentially).

 

*** With the 16 points being made I will say if you are not an athlete focused on maximum performance you will likely not need the carbohydrates added to your fluid during the 1-hour group class especially if your goal is to lose bodyfat- you will release plenty of stored glycogen for your workout assuming you are eating a balanced diet throughout the day BUT YOU SHOULD STILL HAVE THE WATER. 

 

****If you complete multiple workout sessions in one day then the added carbohydrates could be a great option. ***

 

 

1.)  With temperatures above 80 degrees in the open-door gym (KTX) I estimate my fluid loss around 1 liter per hour while coaching and exercising or anything that has me moving around.

2.)  #1 has me drinking 4 cups (32 ounces) of water PER HOUR to maintain adequate water levels.

3.)  #2 would be near impossible without a water bottle (or 32oz mason jar with a lid 😊 )

4.)  Drinking too much water without proper electrolyte and mineral balance can be just as dangerous as not drinking enough water (details below).

5.)   To combat #4 becoming an issue I typically add 100mg – 200mg per cup (8oz)

 

 -or- more simply put…

¼ tsp salt per 32oz water in the fall/winter

and

½ tsp salt per 32 oz during the hot spring/summer/early fall

 

6.)  If you work outside or in a hot warehouse, I recommend the same guidelines.

7.)  If you show up to the gym dehydrated in 90+ degree weather and try to do 60 minutes of warm up + workout you are putting yourself at risk but you certainly are not going to maximize your performance output.

8.)  Some athletes lose closer to 2 liters per hour… the only way to truly know is to weigh yourself (without a sweaty shirt) before and after the workout. 1 liter of water is roughly 2 pounds.

9.)  Minor underhydration (as little as 2% of your total body weight) can cause a measurable decrease in performance. Obviously the greater the % the greater negative impact.

10.)   Glycerol could be supplemented to help retention of consumed fluids pre workout… (like before a long workout on a hot summer day). Do more research if you plan to use glycerol… I will discuss this as well as other supplements during the final portion of performance nutrition (supplements) Part 3.

11.)   DURING workout sessions (between rest sets – not all at once in the middle of a metcon) Carbohydrates should be added to the fluid at around 5-8% to maximize performance output.

12.)   #11 put simply… add 50 grams of simple carbohydrate (glucose/dextrose/ sugar/honey etc.. ) to 32 ounces of water.

13.)   Add #5 to #11 = #14

14.)   32 ounces of water + ¼ – ½ tsp salt + 50g simple carb = basic athlete intra workout sports drink formula.

15.)   Consume around 8 ounces every 15 minutes but make sure you do not drink a bunch within 15 minutes of the highest intensity workouts.

16.)  #15 boils down to if you are training multiple sessions + when those sessions are taking place + what type of session is taking place (high intensity, lifting, cardio, gymnastics, and duration).

 

❤️❤️❤️My favorite sources of sodium + minerals: ❤️❤️❤️

1.)  Irish sea moss (loaded with electrolytes and contains 92 of the 102 minerals… say whaaat!  )

2.)  Celtic Sea Salt

3.)  Colima Salt

4.)  Redmond Salt

5.)  Pink Himalayan Salt (not as much sodium chloride as the others but extra minerals – some sources are not as clean as others )

6.)  Iodized salt

 

🚨🚨IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS about water/electrolytes/carbs PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I love to help to the best of my ability.  🚨🚨

 

🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️🤸‍♀️

Micronutrients for Performance (Basics)

As always, I am here to remind you this series is for athletes eating for performance goals specifically NOT muscle gain, weight loss, or health – straight up performance and focusing primarily on fitness athletes.

We kick off part 2 with MICRONUTRIENTS for performance.

 

Macros are all the rage these days and for good reason HOWEVER if you want to perform your best you should focus on maximizing the nutrients within those set macros (micronutrients)!  This is a fine detail athletes miss the mark on because it requires education, thought, and intention. You will not perform your best by throwing your hands up and saying…” whatever bro.”

 

Starting off on macro-based eating you could simplify things by eating similar breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and snacks/shakes.  This will allow an athlete to hit numbers consistently without much added stress. (THE BASICS). 

I hope that if you are trying to maximize your performance you have mastered the basics and you find it enjoyable (not stressful) to further enhance your performance through nutrition.

The main issue with eating the same foods each day is nutrient assortment/balance. If you are lacking vitamins in your diet and eating the same foods then the probability of a deficiency is increased.

 

I feel it is important for athletes to realize a few things regarding micronutrients:

1️⃣    There are recommended dietary allowances (RDA) %s that you will find on nutrition labels, food apps, books, and web searches. These #s are established based on average numbers sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all “healthy people” in particular age/gender groups.

2️⃣    The RDA and dietary reference intakes (DRIs) were primarily created to lower the risk of suffering from nutrient-deficiency disease and to lower the risk of developing chronic disease by ensuring a properly balance diet.

3️⃣    They were NOT created to help athletes perform their best at the fitness Olympics (or whatever sport you play).

