Muay Thai is one of the most badass combat sports in the world. The eye test doesn’t lie, the way the fighters perform on top of the ring is awe-inspiring and confirms the fact that it’s one of the best if not the best striking art. If you’re a mere spectator, you’d be inspired to take up the sport right away. And if you’re already a practitioner, you’d be pumped up to train harder so you can perform just as great as your Nak Muay idols.
However, there’s also another aspect of the art that not everyone fully appreciates or is even aware of. That’s the preparation aspect. Sure, it’s easy to see the fights and even the fighters' training, to some extent. But there is also a lot that goes on behind the scenes, which allows the fighters to perform the way they do. After all, Muay Thai is as grueling and physically demanding a sport and martial art as any.
DIET AND NUTRITION: AN OVERLOOKED ASPECT OF MUAY THAI
One aspect of Muay Thai some overlook is dieting and nutrition. Not everyone appreciates this side of the art of 8 limbs, which certainly happens in the background and away from the public eye. Also, not a lot of people are fully knowledgeable about just how crucial proper diet and nutrition are, particularly in how a fighter performs.
However, fighters who truly want to realize their potential need to be smart and utilize proper diet and nutrition. Eventually, if they do it right, the results would translate into victories and even titles if they’re good enough. The same goes for practitioners and enthusiasts of the sport that want to make the most out of each training session.
So what is the best diet for Muay Thai? Let’s take a close look at what helps Nak Muays be at their best and perhaps you can incorporate these tips into your own training regimen.
BE SMART ABOUT YOUR DIET
First, let’s clarify one thing about dieting. If you’re serious about Muay Thai, you need to be clear about what the term dieting actually means for you. For a lot of people, the meaning of the word diet is they’re only going to have to do it for a specific amount of time - but that’s not going to help you if you want to make any real progress in the sport. That’s not how it works because you’re not going to get ideal results.
The key is in being smart about your diet. This means that you need to start utilizing healthy eating habits in your daily life. Yes, you have to do it every day on a consistent basis and not just while you are training for a fight or for a specific amount of time. You must adopt healthy eating habits with long-term goals in mind. If you feel the need to seek help from a nutritionist, then do so, but the bottom line is to make sure you are smart about your diet and that it’s tailored to meet your specific needs.
EMBRACE SCHEDULED MEALS
A scheduled meal will help take away the stress of thinking or worrying about what you’re going to eat. You can plan your meals ahead and simply follow your schedule so you can focus on your training and preparation. It’s so much better than overthinking what you’re going to eat for the day and for the next few days.
By having scheduled meals, you can simplify the process of planning your diet for the week or even for the weeks ahead. To make things even easier, make sure you stock your refrigerator with nothing but healthy and nutritious food options. This way, you only have healthy food choices and you wouldn’t be tempted by unhealthy junk food since there’s none at home.
You could also have your meals pre-cooked and ready-to-eat. This would make the process simpler and all you have to do is to open your fridge and grab a prepared meal when it’s time to eat.
A basic truth about food choices is that it’s easy to become confused and overwhelmed. Why? There are so many choices, that’s why. To help lessen your confusion, you have to know the essential foods that you should actually put into your body. Knowing that would help you perform better, both in training and in actual competition.
When we say protein we are referring to foods that are great sources of that powerful nutrient, such as:
- Lean Beef
- Peanut Butter
- Cottage Cheese
Quality carbohydrates are great for Muay Thai training. One of the best examples of it is brown rice. But there are other great choices if you want some variety, like whole grains sweet potatoes, oats, and more.
Friendly or should we say healthy fats are also important nutrients that your body needs. They’re great for providing some much-needed energy while also being instrumental in giving extra protection as well as better vitamin absorption.
Of course, the necessary fruits and vegetables can’t be excluded. They’re awesome and absolute necessities for a Muay Thai fighter/practitioner’s diet because they’re packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while being low in calories. From vegetables, you can get calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and various vitamins. Fruits, on the other hand, are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins.
You get increased metabolism and more energy while your risk of getting certain diseases is reduced. And fruits and vegetables are also effective in helping you recover after a particularly hard training session or even after a fight.
Some might dismiss the importance of a proper diet in Muay Thai. However, those who have that belief are missing the point entirely. The idea is to make your body stronger and more able to withstand the rigors of training and the actual fighting through the food that you put into your body. After all, there’s that saying that you are what you eat and that’s true even for combat sports.
By eating the best foods available, you can put forth your best performance every time!