Martial arts require strength, flexibility, agility and stamina. Many martial artists complement their training with other activities so there’s an added requirement for energy. A vegan martial arts diet should provide plenty of energy and nourishing foods that help muscle recovery.
1. It’s good to have something light one hour or 30 minutes before the training – it can be a piece of fruit, fruit and nut snack bar, or a rice cake with nut butter and natural jam. It’ll help keep your energy levels up but won’t make your stomach heavy.
2. During your training, you shouldn’t need anything other than water. However, especially if you’re training in higher temperatures, hydration is important.
3. Your muscles are working hard during training so you’ll need an increased intake of both carbs and protein. Make sure you have good protein sources at every meal, and if your training is extra hard or intense, a protein shake afterwards may be a good idea.
4. Focus on complex carbs for sustained energy release – oats, brown rice, wholemeal bread, whole wheat pasta, soba noodles, pulses and fruit.
5. Your hard-working body needs plenty of antioxidants to protect the tissues and speed up recovery. Get them from brightly coloured fruit and vegetables, kidney beans, black beans, red lentils, pumpkin seeds, sweet potatoes and mushrooms.
Sample Meal Plan: If you train a few times a week, try Active Person meal plan, if you also do other workouts or train daily, then Endurance Athlete or Strength Athlete will be a better fit to fulfil your body’s needs!
Inspiration: David Meyer, Jake Mace, Sofia Jokl, Bryant Jennings, Tammy Fry Kelly, Jay Oliveira, Claire Foreman, Melanie Fraunschiel, Cam Awesome, Emily Jans, Amanda Riester, Mirko Buchwald, James Southwood, Harri Nieminem, Mac Danzig
David Meyer, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion, who won seven World Championship Gold medals, four American Cup Golds, three US Open Golds and two Pan American Golds: “I was vegetarian since 1985 and experimented eating mostly vegan, and have been entirely vegan since 2000. My motivation is entirely to not harm animals. I have experienced that it’s an extremely healthy way to eat, it gives me more energy, it’s better for the environment.”