Best Protein Powders For Crossfit: A Comprehensive Guide

Crossfit is growing in popularity every day, but you might be wondering which protein powders are best suited to help you succeed in your Crossfit workouts.

This comprehensive guide will show you the top protein powders for Crossfit based on your personal preferences and goals.

Whether you’re looking to pack on muscle or drop some fat, we’ve got you covered!

What Is Whey Protein Powder?

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Whey protein powder is a highly-concentrated protein that can be used to fuel your workout or as a supplement to add more protein to your diet.

The standard whey protein that most people are familiar with comes from cow’s milk and is often labeled as a byproduct of cheese production.

Whey protein is quickly becoming one of the most popular types of supplements because it offers so many benefits, like increased strength and muscle gains.

Some products even claim whey can help boost metabolism and improve cardiovascular health.

The benefits are plentiful—and they’re backed by science—so finding which brand works best for you just requires some research and trial-and-error testing!

What Is Casein Protein Powder? 

Casein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs.

It’s also a more slowly digesting protein than whey, meaning it’s better at helping you feel full after meals and providing longer-lasting energy to your muscles.

Because of its high levels of glutamine and arginine, casein can also help you recover from workouts faster.

The effects are cumulative, meaning that if you take casein at night before bed and have another serving in the morning, your body will have time to absorb these proteins while you sleep.

The combination will keep your muscles full throughout most of your waking hours.

What Are Some Other Types Of Protein Powder

In addition to whey and casein, there are other protein powders you can use.

They include soy, pea, rice, egg, and hemp protein. All of these proteins come from various sources with varying amounts of quality proteins depending on which one you go with.

For example, some studies have shown that pea protein is potentially helpful in supporting muscle growth and aiding recovery after intense exercise since it contains high amounts of both essential amino acids and glutamine.

Some people may also find that it helps improve digestion when consumed during a meal as well as having fewer allergic reactions compared to whey protein powder.

Related Post: Best Protein Powder For Cyclists – The Top 5 Protein Powders For You!

How Much Protein Do I Need?

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The best thing to do is figure out how much protein you need by tracking your intake and seeing where it falls after a few weeks.

If your goal is simply to lose weight or build muscle, aim somewhere between 1 gram and 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily (or more), depending on how active you are.  

For example, if you weigh 150 pounds and want to get down to 10% body fat while gaining lean mass, shoot for at least 150 grams of protein per day.

If you’re very active—you work out twice a day—you may want to bump that up even higher.

In terms of powders, whey and casein are both good options.

Whey is fast-digesting so it helps with recovery post-workout; casein is slow-digesting so it helps with overnight recovery and can help prevent catabolism during sleep.

Mixing them together has been shown to be particularly effective.

As far as flavor goes, you can mix any powder with anything from water to milk to juice.

Chocolate tends to be popular because it masks some of the less pleasant flavors found in some proteins but there’s no reason not to experiment!

Just make sure whatever you choose doesn’t have added sugar or other junk in there!

What Protein Do Crossfitters Use?

You might not believe it, but just like traditional weightlifters, many CrossFitters use protein powders.

Because of all their grueling workouts, CrossFitters tend to burn through muscle quicker than average gym-goers.

That’s why they supplement with protein powder—to help them get enough protein in their diets to keep up with their intense training schedules.

But there are a lot of different types of protein powders out there and finding one that is right for you can be tricky.

But if you have no specific dietary requirements then start off with whey protein. And look for a whey protein isolate if you can.

What Is The Difference Between Whey Protein Isolate And Whey Protein Concentrate?

Whey protein is a complete protein that provides your body with all of its essential amino acids.

You can find whey in many different products, but not all of them are created equal.

There are a couple of main types of whey powder you’ll see at your local health food store or grocery retailer—they come in either concentrate or isolate form.

Concentrate and isolate powders aren’t necessarily better than one another; they’re just two different forms of whey.

Concentrate powders tend to be less processed than isolates, so they may have more nutrients like calcium and potassium.

The downside is that concentrates often have higher levels of lactose (milk sugar) and fat compared to isolates. Isolates are processed to remove these extra ingredients, which makes them purer but also more expensive than concentrates.

Should I Drink Protein Shake After CrossFit?

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Drinking a protein shake after your workout is an excellent recovery method and can enhance muscle growth.

Many people assume it’s best to drink a shake as soon as possible after they train, but that may not always be true.

Your muscles are already primed to rebuild themselves, so don’t rush it.

If you wait one hour after training before drinking your shake, you’ll have time to get something in your stomach, which will help with overall digestion and absorption of nutrients.

In addition, if you wait an hour or more before drinking your protein, you’ll avoid diluting all those beneficial ingredients with water from sweat that could still be in your stomach.

How Do CrossFitters Eat?

Like other athletes, CrossFitters eat a relatively healthy diet.

The staples of a healthy eating plan are protein, healthy fats, whole grains, and plenty of fruit and veggies.

It is also not uncommon to eat some fried or processed foods.

However, many opt to have mostly a whole-foods diet.

Most experts agree that there is no one diet that’s best for everyone, but rather it depends on what works best for each individual’s needs and goals (i.e., losing weight vs gaining muscle).

