Ok, 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)