Health and Nutrition for the Martial Artist
Nutrition has not played a prominent role in the life of many martial artists as a means of improving performance. Top athletes are always looking for an edge. Although the martial arts are more of a way of life and a life style than a sport per se, the needs of the martial artist are the same as that of the elite athlete.
Nutrition and Diet for Training
Time to get rid of those sugars and empty calories. That even includes honey. No more soda, no more junk food. No more beer!! Sugar can really harm your muscles and work against what you are trying to achieve. You may be able to set up a reward system and give yourself some low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt. But while in training, you can kiss all of them goodbye.

Time to find that great grocery store that has tons of green vegetablies and colorful fruits. You'll be needing to ramp up your intake. Sure you can add supplements to your diet but those don't work unless you have the real thing as well. Have some fun with it. Choose a different kind of vegetable you've never had before each week and try it out or pick one from each color group.

Grab that phonebook and find a vitamin store. GNC may be the best because they have a good assortment of vitamins, minerals and supplements with great prices! You will need the basic vitamins that your body will love you for like Thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin. Then add the minerals for healthy muscle developement such as Iron and Potassium.

Add some proteins in there and some high carbs as you really get into your training. Create a healthy balanced diet full of pastas, meats, vegetables, bread and fruit. Adding the vitamins and you'll start to feel and see the difference in no time. And, your body will thank you!
Nutrition and Diet During Competition
Endurance athletes follow carb loading programs for races of 90 minutes or more. Competitions with less than 90 minute sessions of constant intensity should not use carb loading (Mayo Clinic guidelines).

Martial artists perform in energy bursts of 2 minutes or less (the lactic acid system). We use bursts of energy, build an oxygen debt and lactic acid, breathe to change the lactic acid to energy, and burst again. We donít need carb loading, but we do need a full store of carbs to support lactic acid training during workouts and in competition. This is done with a good balanced nutrition plan. If the training session or competitive bouts will last more than one hour, a sports drink with carbs will help supplement the fuel in our gas tank (liver and muscles) during training.
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