Today we had a really funny discussion at CrossFit about supplements. To protect the anonymity of the person in question, and the supplement involved, we'll call the person "Jane," and the supplement "WonderPow."
It all started when one of the ladies at our gym, said something to the effect of: "Hey, have you guys tried WonderPow? I don't like the taste, but Jane swears by it!"
Now, to understand this statement, you have to know a bit about Jane.
Jane is an absolute CrossFit machine. She does WODs so fast that you're left thinking things like... "What in the world Jane? Are you punishing yourself for something? Did you secretly burn down an orphanage, and now every workout is a chance to fulfill some sort of lifelong penance? Are you part of a top secret government program to test genetically modified super-humans? Like...for real...are you a cyborg?"
It stands to reason that when Jane tries (and likes) WonderPow, we'll all be inclined to start polishing off cases of the stuff to see if we can leave a trail of destroyed WODs in our wake like Jane does.
On the other hand. There are some other factors at play here.
How often does Jane hit the box? Does she put in skill work? Does she bring her A-game to the workouts? Is she a gifted athlete?
Assuming some of the previous theories aren't true (penance, cyborg, etc), I think we'd all get further by trying to emulate Jane's behavior, vs. her love for WonderPow.
It's pretty telling that the ONLY supplement that CrossFit recommends for athletes is a good Omega 3 supplement. CrossFit has left MILLIONS upon MILLIONS of dollars on the table by intentionally avoiding CrossFit branded supplements, so I think we should approach any supplementation with caution.
HOWEVER...Here are a few instances when I think it's totally OK to consume some sort of workout supplement.
1. It lines up with your beliefs about nutrition.
Look at the label, and really dive into the ingredients to see if it's something you want to put in your body. If it has things that were made in a lab somewhere, or lots of highly processed ingredients, it's probably not a good idea to consume it.
2. It lines up with your lifestyle.
Assuming you make it past step 1, I think you have to ask whether it lines up with your lifestyle. We'd all love to go home after the workout to polish off a well balanced paleo breakfast every morning, but for many of us, that's just not in the cards. If you're the type of person who just rushes off to your day without a recovery meal, you might benefit from consuming some sort of clean pre-packaged snack.
3. It helps your gym.
You may have noticed that most CrossFit gym owners are not taking time off to fly their private jets to the Caribbean. If you can line the first 2 things on this list up with your needs, and you can support your gym a bit by buying some WonderPow, I say go for it! There may be a new wall-ball in it for you someday :)
4. It produces a Placebo effect.
People laugh off the Placebo effect, but let's not forget that it IS an effect. Yes, the effect comes from your brain, and possibly not from the WonderPow, but is that so bad? If it still positively influences your performance, I think it's still worthwhile if you can fit it into your nutrition requirements.
So there you have it. My humble thoughts on supplements. I'd love to have a more in-depth debate about this topic, but I can't hear you over my WonderPow :)
Have a Wonderful day!
P.P.S. I have not Googled the name "WonderPow" so any actual product that shows up by that name is purely coincidental.
(2 min later)
P.P.P.S I have now Googled "WonderPow" and have found no supplements by that name. I am hereby laying claim to it. Look for us to develop some sort of performance enhancing food item that tastes exactly like the lemon cake from Starbucks :)
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