How to eat when practicing martial arts?
Why does an athlete need a diet?
Any sports training is accompanied by physical, energy, and psychological costs. They must be compensated, otherwise, an imbalance occurs in the body, leading to exhaustion.
As a result, each subsequent workout will not bring pleasure, on the contrary, a person will gradually lose inner strength.
The right diet for athletes performs the following tasks:
- normalizes and activates the metabolic processes that are necessary for the growth of muscle mass;
- saturates the body with essential vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and other essential food components (nutrients);
- helps to regulate and keep body weight normal.
Professional sports are associated with injuries. In order for the body to recover properly, you will need not only the help of doctors but also proper nutrition. Recovery will be several times faster with a balanced diet.
Features of nutrition in martial arts
Martial arts are characterized by high-intensity of loads, after which effective recovery and replenishment of the spent energy are required. It is very important to control body weight. Therefore, there are three main tasks:
- provide the body with enough calories,
- deliver the required amount of nutrients to the muscles
The number of meals for an athlete varies from 3 to 5 times a day. You can’t eat immediately before training, about two hours should pass between eating and training.
The norms of daily intake of proteins and fats are generally universal for athletes:
- proteins – at least 2 g per 1 kg of weight,
- fats – no more than 2 g per 1 kg of weight.
When choosing protein sources, it is better to prefer animals and choose unsaturated fats (fish, nuts, etc.), fatty meat and sausages are much worse, and it is better to exclude trans fats from fast food altogether.
Aim for about 1 gram of NOWAY protein per kilogram of body weight, which is about the maximum amount your body can use per day.
Carbohydrates are a little more difficult. Wrestlers (especially in Greco-Roman wrestling) have more “physics”, for example, when compared with boxers, whose loads are mainly motor.
Accordingly, higher energy costs, as well as more attention should be paid to the formation and maintenance of large muscle mass. This requires noticeably more complex carbohydrates.
With a systematic weight loss in preparation for the competitive season or a change in weight category, on the contrary, there should be much fewer “coals”.
Therefore, the “scatter” is large – from 3-5 to 8-10 g per 1 kg of weight. And the balance of complex/simple carbohydrates is in favor of the former, approximately 2: 1.
An important principle is that all nutrients must be present in an appropriate balance at every meal. That is, a sandwich with sausage for breakfast and four cutlets for lunch is the wrong strategy.
Products of animal origin –
- meat (lean) and poultry,
- fish and seafood,
are the main sources of protein. Auxiliary can be buckwheat and oatmeal, rice and beans, and potatoes. Protein shakes are an essential addition.
Vegetables, brown rice, pasta, and whole-grain flour products are the best sources of carbs. Fats are best obtained from fish, nuts, and olive oil.
Sweet, flour, and snacks are products that have little to do with the nutrition of athletes. If you are not ready to abandon them completely, then it is necessary to reduce their consumption to a minimum.
Water and vitamins
You need a lot of water. In martial arts training, to put it mildly, you have to sweat. Especially if it’s hot in the gym, and the athlete is dressed in a thick cotton gi.
Here there is already a real threat of the risk of dehydration. Therefore, drinking is also required during training, and the total daily amount of water consumed should not be less than two liters.
Together with sweat, we lose not only water but also salts, these minerals also need to be replenished.
In addition, food does not always guarantee the supply of the required amount of minerals and vitamins. In such cases (after consultation with a specialist), it is better to choose a suitable vitamin and mineral complex.
The nuances of the diet, taking into account the tasks of the diet
The athlete’s menu for a week is made up of taking into account the daily calorie requirement, which depends on the intensity of sports activities.
The goals of the diet are also taken into account – losing weight or gaining muscle mass for men/women.
Sports nutrition for building muscle mass implies an increased calorie content with an emphasis on protein foods.
This is necessary to cover energy consumption. To achieve good results in increasing muscle mass, only a combination of diet and strength training will help.
How to lose weight as an athlete? The main task of the male and female diet, aimed at reducing body weight, is a sufficient amount of protein in a low-calorie diet.
The menu should consist of low-calorie foods. Critical dietary restriction is prohibited. Rapid weight loss before competition should be supervised by a nutritionist.