CrossFit isn’t easy. It requires strength and endurance as well as mental toughness to push you further than you ever thought possible.
If you are looking to take CrossFit to the next level and smash your PR’s into the dirt, then the right supplements can make a big difference.
The problem is there are a lot of supplements out there and it can be hard to choose the right ones. Believe or not there is more than just the Progenex they sell at your box, much more. These supplements can be very effective at increasing strength, power, endurance, delay fatigue and stay focused.
Best Supplements for CrossFit Athletes
These are the most effective supplements you can use to increase your performance and seriously crush your WODs into oblivion and set PR after PR.
Creatine is the top supplement you can buy when it comes to a performance enhancer for sports, weightlifting and also CrossFit. If anyone tells you different they are either clueless or full of crap, either way, ignore them.
Benefits of creatine include:
- Increased strength
- Increased muscle volume
- Increased performance and endurance doing high-intensity work
- Enhanced brain function
- Faster workout recovery
What does creatine do?
To put what creatine does in a nutshell, it puts more ATP into your muscles. ATP is what gives your muscles energy to work. The more energy your muscles have the longer they can train and the stronger they are. Creatine is actually made naturally in the body by the pancreas, liver, and kidneys. Supplementing the body with more creatine gives you more strength and more energy in your muscles.
How well does it work?
This one always works great for me and is at the top of my list personally when it comes to effective supplements that build strength and endurance. It has given me a 60 lb. increase in my squat in a 6-week period. It works that well. You will start seeing strength gains in the first week or so and they will continue to climb from there. Endurance will increase and your recovery time will be faster too. This supplement can’t be beaten by anything legal.
There are many different forms of creatine out there with creatine monohydrate and creatine HCL being the most popular. The others will work too except the liquid creatine. It has been shown that creatine in liquid form is not effective so avoid that.
One negative is if you stop taking it your strength will likely decrease slowly back close to where it was before you started taking it. You can likely keep some of that new strength but it will go likely go down some. Other than that there is nothing not to like about creatine.
Best Creatine available?
We are currently recommending Creatine HMB from Transparent Labs as our top creatine on the market. This one combines the strength building of creatine along with HMB which is a newer supplement shown to increase strength. It is top-notch and leads to impressive strength gains. For more information on creatine and other top creatine supplements check out Top 5 Creatine Supplements.
#2 Pre-Workout Supplements
Pre-workouts are another great supplement for Crossfitters. This one could easily have been at the top of the list, to be honest, creatine is pretty badass too though. Basically, everything a pre-workout does will be beneficial to your performance in CrossFit. Let’s check out the pre-workout benefits.
Benefits of pre-workout supplements:
- Increased energy
- Increased endurance
- Increased stamina
- Increased focus
- Increased strength
Everything you need to crush your WOD and then some is in there. They can and will increase your performance.
How do pre-workouts work?
Pre-workouts are made with a mix of ingredients, each made to do a certain task. Here are some of the common ingredients and what they do:
Citrulline Malate – This ingredient has been shown to increase strength, aerobic performance as well as endurance.
Caffeine Anhydrous – Caffeine gives you energy of course, but it can also increase readiness and repetitions until failure.
Beta-Alanine – This is another one that keeps you from getting fatigued and also provides that tingly feeling.
Creatine – As we mentioned before creatine is a superior strength and power builder.
Those are 5 of the most common ingredients you find in pre-workouts, all of which have their own role and make pre-workouts a very effective supplement especially for CrossFit.
Many pre-workouts contain large amounts of caffeine and there are people out there who are sensitive to it, luckily they also make stimulant-free versions. Some people can also become desensitized to them so it is recommended you switch pre-workouts often every couple months so you don’t build up a tolerance.
We like the PreSeries Bulk as our top pre-workout on the market. You can find more information on pre-workout supplements and other good choices in our article Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Insane Workouts.
#3 Protein Powder
As most of you may know protein is the building blocks of muscle. So, of course, it is going to pay off to have more protein in your diet if you are looking to get stronger, build muscle and perform better. It is recommended that you have 1 gram of protein per lb. of body weight per day if you are active in fitness and looking to get stronger. This means if you weigh 200 lbs. you should be consuming about 200 grams of protein per day. An easy way to help get that much is to use a protein supplement.
Benefits of protein powder include:
- High-quality protein
- Builds muscle and strength
- Easy protein intake
- Includes BCAA’s
Why take protein powder?
Protein powder is an easy and effective way to get your protein intake for the day. Yes, you can get your protein without protein powder which is perfectly fine. It can be expensive and time-consuming to just through food though. Protein powder is a quick and easy way to get your protein and move on with life. After workout shakes are very convenient especially for people on the go.
There really aren’t any negatives to taking protein powder. I would suggest you get a good one though, some of the cheaper ones are made with less than the best ingredients. Check the label and get one without artificial flavors and additives if you can. It can be a bit costly but it’s way cheaper than eating steaks and chicken breast.
Best Protein Powder
The protein powder we recommend is ProteinSeries 100% Grass-Fed Whey Isolate. This bad boy is about as good as you can get in a powder. It is made from naturally fed, hormone-free cows and clean of artificial sweeteners, food dyes, gluten, and preservatives and is sourced from New Zealand, not China. It is easily one of the cleanest proteins on the market. It isn’t cheap, but it is worth it. You can read about protein powder and other protein powder choices in our article Best Protein Powders on the Market.
#4 Krill Oil
Many people out there take fish oil, which is very good. Krill oil is a lot like fish oil only better. Both fish oil and krill oil are loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids, but the krill oil is easier to digest and absorb than fish oil and is more potent.
Benefits of krill oil:
- Supports joint health
- Supports heart health
- High in antioxidants
- Much more potent than fish oil
- Improves brain function
Why take fish oil?
As we said earlier, krill oil is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants. These are what give you all the great benefits of eating tons of healthy fish without having to eat a ton of fish.
You obviously do not want to take this is you are allergic to crustaceans. Also, they do tend to thin the blood a little so if you are already on blood thinners you should consult your doctor.
Best Krill Oil
We recommend CoreSeries Krill Oil. This krill oil is made from 100% Antarctic krill species and has no mercury and no additives. We feel it is the best out there.
Those are the best four options out there to enhance your performance when it comes to Crossfit and they are in order from most effective to least effective. These are really all you need, anything more than that and people are just trying to sell you stuff.