What is Rhabdo?
Rhabdomyolysis is a dangerous and potentially deadly condition that can affect the liver of crossfit and other endurance athletes. Rhabdo is caused by the extreme breakdown of muscle tissue which in turn elevates myoglobin levels which is poisonous to the liver. The catalyst for rhabdomyolysis is usually prolonged high-intensity exercise in a hot environment also causing dehydration.
The symptoms of rhabdo are many including: severe generalized muscle pain, abdominal cramping, nausea and vomiting and in extreme cases dark red urine (this is the colour of the myoglobin).
Am I at risk of rhabdo?
According to current research the risk of developing rhabdo is low for beginners or deconditioned trainers as they have neither the muscle mass nor the physical capacity to break down enough muscle tissue to do damage. The research also indicates those at the highest risk are athletes with a reasonable baseline level of fitness obtained outside of CrossFit or those who are returning to CrossFit after a layoff and that the more elite CrossFit athletes are fairly unlikely to suffer from rhabdo as they have slowly built up a tolerance to extreme intensity training.
How can I avoid rhabdo?
If you are returning to CrossFit after a layoff it is recommended that you slowly build your intensity levels. It is also recommended that returning athletes do not lower the weights to be able to continue the wod at high intensity, rather maintain the prescribed weights and take breaks when necessary.
What else can I do?
It is extremely important to remain hydrated and ensure you're getting ample electrolytes before, during and after the wod. Too much pure water can help stave off rhabdo but can wash out your electrolytes causing hyponatremia which is even more serious than rhabdo.
Look after your liver.
Use a high quality liver tonic which helps remove toxins from the liver and helps repair damaged liver tissue.
Below is a short description of products that will help protect you from rhabdo while increasing your physical output, recovery and general health.
AMRAP - LT4 - ISO MAX
AMRAP is the world's strongest pre-wod supplement with providing enhanced strength, speed and endurance plus a serious serve of electrolytes and magnesium to keep your salts and ph levels balanced.
LT4 is a powerful liver tonic that will clean and repair the liver and shuttle the released fats into the muscle cell to be burned as fuel.
ISO MAX is the best isotonic electrolyte on the market with a precise ratio of electrolytes, magnesium, carbohydrates and bcaas to maintain hydration whist protecting muscle tissue from unwanted catabolism.
Whether or not you are at high risk of suffering from rhabdomyolysis it would be advisable to look after your body and liver to the best of your ability. This will give you the best chance at a long and healthy CrossFit journey.