Every sport calls for a certain level of training, and this determines your diet. While everyone needs to engage in a sporting activity to keep fit, mixed martial arts have received accelerated growth, with more people joining the sport, including vegetarians. MMA requires that you eat enough proteins and a well-balanced diet to be strong enough for training. But, what is the vegetarian diet for MMA training?
Some important nutrients like vitamin B12, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, riboflavin, vitamin D, calcium, and zinc are often inadequate for a vegetarian since they are found mostly in animal products. Therefore, a vegetarian’s diet must include more of these nutrients and other supplements.
A vegetarian diet for MMA training is nothing out of the ordinary. You’ll only need to modify a little and replace the animal products with equally nutritious plant products. The goal is to ensure that the diet is good enough to enhance training and recover fast after every session. This article discusses a vegetarian diet for MMA training and suggests what works best.
A Suitable Vegetarian Diet for MMA Training
If you are a vegan into MMA sports, you should consider including the following foods in your diet. These are:
- Eat whole foods only
These include whole grains, vegetables, nuts, and fruits. As a vegan MMA member, your diet should consist of whole foods instead of processed foods. You should always remember that the different foods available in the food stores have a varying degree of wholeness.
For example, if you choose to eat rice, would you go for brown rice or white rice? Your best choice would be brown rice because it is less processed compared to white rice. Eating a whole apple is better than going for the apple sauce.
It’s the same for all food products. Using whole tomatoes for cooking outruns using tomato pastes. This approach where you use only whole foods will ensure that you get all the nutrients available in the food. Consequently, your muscles will grow, and you’ll have more energy required for training.
- Incorporate fats into the diet
Fats take longer to digest and keep you feeling full for several hours. This allows you to remain active during the strenuous MMA training sessions. You don’t want to take eating breaks in between your training sessions.
I know the notion that fats are not good for your body, and as a vegan, you should eliminate them from your diet. But fats are good, and you should have them in your diet. Since the training session is lengthy and actively engaging your body, fats are continuously broken down to supply the body with the most vital energy to do the training.
The most suitable sources of fats for vegans include avocados, olive oil, Canola oil, and nuts. It’s better to avoid processed and packaged fats because they include Trans fats and saturated fats, which threaten the body’s healthy functioning.
- Get enough proteins
Vegans don’t get their proteins from animal products, so they need to find them in plant products. However, this shouldn’t stress you because you can get enough proteins without much struggle. For example, whole grains like beans contain high protein levels, and it’s enough for the body.
Protein is important because it helps the body recover fast after every training session and prepare for the next session. It also contributes largely to muscle building for stability in brutal training.
Other foods with substantial amounts of protein and can sufficiently meet your needs include nut seeds, whole grains, tofu, or tempeh. To ensure that you are getting enough protein for your body, check your weight and multiply by 1.6 grams of protein required for each kilogram of body weight.
Once you determine how much protein your body needs for maximum activity in MMA training, you can eat different foods that offer high amounts of protein and then go for them. You don’t have to go for only one type of food as you can diversify and get the best of every food type.
- Keep alcohol at bay
Alcohol beats the body and heavily deteriorates your progress. This consists of toxic additives that weaken the body muscles, thus making them feel floppy. It also slows down the recovery process such that the pain doesn’t go away easily.
Imagine waking up on a Monday morning ready for training only to realize that your body is too sure to take another brutal training only because you had been drinking over the weekend. It’s retrogressive for an MMA sportsperson.
- Go for the carbohydrates
Basic science has taught us that carbohydrates give energy to the body. During MMA training, you need as much energy as you can get to stay afloat and complete the training. To become a vegan MMA champion, the first step is to love your carbohydrates and consume them adequately.
Always remember to go for the unprocessed kind like potatoes and whole grains. Include sugars by going for the natural sugars in fruits and other foods like sugarcanes. Processed sugars and carbohydrates are likely to make you fat instead of allowing you to lose fat and gain lean meat.
- Don’t forget the vegetables
Vegetables carry all manner of vitamins, including vitamin B12 and other important nutrients like folic acid that keeps the blood cells healthy. The best vegetables are those that are grown naturally away from chemicals.
You should also strive to eat whole vegetables to get all that is in the vegetables. Remember to eat them in different varieties because different vegetables contain different nutrients and minerals.
Whole vegetables also contain high fiber, which allows for proper digestion and absorption of food. As an MMA sportsperson, you want to have no constipation, especially when it’s time for training.
The Bottom Line
MMA training requires that you have enough energy so that you can pull through it. If you require a boost during the training, you have some dark and white chocolates with you for a refresher. They’ll go a long way to keep you going with the training.
(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Founder, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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