PNC II Guidelines

Jake WODs

Our next Performance Nutrition Challenge is coming up. The PNC is not a Biggest Loser Challenge, or Weight Watchers. The goal is increased performance through improved fueling, better recovery, lowered inflammation, and improved body composition. Everyone can benefit from it, especially those who have become complacent in their diets.

Use this as an opportunity to improve your diet, and make lasting improvements in performance and health. The changes you can make in 8 weeks are huge.

Since our next Performance Nutrition Challenge was announced, we’ve gotten some questions about what you should eat. With the amount of information (and misinformation) out there, deciding what and how to eat can sometimes be more difficult than sticking to any sort of new nutrition plan. Here’s some good places to start. Notice, we aren’t endorsing any particular diet – no one plan will fit everyone’s needs.

We’ll be following this up with basic food lists for each of the macronutrients (Protein, Carbs, and Fat) as well as some sample meals.

E-mail me ASAP if you want to do this, the deadline is 8/30/10. The cost is $10 – please drop off cash at the gym, or e-mail me and I can deduct it from your account. We’ll be conducting the benchmark workout on 8/30/2010, and will allow make-ups if you cannot be here on that day.

Nutrition Guidelines for the CrossFit RVA Performance Nutrition Challenge II

    Eating for General Performance and Health

  • Eat lean meat (eggs included here) at every meal.
  • Remove grains, starch and sugar. And by limit, I mean annihilate. There’s plenty of other good carb sources out there (Fruits and Vegetables ARE carbs)
  • Majority of food should be from lean meats, vegetables, some fruit, and nuts.
  • Pay attention to post-WO nutrition. If you’re trying to lose some weight, don’t use this as a senseless excuse to add a bunch of fuel you may not really need. If anything, those who are trying to lose some weight should shift some of their carbs from their usual meals to post-WO, for the reasons below.


    The idea of a PWO meal containing carbs (and protein) is to take advantage of a period of time in which the muscles are particularly insulin sensitiveve. We can fly nutrients into the muscle “under the radar” via a mechanism called “non insulin mediated glucose transport”. Amino acids are also taken in during this time and may play a synergistic role in both glycogen repletion but also decreasing inflammation that accompanies hard training. Said another way, you recover from exertion faster. So, what should ya eat? We actually want a starchy carb as our primary carb. Yams and sweet potatoes are great options as they are also highly nutritious. Fruit should be used sparingly in this meal if one is focused on optimized glycogen repletion as fructose refills liver glycogen first, and once liver glycogen is full we up-regulate the lipogenic activity of the liver and start down the road towards fat gain and insulin resistance.
    […] Why not shakes? I’ve not found them to be superior to solid food, I have noticed they make people fat. A new paper just came out comparing milk & cereal (shitty food) to a PWO shake (also shitty food) and the milk+cereal beat the shake with regards to glycogen repletion. Go figure. I’d wager salmon and sweet potatoes would be even better…not likely to see that study!

    The PWO window is most potent immediately after a WO and drops off to about 50% efficacy by 30 min, and pretty much back to baseline by an hour. If you train at night, just try to get that meal in immediately after training and keep an eye out for fat gain around the mid-section. If thyis happens, dial back your carbs.

These are the basic Paleo Diet guidelines, with some tweaks. Paleo focuses on food quality, not food quantity. It is not necessarily high or low carb, protein, or fat. Fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates! But, because a couple heads of lettuce has the same amount of carbohydrate as a piece of bread, we do see some shift away from carbohydrates towards protein and fat.

This is the level of dietary control that will most likely be appropriate for many of you who are looking to eat healthier, perform better, and make small improvements to body composition. We’re taking a big step towards controlling food quality and managing insulin levels by shifting away from the sugars and grains. Performance may be affected initially, as we get used to the lowered carbohydrate intake. If you don’t feel better after a few weeks, add in extra fruit or similarly dense carbohydrate source (milk is another decent option).

So, that’s it. This time, no big diatribes on fat loss. Why? Those who had a great deal of success generally stuck with the above. For those who did the above and did not lose any fat, their needs are dependent on individual differences and history. If you have mastered the above, and after a few weeks, are seeing no body composition changes, then we’ll work with you on an individual basis.

Lastly, for those not prone to obsessing about their food, check out FitDay. So many people made progress simply because they made better food choices, not realizing the levels of sugar in many foods. Monitoring your food can be helpful, but don’t sweat the numbers until you’ve mastered your food quality.