Increasing Strength Through Nutrition

Increasing physical performance is tied to the foods you eat.

For strength athletes or endurance athletes, nutrition plays a critical role in upping performance as well overall health. Whether an individual competes in CrossFit, powerlifting or bodybuilding, nutrition is extremely critical in all three sports.


CrossFit is a sport that has a mixture of different exercising techniques. Workouts are based on jumping rope, heavy squats, rowing, biking and calisthenics (such as pull-ups and pushups).


Pull up bar and TRX ropes shown, where many calisthenics workouts will occur.

All of these exercises are mixed into one workout with very limited rest, which will be very harsh on the body for recovering.

To increase the speed of CrossFit recovery and muscle growth, it is essential to have a strict diet meeting the bodies needs.

“A well-balanced diet towards the sport of CrossFit is very important, nutrition is going to fuel workouts,” said Nicole Saul, a CrossFit 7220 coach as well athlete. “If someone is not eating enough they cannot keep up with recovery or performance towards training.”

This is much easier said than done, meaning not the vast majority will stick to a diet and training plan consistently. Being patient is very important when it comes to results from strength and nutrition.

“I would say at least four weeks to see real results but it would be closer to six weeks to see significant results while sticking to a well-balanced training program and diet,” Saul says.

In the sport of CrossFit persistence is everything when it comes to results from workouts and nutrition.


Powerlifting is a sport many will mistake for Olympic Weightlifting. To simplify the sport, powerlifting is a testament of one’s strength amongst the squat, bench press and deadlift.

Every athlete is motivated in increasing the total amount of weight they can perform for each lift.

For powerlifting, strength is everything.  Nutrition and recovery are as essential to one’s training program in addition to strength.

I’ve always said that 50 percent of powerlifting is in the gym with training and the other 50 percent is in the kitchen,” said Riley Sanchez, manager of Laramie Fitness and an United States Powerlifting Association coach. “Without a proper diet, you are wasting time in the gym. You could be doing more harm than good towards your training without proper nutrition.”

The types of foods to eat is very important when structuring a diet. Foods to eat before training, after and throughout the day will help stimulate muscle growth and increase recovery.

“You’re going to want to eat specific foods at certain times to maximize your muscle growth in specific ways,” Sanchez states. “Eating carbohydrates before training is important towards fueling your workouts. Post workout nutrition with proteins is very essential to recover properly and build muscle. Best food sources for muscle growth would be chicken, eggs and red meats.”

With a sport structured primarily on building strength, the nutrition put into an athlete’s body will be the results that come out of it.


Bodybuilding is slightly different than CrossFit and powerlifting. Bodybuilding is a sport that is based on the muscle and symmetry of the body. Instead of focusing on improvements in performing certain exercises, it is judged on how an individual’s body will look.

“The full definition of Bodybuilding is, ‘the development and growth of the body through exercise and diet,’” said Bryan Fikes in the article What is Bodybuilding.

Nutrition is very crucial when the goal is to build the body’s muscle mass as well burning fat.

“Nutrition is the most important thing outside of sleep when it comes to bodybuilding,” said Kevin Dasis, bodybuilder as well senior at University of Wyoming. “What we eat dictates how our physique will look overall. It’s no secret that if you eat unhealthy foods frequently, your health and body will pay a price.”


Spinach, chicken and steak are essential for muscle growth and recovery.

Strength is shown to be more important than someone would think in the sport of bodybuilding.

“Strength is the most important aspect of training and bodybuilding,” Dasis states, “Without progression in weight added to the bar there isn’t enough stimulation to keep muscle protein synthesis [rebuilding of muscle tissue] at an optimal range.”

This is shown to be easier said than done. Finding proper foods to eat for increasing strength is all part of experimenting with what works best towards someone’s body.

“Food for strength, specifically, would be a carbohydrate source that can be taken up quickly before training such as a fruit,” Dasis states.

Dasis added that having a fat source to your carbs is essential before training. For example, eating a banana with peanut butter before your workouts is helpful.

Whether someone’s sport is CrossFit, powerlifting or bodybuilding, nutrition plays a critical role in success towards an athlete’s performance.

“Bodybuilding is much like any other sport,” says Arnold Schwarzenegger, according to Directly Fitness, who curated his quotes. “To be successful, you must dedicate yourself 100% to your training, diet and mental approach.”

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