CrossFit: Optimize recovery

Optimize recovery after a CrossFit session

CrossFit is a specialized training method: relatively short, but super intense. Locals from the region love their motivating experience, in which going beyond their own expectations and building strength are the inevitable result.

The nutritional side of things also plays a role in achieving progress, particularly for those who go several times a week. There is one recurring question: what to eat after a WOD (Workout of the Day) to achieve good recovery?

The key nutrients

Proteins are first and foremost. Why? Because this nutrient plays a key role for repairing muscle fibres that have been heavily impacted by the session.

In terms of quantity, you can usually aim for 15 – 25 g (0.3 g/kg of body weight) immediately after the training session. In addition, it’s a good idea to consume some regularly over the day, about every four hours, so that your muscles are always supplied with amino acids.

Over a full day, aim to spread an intake totalling 80 – 150 g (>1.6 g/kg of body weight).  *see chart below.

To optimize absorption of the proteins, it’s also important to include a source of carbohydrates at the same time (fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc.)

By filling up with this kind of fuel, which was used during the session, you help maximize the anabolic process related to recovery.

And to complete the trio, aim for adequate hydration all day long so that the nutrients can travel within your body and you can eliminate the waste your organism produces.

The type of protein

Studies show that proteins from animal source, particularly “whey”, are the most efficient in terms of speed of absorption. This is why many sports nutrition supplements contain this ingredient.

However, vegetable proteins (soy, peas, hemp, etc.) are also valuable; you do, however, have to slightly increase your daily rations to obtain a similar effect.

Food or supplement?

The sports nutrition supplements industry is fiercely competitive, with promises of miracles that are unfortunately too often misleading. A word to the wise: be vigilant and inform yourself adequately before buying them.

I strongly suggest you emphasize real food, for post-training snacks as well as for meals, because these will provide you with more than just one nutrient!  Note that the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants naturally present in food are equally important for recovery, and are just as beneficial for your health in general.

Enjoy your WOD!


Karl Britten, head coach and owner of CrossFit Mont-Tremblant shares one of his favourite after-training meals: roast beef, crusty bread, hard cheese, boiled egg, raw sweet pepper, fried mushrooms and homemade pickles, mayonnaise-horseradish dip, homemade banana bread, and a big glass of water!

What do you think of his choice?






By the same author: Nutrition and trail running (Cick the image below)



Ariane Lavigne38 Posts

Titulaire d'un baccalauréat en nutrition de l'Université de Montréal, Ariane est nutritionniste depuis 2008. Voulant approfondir ses connaissances sur la performance athlétique, elle a obtenu un diplôme de spécialisation en nutrition sportive avec le Comité International Olympique (CIO). Elle est aujourd'hui nutritionniste du sport chez Vivaï et à la Clinique Mouvement Optimal de Mont-Tremblant. Toujours en quête de dépassement, elle combine sa profession à sa grande passion : le snowboard alpin. Elle connaît la réalité des sports élites, ayant été elle-même une athlète membre de l'Équipe Nationale de Snowboard et Olympienne des Jeux Olympiques de Sotchi en 2014. Ariane has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from the University of Montreal and has been a nutritionist since 2008. Wanting to expand her knowledge of athletic performance, she obtained a diploma specialized in sports nutrition from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). She serves at Clinique Mouvement Optimal de Mont-Tremblant as well as Vivaï as sports nutritionist. Always in search of personal and professional advancement, she combines her profession with her greatest passion: alpine snowboarding. She understands the realities of elite sports, having been a member of the Canadian National Snowboard Team who participated in the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

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