Taekwondo Athlete Nutrition

Taekwondo athletes choose to compete in a weight category that is lower than their normal weight simply because it provides them with more advantages. They have longer lower limbs which will give them better chances to strike and hit the opponent thus earning them a point. It also makes their movement swifter because of their lighter weight. However, there are certain athletes who undergo drastic measures just to achieve a rapid amount of weight loss.

Rapid decrease in weight done to fluid restriction, severe food deprivation, excessive exercise, use of laxatives and diuretics and even regular use of sauna will bring more harm to the body of Taekwondo athletes rather than good. It is a must that athletes should be fit before their tournament so they can properly execute their blocks, kicks, and strikes.

These require maximum nutrition potential which can only be acquired through the right combination of food and training. It is never wise to deter from eating nutritiously rich carbohydrate foods like pasta, whole grain cereals, rice, fruits, and vegetables. The intake of protein-rich food like lean meat, fish, chicken, beans, and legumes holds vital nutrients that will help the body repair broken muscles and bones.

What must be done instead of a drastic weight loss regimen for these Taekwondo athletes is the identification of the weight group category which they intend to enter in an earlier phase so they can safely plan their diet months before the tournament.

A training diet is not evil if and only if it can be planned accordingly. There is nothing wrong with trimming down on one’s weight but to do it in a flash will produce detrimental effects on the body. Nutritionists and health experts suggest that Taekwondo athletes maintain a weight within 2-3 kilograms of their competition weight so they can minimize nutritional strategies which can drastically affect their body movements and coordination.

Nevertheless, the following are helpful tips that Taekwondo athletes would wish to follow two to three days before their tournament.

A. Avoid excessive salt consumption which you typically get from processed foods and chips.

B. Instead of fasting days before the competition, it is wiser to eat low residue foods 12 to 24 hours before the competition. You may try eating white bread, liquid meal replacements, fiber cereals, and even Power bars so your body can still have enough energy to use on the tournament.

C. During the actual tournament or after the weigh-in, it is best to hydrate your body by drinking enough fluids.

D. If you feel nervous and you find it difficult to eat a regular meal before the competition then it will help if you can eat a liquid-based snack just to guarantee there will be enough nutrients supplied to different parts of your body.

E. After the tournament, immediately eat a light snack composed of 50 to 100 grams of carbohydrates because this will help promote muscle repair and will also initiate a faster recovery process. These sets of snacks can either be two cereal bars, a roll with a banana filling or jam, three pieces of fruit, a 200g of a carton of yogurt combined with a cereal bar, or a 250 to 300ml low-fat fruit smoothie.

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Source by Brendan Mark Smith

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