- 1.1 The guidelines to follow in a fighter feed:
I have always struggled to follow a proper diet and diet, I say this because I myself understand the difficulty that many people have.
Let me train for hours hard and I do not moose but if you deprive me of the power or take me in a low-calorie condition I start to struggle and make some escapades.
But what should nutritionbe like in combat sports practitioners? what should nutrition be like in combat sports?
There can be no unique answer because we are similar but everyone has his own individual characteristics (psychological and biochemistry) and even with age it changes in addition to the starting aspects of the athlete.
It is not said that the diet that works well with one of the team is also good for others, also being that often you have to fall into the weight categories, everyone has their own food path to follow.
These are general guidelines, which respect the basic metabolic principles but you need to figure out how to use these guidelines and modify them to fit your current condition to structure your best fighter diet.
Feeding in combat sports or diet for fighters
When it comes to diet or diet for fighters, the biggest hurdle is training with energy in each session and maintaining or reducing weight to fall into your own category.
As you can imagine if you have to get down of weight and even training with energy becomes something doubly complicated.
It is often important to rely on nutritionists who are used to dealing with athletes of this type especially when you have to get a lot of weight to fall into a weight category and as often happens athletes are also workers.
It is true sometimes there are people of great food experience but it is always better not to improvise!
The structure of a feed for fighters should take into account as much as possible several factors such as:
- Consistent with lifestyle;
- specific biochemical individuality;
- that provides energy levels for quality training
- the weight target for the category;
- and the psychological aspect should not be underestimated.
All these aspects must be in balance and consistency in order to be sustained for a long period of time, otherwise the risk is to get lost along the way and then have to run in the last few days with drastic diets to get back into the weight that can go to affect performance.
On the net you find everything, as well is full of people who give you advice and for this I want to provide you with some guidelines to follow consistently.
Tips like this:
- eliminate salt to remove that extra kilo before the weight is cut
- or after the weight to recharge before the race eat what you want including sweets or junk foods to improve your performance;
- et cetera.
So that’s the best way to destroy the work you’ve been doing for months, also getting the opposite effect on an energy level and feeling weighed down just for the match.
My advice is to prepare meals for the whole week or get help from someone in doing so because this helps you not to mess especially if you are a fighter who works, to always have ready and comfortable the established meal even when you feel tired or psychologically weaker avoiding to guzzle and make “variations to the theme”!
The guidelines to follow in a fighter feed:
If you are a fighter who you work every day for several hours it is better to do at least five meals a day To have the energy tank properly charged and have the energy stocks (muscle glycogen) needed to support the hard workouts and stay focused and psychologically determined which if you don’t eat is not easy to maintain, indeed you may have a mood that people close to you might start to hate you.
If, however, the goal is to lose weight there are not so many magic recipes because it is the caloric income combined with the training that must be supported at the energy level to be of quality, not the number of meals.
You have to lower the intake of daily calories!
Now drastic calorie cuts result in rapid weight loss but as the opposite effect only for a very short time because then cortisol rises, the body retains water and everything freezes.
It’s a survival defense system that adopts your body!
This is because the body has an autopilot that reads any reduction in the intake of daily energy as a red alert and as a measure of defense metabolism slows down and the body implements energy saving measures and that as you can imagine do not make you lose weight.
That’s why if you don’t eat you lose weight immediately but after a while this stage freezes and you’ve ruined your metabolism and you just eat it again you get even more fat.
As carbohydrates a general line for a fighter:
- normal and with a normal lifestyle, but which has a certain predisposition to fat accumulation, must eat as carbohydrates between 3g/kg and 4g/kg per day;
- while for those predisposed to thinness or gracility, the carbohydrates they can take can increase and can range from 4g/kg to 5g/kg per day.
So you have to divide about 200 – 250 g of carbohydrates per day to be divided into different meals.
Obviously if during the preparation phase you can stay high in carbohydrates and the more you manage to raise your metabolism and when you are in the cut phase you can still stay high with carbohydrates and lose weight but this can only happen if you have managed to prepare to raise your metabolism.
It all depends on where you start with respect to the race weight you need to reach!