 

This common data matters to me for a few different reasons…

1️⃣  A high performing athlete is not an “average healthy person”. There is just about nothing average or ancestrally common with completing a day of running 400-meter intervals, lifting ¼ of a car for 45 reps followed by 200 push-ups, then carrying 100 lbs around in between squat sets at 1.5x your bodyweight, before your pump sesh… 5+ days per week.

2️⃣  The amount of XY&Z nutrients in a food (or on a label) are not 100% accurate. There are too many factors involved to be that precise. The nutrients estimated in each food serving are based on averages as well.

3️⃣  Some micronutrients do not have an RDA! There are so many vitamins and minerals, and our bodies are unique, so some numbers are essentially made up when you look really look at it.

4️⃣  Deficiency is not good, “Healthy range” does not necessarily mean “optimal for performance”… and “over-abundance” above the tolerable upper intake level (UL) can also pose potential risk and create adverse effects – so be careful with supplements.

5️⃣  Athletes are often looked at as the “pinnacle of health.”  I would argue most athletes are flirting with sickness just as much as the “average” human and most have strong relationships with deficiencies just as common or even worse than seen in sedentary humans.  High performance requires high octane fuel. This creates deficiencies very easily when not monitored carefully.

 

🚨The important factors of micronutrients opens the door to me recommending what SHOULD be a common practice covered by insurance during a yearly physical exam: a blood panel THAT INCLUDES MICRONUTRIENT TESTING! Not just testing vitamin D status for example…

👨🏼‍💻I have my theories to why more nutrients are not commonly tested but I will save those for a conversation over some whiskey with friends from now on… I would hate to come across as a conspiracy theorist via social media😊

 

Anyways…

A micronutrient blood panel opens the door to a whole new world where you can get 3 great data points:

1️⃣  Am I deficient in any nutrients?

2️⃣  Am I getting to much of any certain nutrients?

3️⃣  Am I on par with other elite athlete’s numbers (the common denominator of the elite could help you figure out “optimal” for your sport/size/age)?

 

Although panels can get very pricey, I believe they are a smart investment for beginners AND elites because a nutrient deficiency can cause havoc in health and performance. Most of the time these imbalances are cheap and simple fixes that will improve the way you feel and perform.  It is hard for me to put a price tag on quality of life… if I can spend an extra $$$ amount that I can afford per month on specific foods and supplements to feel better and help prevent disease/medication + boost my performance then… (why the heck not)?

 

🐒 Basic = get introductory level panel + fix deficiencies through diet and supplements.

🧑🏼‍🔬Advanced = get full spectrum panel+ fix deficiencies+ research optimal performance #s and strive for those.

 

😮 According to According the CDC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

-9 out of 10 Americans are deficient in potassium

-7 out of 10 are deficient in calcium

-8 out of 10 are deficient in vitamin E

-50 percent of Americans are deficient in vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium

-More 50 percent of the general population is vitamin D deficient, regardless of age

-90 percent of Americans of color are vitamin D deficient

-Approximately 70 percent of elderly Americans are vitamin D deficient

(From what I have gathered) the CDC and USDA are not studying high end performance athletes… so you can gather the average numbers above (plus many more with a simple search) and notice it is probably a good idea to balance out your meals and get on some high-quality vitamins. 🥑🥩🌱💊

 

The funding for kinetic research and sports nutrition (outside of the CDC and USDA) has increased over the last few decades so I will sprinkle in what common denominators are popping up regarding athletes and nutrition deficiencies in this series. ✅

With the blood panel I discussed before and a coach or proper research on your overall nutrition plan you can narrow down those deficiencies and make substitutions to your diet that will fill in the gaps, or supplement when necessary.

Vitamin deficiencies contributing to chronic disease (which we will dive into further in nutrition for health/longevity) is not often talked about, but I am going to cover vitamins importance for performance and save that discussion for another post.

 

How do vitamins effect performance? 🤸‍♀️🏋🏻‍♀️🥇

1️⃣             Vitamins are substances needed by cells to encourage specific cellular chemical reactions.

2️⃣             Vitamins are involved in energy reactions that enable cells to derive energy from carbs, fats, and proteins (your macros).  In other words, if you want to utilize the food you eat properly you need to have proper vitamin balance.

3️⃣             Athletes burn more energy than non-athletes = they typically need more vitamins.

4️⃣             Vitamins work synergistically to enhance other vitamins and nutrients. If one Is off balance, many will also suffer.

5️⃣             B12,b6,& folate specifically help with the formation of red blood cells= essential for oxygen delivery to working muscles.

6️⃣             B2, B6, & niacin -> aerobic metabolism (krebs cycle) = primary means for obtaining energy from fuel.

7️⃣             B1, b6,b12 = neurotransmitters for stimulating and relaxing muscles.

8️⃣             Vit A = healthy surface cells, eye health, immune function, and hormones.

9️⃣             Vit D= absorption of calcium and phosphorus + hormones.

🔟         Vit E = antioxidant protection of cell membranes.

1️⃣1️⃣           Vit K = formation of blood clots + bone strengthening.

