If you are a Thai boxing beginner, there are a couple of things that you must acquire before going to the gym for the first time, such as appropriate hand protection for Muay Thai. If you want to find out more about what type of equipment you have to purchase, be sure to read our buying guides as they can be of great help.
Proper nutrition is a key factor when it comes to fighters. To up their game, Muay Thai practitioners have to train regularly and they have to take care of what they eat. This article contains all the info that you need to know about a fighter’s diet.
Avoid starting a diet right away
One of the biggest mistakes that newbies make is to start an entirely new dietary plan. This is not advisable as all changes should be introduced gradually so that one’s body is not taken aback.
Even more so, seasoned fighters claim that one should not force himself/herself to eat food that one does not like. Because there are plenty of options for you to choose from, you will most likely be able to get the necessary nutrients from foods that you actually enjoy eating.
Although it is vital that you eat healthily, this does not mean that you cannot treat yourself every now and then.
What to eat
According to specialists, the key to eating right is to consume foods from all groups. Therefore, it is acceptable that you also eat fats, just as long as you pick quality fats such as olives, virgin olive oil, nuts, or avocados. Any type of trans-fats should be avoided.
Good fats are actually beneficial to one’s health as they help the fighter maintain hormonal balance and absorb proteins.
An efficient diet for training should include proteins that you can get from fish, white meat, red meat, cottage cheese, lentils, and beans. Additionally, be sure to get the necessary amount of carbs. To do so, you can opt for brown rice, as it is high in fibers, or cooked sweet potatoes because they are packed with minerals and vitamins.
What foods are a must
Fruits and vegetables are a must in any diet. However, there are fruits such as pears and grapes that have high quantities of fructose and, as a result, are not suitable for fighters. However, you can eat bananas as they are a good source of fiber.
A great way to make your bones and joints stronger is by eating gelatin supplements. Also, you can take your necessary nutrients by consuming pork, beef, and yogurts. You should stay away from gummy bears as they are nothing but a source of sugar.
What to avoid
One thing that you should gradually remove from your meals is bad carbs such as white bread, pasta, and potatoes. Instead, you can eat wheat bread. Also, it is vital that you do not consume sweets and alcoholic drinks.
When drunk in large doses and regularly, alcohol decreases the testosterone levels in your body and, as a result, is bad for you.
Make a schedule
The best way to control what you eat is by making a schedule and sticking to it. When you eat regularly, your body is able to recover faster from training. Because of this, it is crucial that you start your day with a breakfast that is rich in proteins, fats, and carbs.
You should have a healthy snack whenever you feel peckish. Still, you should avoid eating heavy meals late in the evening.
Muay Thai is a contact sport that was invented in Thailand. Because of this, it is practical to look at what a fighter in Thailand generally eats. Thai food is very healthy and it is based on ingredients such as rice, beef, chicken, vegetables, and fish. Plus, Thai fighters avoid eating sweets and junk food in general.
In the morning, a Thai boxer will usually have a glass of juice, milk or water, a dish with rice or oatmeal and an apple. At lunch, they eat rice with beef or chicken and vegetables, while in the evening they eat a fish or a meat dish with veggies. Some of them also take supplements in the form of protein shakes.
For extra energy, it is important that they stay hydrated throughout the day. Moreover, some of them take magnesium and calcium supplements. Protein powders and power bars are also preferred by some fighters who want to build up muscles.
A Western dietary plan
When you live in the western hemisphere, eating healthy is not that easy, because we are not used to having a diet that is organic and rich in various nutrients. Because of this, Thai boxers have to pay more attention to what they are eating.
As a rule of thumb, after you eat, you should always wait between one and two hours before training.
In the morning, it is advisable that you start by drinking a glass of milk, water or juice. You should also eat whole made bread, cereal or oatmeal flakes, depending on your preferences. Plus, you can also have an apple or fruits that contain vitamins or magnesium such as bananas, kiwis, or raspberries.
If you feel peckish and it is not lunchtime yet, you can eat protein or energy bars. At lunch, it is recommendable that you have a balanced meal that is low in animal fats. For instance, you can eat rice with beef, fish or chicken, as well as veggies. You should not eat dry foods. Drink as much water as you need.
In between, you can also enjoy protein or energy bars. In the evening, it is best that you eat fish or meat with vegetables such as rice or sweet potatoes. If needed, you can also have a protein shake and other minerals and vitamins.
Regardless of what you eat, seasoned fighters point out that you have to stay hydrated at all times. Therefore, be sure to have your water bottle with you whenever you go to the gym.