Making lots of meals and trying to keep a good amount of glucid acid allows the body to produce less cortisol (stress) and more easily recharge glycogen stocks in the muscle.
Proteins and fats
The appropriate consumption of good proteins and fats such as olive oil, almonds, nuts, etc. for proper body function and the production of sex hormones.
You like that, don’t you?
First on all testosterone that generate strength and aggression in training.
Excessively reducing protein and carbohydrates is not a good choice in a fighter’s diet although unfortunately sometimes if you have to get off a lot of weight you have to make choices.
As a general rule you have to take 0.7g/kg in fats (lipids) is 1.2g/kg of protein (protides) which basically translated if weights 73 kg are 50g of fat and 86g of protein.
I assure you that already so there is not much in your dish! and that’s why you have to abuse vegetables and fruits.
Animal or plant protein is a choice since today there are also many vegetarian or vegan athletes but you have to feed yourself with food even if today there is food integration is not the same thing.
Fruits and vegetables
Any diet should start with this “cleansing” using abundant fruits and vegetables and the same applies in nutrition in combat sports.
Years of junk food have definitely soiled your body and an optimal way to clean it is through fruits and vegetables.
A fighter’s diet must be as rich as a quantity of fruits and vegetables to improve your organic functionality. going to “lighten” your body from metabolic waste or unhealthy foods.
So fruits and vegetables should always be present in your diet for fighter, but check that you do not have some food intolerance and listen to your body if eating some fruits you feel burdened.
Hydration is part of the nutrition in combat sports.
Staying hydrated is key and for this reason it is important to drink a lot of liquids, either water or herbal teas or diuretic fruits (such as squeezed lemon or grapefruit).
Better if you drink between meals and not during meals because it improves sports performance, but for health in general.
The first time I discovered this I immediately became informed because it is a common habit to drink during meals and not a little.
Attention does not mean using zero-calorie drinks!
Start using the rule of always drinking away from meals as if they were two different moments.
As the fight approaches, it may happen that you need to cut the weight and how much weight depends on how long before the weigh-in takes place, because if it is a few hours before the race at most you can cut 2-3 kg to have the energy to face the race.
Ps. Different thing for weight cutting the day before when you still have time to make 2/3 full meals as happens among the pros of the U.F.C. for example where the weight cut is 6-8 kg some even worse, a dangerous practice even if followed by doctors.
If you decide to cut the liquids for a fewdays, better if you become dehydrated with the sauna and during training by taking a little water.
The scales with you before and after.
If you dehydrate:
- During training you are touching the muscle glycogen that you need for competition as well as to make the body work also at the receptive level;
- With the sauna alone you lose those liquids that you can restore by drinking after you have carried out the weight but the muscle glycogen is intact.
Attention! Do not abuse fluid loss:
- Don’t get over the loss of a few pounds of fluid before a race!
- immediately after the weight a good hydration – good supplementation of vitamins and minerals.
Always do this under the control of a specialist specialist.
Using supplements for combat sports
Read the supplement post for fighters.
Attention, if you are an agonist you only have to use supplements that are accredited and certified, so I’m not talking to you about drugs or doping that unfortunately are also widespread in combat sports.
As a general line I recommend using a good multi-vitamin and minerals, essential amino acids BCAA, Omega-3, whey protein (I personally use those vegetables), monohythate creatine many use it I do not use it and do not recommend it.
Do not weigh yourself down unnecessarily, if already with nutrition you feel good add only what is needed.
The nutrition in combat sports and the integration of a fighter must be linked with the weight goal to be achieved and with an energy level that allows to support the training provided for the preparation.
Unfortunately there are situations where if you have to lose many kg to fall into the weight category then the risk is to find yourself facing workouts with little energy and this goes to affect the preparation.
That’s why when you have to deal with major weight changes (I’m not talking to you now about weight cutting) it’s still important to rely on nutrition specialists better still if you’re used to working with combat sports practitioners or if you’re lucky that they practice your own sport and therefore know the difficulties well.
Losing weight while training and having enough energy to support hard training sessions is not easy.
Nutrition in combat sports is key!