 

 

Factors that increase the likelihood of nutrient imbalance: ❌❌

1️⃣             High amount of protein coming from protein powder and supplements rather than food. I aim to keep my supplemental protein at 25% of my protein totals (or less). ❌

2️⃣             Diet high in ultra-processed, processed, and pre-cooked (store bought) meals. ❌

3️⃣             Diet high in seed oils and other refined oils/fats. ❌

4️⃣             Same foods day in and day out without variety. ❌

5️⃣             Caloric restricted diets. ❌

6️⃣             Poor gut health/ microbiome diversity. ❌

7️⃣             Medications- including anti-inflammatory drugs often overly consumed by athletes. ❌

8️⃣             Artificial ingredients – sucralose, aspartame, food colorings, and many preservatives. ❌

9️⃣             Over-consumption of specific nutrients (usually from supplementation). ❌

 

 

👇👇To maximize vitamin intake from your diet try the following: ✅✅

1️⃣             Consume or supplement organ meats. It is difficult to find more nutrients than that of vital animal organs.

2️⃣             Eat a wide variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. In season, it can be difficult for athletes to consume enough total macros while consuming a lot of vegetables.

👨🏼‍💻Although veggies are nutrient dense, they are are filling and make it difficult for athletes to consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates which can resuklt in sub optimal energy. ✅

3️⃣             Replace ultra-processed foods with whole foods and home cook your meals when possible.

 

I hope you leave this with motivation to maximize the nutrient density of your diet through balance and quality food choices. This practice will generally prevent vitamin deficiencies but sometimes they still happen and that is where blood panels + supplements come into play.

 

Eating for Performance (Basics-Fats)

Today will wrap up the basics of essential macros for performance nutrition.

 

Just a reminder for those who missed previous posts, this is for athletes eating for performance goals specifically NOT muscle gain, weight loss, or health – just straight up performance.

 

ESSENTIAL MACROS FOR PERFORMANCE: FATS 🥑🥜🥛

 

 

As previously mentioned, after total needed caloric intake has been established, carbohydrate intake is likely the limiting factor in energy for athletes.

 

Once carbs have been established you will ensure that adequate protein is maintained and hopefully not over-consumed.

 

This leaves us with the remainder of the calories coming from fats.

 

👻I have to say it was VERY challenging for me to keep this one simple since fats are farrrrrr from simple. But we will dive deep many moons down the road on advanced fats.

 

Since the high-performance diet for sport leaves a small amount of wiggle room for fat consumption compared to carbs and protein it is vital to focus on quality fat sources to ensure optimal performance can occur.

 

 

Without going crazy on which types of fats and exactly how much of each is ideal (advanced nutrition) I’ll keep it simple and say:

 

🚨HAVE A BALANCED FATTY ACID MEAL PLAN🚨

 

1️⃣             Saturated fats – (most animal products/ coconut & palm oils)

 

2️⃣             Monounsaturated fats – (olive oil, avocado, macadamia nuts)

 

3️⃣             Polyunsaturated fats- (seeds & most vegetables oils)

 

It would be very easy to go down rabbit holes of which ones are good/bad/ugly/ etc… at the end of the day for athletes focused on performance (basics)… keep a balanced diet of fats and you will probably be OKAY.

 

 

If you log your food and 80% of your daily fat intake is regularly from the same exact food source then maybe raise an eyebrow and get it fixed.  (This would typically happen with saturated and polyunsaturated fats).  I’ve never encountered an athlete consuming an over abundance of monounsaturated fats on the regular.

 

 

It is important for athletes to get the minimum necessary amount of ESSENTIAL fats for these reasons:

 

1.)           Required for normal skin health. ✅

 

2.)           Fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E, & K) must be delivered in a fat package. 💊+🥑+☀️ =✅

 

3.)           Necessary for neural function and growth. 🧠

 

4.)           Improved release of somatotropin (growth hormone). 👍

 

5.)           Reduction of inflammation (unless there is an imbalance). ✅

 

 

 

Higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids could potentially give the following performance advantages: 🔥🔥

 

1.)           Enhancement of aerobic metabolic processes.

 

2.)           Reduce the ability of red blood cells to congregate (decreasing the change of unwanted blood clots).

 

 

 

 

On the contrary, too much fat intake is typically associated with REDUCED ATHLETIC performance.

 

1️⃣   It is very easy to go overboard on fat sources when eating processed foods containing oils.

 

2️⃣   Excess fat calories can limit the required intake of protein and carbohydrate.

 

3️⃣    Athletes should note that excess amounts of fat can raise triglycerides and cholesterol levels beyond what would be considered ideal particularly when combined with HIGH AMOUNTS OF CARBOHYDRATES. 🍕🍟🍔 = 😮

 

 

^^^ This is usually NOT the case when consuming the same amount of fats on a moderate to low carb diet, which we will discuss in eating for health.  High carb does not typically go well with high fat.  Carbs and fats are not bros. ❌

 

 

When excess fats can help athletic performance: 🤔

 

1️⃣             When athletes have a hard time sustaining weight even with adequate carb and protein requirements being met (eat more fat).  Many times these athletes are called “hard-gainers” or “ectomorphs.”

