It goes without saying that one’s diet is reflected in their lifestyle. For kids especially, having a healthy & balanced diet is very important, as the nutrition they receive in their initial years’ affects their health even when they get older. But the question that comes to mind is, do kids who do self-defense have a significantly different diet than those who don’t? This article will shed light on what is essential in those kids’ diets who do take part in workout exercises like self-defense training.
What should be included in their diet?
First we must understand what nutrition should be part of their everyday diet. Once that is defined, we can work towards ensuring they receive the kind of diet that can provide them with this nutrition. Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy Dubai Strength & Conditioning Coach, Yannick Morel notes the following as a major part of a training diet:
- Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamins & Minerals
Here’s a little bit of what you need to know about the consumption of vitamins & minerals:
- While doing such strenuous workouts, consuming the right amount of calories equates to the right amount of nutrients (vitamins & minerals)
- Consuming Calcium through foods like milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. helps make the bones stronger & reduces the chances of bone fractures
- Foods that contain iron (e.g. chicken, lean meat, green vegetables, etc.) increase the flow of oxygen that travels to the entire body
Nowadays, carbs & health are two words that people tend not to relate. However, for children in training, it is an important part of their diet:
- For kids training in self-defense, carbohydrates are needed to replenish energy before & after training – in fact, even adults undergoing high-intensity training must include complex carbs in their diet
- Consuming foods with high carbohydrate content (e.g. brown rice, cereal, whole-wheat pasta, etc.) allows the kids to not only gain the energy they lose while training; but also burn calories gained at a faster rate
Proteins in a trainee’s diet? That’s to be expected. But have you ever wondered why?
- Having proteins in their diet is very crucial as it repairs ruptured muscles & builds new muscle tissues
- A specific amount of protein content (lean meat, fish, beans, etc.) should be consumed in their diet to gain the maximum benefits & not dehydrate oneself if take in excess amount
It goes without saying that hydration is crucial for trainees, & here’s how:
- Being hydrated enough before, during & after the routine is another important factor in having a balanced diet
- Drinking sports drinks will replenish the depleted electrolytes (Sodium & Potassium) which are secreted through sweat
- Kids are recommended to avoid sugary or carbonated drinks as it causes stomach aches & saps their energy quickly
It is not only important to watch what is being consumed, but also how it is being consumed. Following are some helpful tips that can go a long way:
- Those who have a meal three hours or more prior to training should consume an ample portion of carbohydrates, a reasonable amount of proteins & keep the fat content low to help them digest well & train without any feeling of heaviness
- For those who consume meals in a less than three-hour timeframe before training, a relatively light snack is recommended, such as a fruit or a vegetable-based juice
Many trainers & professionals design diet plans based on personal preferences. However, as part of one of the leading martial arts gyms in Dubai, we have hired specialized individuals like Yannick Morel who not only knows the ins & outs of the martial arts industry but also provides bespoke nutrition plans for all trainees. That is what makes Royce Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Dubai stand out, having an experienced nutritionist on the panel so that kids who do self-defense are in safe hands.