Muay Thai nutrition is a key part of being a successful athlete in the Art of Eight Limbs. Any experienced coach will tell you that for weight-loss and performance goals, eating healthy is around 70% of the job and training correctly is about 30%.
While Muay Thai of course requires hours upon hours of technique, padwork, and sparring, proper nutrition for Muay Thai is something you cannot afford to ignore if you want to consistently defeat your opponents and maximize your success.
This is true even if you just want to train Muay Thai to burn fat and get in shape.
If you are interested to know the inside scoop on proper Muay Thai nutrition to get you in shape, you are in the right place. In this MMAWhisperer article, we will discuss the following:
- Is Muay Thai good for burning fat?
- What do fighters eat in Thailand?
- Muay Thai food list
- Muay Thai nutrition for cutting weight
- Vegan diet for Muay Thai
- What to eat before/after Muay Thai training
So, after reading this article, you will have no questions about the Muay Thai dieting plan and an idea on everything about this topic.
So, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- Does Muay Thai Burn Fat?
- How Many Calories Does Muay Thai Training Burn?
- What Do Muay Thai Fighters Eat In Thailand?
- Basic Muay Thai Diet Plan
- Specific Muay Thai Nutrition Plans
- List Of Groceries You Need For A Good Muay Thai Diet
- What To Eat Before Muay Thai Training
- Muay Thai Nutrition Guide: Final Ideas
Does Muay Thai Burn Fat?
Of course, Muay Thai burns fat. In fact, Muay Thai is one of the best workouts for fat burning.
The high-intensity Muay Thai training keeps your heart rate up, which keeps your fat burning for the whole session.
Not every martial art has such an impact on your heart rate. Generally speaking, Muay Thai, MMA, BJJ, wrestling, and boxing are doing to be the top picks for fat-burning martial arts styles.
All of these exercises require footwork and lots of movement, starting with shadowboxing warmups all the way to full-contact Muay Thai sparring. These movements in high rhythm are what burns your fat.
However, because Muay Thai involves so much kicking, knees, and punches, you are hitting a ton of different muscles that will increase the calories you burn in the training session.
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How Many Calories Does Muay Thai Training Burn?
Muay Thai consists of different activities involving whole body movements. It includes mixed use of elbows, knees, fists, and shins, and Muay Thai kicking power is well-known among combat sports athletes. Therefore, we can conclude that it is such an intensive sport, and an appropriate amount of calories is predicted to be burned during practice.
Now, while researching how many calories Muay Thai training burns, you should consider several things, such as body weight and intensity of physical activity. Hence, we get various amounts of calories for different people. There exists a simple formula to calculate it, which I am using.
Thankfully, we have what is called the MET value, which is a multiplier of how many more calories you burn in a certain activity compared to rest.
Calculating Your Muay Thai Calorie Burn
The MET value of Muay Thai is 9.8, which means Muay Thai uses almost 10 times the energy of normal resting.
The formula to estimate calorie burn is the MET value multiplied by bodyweight in kilograms, exercise duration in minutes, and the number 0.0175.
For example, If you are 70 kg and practice Muay Thai for 60 minutes, your burned calories would be 9.8*70*60*0.0175= 720.3 calories burned in one hour of Muay Thai.
That’s a pretty substantial amount of calories burned in just an hour.
This is the approximate result, and it can always be somewhat more or less, it is up to the intensity of your training as well as your current weight.
Due to the intense calorie burn, I definitely recommend Muay Thai to as a martial art to help you burn fat.
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What Do Muay Thai Fighters Eat In Thailand?
As a professional fighter, I am interested in how muay Thai fighters eat in Thailand, the origin country of this sport.
Because of poor conditions in most parts of Thailand, we can predict that food ration for fighters there would not be so complicated and would be affordable.
Indeed, the main elements of their ration are vegetables, rice, fish, chicken, and eggs. Most people can’t afford pork, for example, and to receive proteins, they eat a lot of eggs. They also eat insects to receive beneficial nutrients.
Thai fighters usually have rice, vegetables, eggs, and fish or fish soup for breakfast.
