What Asian Martial Artists Eat
Anyone looking to improve their strength, flexibility, stamina, and recovery time will need to find a good exercise regime that they can train with every day. Just as important, but often overlooked, is the kind of diet that will be required to sustain this high level of training, and to promote muscle growth and an overall healthier lifestyle.
Any martial artist will tell you that diet is vital, sometimes even more important than the training itself. We’ve known for decades that the human body requires a certain amount of nutrients every day, and that any kind of intense physical training means taking in enough calories and nutrients to keep the body from overworking itself. Even in professional sports, diet can have an impact, and even NRL premiership odds can be affected if a player is unhealthy and brings down the whole team.
What we eat, then, can make all the difference. This is what the typical diet of an Asian martial artist consists of.
Muscle strength is vitally important, not just for the powerful kicks and jabs, but for flexibility, mobility, and increased stamina. Protein is the fuel for muscle growth, and ensuring a good supply of quality protein is imperative to a successful training session.
The suggested serving of protein consists of between 0.5 and 0.8 grams of protein per half a kilo of body mass. This means taking a 70 KG person would need to take in between 75 and 120 grams of protein.
Protein rich foods include poultry, fish, lean beef, soy, and legumes.
Although fats have had a bad reputation in the past, it is now believed that they are vital to the nutritional health of the human body, and especially to those that engage in long hours of physical activity, such as training. As too little fat can lead to muscle fatigue, it’s suggested that 15 per cent of all calories come from fat. It’s important to manage fats, however, as taking too much in can lead to weight gain.
Fat rich foods include nuts, seeds, meat, and oils.
Martial arts require a lot of energy, and the best place to source that energy is through carbohydrates. Carbs are tricky, as they can be found in a large variety of foods, but only a few of these foods provide the healthy kinds of carbs that those in training want to look for. The amount of carbs that need to be consumed depends on the person, how much they weigh, what kind of shape they are in, and the kind of training they engage in.
Dieticians advise that at least 45 per cent of all calories per day come from carbs, which will provide the body with more than enough energy to keep up. Some suggest an even higher 65 per cent, but this is for those that tend to train for a few hours at a time.
Good carb sources include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, such as rice.