It’s been your third week practicing martial arts but somehow you realize even though you train hard, you feel like your energy level drops quickly. A lot of us believe that eating super clean consists of lots of protein, lots of water and keeping away from sugars will do the trick. But I cannot stress how it is super important to have a variety of everything for a well balanced diet; nutrition plays a huge part if you want to get the best out of your martial arts performance.
Martial Tribes has put these diet and nutrition tips together for their martial arts students that will help significantly increase your energy levels, improve your balance and speed, and give you that extra boost of power so you can perform to your absolute best.
- Choosing the right snacks
Eating healthy snacks like fruit and veg will provide us good vitamins and minerals however these foods have a relatively low energy density. This means you will not really get a burst of energy through these foods, they won’t fill you up much and after consuming them you will get hungry again in a short space of time. Foods with a high fat and low water content such as nuts, crackers, chocolate, fried snacks, have a higher energy density. So it’s ok to eat that chocolate bar in moderation, but nuts and seeds would be the best energy snack with the good fats. You can also have wholemeal breads and low fat yoghurts so you get a balance of carbs and dairy too.
- Eat those carbs
Your body needs carbohydrates, fats, fibre, proteins, vitamins, and water! However, the amount of each nutrient will differ depending on factors such as your age, build and gender. Carbohydrate is the most common source of energy for the body because it is the main fuel for both your muscles and brain. Being active especially when you are practicing martial arts, your muscle mass will increase and this means you will actually be using more energy all the time. Do not skip carbs when you are training, you need to eat more to give your body that extra energy it needs. Opt for brown, wholegrain carbs for a healthier option, remember consuming some carbohydrates during exercise can enhance your performance.
- Fish for the world
Did you know that fish is among the healthiest foods on the planet? You do now! It is loaded with important nutrients such as protein and vitamin D. You’ll find omega-3 fatty acids in all fish which are incredibly essential for your body and brain. Fish can help protect your vision, this is vital especially when you’re a fighter keeping you sharp on your toes, improving your speed and alertness when attacking your opponents. Consuming fish can lead to improvements in both sleep and daily functioning, the more fatty the fish the higher the fat based nutrients are.
- Stay hydrated
If you’re going to be practicing martial arts I’m sure you’re definitely going to get your sweat on! Martial arts is a high intensity sport so we need to make sure we are replenishing ourselves with lots of water, because when we sweat, this causes loss of water and salts through our skin, so we need to restore that water back into our bodies as part of recovery. Hydration can cause tiredness and slow down your performance by reducing strength, so make sure you drink plenty before, during and after your training.
- Get lots of rest
Getting at least 6-8 hours sleep is important, rest can do wonders on the next day, the more you rest the more energy you will have. Recovery is crucial especially when you have been actively fighting, injuries or sore muscles will need recovery time.