After finishing a great Krav Maga class, your body is obviously ready to fuel, and it might be tempting to reach for any food you want. However, picking the wrong meal after your MMA workout can undo all the work you have just invested. After any workout, your goal should be to restore your body’s glycogen stores, keep metabolism levels elevated, and rehydrate. Some foods can end up dehydrating the body further, reducing metabolism rates, and inhibiting crucial body functions. So which foods should you avoid after putting in all that work in your Krav Maga session?
This may seem obvious, but it is advisable to avoid these foods as they have very little benefit to your health and they usually have harmful trans-fats. The high-fat content in these foods can reduce digestion and leave you sluggish. MMA exercises can stress your body so you need to eat something with nourishing ingredients and micro-nutrients to care for the body and provide fuel. Self-defense exercises tend to stress the body so your goal should be to eat something afterward that takes care of the body while providing fuel. An alternative to fried foods would be steamed or baked protein coupled with a complex carbohydrate like grilled vegetables, baked sweet potatoes or boiled rice. Such a meal would provide long-lasting strength and energy for the body while also refueling it.
Low Carbohydrate Foods
We know that protein is essential after any MMA workout but carbohydrates also deserve a special shout out as a crucial part of nourishment and recovery post-workout. During exercise, the body uses its glycogen stores and you can best restore them by eating carbohydrates after your workout. Fruits are excellent as a carbohydrate source with examples such as kiwi, blueberries, bananas, and strawberries. Other smart choices include vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains as opposed to flour products, pasta, or white bread. The above-mentioned carbohydrates can help you maintain your energy all through the day.
Sugary Shakes or Smoothies
Protein smoothies are an all-time favorite among fitness junkies as they quickly help to provide the body with nourishment after an intense MMA training session. However, some of these protein powders are loaded with artificial sweeteners, bulking agents, chemicals, and fillers. Look for vegan-friendly protein powders and mix them up with sweet fruits, ice, unsweetened milk, and whole oats for a healthier smoothie.
Some energy bars are very convenient for those lacking in time to prepare healthy post-workout meals but you should watch out for bars with long ingredient lists. If you do not know any ingredient on the list then how do you expect your body to recognize it either? Avoid energy bars with excessive natural sugar, refined sugar or artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Instead, go for some nuts coupled with berries or a banana for the ultimate energy punch.
Most of you may be guilty of reaching after a cup of coffee immediately after your morning MMA class and it is not necessarily harmful. Coffee and other caffeinated beverages can give you a much-needed energy boost before your session and even improve your performance but it tends to dehydrate the body. Stick to water instead of proper rehydration after your workout. Caffeine also increases cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body and since exercise is a stressor, it can lead to overproduction of the hormone. Too much cortisol increases hormonal imbalance, cardiovascular problems, and inflammation.