 

2️⃣             When athletes need to consume 4,000+ total calories in a day… this can be challenging off primarily carbs and protein. Usually endurance athletes.

 

Note – doing 4-5 cardio sessions per week does not qualify as an endurance athlete.  Endurance athletes are typically 10+ sessions per week and multiple hours per session.

 

3.)           ^ MCT oils could be a great option for “hard-gainers” or athletes who struggle to get in enough total calories because they are easy to consume and can be used strategically for performance aid.

 

 

 

In a nutshell 🥜,  I recommend athletes eating for performance to:

 

1️⃣             Avoid oils, butter, cooking with added fats, and avoid processed foods with added fats when possible.

 

2️⃣             Get a good portion of the saturated fats from fatty fish like salmon, grass fed meats (better omega 3 balance), or other whole food sources.

 

3️⃣             Get the remainder of balanced fats from vegetables, nuts (brazil, pecan, walnut, & macadamia), avocados, and hummus (blended sesame seeds).

 

4️⃣             Avoid HIGH fat meals within 2-3 hours pre workout and 2-3 hours post workout.

 

 

This wraps up essential macronutrients for performance (the basics).

 

 

Eating for Performance (Basics- Protein)

Many athletes consider protein to the most important nutrient for success. As discussed previously, I believe carbohydrates are the most important macronutrient for performance and see too many athletes consuming excess protein (beyond what is ideal) leading to limiting the intake of other essential nutrients that are critical to high level performance.

 

To contradict that point, I also see too many athletes consuming far less than ideal protein, which is generally worse for performance than consuming too much. 🤯

 

Protein is essential and the right amounts are needed for brain health, muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, hair, nails, hormones, hemoglobin, blood, and much more so it is crucial to get the minimum requirements for performance but also keeping in mind that you will want to stay under the maximum recommended amounts to MAXIMIZE your nutrition plan.

 

 

Protein demand for performance is primarily dictated by these 3 factors

 

1️⃣             Muscle damage created during exercise resulting in increased protein requirements for tissue repair.

 

2️⃣             The amount of protein used for energy rises as muscle glycogen decreases.   (Utilizing proteins for fuel is not ideal). I consider it wasteful, and your body loses excess water in this process as well. This point makes the case for pre and intra workout carbohydrates even more valuable.

 

3️⃣             Weight of the athlete (most of the world uses KGs… I will use LBs)

 

 

 

 

🚨🚨The amount of protein required to maintain proper nitrogen balance in performance nutrition should be between .8 and 1 gram per pound of bodyweight and fall between 15-20% of TOTAL daily calories. 🚨🚨

 

This number is based on the assumption that ideal carbohydrate and fat intake has been achieved. 👍

 

 

 

Circling back to Marisa’s ❤️ numbers.

 

We have her total daily carbohydrates during performance training cycles at 55-65% total daily calories.

 

We have her total protein at 15-20% total daily calories.

 

Her daily average is roughly 1,900 calories at body weight 107 lbs.

 

Current macro goals:

 

Carbs – 285 grams (60%) (minimum)

 

Protein – 85 grams (18%)

 

Fats – (% will fill in the remainder of calories- which we will discuss in our next post)

 

 

Let’s take a moment to hold up because this is going to take a bit of explaining…

 

Reminder: this series is about PERFORMANCE nutrition. Not gaining muscle, burning fat, building a bigger chest, or fixing your health.

 

I am aware that most Instagram models, bodybuilders, high school heroes who no longer exercise who know all the answers etc. will have mixed advice on macro amounts. It’s all fun and games until you’re getting smoked at the competition.

 

In other words… “If you’re eating like an Instagram model you’re going to get smoked at the competition.” 🐒🐒🐒

 

The main reason behind this is…

 

🔥 If you are eating more than your bodyweight in protein, I am willing to bet you are not eating enough carbohydrates and likely too much fat to perform at 100% in the sport. 🔥

 

More muscle does not necessarily mean more strength. I believe many fitness athletes get confused because they follow the advice of bodybuilders (who generally consume more protein than most athletes) and feel like that will help their performance. Strength and power are performance-based goals that requires adequate fuel (carbs) and should not be confused with hypertrophy and eating for aesthetics or “gaining.”

 

Prioritizing mirror gainz over performance gainz will come in our EATING FOR BODY COMPOSITION discussion.

 

Lastly, there is an idea that high amounts of protein must be consumed in a magical post workout “anabolic window.” Listen, I know it sounds cool and many people can benefit from protein shakes post workout.

 

I also believe athletes should consume some protein post workout but the most valuable tool post workout for performance is…. drum roll… glycogen replenishment. Which, as previously discussed will come from carbohydrates and fluids.    🧃💦

 

Note: I did not make the above statement to deter protein use post workout. I am encouraging athletes focused on performance to consume protein WITH carbohydrates and never alone for enhanced muscle protein synthesis and to replenish depleted glycogen stores.

