Is there really such a thing as a Muay Thai diet? For such a complex contact sport, Muay Thai fighters are often advised to carve their own diet plan according to their needs. It is, however, common knowledge that fighters from different disciplines such as Muay Thai, wrestling, boxing, MMA and others require different nutritional requirements than that of an average person– and often, the food fighters intake have a huge impact on their energy levels, flexibility, and endurance when in the ring.
Like any other workout regimen out there, a solid Muay Thai diet is composed of two parts– pre-training and post-training. In both aspects, certain type of foods and drinks as well as supplements will be needed to fully support the body and mind of a fighter. Keep in mind that what you eat before training will help amp your performance. At the same, what you eat after can also determine your body’s healing abilities from all the strains of training or fighting in the ring.
Pre-Workout: Stock Up On Energy
As a rule, it is never recommended to train for Muay Thai on an empty stomach. Muay Thai training schedules often start in the morning, extending throughout the day. Eating too little or a lot can have its implications though. One can sap out your energy faster while the latter will wreak havoc to your digestion– ergo, to your performance– when so much food sits in your stomach while training. It is therefore, highly recommended by experts to eat at least 30 minutes to an hour prior to bag calls.
A Muay Thai diet that is high in carbohydrates and low in fat with moderate protein will help answer this dilemma. Not only will this diet give the necessary energy to keep your blood sugar going, it will also keep those muscles protected from undue strains allowing them to easily heal in the process. Pre-training meals should include whole grain toast or a bowl of oatmeal topped with a piece of fruit like banana or mango, 1 hardboiled or sunny side-up egg, or a chicken sandwich. When training starts at midday, a cup of Greek yogurt topped with a slice of fruit or a banana-yogurt smoothie infused with flaxseed oil will do.
Do not take your pre-training dietary requirement for granted. The food you eat at this time will ultimately help fuel your training session. As a rule, suffusing your Muay Thai diet with high energy giving foods and with supplements will help intensify your performance level.
Post-Workout: Healing And Recovery
Muay Thai has one of the most rigorous training regiments in the contact sport category. Its requirement is way beyond that of a boxer or a wrestler as all muscle groups and limbs are virtually being used when in training or when in a fight. A fighter’s body will be subjected to the utmost strain leaving it battered. The need for “healing” foods and supplements to stimulate recovery cannot be stressed enough.
Refuel your body with the right nutrients and supplements after a training session or a fight. The key is to find the right foods as well as supplements to hasten rebuilding of muscles and nerves broken down by the extreme pressure the body has to go through. Experts recommend that eating at least an hour or two after a training or a fight with foods rich in carbohydrates and protein will help. Healthy carbs like fruits and vegetables, brown rice, oats, and legumes will help replenish energy in the body. Protein from fish, chicken, eggs, nuts and seeds will help rebuild broken down muscle. Dairy like soy milk also helps strengthen bones. Post-training or fight meals like rice topped with meat (chicken, beef or fish) and steamed mixed vegetables will definitely be great. For those who prefer shakes or smoothies, blending banana, strawberry and greens with protein supplements will also help perk-up your recovery.
Don’t Forget HYDRATION
Aside from choosing the right foods and supplements to fortify your Muay Thai diet plan, it is also imperative to know the proper hydration technique pre-, during, and post- training or fight sessions. Water is virtually used in every aspect of the body, from transporting glucose to every cell, to removing waste from them. Keeping the right hydration level before, during, and after Muay Thai training or fight sessions will allow you to maintain excellent physical ability needed for a training or fight session– even when cutting weight.