How Often Should You Eat For Taekwondo

Tae Kwon Do Healthy FoodOk, you’re training regularly. You’re making great progress and you feel pumped. You’ve got your goals in sight and you’re looking good to achieve them. But are you eating as regularly as you need to for the best performance?

When I get asked about what to eat, etc, people forget one of the main things they need to be thinking of when they plan their diet and nutrition – how often to eat!

People still hold onto the old traditional mindset of “Three Square Meals A Day”. This is ok way back when people were working the land (after the Agricultural Revolution), or in big factories (after the Industrial Revolution). Back then they didn’t have food as convenient as we do today, and the work mentality didn’t allow for regular eating.

But despite those days being long gone and research showing that 3 large meals isn’t the best for us, we still continue to follow that rule.

As babies, the doctors tell our parents that we need to be fed every 2.5 to 3 hours. Like clockwork, we would get fed, or we would scream the house down if we didn’t! Then we become toddlers and our eating patterns change. But it shouldn’t…

Eating regularly is the best thing for us. It’s important for us as babies, and just as important for us as children growing up, and as adults to maintain our bodies in the best shape we can.

If you’re training regularly as an athlete, you’re constantly eating. Taekwondo athletes, as like most athletes, have huge appetites, much to the surprise of the non sporting/athletic community. You’ll never see food go as quickly as you will with a room full of Tae kwon do athletes!

So why stick to just ”Three Square Meals A Day”?

As an athlete, you need to stick to the eating regime you had as a baby. You need to be eating light meals every 2.5 to 3 hours. Healthy nutritious meals keep your blood sugar constant, your body refuelled and your brain refuelled (very very important!) .

Now, if you’re training 2 or 3 times a day, then the carb and protein drinks you take after training can be counted as one of those meals. If you’re only training once a day, then the sports drinks you take after that one session can be counted as a meal too.

You need to be eating 5-6 meals regularly throughout your day. Starting with a good breakfast, then have a midmorning snack, lunch or dinner, mid afternoon snack, dinner or light meal in evening and then, if you’re training, to have a carb and protein drink after training.

Typically, if you are training in the evening, you’re going to have a meal after training. When I was training every evening, I preferred to have my dinner at “lunch time” as I was then able to have lighter meals in the evening before and after training.

So there you have the foundation of what your eating day should be like. In the second part of this article, I’ll give you a sample meal plan for how your day should look like for optimum Taekwondo performance.

If you have any questions about this, or would like to leave a comment, feel free to do so in the comments box below. 8)

17 thoughts on “How Often Should You Eat For Taekwondo

  1. Alexa

    But what if your not hungry in between meals? Should you still eat a snack every couple of hours?

    1. David Post author

      Hi Alexa,

      If you’re eating every 2.5-3 hours and drinking water in between meals, you shouldn’t be feeling hungry at all.

      If you’re not hungry, then fine. It’s a sign that your body is used to eating the way that you do.

      If it’s working for you, and you’re achieving what you want to achieve, then continue doing what you’re doing. If you want some extra boost in your day, or to lose some bodyfat, then split up your meals from 3 (or whatever you have) and make them into 5 or 6 smaller ones.

      Make sure to drink water no matter what you do.


  2. marx

    muy buenos articulos, recien estoy siguiendo esta pagina y lo popco que he visto me ha paresido de excelente nivel, felicitaciones

    1. David Post author

      Hola Marx,

      We here at The Taekwondo Coach are very glad that you’re enjoying our Taekwondo articles, even if English isn’t your first language. 😉


  3. ainsley

    hi, iam just starting out in taekwondo. i am a little overweight and need to loose some weight.

    what would you recommend my diet should be like, more proteins than carbs or a mix of both.

    1. zede

      do like me
      just do the work out for the class you’ll start to develop muscles real fast in legs
      run for about an hour at least once a week most everyday
      you’ll lose weight really fast and build lower body and core muscle

  4. Meer

    i have a question,about three months ago i joined my university’s taekwondo club, it was my first time in any sport or any kind of training, i couldn’t come to every session but i certnily changed my eating diet.I saw changes in my body i become more flexiable, my problem is that i didn’t lost that much whight ,mostly i want to lose my belly fat , although we do sit-up my belly is still the same.Another thing is my last training was intense for the last couple of days i’ve been hungry and sleepy most of my time although i try to sleep at least 7 hours everyday.I’m 18 and a girl btw, how can i lost the fat and is it ok to feel hungry ?

    thanks and sorry for my bad spelling english is my second language.

      1. ela


        Love the articles. But I have the same problem as Meet. Could you pleas send help me out? I would really appreciate and information on the nutrition and how to improve my performance.

        Thank you!

  5. Andy


    Im andy, i need help on trying to know what specific foods should i be eatting every 2.5-3 hours.
    I’m a teenager
    15 years, turning 16 in june
    And i’ve been doing taekwondo since i was 5
    I started sparring when i was 9 and i feel inlove with it
    But I’m also a little heavy, i’m 160 pounds and im 5’7”’
    So i really need help with my weight loss. I also run on my own to slim down, and i usually work out taekwondo style. So any ideas with the foods i should eat?

  6. Sophie Dupuis


    I am 17 and I am currently trying to train at least 5-6 times a week. However, after 4 days, I get hungry all the time… Even if I’m full,I don’t have energy, so the next days, I don’t feel like training at all… Does this mean I don’t eat enough carbs or something?

    Thank you 🙂

  7. kate

    i have a question
    I’m sixteen and
    i weigh 140 and i want to get a lean stoamch and yet bulk up my arms
    im a junior in high school
    what shall i be eating should i be in a diet plan or something

  8. Nic

    I’m a blue belt in taekwondo and have a competition in just under three weeks. I’ll be competing in both continuous sparring and patterns.
    Are there any suggestions of what I should be eating to maximise my performance?
    (No meat please, I’m a vegetarian – but I eat fish)
    Thank you.

  9. Nic

    I’m a blue belt in taekwondo and have a competition in just under three weeks. I’ll be competing in both continuous sparring and patterns.
    Are there any suggestions of what I should be eating to maximise my performance?
    (No meat please, I’m a vegetarian – but I eat fish)
    Thank you, Nicole

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