Nutrition for Martial Artists
At the heart of life is food. All of our celebrations and life events reflect extravagance in cooking and eating. Even hermits and aesthetics still need to eat. Athletes, sports competitors, and hobbyists need good food done right.
“What We Eat Is More Important Than How Much We Eat -
A Fact Many People Have Forgotten”
Unfortunately, some people eat far too much food that has far too little nutritional value. And we see this with the growing waistlines and lack of participation in sports and activities.
Why Nutrition Plays a Major Role in Martial Arts
Individual sports require endurance, strength, or agility. The martial arts requires all three. And that requires a particular type of eating.
The body needs a balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, water, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. These all need special proportions based on a person’s particular needs.
Every person’s individual prerequisites vary depending on their age, gender, activity level, health, and injury level. For example, building muscle requires a little bit more protein, but getting too much protein will hinder muscle development.
People who are injured need more nutrient-rich food, especially in the realms of magnesium, zinc, and potassium. Women need more fat than men, especially during early to mid-adulthood.
People who develop lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or excess weight do exceptionally well on lower carbohydrate diets, but younger men without these problems who train heavily for competition need higher carbohydrate diets (from complex carbs, not sugars or processed foods).
Fortunately, the information we have here will help you decipher the diet that's going to help you build powerful muscles, a healthy body, and maintain your weight.
Eating Well to Fight Well
There’s a lot of confusion over what foods to eat to get the optimal balance of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Throughout all of the discussions on different types of diets, there is one common thing that stands out, all healthy diets are made up of two-thirds fruits and vegetables.
The rest is just details. You should work with a nutritionist to determine what type of diet works best for you.
Weight Loss & Management
As we age, the human body slows down, requires less food, and changes biologically. Hormones, healing factors, and organ function will change as we age.
Men typically reach their peak between the ages of 21 and 25. Women reach their peak between the ages of 25 and 32. After those ages, gaining weight becomes much easier. As you age, you should balance your activity levels with food so they relatively match. If you find yourself training half as much, you should reduce your food intake. Although it's not an equal correlation, you should eat so you are not hungry, but not feel full or stuffed, either.
If you notice yourself gaining weight or fluff, you should restrict the total amount of food you consume or adjust the types of food you are eating by reducing the carbohydrate/sugar levels. Or you can increase your activities.
If you are currently overweight or injured, you should begin restricting the amount of food you eat so that you do not feel uncomfortably hungry, nor do you eat until you are full. Stopping early will help you reduce the size of your stomach and help you digest food more efficiently.
Adjust your diet so you’re eating a diet of mostly low carbohydrate fruits and vegetables. By eliminating processed foods, bread, pasta, and other low-nutrient food-like stuff, you increase your vitamin and mineral intake and give your body the best chance of maintaining a healthy weight.
Tips & Plans for Long-Term Health, Wellness, and Healthy Eating Habits
In the following sections, you will find information on various nutrients, what foods they are found best in, signs of deficiency or excess, health problems broke down, weight loss information, and much more.
Much of the information revolves around eating lots of fruits and vegetables to obtain proper nutrients. Properly balancing your diet eliminates 80% or more of typical health problems and gives people the best chance at remaining active and productive through the remaining 20%.
Eating a proper diet and remaining active in the martial arts will allow you to continue your training throughout all the years in your life. It gives you the best chance of staying disease-free and breaks the stereotype of the fat, old master.