Why Does CrossFit Make Me Hungry? (CrossFit Nutrition Explained!)

It’s no surprise that burning calories causes a need for replenishment. The harder you work out, the harder your body needs to recover. This means, rest, hydration, and of course, food. Just how much food you need is determined by the amount of energy you expended, and how consistently you are working out. CrossFit in particular requires excessive amounts of work, as the body is being put through all sorts of various intense, explosive exercises, breaking down muscles and working most of the body all at once. When the work is done, it’s time to recover, and food is crucial for recovery. Something important to keep in mind: being hungry after working out is normal, and eating after working out is healthy, so long as you are consuming the appropriate foods to fuel and recover your body.

Does CrossFit increase your appetite – And Why?

Naturally, any form of exercise is going to increase your appetite, especially if you are engaging in said activity consistently. The reason: your muscles have just been broken down over the course of your workout and they need to be repaired. In order to repair these muscles, your body needs food, protein-rich foods specifically, with vitamins and nutrients to replenish what you have worked off, and then some to build the muscles back stronger. There is a right way and a wrong way to go about replenishing your body, and staying away from greasy, fried foods is the right way. Your body needs quality proteins, iron-rich foods, and electrolytes in order to keep from crashing. Maintaining a high-intensity workload over a consistent schedule will ultimately fail if you are not properly restoring your nutrients with healthy post-workout foods.

Why am I so hungry at night after working out?

“Weight lifting and strength training are likely to leave you with a big appetite afterward. As your muscle tissue repairs, it cries out for food to help it regain strength,” (freeletics.com). The broken-down muscles are in desperate need of repair after intense exercise, and food is the best way to build muscle after breaking it down. Once your body has had the chance to transition from a high-intensity workout to a state of recovery, you may notice your appetite is increased compared to immediately after working out. This is because your body is no longer expecting intense physical exercise. It takes a period of time for your body to recognize that muscle breakdown has concluded, and the time to repair and rebuild has begun.

Why am I so hungry the day after I lift weights?

Due to how the body recovers and rebuilds broken down muscles, your appetite may be more noticeable a while after working out. “Strength training makes you the most susceptible to a larger appetite on rest days because your metabolic rate is increased for about 36 hours after the activity as your body is trying to recuperate the strained muscles,” (Shape.com). This is also an important reminder to integrate easier days into your workout regimen. If every day has you going to the well, you are likely to burn out or injure yourself.

Will eating more make me put on weight?

In some cases, you may be taking in more calories than you are burning. This does not mean you are going to be putting on weight. You are breaking down muscles day after day, strengthening your body, and improving muscular performance. To grow muscle, your body needs far more calories than that of the average person. The daily intake should be doubled, if not more than that of an individual who leads a sedentary lifestyle. When fat is being burned, muscles are being developed, and it is not an even trade. 5lbs of muscle looks significantly different than 5lbs of fat, and while you may not be losing weight as far as the scale is concerned, your body will be transformed by making that trade.

How many calories should I eat if I do CrossFit?

An individual’s calorie intake is specific to them. No one answer fits all when it comes to calorie consumption. This is something that you need to work out with a personal trainer or nutritionist as your body is different from others. “The CrossFit-compatible Zone Diet advises consuming 40% of your calories from carbs, 30% from protein and 30% from fat — but says that elite athletes may need more fat. To simplify the diet and ensure you get the recommended ratio of macronutrients, food is classified into blocks of protein, carbs or fat,” (Healthline.com). Keeping these ratios in mind, it’s easier to map out a specific dietary plan. Again, while calculating your daily intake, make sure to speak with a trainer or nutritionist as your body type may require more or less than others.

Tips to stop being ‘always hungry’

Often, but not always, hunger stems from the energy your body has expended. While there may be other reasons for you feeling the need to eat, it is important to take note of the differences in appetites. There are times that your body needs food, but fueling yourself with unhealthy foods will not replenish your muscles, and will not satisfy your appetite in the long term. That being said, there are certain ways to make sure that your body is getting what it needs, without overeating, or undereating.

  1. Make sure you are always staying hydrated. This is important whether you are about to work out, or not. Your body always needs plenty of water.
  2. Ensure you are achieving an appropriate level of protein intake. This can be easily calculated online by inputting your body weight.
  3. Consume vitamins, minerals, and nutrient-rich foods. Your body is constantly losing valuable nutrients while working out regularly. In some cases, supplements may be necessary in order to maintain a healthy level of nutrients, but again, speak with a nutritionist on this matter before purchasing any supplements.
  4. Lastly, if you are eating right, and providing your body with foods that provide a necessary supplement to the work you are putting in, eat until you are full. Never let yourself go to bed hungry, or depleated. Your body needs food, and if you are working out consistently, it needs it even more. Make sure you are properly restoring your calories, recovering from your last workout, and preparing for your next.

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