 

 

 

 

📝Key notes regarding protein for performance: 📝

 

1.)           1 gram of protein = 4 calories which is the same as carbohydates per gram.

 

2.)           Protein requirements for those who exercise is nearly double that of sedentary people. The general food recommendations should never be applied for performance nutrition.

 

3.)           The liver is the central processing unit for protein synthesis. If you have elevated liver enzymes on a blood panel, you could research ways to cleanse and improve those numbers to help utilize proteins and for general overall well-being.

 

4.)           Vegan athletes should consider supplementing the essential amino acid L-Leucine as well as many other nutrients we will discuss in the future.

 

5.)           Whey protein and essential amino acid supplements appear to be the highest bioavailable protein sources.

 

6.)           If you would like modern research regarding protein check out the research from Brad Schoenfeld, PhD and “protein expert” Stuart Phillips, PhD and his team at McMaster University.

 

7.)           Consumption of whole eggs promotes greater stimulation of post-exercise muscle protein synthesis than consumption of isonitrogenous amounts of egg whites in young men. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28978542/)

Eating for Performance (Basics + Carbs)

Day 1️⃣  (4-5 minute read)

 

This is the basic series of eating for performance. I believe it is intermediate level knowledge to have a general grasp on basic performance nutrition.

 

Elite/professional level nutrition requires regular lab testing, upper-level knowledge of sport science, and most of these athletes have nutrition coaches and chefs preparing the foods, plus a lab formulating customized vitamins💊 based on their needs.

 

I just want to be clear on the differences and clear gap of basics➡️elite.

 

 

🚨Note: If your goal is weight loss, muscle gain, or health/wellness I do not recommend following a performance-based plan as you will likely never reach your goals.

I also truly believe if you have metabolic issues or disease a performance-based nutrition plan could be dangerous, and you should always consult a functional medicine doctor accompanied by a Registered Dietitian focusing on integrative nutrition. I am neither of those.

 

 

 

📝Final note: Every sport has unique nutrition requirements. This is going to cover the basics of “CrossFit” as a sport or “Functional Fitness.”  We can assume that performance nutrition needs in this area will need to cover all bases. ✅

Strength, power, endurance, short, medium, long, gymnastics, weightlifting, etc. The energy needs of each of these demands differs greatly so there is no one size fits all model when combining all of these elements.

 

 

I prioritize performance nutrition requirements in this order:

 

1️⃣  Essential macros (carbs, protein, fats)

 

2️⃣  Essential micronutrients (electrolytes, vitamins, minerals) & fluids

 

3️⃣  Supplements & other factors

 

 

We kick this thing off with ESSENTIAL MACROS FOR PERFORMANCE which will be divided into 3 posts.

 

1️⃣  Carbohydrates 🍎🍚🍯🧃🍭

 

2️⃣  Protein 🥩🍗🍖

 

3️⃣  Fats 🥑🥜

 

 

ESSENTIAL MACROS FOR PERFORMANCE: CARBOHYDRATES

 

Carbohydrate demand for performance is primarily dictated by these 3 factors

 

1️⃣  Duration of exercise (sprint/short/medium/long/ ultra)

 

2️⃣  Type of exercise being performed (rowing/weightlifting/ gymnastics/ bodybuilding/ etc.)

 

3️⃣  Weight of the athlete (most of the world uses KGs… I will use LBs)

 

 

For carbohydrate basics I recommend going off a weekly average. This will simplify daily needs.

 

To understand what your weekly average is you will want to wear a device such as the Whoop, Fit-Bit, Apple watch, Garmin etc. that tracks daily expenditure and provides an easy to access “WEEKLY TOTAL.”

 

Alternatively, you could make an educated guess or “wing it…” and that’s not ideal but a good starting point would be to add 400-600 calories per 60 minutes of exercise. You would have to monitor how you feel during exercise and how the scale moves and make changes from there.

 

Note: a 60-minute class is not 60 minutes of exercise❌. Monitor the duration of the actual activity. ✅

 

 

I will use Marisa ❤️ as an example:

 

Marisa weighs 107 lbs with a base metabolic rate (BMR) of 1,262

 

Calories burned (week 2/1 – 2/7)

Tuesday – 1,883

Wednesday- 1,900

Thursday- 1,740

Friday- 1,939

Saturday- 1,896

Sunday- 1,676

Monday- 2,246

Total = 13,280 weekly calories -or- 1,897 calories per day

 

🚨🚨🚨I typically recommend 55-65% of total calories from carbohydrate while eating for performance. 😮😮😮

 

If this number scares you please keep in mind the type of exercises that are involved in fitness and their main energy supply. 🤯🤯

 

 

Taking 60% of Marisa’s daily average = 1,138 calories from carbohydrate.

 

Divide 1,138 by 4 calories per carbohydrate = 285 grams of carbs

 

 

A basic general guideline would be for Marisa to aim for a MINIMUM of 285 grams of carbohydrate per day. Some days would be over, and some would be under but over the course of a year it is unlikely she would be training overly depleted for risky periods of time (which could be damaging to her health) and obviously her fitness results.

