Part 2: Muay Thai Camp Survival Guide — Nutrition
This is Part 2 of the 4-part Muay Thai Camp Survival Guide. (Go here for Part 1: Preparation For The Camp)
At The Camp
The first weeks at the camp were intense. We had two 1.5 2 hour sessions a day, 6 days a week. Thats about 20 hours a week of cardio, all in high humidity weather!
There are a few things I did to help me survive. 1) Careful Nutrition 2) Proper Hydration 3) Supplements
4) Pace and Recovery
1. Careful Nutrition
With regards to nutrition I tried the Paleo approach, at the suggestion of my friend Ryan whos a big supporter of the diet. For those who arent familiar with it, the Paleo approach promotes eating more natural foods especially foods which were readily available during hunter-gatherer times. The logic behind it is our bodies arent able to process many of the artifical additives, processed carbs and GMO foods sold to us. Most of it makes sense to me, except for their unusual fascination with bacon and the vilification of fruit. (Wasnt fruit available to hunter-gatherers before bacon?)
My diet consisted of some fruit 30 mins before the 7.30 am morning workout, then a protein smoothie right after. I usually had brunch of Kai Yud San (an omelet with minced meat filling) or meatball soup. I would again eat fruit 30 mins the afternoon workout, followed by another protein smoothie. In the evening Id go out for a nice Thai meal but stayed away from noodles and rice.
This system worked really well for me. I was never hungry because I was eating throughout the day. I probably had more fruit than is recommended by the Paleo approach but the way I saw it, I need some carbs before and after my workouts. I did try to go very low carb one day only allowing a bit of fruit after the morning workout, and was so drained and had such huge carb cravings that during lunch I ordered a big bowl of noodle soup. I should have just had the fucking fruit! (Note: My former Personal Trainer, he recommends having complex carbohydrates before workouts and fruit after. But I was too lazy to cook oatmeal in the morning.)
Admittedly, my smoothie very decidely experimental! I started off with a scoop of protein powder and loads of local fruit: bananas, mango, pineapple, dragonfruit. If they sold it at the night market, I tried it. I cut the fruit into small pieces and froze it beforehand. Frozen smoothies in hot, humid Thai weather was just heavenly. A few days later, I started adding coconut milk and raw eggs, which gave it a yummy creamy flavor. Finally, in an effort to reduce my carb intake, I cut down the fruit to two pieces and threw in spinach, to get more greens. It wasnt too bad but not quite as delicious as my earlier concoctions. At least it wasnt as bad as that one time I made a smoothie consisting of protein powder, coconut milk, 2 raw eggs, a big bunch of spinach and some cinnamon and aniseed (I was feeling adventurous). I was disspointed to find out that it tasted predictably disgusting. I managed to finished it though, but felt horrible after that.
Apparently, a lot of camps offer meal plans for students. Personally, Im not a fan for various reasons. Firstly, you are restricted to eating all your meals in one place. Secondly, it probably works out to be more expensive as there are much cheaper local options available. And thirdly, I dont think its necessarily more healthy. There are so many readily available healthy options in Thailand. Basically, stay away from rice and noodles, and dont drink too much juice.
Part 3 will be published tomorrow, continuing the At The Camp section.
Originally published at web-beta.archive.org.