These Foods Are The Worst to Consume Before Muay Thai Training
Muay Thai is one of the most intensive martial arts to practice in the entire world. It requires a ton of endurance and cardiovascular energy in order to perform at your peak during training and during a fight. The following foods are going to wreak havoc with your training and you’re better off substituting them with the alternatives we mention (we’ve got alternatives listed for you while you’re training at home and while you’re training in Thailand, as not all foods are readily available in the Land of Smiles).
Even if you’re not closely monitoring what you eat on a regular basis because let’s face it...we’re not all professional athletes, having a general idea of what’s good and what’s bad can make the difference between an incredible training session and a weak training session.
Skip it: Carbonated Beverages
An obvious to many, although try telling this to some of the Nak Muay or trainers in Thailand who are drinking soda all day long. Soda contains carbon dioxide, which creates carbonation, which can lead to a ton of irritating feelings during exercise. Your abdominal muscles and core are absolutely essential to your performance in Muay Thai; it’s why professional fighters have incredible core strength and rock-hard ab muscles. Skip the soda and opt for a bottle of water for rehydration. Some argue that the sugar in carbonated beverages can assist them during training. While this is true in cases where all of your carbohydrates have been depleted, the negative side effects such as giving you gas, making you feel bloated, and the intake of sugar (which is never good), are enough for us to say, “Stay away from them.”
Instead: Water and unsweetened green tea can be found easily in Thailand and abroad. Pick them up, and drink it instead.
Skip it: Foods Rich in Fiber Like Vegetables!
You probably thought eating vegetables at any time of the day was good for you and that eating that broccoli an hour before training is going to help you last longer. Not true. Foods rich in fiber are good for you and help you feel full, but they also hinder athletic ability temporarily. This is because foods high in fiber require more blood flowing through your digestive system in order to digest. Amino acids, blood, and oxygen are being depleted faster and not reaching areas that they are needed most during training.
Instead: Keep eating fiber, just not before your training sessions. Having an average of 38g of fiber a day is great to keep you healthy, but try and consume it after your training sessions rather than before.
Skip it: Complex Carbohydrates Like Whole Grain Bread
Another very healthy item on the list but not the best pre-training food to consume are complex carbohydrates. Muay Thai is all about maintaining energy and having a high level of endurance. The carbohydrates that you consume you want burned rapidly as well, so as not to encourage weight gain. Think of it like this; sugar is a simple carbohydrate, eating anything that has sugar added to it is a no-no for a ton of health reasons.
Instead: This may be the one case where eating white bread instead of whole wheat bread might give you better results. Having a fruit or two 30 minutes to an hour before training will also help you perform better.
Skip it: Spicy Food Before a Workout
Spicy food is incredibly tasty. It’s also the first word people associate Thai food with. This is an interesting case regarding pre training food because some people just aren’t affected by spicy foods as much as others. For those of us weaklings, peppers and capsaicin can cause heartburn, acid reflux, and can make training downright unpleasant. If you’re doing an intense Muay Thai workout and you want to focus on consistency, that all gets put to a halt if you’re stuck in the bathroom.
Instead: If you’re in Thailand, stick to soups, fruits, and meat that aren’t seasoned with spices. While in your home country, there are literally hundreds of alternatives to spicy food, so hit the supermarket.
There’s a Disclaimer!
Remember, these foods are not all unhealthy. Far from it. All of the above food can be consumed and are essential to being healthy (except carbonated beverages). This post is to inform you of the foods that shouldn’t be eaten before training. Feel free to have some whole grain toast with tobasco sauce and throw a bunch of broccoli and carrots on top, too!