You know how it is… You came to the gym over-enthusiastic, yet you overate too close to training time. The result: upset stomach and sitting on the side, and occasionally the quick trip to the bin/toilet. Tips on eating for training may help you.

Here are 5 Tips – Eating for Training

Feeling ill during training, usually, a beginner experience is typically a result of the following:

  1. Plunging into a move too fast and too quickly. Often against the instructions of your coach who knows what happens when enthusiasm meets a history of inactivity!
  2. Dehydration – Not hydrating adequately before training.
  3. You are eating the wrong foods for athletic activity.
  4. You are eating too close to training.
  5. You are eating too far from training.

The first time you felt ill, did you react this way?

Did you stop eating within a couple of hours of training? or did you not eat for hours after your class?

Most people are surprised to hear #5.

All five results are quite common, but the problem is that #2 and #5 also affect the quality of your training and your ability to learn.

People don’t often link nutritional changes to increased performance and enjoyment, but the truth is that the body needs the fuel or it simply shuts down and eats itself.

No one likes feeling ill, so it’s essential to experiment with what suits YOUR body.

5 Tips for Eating for training can increase performance and keep the food down!

1. Start hydrating the night before

Most athletes underrate the importance of hydration, but ask any BJJ person about being choked while you are dehydrated — it’s much more effective for the choker. The same thing goes for sparring Muay Thai or boxing. Hydration is vital for safety.

2. Have a meal 2 hours prior and a priming meal 30-45 minutes before training

For much of my career, I would eat no closer than 3 hours before training. My gains were massive when focusing on my nutrition. It meant I could train harder, enjoy it more and recover quicker.

Also, I found that a meal of light protein (chicken, fish or turkey) with salad and something like quinoa or sweet potato (carbohydrates) and accompanied by some leafy greens works well.

Eat a banana/apple/orange with some almonds 30-45 minutes before a training session. Its light but primes your body for training.

3. Consume carbohydrates during training

Although, I have never been able to stomach a protein shake during a training session, particularly if it is sparring based, most training sessions are 1-1.5 hours. The carbohydrates not only allow you to keep the pace up but most importantly help you focus on the coaching and your training. Be warned; sip don’t gulp.

4. Stay away from sweets/caffeine

Sugar and caffeine can offer advantages but they won’t sustain you through a whole class or session. So typically you will end up with a headache, weakness and shaking.

If you insist on having sweets, chocolate or caffeine before training. Make sure you increase your water accordingly as this will help reduce the adverse effects.

5. Focus on your breathing

More often than not, people’s ill effects during training are related to over-breathing or holding their breath.

Take notice of your breathing next time you train, and you will notice that during intense bouts, you can find yourself breathing in too much oxygen.

Too much oxygen can leave you panicky, tingling or feeling faint. I don’t suggest you alter your breathing, but instead, watch it and notice if you are focusing too much on oxygen intake. Seek your coaches for advice if you feel like it can assist you.


Therefore, try our Eating for training and you will see improvement not just in your performance, but also your enjoyment of each session!

See you on the mats,

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from the VT1mma team

from the VT1mma team

VT1mma Academy, Sydney

VT1 Martial Arts Academy Chatswood

19B/390 Eastern Valley Way Chatswood
New South Wales 2067

Phone (02) 9417 1001

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