Lunch is not much different from breakfast, rice, or noodles. Also, they try to get proteins, so fish and meat are options for vegetables. For dinner, they have rice, fish or meat soup and vegetables.
As you may notice, they do not consume sweet food or dairy.
So, to conclude, we can say that they eat what they can afford. All of these products are healthy, and they mix them, so it does not matter if it is breakfast or dinner.
Basic Muay Thai Diet Plan
The following is a basic overview of a Muay Thai diet plan.
Food should be consumed at least 1 hour before training.
Water is also important, and water should be consumed in the morning even if you don’t have breakfast. It is essential to stay hydrated.
Breakfast includes rice or oats, fruits, apples, water, milk, or juice.
Lunch is typically rice again with meat and vegetables.
Dinner consists of rice with meat or fish and vegetables.
Vitamins are essential to maintain a good immune system, strong bones, and muscles.
They should be consumed as supplements on top of a healthy diet.
Additional supplements can also be important when we train every day.
For example, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and protein supplements are important because it is almost impossible to eat the right amount of protein or amino from natural products when training at high intensity.
But for some people, supplements are a matter of luxury.
Supplements get expensive quickly.
However, when I can afford them, I always take BCAAs and protein as additional supplements because without them I feel exhausted and do not have the energy for training.
Muay Thai Food List
The Muay Thai food list is as follows:
- Protein/vitamin supplements (when possible)
Foods to Avoid for Muay Thai
The following things should be avoided while dieting:
- sweet food
- salty food
- fried food
- wheat products
- soft drinks
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Specific Muay Thai Nutrition Plans
As a fighter, I can surely say our everyday ration should be as healthy as possible even if we are not on a diet.
Cutting weight is the hardest part of the fighting business for most fighters. Fighting is having fun. Cutting weight sucks.
Cutting weight is also dangerous in the long term, so we need to be very careful with this process.
By being careful, I mean we always have to be in shape.
Everyday life should be as healthy as possible, we should avoid having any extra weight, because even needing to cut an additional pound or two can make a big difference.
Being healthy makes cutting weight easier and healthier.
While having a healthy lifestyle, when you have to be on a diet, your body does not have so much stress because you are not making significant changes, perhaps just cutting out a bit of indulgence or reducing portions.
Only having healthy food on the fridge will help you a lot.
So try to fill the fridge with healthy options. Also, planning and prepping your meals will save you time, and you will be less likely to end up eating junk food.
Still, all these things do not mean you can’t eat chocolates or sweets.
You can enjoy these things but keep portions small and do not eat it every day.
Muay Thai Cutting Diet
The goal of cutting weight is to remove water from the body so that you can be as light as possible at weigh-ins, but rehydrate before the right. Cutting weight happens days out from the fight, so it is too late to burn a lot of body fat at this point, but you need to lose weight rapidly.
Rapid weight loss can be very dangerous for our health, so we should have a proper diet plan to avoid disasters.
As diets are stressful for our bodies, it is essential to maintain vitamins to stay strong.
The caloric deficit while cutting weight is significant. Despite carbs being very important for the function of organs, we should decrease their consumption during a cut to help lose water.
We should also cut the consumption of vegetables because they consist of lots of water and fiber, which is normally good but during a weight cut can add unnecessary weight to your system while they are digesting.
Green supplements are a good idea because they are full of vitamins with less fiber
Cutting salt in the last few days and cutting water is also essential.
A sauna in this period is a good choice but only in the day before or day of weight ins, as you want to avoid prolonged dehydration.
Everyone has a unique cutting weight plan because their body responds differently to different methods. I start cutting weight 4 weeks before the fight. For the first 3 weeks, I ate only healthy things, mixed healthy things up, and mainly did not eat any junk food, fried food, or anything like that.
I also try to eat less salty food because it holds the water in the body, and I am trying to cut the weight at the expense of water.
If I want to eat sweet, and sugar is vital as energy, I use fruits and not chocolates or cakes.
WARNING ON CUTTING WEIGHT FOR MUAY THAI:
Do not cut the weight according to the general online plans; it might have terrible results. Cutting weight is very dangerous and requires creating a unique strategy according to weight, age, height, training plan, and diet plan.