 

 

 

📝Key notes regarding carbohydrates for performance: 📝

 

1.)  Starchy and simple carbs are best for pre/during/and immediately post exercise other than those periods complex carbohydrates are best utilized.

 

2.)  Carbohydrate depletion can lower blood sugar too much- causing mental fatigue. This can be combated with pre and intra workout carbs as well as adequate complex carbohydrate throughout the day.

 

3.)  Carbs are clearly the limiting substrate in athletic performance.

 

4.)  Carbs allow for muscle recovery post exercise.

 

5.)  Carbs are an energy source that help sustain blood sugar during physical activity.

 

6.)  Glycogen replenishment is more difficult if you are in a dehydrated state.

 

7.) “If you are scared of carbs you are scared of performing your best.” – My opinion.

 

 

👨‍🔬I do not believe there is enough data to support a low carb- performance based nutrition plan. People have been testing the waters but I have not seen a high level athlete successful on low carb.

 

 

This wraps up CARBOHYDRATES FOR PERFORMANCE. Next, we will cover BASIC PROTEIN REQUIREMENTS FOR PERFORMANCE.

Competing in CrossFit

The purpose of this post is to help members and athletes establish goals and understand the practicality of competing in different levels in “The Sport of Fitness.”

There will be a follow up post on CrossFit for health and longevity as I believe there should be clear distinction between the two sides of the spectrum.

So you want to compete?

Awesome! Competing at all different levels can be an amazing journey to be a part of both coaching and participating.

In my experiences, athletes interested in the competitive side of fitness typically come from one of two viewpoints:

CROSSFIT GAMES | SANCTIONED EVENTS

1.) I saw the CrossFit Games on TV, social media, or YouTube and I want to train for that!

LOCAL COMPETITION

2.) My friend has been posting on his or her social media page or bragging at work about competing in CrossFit competitions and I think that’s what I want to do.

From the outside looking in, training for #1 or #2 could appear to be the same. The purpose of this post is to shed light on the fact that training for the CrossFit Games or a CrossFit sanctioned event (#1) is a full time job. This is similar to watching the athletes running 13 minute 5ks in the Olympics.

Training for a local competition (#2) is more comparable to your 5k Turkey trot. You can sign up and just do it.

Sanctioned events could be compared to the Houston marathon where you have elite professional runners (athletes competing for money and a spot at the CrossFit Games) mixed with folks who trained to complete the marathon (intermediate and scaled athletes) but do not focus on the marathon solely as their job.

What does it take to compete?

LOCAL COMPETITION

To compete in a local competition you should be familiar with all the common CrossFit movements and be able to complete full range of motion movements without risk of injury.

There are so many different levels of local competition from ultimate newbie, scaled, all women’s, all men’s, masters, kids, intermediate, and “RX”…. Every local competition will provide movement standards or expectations for athletes prior to signing up. You can expect these events to range anywhere from $50 – $150 per participant to register.

Local competitions can be great fun for family and friends and they are a great way to support the local fitness community as well as small businesses.

By completing the CrossFit Annihilation workout of the day 4-5 days per week, you should be ready for most local competitions intermediate or scaled. To compete RX in local competition however, you should be able to complete the majority of our workouts without scaling and be near the top of the whiteboard on a day to day basis.

TRAINING FOR A SANCTIONED EVENT OR THE CROSSFIT GAMES

I want to be fully transparent in regards to training for this level of competition to eliminate false expectations and self made pressure to anyone who reads this post.

If you have a full time job outside of a gym, it is highly unlikely you will have the time or energy to compete at this level. If this fact ruins your reasoning to do CrossFit then I’m sorry, you can hit the exit browser button now and thank me later for saving you the trouble… if you have the time or are just curious what it takes then continue to 2.).

2.) If you have the time and energy to train for the CrossFit games you need to be aware of exactly how much training needs to be done on a day to day basis

as well as the other factors that need to be considered.

A. 30-60 minutes daily (or more) of body work.

This could include physical therapy movement preparation, foam rolling, stretching, warm up, cool down, massage, chiropractic work etc.

Without this type of TLC to your body, it is highly unlikely you will make it through the years and years of high volume training necessary to compete at this level. The demands on your body at this stage are far beyond what is considered “ideal for health” and more towards what is considered “extreme.”

B. 8,9, or 10+ hours of sleep on a regular basis. If you find a CrossFit Games athlete with a full time job outside of the gym getting by on 6 hours of sleep daily I’ll drink a cup of canola oil with a cherry coke for your viewing pleasure. That was a joke, the point is I don’t think you’ll find that anymore. Maybe in 2009.

C. Alcohol– if you’re a male consuming more than a few drinks total per month, I’d be willing to bet your hormone levels are too low to compete at this level. That’s just my theory based on what alcohol does to a males hormone levels and heart rate variability.

D. The programming – the volume needed at this level is no longer safely achievable within the first 3 (usually more) years of training. Basically, unless you have the enforceable future planned for training at an elite level… I mean, here’s an example of the work you will need to put in.