As you can see from their Instagram accounts, almost all CrossFitters eat lean protein with every meal.

They might add in supplements like whey protein or creatine too but aren’t necessary to hit their goals.

Related Post: The 5 Best CrossFit Barbells – RX Your Training With These Must-Have Bars

Do CrossFitters Eat Carbs?

Let’s first take a look at what carbs are.

They are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The most common type of carbohydrate we consume is sugar, which comes in many forms including fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods.

It’s not just all about taking in carbohydrates, however; as with anything it’s about moderation and balance.

CrossFitters should eat healthy carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains on a daily basis for optimal energy levels during their workout.

This will also help avoid any feeling of low blood sugar during your next WOD or training session.

If you find yourself craving more sugary treats to give you that boost of energy before hitting the gym, then try consuming some complex carbohydrates such as oats and quinoa beforehand.

Oats contain beta-glucan, which has been shown to improve physical performance by increasing glucose tolerance and reducing plasma cortisol concentration after exercise.

Quinoa contains tryptophan (which helps create serotonin) along with vitamins B6 and E that may reduce muscle soreness after exercise.

While carb cravings may be tough to fight off sometimes, keeping your body fueled properly can make a big difference in how you perform when doing high-intensity workouts like CrossFit.

What Is Creatine Monohydrate Good For?

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Creatine is not a magic bullet, but it’s certainly one of your best bets.

An extensive study published in 2012 found that creatine monohydrate supplementation boosts performance in high-intensity activities, such as weightlifting, sprinting, and resistance training.

It also improves overall endurance by helping you maintain higher levels of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) in your muscles during exercise.

Higher levels of ATP mean you can work harder before becoming fatigued.

And more importantly, you recover faster between sets so you can get back to working out again sooner.

This translates into greater gains over time with less chance of injury and overtraining syndrome—something all serious athletes want to avoid at all costs!

Should CrossFitters Take Creatine?

Creatine is arguably one of the most well-researched supplements available today.

The benefits include but are not limited to:

Increased muscle mass, Improved strength output, and power, Decreased muscle damage, and increased recovery post-training sessions.

There is also evidence that creatine can improve mental performance and general well-being!

If you’re considering supplementing with creatine and happen to be a CrossFitter, then these are all huge factors to consider!

Do CrossFit Athletes Use Pre Workout?

Do you know anyone who does CrossFit?

If so, chances are they probably use some sort of pre-workout powder or supplement.

These days, pre-workout powders have become standard practice in fitness circles.

That’s because they help to increase your energy levels before working out and therefore make exercising easier, shorter, and more effective.

Personally though, coffee is fine for me.

The main ingredient in prework is caffeine.

So for me, I just go right to the source.

Check out this video I posted explaining the difference between Creatine and Pre-workout.

Should I Drink BCAA During A Workout?

If you’re doing strength training, then BCAA is fine to take before and during your workout.

Because of how it’s broken down and used in your body, drinking BCAA while you work out could be beneficial.

If you’re not doing any sort of structured resistance training, though, there’s no reason to take it.

The benefit is more focused on performance than muscle gain; if that doesn’t matter to you—and it doesn’t matter unless you’re trying to compete at a high level—then don’t worry about it.

What Should I Drink During CrossFit?

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Drinking water is perhaps one of the most important things you can do while exercising.

When you’re active, your body temperature rises and sweat glands kick into high gear.

It’s even possible to lose up to four liters of water an hour during intense exercise like CrossFit.

Since it’s vital that you remain hydrated, drinking plenty of water throughout your workout is a no-brainer.

If it’s cold outside or if you’re particularly thirsty, sip on some sports drinks containing electrolytes like sodium and potassium.

Water will keep your body from getting too acidic and hurting your performance (or worse, killing you) so staying hydrated is always a good idea.

Related Post: The Grace Crossfit Workout: A Total Body Transformation

Top 3 Protein Powders For CrossFit

At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference with which protein powder you choose.

But here is a list I’ve put together with the best quality whey protein, a value option, and the best plant-based option.

Best Quality Whey Protein

Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Protein

Whey protein is so common because it’s absorbed so much faster than other protein powders.

With Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard you definitely get what you pay for.

And $74.99 for a cleaner protein powder full BCAAs is still a great price.

Best Value Whey Protein

BSN Syntha-6

For a more affordable price of $59.95, Syntha-6 has a great range of premium whey protein powders also.

Best Plant-Based Protein

Redcon1 Green Beret Vegan Protein

I was never a fan of vegan protein powdered.

They just never seemed to mix well and they all tasted terrible.

But Redcon1’s Green Beret protein is easy to mix and tasted great!

A mix of pea, rice, and quinoa protein.

And will only set you back $49.95 for a 2lb container.

Final Mop Up

If you’re serious about your workouts, then you need to put in some work to make sure that you’re healthy and fit.

Eating a balanced diet is one of, if not THE most important thing that you can do to ensure your success.

Making sure that you have enough protein in your diet will help protect your muscles from breaking down, which is incredibly important when performing high-intensity weightlifting routines like those used in CrossFit.