What impact does a Muay Thai daily diet to your overall performance? They say, you are what you eat. Basically, this translates into how one’s diet can impact you when it comes to combat sports engagements such as Muay Thai. The food (and drinks) you consume will provide the optimal nutrition you will need not just during a fight but more so in training. It will dictate the level of energy, force, and agility, as well as longevity in doing acts to showcase and/or improve your skills. This also highly supports your capacity to undermine an opponent.
When it comes to ensuring that you stay on top of your game and achieve your goals, learning from traditional Muay Thai fighters in Thailand in terms of proper daily nutrition, on top of day and night training, will eventually ensure your success. To kickstart your diet plan, this daily routine may be the key.
Eat breakfast at least an hour before training or two hours after-training. Start with a glass of warm water or milk or freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice. Pair this with a bowl of oatmeal or a Thai rice dish. Add an apple or banana. When incorporating a running workout, drinking a glass of warm water prior to starting is highly recommended.
A isotonnic rehydration drink like a Powerade below, also makes a great way to compensate the lost minerals and electrolytes during early morning training to stay strong and aid in fast recovery. Electrolytes help maintain cellular “electric voltage” to keep the body functioning properly and with energy. Aside from its high impact to fluid and acidity levels, it also portrays a huge responsibility in muscle function. This is why trainees and fighters who sweat a lot require proper replenishment to ensure maintaining a proper electrolyte level and not easily go limp or weak during each fight. In Thailand, fighters go for all-natural coco water which can be easily bought on street corners being an endemic produce in the area.
Lunch time is more relaxed and focuses on carb-loading to many Muay Thai fighters in the region. A Thai rice dish is usually served with beef or chicken. A big serving of vegetables are also served at this time. Common veggies served are bamboo shoots, cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato, bokchoy, cabbage, lettuce, makea muang (eggplant), long bean, pak boong (water spinach), and so on. Prik kee noo or Thai chili and turmeric are also commonly seen in a traditional Muay Thai fighters’ diet regimen. Chilies are often eaten raw, while turmeric is added to dishes as curry. This is to compensate for nutrients lost during morning training and to prepare for the long haul ahead in the afternoon. Chili and turmeric are known for their anti-inflammatory properties essential for healing and recovery.
Night time fare for Muay Thai fighters in Thailand highly leans on light meals consisting mostly of fish or a meat dish with rice and vegetables. Coco water or ginger ale is usually the chosen drink in the evening to replenish lost fluids during training. If possible, supplements rich in protein, magnesium, vitamin C, calcium, creatine, BCAAs, Beta Alanine (See below), and so on are also consumed. Most of these come in powder form which can be used as a shake type drink.
In Between Meals
Snacks are quite common among the Thai people and this is tradition is carried on by fighters in the Muay Thai arena. Though not advisable when cutting weight, munching on fresh fruits or vegetables is a common flair among many seasoned fighters to optimize nutrition intake. Many prefer fresh fruit or vegetable juices though, except when cutting water for an upcoming fight.
Training The Thai Way
Being new in the arena can be quite challenging to one’s diet. It must be remembered that a Muay Thai daily diet in Thailand can be as rigorous as the training, and fighting is considered a full time commitment. Some of these fighters even consider fighting a full time job, training for up to 6 hours a day, with only a day off the entire week. Food supply may also matter as well as training sessions when it comes to feeding requirements for optimal performance and recovery. The idea is to shun away from sugar, unhealthy fats, wheat products, fried foods, and everything “fast and unhealthy” to ensure achieving your goals.