Example training week:

Take our most intense CrossFit Annihilation or local crossfit gym’s workout of the week. Combine 2-3 of these per day 3-4 days per week in combination with:

KTX Capacity workout of the day 3-4 days per week ensuring you hit every energy system with every possible cardio element on a fairly regular basis.

KTX Strength and Weightlifting 4-5x per week ensuring you are about as physically strong and efficient as possible on every lift as your body can possibly handle.

KTX Gymnastics 2-3x per week ensuring you can do very high volumes without unnecessary stress to your joints (good form).

Personal accessory work regularly to make sure you have no weak areas.

The training listed above has to be done not only day in and day out but realIstically year in and year out which leads us to the next point…

E.) You have to be beyond a normal level of mentally strong. What some people call #obsessive.

It’s easy for people who do no understand what kind of mindset it takes to be a champion to point the finger at everyone better then they are at their craft and accuse them all of using steroids or other performance enhancing drugs.

Obviously, in any competitive sport there will be athletes doing whatever they can to have an advantage or cheat the competition. That does not mean that all athletes at the elite level are doing it. In my experiences being around elite athletes of all different backgrounds, the best ones usually have more integrity and less desire to cheat where as the ones pointing fingers and getting caught are the ones who (in their head) have to use drugs to try and keep up. This is not always 100% true (obviously).

Personal belief – some athletes cheat, most do not.

The best of the best have the MINDSET, the GENETICS, most have a lifelong TRAINING HISTORY, and skill sets that go far beyond what the losing mindset will allow them to see. This isn’t a 6 week training program. These athletes are doing the big AND little things day and in day out all the time.

F.) $$$ is almost non existent until you are the best of the best.

This could be an issue in many areas, including but not limited to :

1. Body maintenance is expensive. You need a good network of physical therapists, chiropractors, massage therapists, or sponsors willing to help in your journey. Or a sugar momma.

2. The amount of food needed is expensive. Most aspiring athletes do not get anywhere near the nutrition needed to compete at their desired peak levels. Supplements are essential to fill the void so sponsors or $$$ are required here as well.

3. Nutrition can be stressful for athletes. Having a nutritionist or meal prep service can help take stress off the shoulders. Both of which cost money or require sponsorships.

4. Qualifiers, travel, and signing up all cost about as much as a vacation… fund raisers & sponsors are almost always needed for this considering these athletes don’t typically have full time jobs unless they are RICH fitness trainers 🙂

5. You are trying to compete or “catch up” to the athletes who already have all of the money and sponsors listed above … this makes a coach or manager even more valuable…. you either need a really dedicated supper buddy or someone who believes In your abilities to donate this kind of time and energy into helping you achieve your goals. Or be that much more disciplined on your own watch = even more stress.

I’m sure I’m missing some key points, but I’m about to land in Colorado and think i got my message across.

Summary:

1. Training for local competitions can be great fun and are realistic to any person or skill level.

2. Training for elite level competitions is unrealistic for most people and shouldn’t be a burden on your shoulders if you don’t have the time and resources essential to be successful.

I am always available to help you establish a training goal and keep it real regarding the competition side of CrossFit or “The Sport of Fitness.”

-Kyle Flowers

(Focus Grasshopper) Skill Progression

We are spending a good amount of time and energy on correcting movement patterns, gymnastics and Olympic lifting accessories and “skills.”

I can relate to the frustrations that may arise by taking a few steps back in one area to improve overall. The largest mind shift I had to take several years ago was convincing myself that a direct focus on skills and movement would have a beneficial long term effect. I was trying to be competitive in CrossFit so I thought I needed MORE volume here and there when in reality the QUALITY of volume and correcting movement flaws improved my overall fitness. It took time to develop this relationship, but after a lifelong journey of different sports and military (10+ years of CrossFit sprinkled in there) I’m deeply in love with the smarter not harder approach. “What’s the best bang for my buck?

Attention to detail:

Olympic lifting and gymnastics are among the most technical sports you will play. Both of which have their young athletes practicing hours and hours throughout the younger years of their life where motor development is developed at a much faster rate than where most of us begin “functional fitness programs” or CrossFit. (As adults).

For the mass majority, 1 hour of gym training 5x per week is the most that can fit in the busy work life schedule. This makes the 1 hr class valuable!

Focus on the small details.

Focus on what your body is doing on the skills day in and day out and you will make long term improvements.

Focus on perfecting the movements before adding volume and weight!

Buying into this belief will allow yourself time to recover, adapt, and improve.

Lifestyle

Many people are looking for a 6 week or short term body transformation. If this is your mindset there is nothing wrong with that but I do not believe CrossFit Annihilation is the best option for you. Sure, I’ve seen amazing transformations happen in 6 weeks. But the faster you try to achieve a goal the higher the risk of injury and burnout occurs and the unrealistic long term diet/lifestyle changes unfold.

We want to develop lifelong skills, health, and fitness. This takes consistency and smart work, which is typically more difficult for people than “hard workouts.” Because it requires more discipline, patience, and attention to details.

• If you prioritize hard, challenging, and fun workouts only, you will inevitably reach some stalling point in your training. (Possibly injuries).

