April Bennetts from 23elements is a recognised Sports Dietitian focused on CrossFit nutrition in Australia. As a CrossFitter herself, she is dedicated to helping people to master their own nutrition and take control over their own nutritional choices. Over the years she has seen people become confused over what to eat, when to eat and how to eat based on particular nutritional messages and quick fixes promoted. As a dietitian she doesn’t believe in any particular diet or quick fix solutions or magic pills; nutrition is simply not a one size fits all approach. This is not a new concept for CrossFitters simply because all WODs (AKA 'workout of the day' for all of you non-CrossFitters) are scalable and adaptable and nutrition is no different.
I asked April to do this blog post as she has a wealth of experience in this area of sport nutrition. After chatting to her about her experience and approach I realised that even though we see athletes involved in different sports (my involvement as a sports dietitian has been mostly in triathlon, running, football, water polo, netball and volleyball), there are key elements of our approach which are similar. These include teaching athletes to adapt their individual nutrition requirements to their stage of training (and stage of life), which varies constantly depending on many factors, and helping them discover the best approach for them - not what may work for someone else.
So what nutritional tips does April have for CrossFitters? Here are her top 3:
Nutrition is individualised
Nutrition is flexible and adaptable and should be scaled to suit the needs of the individual. Nutritional needs can change day to day, week to week, month to month and year to year depending on training, access to food, family demands, travel commitments, injuries, etc. Mastering nutrition is not about relying on diets or quick fixes but having an understanding of the results you want and becoming empowered by nutritional knowledge to make the right choices.
Nutrition takes hard work and practice
To excel at your own nutrition you have to practice and find out what works best for you. Crossfitters understand this concept as we know we have to put in the hard work and training to get better; nutrition is no different.
This simply means you need to own your own nutrition. To find out what works best for you is to combine the nutritional science that exists with your own experience to find out what works best for you. Sometimes what will work for an individual cannot be explained with science.
What about the paleo and zone diets...
So what does this mean with regards to the common diets (e.g. Paleo and Zone diet) promoted within the CrossFit community? Well April is about allowing people to become masters of their own nutrition. A person who masters their nutrition would look at these diets and understand that there is no one size fits all approach to nutrition. Nutritional intake needs to match individual requirements and these diets may be a starting point for some, but not necessarily be the best in reaching their destination and goals. Lastly, nutrition needs to be flexible and adaptable.
April helps a master of their own nutrition review the paleo diet in the You Tube video below.
For more information visit April's 23elements TV reviews here:
Please share this post within your CrossFit community to help everyone become masters of their own nutrition.