One of the main targets of Martial Arts is to have a healthy body and mind during training, competitions and daily life.
For this purpose a lot of people go searching for “the product” to achieve the perfect solution and there are many brands in the market that produce and sell drinks, pills or powders to help and improve physical and mental activity.
In the heart of the Martial Arts everything should be natural in order to let the the vital energy (Ki or Chi) to flow in its own way within the body.
So how can we improve this energy flow in a clean and healthy way?
Many of the products that we see on the shop shelves can be easily replaced with natural juices and home made drinks. In my personal opinion, I always want to be sure what fuel is my body using.
Another good reason to use natural sources is because in Thailand is very easy and extremely cheap to get delicious fruits and other natural products in almost every corner of any street!
Watermelon: why is a great help?
1. It soothes sore muscles.
According to a new study in the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, drinking watermelon juice before a hard workout helped reduce athletes’ heart rate and next-day muscle soreness. That’s because watermelon is rich in an amino acid called L-citrulline, which the body converts to L-arginine, an essential amino acid that helps relax blood vessels and improve circulation.
The study’s seven participants, all men, were given 17 ounces (500 mL) of either natural watermelon juice, watermelon juice enriched with additional citrulline, or a placebo drink an hour before their workouts. Interestingly, the natural juice was just as effective as the enriched juice. The researchers also determined that intestinal cells can absorb more citrulline from watermelon juice than from citrulline supplements, especially when the juice is unpasteurized.
2. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories.
Given its name, you might assume the fruit has little nutritional value—and it is more than 90 percent water. But a 10-ounce (300-mL) wedge of watermelon packs in about one-third of the recommended daily value of vitamins A and C, as well as a modest amount of potassium (9 percent of the daily value).
During and after Training:
Replace the classic “7-eleven flavored” sport drinks with your own.
Still, the best sports drink for most athletes, with the exception of endurance or distance competitors, is good old fashioned water.
Basically the refueling beverages need to provide three things:
2. Electrolytes (especially sodium)
Electrolytes are essential minerals, including sodium and potassium, that regulate heart beat and blood pressure. When we sweat, we lose sodium and chloride (salt) and to a lesser degree, potassium, magnesium and calcium.
Milk has electrolytes, but chocolate milk is used more as a recovery drink since it has protein and carbohydrates to repair muscle and replenish energy stores. A sport drink is more for before and during exercise to replenish energy stores to keep our muscles running.”
An easy sports drink consists of a lemon juice, a splash of fruit juice or a 1/2 teaspoon of honey and a dash of salt per one cup of water.
Or, try coconut water, which is said to deliver as much as 12 times the electrolytes of sports drinks.
In Thailand you can easily get a fantastic fresh coconut for very cheap from any fruit shop anywhere (drinking straw included ^_^ ). Jazz it up by adding chilled green tea (also easy to find a natural one from the north) and mango juice or a drizzle of honey.
Here are a few other ideas if you feel like experimenting in the kitchen:
Blatner’s homemade Gatorade:
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 2 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Makes four servings. Per 8 ounce serving: 50 calories, 14 grams carbohydrate, 160 milligrams sodium.
Homemade sports drink (source: iOS app “Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook”)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/4 cup orange juice (not concentrate) plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 3 1/2 cups cold water
1. In the bottom of a pitcher, dissolve the sugar and salt in the hot water.
2. Add the juice and the remaining water; chill.
Makes 1 quart. per 8-ounce serving: 50 calories, 12 grams carbohydrate, 110 mg sodium.
Electrolyte Replacement Drink (source: Yoga Journal)
- 4 cups hot water
- Juice of 1 lemon = ¼ cup of lemon juice
- 2 tsp honey
- ¼ tsp of salt
Homemade Organic Sports Drink (source: Kitchen Table Medicine)
- Organic fruit juice*
- Water or green tea
- Organic sea salt
Fill your sports bottle with half juice and half water. Add a pinch of organic sea salt and shake.
*Here below you will find an interesting table with fruits (and vegetables) resources.
|Nutrient||Performance related function||Fruit and vegetable sources|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)||
|Vitamin E (Tocopherol)||
I suggest to test your sport drinks during your training sessions in order to achieve what is needed for yourself and don’t try them directly during a competition.
If you have more ideas please feel free to leave a comment here below.
(main source: Chicagotribune)