Muay Thai training is often intense, leaving you with sore muscles and even injuries. However, they are all part of the experience and, if you want to improve your techniques, you have to put on your special clothing for Muay Thai and learn how to speed up your body recovery with these simple tips.
As a Muay Thai fighter, you surely heard about the importance of hydration before and during your training sessions. However, it is also important to drink plenty of water after your workout to boost your recovery. Water is responsible for regulating your body temperature and also allows for more than half of the chemical reactions to occur in your body.
Keep in mind that sweating during your training will not only make you lose water but important minerals and nutrients that help with your recovery too. Therefore, it is highly important to properly hydrate yourself to boost your digestion, blood circulation, and the absorption process. Depending on your weight and height you should drink at least 67-85 fluid ounces of water daily.
Restock your proteins
Another thing that will help you speed up your recovery is having enough proteins in your body. Proteins are mandatory for supporting your muscles and help with the spasms and aches. And, while protein bars make for a healthy snack right before your Muay Thai training, you should consider changing your eating habits in the long term.
Make sure to integrate at least one-two high-quality sources of proteins in your daily diet to get the perfect amino acid combination and help your muscles grow to recover faster. Eggs, poultry, fish, and red meat are good examples of complete protein sources that will help.
Don’t forget carbs too
Although carbs are nothing but empty calories and should be avoided by those who are on a diet, moderate consumption is actually beneficial for those who want to recover after intense Muay Thai training.
Carbohydrates will help your body regain its energy levels faster so that you can focus on repairing and recovering your muscles. Adding carbs to your diet will also stimulate your body to release insulin, which will later transport the necessary nutrients into your muscles and body tissues.
Establish a meal plan and stick to it
Eating small portions of food every 3-4 hours will not only improve your metabolism but also look after your aching muscles properly. Try to include both complex carbohydrates and complete proteins in your meals to keep a steady flow of amino acids. Along with glucose, these amino acids will move to your muscles and repair them faster.
Bear in mind that amino acids have a lifespan of around four hours, so you must give your muscles the perfect combination of these nutrients if you want them to recover. Therefore, having a balanced meal every 3-4 hours during your recovery will boost your energy levels and help you treat your aches and sores.
However, combining carbs and heavy proteins in the same meal might slow down your digestion, so try to only eat proteins alongside fruits and veggies. Carbs usually found in sweets, pasta, potatoes, rice or bread should also be paired with veggies to make sure you get the combo of vitamins and minerals.
Feeding your body proteins and giving it enough water aren’t enough to recover your muscles and prepare yourself for your next training routine. Therefore, you need to allow all your body muscles to relax and heal at their own pace.
Your tissues will regenerate and heal the best during nighttime, so make sure you get enough rest. Sleeping 7-8 hours a night is enough to give your body a well-deserved time-out and stimulate the recovery of your muscles.
However, try not to force yourself too much during training sessions either. Muay Thai is very demanding and, if you’re not paying attention, you will end up injured. Avoid pushing your limits while you’re on recovery and even consider skipping one-two workouts to allow your body to properly heal.
Cold water immersion
This efficient recovery technique implies submerging your body into a tub filled with cold water that’s around 58-60 degrees Fahrenheit, immediately after the training. This will not only improve your blood circulation and build a stronger immune system but will also stimulate your recovery process.
Researches have shown that the water immersion therapy will also reduce oedemas, decrease fatigue, and the sensation of pain you’re feeling whenever your muscles are sore. This healing strategy was highly embraced by those who practice Muay Thai at a professional level, so you might also consider it in the future.
Another way to release your body from pressure and boost the healing process is to practice stretching and other mild exercising techniques for your muscles. Yoga and Pilates are two incredibly efficient ways to relax and improve the strength of your muscles at the same time.
A successful Muay Thai warrior knows that it is highly important for the brain and body to relax once in a while, so what better way to do so if not by practicing Yoga? Mild physical exercising will also help you reduce the level of stress hormones in your body, which are directly responsible for eating compulsions, anxiety, and sleep problems.
Practicing Yoga or Pilates two times a week will help you feel more relaxed, improve blood circulation, reduce stress, and even help you get a good night’s sleep that will allow you to recover faster.
Swimming is another physical activity you can pick up to recover after your Muay Thai training. Exercising underwater will put less pressure on your muscles, allowing them to relax and recover better and faster. However, you don’t need to force yourself too much either.
Around half an hour of swimming with breaks is enough to keep you in shape and work your muscles without getting tired.