• Honoring the progression principles from the beginning will save you countless hours of frustration and disappointment.

• Honoring the fundamentals doesn’t have to mean boring or easy. We spend a great deal of time keeping the program fun and challenging while still emphasizing the basics and foundations. (I will be the first to admit, this has been a huge shift in programming/culture and I feel guilt for how I initially programmed for the gym).

• Training is not a constant progression. Take specific time periods to progress and follow a plan towards a goal, then step back to recalibrate and refresh before you tackle the next big goal and training build. Regress back to the foundations!

Lastly

If you feel lost or unsure where you can focus time/energy on improving as an athlete PLEASE reach out to myself or one of the coaches at KTX!

We have a wide range of brilliant minds from doctors of physical therapy, movement specialist and massage therapists, gymnastics, weightlifting, endurance and nutrition coaches.

We want to help you reach your goals!

P.S. – this message comes from some deep bitterness in myself from cramming in “junk volume” a month leading up to a local competition I should not have taken so seriously. I was quickly reminded by my body that I’m not 20 years old anymore 😉 I’m not injured, but it was a frustrating couple of weeks scaling the workout of the day.

-Kyle

A Few Health Tips During Corona Lockdown

This is a tough situation, but that does not mean we have to hit rock bottom in our health. Here are a few good tips for maintaining health during this period.

 

DECREASE CORTISOL LEVELS

High cortisol can wreck havoc on us physically and mentally, here are a few tips on balancing your levels:

DITCH THE ALARM CLOCK

Alarms immediately wake us up into a fight or flight state. This is the opposite of what we should strive for (waking up peacefully…) During a period like this, if waking up early for school or work are not a concern, this is a great opportunity to get on your natural clock. Aiming to fall asleep and wake up around the same times daily will generally allow your body to get in rhythm, and should decrease high cortisol.

BREATH.

Pay attention to your breathing (or lack thereof) especially during times of stress. When I am extra stressed, I will find myself almost naturally holding my breath and then taking short shallow breaths until I realize what is going on and I change my focus to full inhales and deep exhales. It’s amazing how I begin to feel better after 10-15 deep breaths. (TRY IT)!

Look for APPS like Headspace, follow a YOGA video on Youtube, or close your eyes and listen to your favorite songs while you focus on 6-10 second inhale and 6-10 second exhales. Meditation and stretching are both great ways to breath and maintain healthy cortisol levels!

P.S. – One of the reasons aerobic exercise is great is because IT FORCES YOU TO BREATH!

FASTING

Time restricted eating habits can improve immune function, improve blood glucose and insulin levels, cholesterol & triglyceride numbers, decrease inflammation, and balance hormones (to name a few). If you have concerns, talk to your physician about whether or not time restricted eating or intermittent fasting is a good option for you.

The most common time restricted eating practice is eating your full days worth of food in an 8 hour time frame. Calorie restriction is NOT the goal of fasting. The break you give your body from constantly eating on a regular basis (habitual) will pay off.

MODERATE EXERCISE

Exercise in the right dosage is one of the best ways to improve health and boost immune function. There is no debate here.

Chronic cardio -or- extreme amounts of exercise can compromise our immune health. So during a time like this, balance is key (150-300 minutes per week). If you are locked up in the house, over exertion should not be an issue, move as much as you can- to overdue it, you typically have to be going to the extreme day in and day out.

ZERO exercise | sedentary lifestyle in today’s world  is one of the best ways to guarantee health issues arise at some point. Not always, but the odds are against you. Get outside and sweat.

EAT THE RAINBOW

Aim to eat a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, and foods that are not in a package. This is a good time to experiment with new recipes in the kitchen!

SLEEP

Aim for 7 – 9 hours of sleep every day.  This is an excellent opportunity for many folks to create healthy sleep patterns and get our your proper biological clock.

Inadequate sleep is linked to shorter lifespan, hormone imbalances, chronic inflammation, and just about every stress related disease you can imagine… if there is one most important lifestyle factor to focus on, sleep might be at the top.

NOTE: If you get 7+ hours of sleep regularly, but still feel exhausted then you might not be getting quality sleep.

Some things that can disrupt proper sleep patterns may include : more than 2 alcoholic beverages before bed, caffeine consumption after 1:00 PM (even if you think you can drink it and go straight to bed, try tracking your sleep patterns),  THC, too much exercise (it takes A LOT ) , not enough exercise, not consuming enough nutrients, WIFI in or near the bedroom, blue lights in the bedroom,  dehydration, stress, and… well maybe children. Some things are out of our control , most most are not.

GET OUTSIDE

Sunlight, fresh air, dirt, and the sight of earthly objects (like trees, grass, clouds, etc…) all have positive effects on our health. The last thing you want to do is lock yourself inside. You also do not have to go out in public if you are worried, your backyard is just fine 🙂   15-20 minutes of sun hitting as much skin as possible may do the trick.

If you are not getting regular sun exposure, adding in 2,000-3,000 IUs of vitamin D3 with 100-200mcg vitamin K could be a great option.

 

In good health,

Kyle Flowers