Muay Thai Camp Diet
Everyone has a different camp. I train 3 times a day in my camp.
A morning workout is half an hour of running, 3 km on hills or 6-9-12 km on a straight road.
After that, we train for 3 hours in the gym, 1 hour 20 minutes of strength and conditioning, a 10-minute break, another 1 hour and 20-minute pad/bag work, and shadow boxing.
Finally, at the end of the day, we grapple for half an hour. We follow this program 5 times a week, having a break in the middle of the week to keep positive energy and not stress doing everything 5 days in a row.
Now diet itself, unprocessed food is always more nutritional and has fewer calories, so unprocessed food and vegetables are a good choice.
Consuming different food and eating light after training is also crucial to maintaining balance.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated!
Drink a lot of water except on the last day before the fight.
The last day is the moment when most of your water should leave the body for the weight cut.
Do not avoid rest days. Our body needs rest. I personally have a rest day twice a week, and I am more productive and full of energy by following this rule.
Muay Thai Vegan Diet
We know that proteins are important for our strength, so vegetarians and vegans need to consume them without eating meat. Let’s discuss how we can replace meat with vegetarian food.
Vegan protein shakes, beans, nuts, and chia seeds are the first things that can come to our minds. All of these things consist of proteins as well as appropriate nutrients.
Consuming mushrooms, vegan milk, and vegan seafood like seaweed provide the body with essential vitamins such as B12. Remarkably, a lack of B12 can cause a lot of health issues. Iron is also crucial and can be received by consuming leafy greens.
Avocados and peanut butter are great, consisting of fat beneficial to the heart and full of fiber. Fruits and vegetables, which are beneficial for health, are part of the ration if you are a vegan fighter or not.
As we can conclude, being vegan and a fighter simultaneously is quite possible. To reinforce it, I can say that UFC Fighters Nate and Nick Diaz are vegans and among the world’s best.
List Of Groceries You Need For A Good Muay Thai Diet
We talked a lot about groceries and their beneficial parts in general. Now let’s list what we need for a good Muay Thai diet.
Proteins for muay thai
Products that consist of proteins and are suitable for our purposes are
carbohydrates for muay thai
- Brown Rice
Vegetables and Fruit
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Peanut butter
Green tea is an excellent drink as well to mix it up with plain water. However, avoid green tea late at night as it has caffeine.
What To Eat Before Muay Thai Training
We should try to eat one or two hours earlier before training.
Now, what to eat?
Brown rice, oatmeal, and potatoes are carbohydrates that give you energy which is crucial for training. Bananas are also good as they contain B6 vitamins, which are also an energizer. Eggs and nuts are great to get proteins, carbs, and fats.
What To Eat Before Muay Thai Training when you don’t have much time
When you have plenty of time before training the foods mentioned above are the way to go. However, most of us are not pro athletes and oftentimes come directly from work to our Muay Thai gym.
In my experience, the best pre-workout meal for Muay Thai is a combination of simple carbs, some healthy fats, and a low amount of protein. My go-to is a ripe banana and 1 tbsp of peanut butter.
Here you can take a look at the nutrition summary of this simple yet effective pre-workout Muay Thai meal:
What To Eat After Muay Thai Training
The approach is similar to before training diet with a bigger focus on eating a lot of vegetables and fruits, and drinking lots of water.
This will help you restore energy and maintain all the essential vitamins or minerals. After training, the body needs to be repaired.
Proteins are one of the best for repairing. We can consume it as a supplement like protein powder or drink milk, coffee, or tea, and eat Greek yogurt.
Rice with meat is commonly chosen among muay Thai fighters as it is not too heavy and gives you energy.
Eggs are good for repairing as they contain proteins and other vital nutrients.
Therefore, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals should be appropriately consumed for the recovery or growth of muscles.
Muay Thai Nutrition Guide: Final Ideas
Muay Thai is a demanding sport and requires a solid Muay Thai nutrition approach to maximize the results of your training efforts.
Whether you are training for personal fitness and weight loss, or you want to step into the Bangkok Muay Thai ring, you need to have a great diet for Muay Thai or you will simply not get the results you want.