The following post is by James B who works with professional fighters as nutritional coach.
I saw a need to optimize the Muay Thai diet because there are a lot of people training and fighting at an elite level who don’t know how to eat to improve performance and recovery, or how to eat to cut weight properly. For some reason proper nutrition strategies get over looked in Muay thai and I’m here to put an end to it!
My philosophy for a fighter’s diet is simple: Plenty of fresh, whole foods. Clean air and clean water, combined with hard training and genuine rest.
In this post I want to show you some things you can do to change from an average diet, to a performance diet for athletes. These may seem like simple tips, but you’ll have to trust me – they give the biggest return for your efforts. These steps help fighters make improvements to their performance and recovery every time. If you’re training or competing, these 4 Muay Thai diet tips will do the same for you.
Reduce inflammatory foods
What you eat can cool or fuel inflammation in the body.
A diet high in trans-fats, vegetable oils, saturated fat, white bread, white rice, and foods high in sugar is a diet that will cause inflammation in the body. You can help manage inflammation by swapping bad fats for healthy fats like olive oil or polyunsaturated fats, and especially omega-3 fats from fish. Swap your white bread and white rice for wholegrain versions which will help reduce inflammation production. Other anti-inflammatory foods are fruits, vegetables and nuts – It’s a good idea to increase these foods in your diet for at least 2 weeks after a fight.
Green leafy or bright coloured vegetables will improve your body composition, performance and overall health. Plant based diets can cure many lifestyle related diseases. There are many athletes now living on a plant based diet getting unbelievable performance.
Vegetables contain hundreds, perhaps thousands, of substances that squelch free radicals; some act as direct anti-inflammatory agents.
Adding 2 serves (about 2 fist size portions) of veggies in each meal will increase energy production and vitality, as well as supply you with micro and phytonutrients your body needs to perform optimally and recover fast.
Eat higher nutrient density foods
Each time you sit down and eat a meal is an opportunity to do something good for your body. This is why when choosing foods it’s important to select high nutrient density foods.
What do I mean by nutrient density foods? It means the ratio of nutrients (vitamins, minerals, fibre, etc) relative to the total calorie intake. For example foods with high nutrient density would be things like fruits & vegetables, high fibre unprocessed grains and lean meats.
Increase your water intake
This has to be the most underrated and over looked performance principle ever. Water plays several important roles in the body like transporting chemicals, cell growth, a catalyst for enzymes, a lubricant, a temperature regulator, and a mineral source. You can see why water intake is crucial to performance. Even being 5% dehydrated can start to cause you big problems.
As a general rule for fighters, your water intake should be 3L per day but since 1L comes from food, 2-2.5L per day will help your performance especially when your body is pushed to the limits in training.
Due to the amount of high intensity training and short rest periods in Muay Thai, nutrition and diet is definitely something you should look at implementing in your routine. In fact nutrition is something that should be near the top of your list.
My diet for fighters is called The Lean Performance Diet. You can follow this lifestyle by making sure you’re getting plenty of fresh, whole foods. Clean air and clean water, combined with hard training and genuine rest.
Follow these Muay Thai diet tips and you can’t lose!
James Bee is an author, a martial artist, a fitness and nutrition coach.
He’s also the creator of The Lean Performance Diet. The diet used by Muay Thai and MMA fighters to help them to get on weight, performance optimized and ready for battle. When he’s not chilling on the beach somewhere in Thailand, he’s helping people to live the lean performance lifestyle.
You can find out more about James and the Lean Performance Diet at his website, theleanperformancediet.com
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